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Hedge funds move $100bn into safe havens

Financial Times – Hedge funds charging hefty fees for sophisticated trading strategies aimed at outperforming the wider market have collectively parked $100bn in simple money market funds typically used by investors seeking safe rather than spectacular returns.

Citigroup estimates that hedge funds have now placed $600bn in cash, and that $100bn of this is held in money market funds, normally seen as some of the safest places to invest cash.

However, last week, those money funds became embroiled in the wider financial crisis to the point that the US Treasury was forced to offer a blanket guarantee on them as part of its attempts to prevent the spillover of the financial crisis into the $3,400bn sector.

The extreme measures taken by the Treasury followed mounting fears that retail investors in the sector could be starting to panic and might withdraw funds on a large scale.

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