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Hedge Funds: The Next Shoe to Drop

Conde Nast Portfolio – You think things are bad now? Just you wait: the chart above gives you a very good indication of what Christine Williamson calls the "bloodbath ahead" in the hedge-fund industry.

No one wants to be invested in an underperforming hedge fund right now — and half of the hedge funds in America are underperforming. What happens when investors decide to take their money out tomorrow, as they’re generally allowed to do on the first day of any quarter?

Sources said they expect the body count to total as many as 2,000 hedge funds and 500 hedge funds of funds between now and the end of March…
Most hedge funds operate on an end-of-quarter deadline for requests from clients to have their money returned. If experts’ predictions of very large collective redemptions come true, managers will have to liquidate their holdings en masse, pushing down prices and forcing many smaller hedge funds or those with poor returns out of business. The wave of closures could span six months, likely beginning in earnest in November and December at the end of the typical 45- or 65-day waiting period when fund managers have to return investor cash.

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