Traders, Hudge-Fund Mgrs Whistle Past Wall Street Graveyard – Wall Street equity traders usually thrive on volatility, but the latest arrival of carnage on their doorstep has distracted and confounded them.

This habitually brusque bunch is even more harried than usual, worrying about their livelihoods and the safety of their funds’ accounts in addition to the direction of a crazy market. One prominent form of escape: gallows humor.

Asked what floor he was going to in an office complex in Jersey City, N.J., an employee of one major brokerage replied, "I might as well go up to your floor, and apply for a job. It looks like we’re next."

Even the diehard speculators in the hedge-fund community are in a state of confusion. The funds have watched two of the prime brokerages that serve them collapse and another get swallowed by a bank in a few months, and some are close to sticking money under a mattress, said Lorenzo Di Mattia, manager of hedge fund Sibilla Global Fund. Some funds are too busy working out where to put their account to even bother with securities or commodities.

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