Hedge funds add to markets’ pain

USA Today – The great unwind in the secretive hedge fund world caused by steep losses has contributed to the megapain in the stock market.

Wealthy folks and big investors yanked a record $31 billion to $43 billion out of hedge funds in the third quarter, according to estimates from tracking firms Hedge Fund Research (HFR) and TrimTabs. As a result of ongoing redemption requests from worried investors, the so-called smart-money crowd has been forced to sell assets to raise money to pay back investors.

That vicious cycle of forced selling by these private investment funds has exacerbated the heavy pressure that has pushed the U.S. stock market down as much as 43% from its October 2007 high. "It is really like a global margin call. It feeds on itself," says Woody Dorsey, president of Market Semiotics, which specializes in behavioral finance.

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