We've been bracing ourselves for this one but, god, nothing could've prepared us for searing pain and sense of loss we feel. I hesitate to even mention it because the consequences could be just catastrophic. And yet, I cannot in good conscience keep this to myself, because it's the sort of thing that doesn't just affect the people involved, but counterparties, as well, like bums used to sneaking in a side door and taking part in the free buffett and cash bar. Okay, here it is: we're told that our favorite Chicago hedge fund has canceled its holiday party this year, adding itself to a growing list now populated by BarcLehs, American Express, Bear Stearns and counting. I'm holding out hope that this a dirty, baseless rumor that will not come to pass but I'm truly terrified. For our friends in the Midwest, yes, but mostly for Gary Busey. It's well-known in the industry that he works the hedge fund party circuit every year as a member of the catering staff, all culminating with the Everest of shrimp puff serving in Southern Connecticut. If he loses this gig, it's all over.