Hedge funds have gone through tough times before. The tech bubble. The subprime mortgage crisis. Their unrequited love turned bitter hatred for Barack Obama. But through it all, they’ve always managed to maintain a certain self-assurance, not to say self-respect, befitting a master of the universe.
Lately, though, things are just really starting to get to them. The negativity is enough to make one man go vigilante. Bad years are being followed by bad quarters. No one worth a damn wants to work for them. Public pension funds are abandoning them or—worse—demanding they work for peanuts. No one’s got a single original idea about how to make money. They’re being accused of causing cancer. The best press they get is the newspaper equivalent of a participation trophy. And NO ONE WILL BUY STEVE COHEN’S BEAUTIFUL APARTMENT FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY. You know, it all adds up to a sinking feeling that maybe the goddamned hippies and anarchists are right. And who would know this better than a Southwestern Connecticut real-estate broker?
“People are worried about their jobs,” says Edward Magi, who sells real estate for William Pitt Sotheby’s in Southport, Conn., an area popular with hedge funders. He’s seen two multimillion-dollar deals fall apart this year because the buyers lost work….
The worry for the hedge fund crowd is that their business model is broken…. In the past two quarters, investors have pulled more money from hedge funds than they put in—almost $17 billion—the worst outflow since 2009. More are demanding that struggling funds lower the fees of 2 percent of assets and 20 percent of profits they’ve typically charged.
Hedge Fund Managers Lose Their Swagger [Bloomberg]