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07/16/2007

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Chris

Admittedly, I have not yet read Frank’s article, but I think the main problem that hedge funds face is that the job they have in the economy is too indirectly beneficial for most people to appreciate it. The value of tangible goods like food, cars, or even software is easy for most people to understand, but increasing competition by “packaging” and redistributing risk just does not have the same ring to it. Combine that with a general distrust for companies that experience windfall profits (Microsoft is fairly well disliked, as is Exxon, as is Wal-Mart, etc.) and the entire field is open to criticism—warranted or unwarranted.

jeff

Adding to Chris' comment; I think there is jealousy. First, the investors in a hedge fund are wealthy people. So the hedge fund excludes investors and people that cannot afford the risk or exposure of the hedge fund. Second, because of the press bias towards what seems to be unnatural "unearned" profits, people think that these guys are merely stealing.

The general populace doesn't necessarily have a good grasp of risk, nor do you hear about all the hedge funds that fail, or lose investors money.
Because the industry is largely unregulated, it appears to be the wild west of investing.

The most unfortunate thing would be to over regulate the hedge fund industry simply because they made a lot of money.

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