Preface to the 2007 Edition

IN THE MID-90S, when I began covering hedge funds for Bloomberg News, and during much of the decade that followed, the people who ran these funds occupied a quirky, little-known corner of the financial services industry. Once in a while, a name like George Soros, renowned as “the man who broke the Bank of England” for forcing the British pound out of the European monetary system, or John Meriwether, who nearly started a financial crisis with $4 billion in losses at Long-Term Capital Management, would make its way into the mainstream press. But most of the time, no one paid any heed to these eccentric sorts who managed money in a way that few others dared.

Unlike the managers of mutual funds and other traditional portfolios—which ...

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