Whisper it quietly: It's been a long time coming, but the hedge fund industry has now truly arrived as a major feature of the global financial market.
Based on an analysis of the various databases maintained by HedgeFund Intelligence, it is now clear that the assets of the hedge fund industry globally have crossed the landmark level of $1.5 trillion.
First of all, I ought to explain how we arrive at this staggering sum. Take the Absolute Return Billion Dollar Club, which measures only those firms in the United States running hedge fund assets of more than $1 billion. As revealed in last month's issue, that list - based on independently verified numbers and including very few estimates - now weighs in at about $850 billion, still well over half the global total.
And that's before you start taking account of the thousands of smaller firms in the United States that...