By Neil Wilson
In an age when such venerable names as Sears have been taken
over by hedge fund managers like Eddie Lampert, the investing
public in the United States has pretty much gotten used to the
idea that hedge funds are now a major factor in the life of
corporate America. But this is still not yet the case in
Europe, where the battle over the future of the Dutch banking
group ABN Amro has been making front-page news in the Financial
Times and other journals.
In Europe, and especially in such markets as Germany, there
is still a sense of shock and disbelief that local corporate
giants appear to be suddenly at the mercy of a mysterious
community of hedge funds. And there is undoubtedly an element
of truth in such a perception.
The reality is, of course, more complex. Hedge funds, now
armed with more assets and...