Fund closures hit an estimated $84 billion - more than quadruple the amount in 2007 - with more than 200 American funds shuttered last year
By Irwin Speizer
Trading losses and redemption runs, bankruptcies and government intervention, accounting issues and the spectacular meltdown of Bernie Madoff's operation all combined to make 2008 a banner year for hedge fund blowups, with more than 200 American funds or fund families shuttered or heading toward liquidation. The total is more than four times the number from the previous year, when some 49 hedge funds closed.
The shakeout caused an equally sharp decline in assets, as a string of billion-dollar-plus funds shut down. Funds that managed an estimated total of about $84 billion at their peaks closed or were heading that way in 2008, four-and-one-half times the $18.7 billion worth of peak assets represented by the funds on Absolute Return's 2007 closure list. For the first...