Would you invest grandma's money in hedge funds or stocks? Authors Lack, Schwager and Zuckerman debate

By Josh Friedlander

Tue Nov 6, 2012



Are the new masters of the universe Market Wizards or is hedge fund exceptionalism a mirage?


Authors Greg Zuckerman, Simon Lack, Jack Schwager and moderator Rob Copeland (photo: Axel Dupeux).

Hedge funds are sometimes blamed for manipulating financial markets, but this past week they were accused of hurting America's ability to stand up to mother nature. The financial industry was "generally collectively responsible for the catastrophe of our country in the past few days," said Greg Zuckerman, referring to the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy.

The Wall Street Journal reporter and author of The Greatest Trade Ever said financial industry salaries, of which hedge fund salaries are often the highest, had skewed incentives so severely that the best and brightest minds no longer contemplate jobs in engineering or public service that might have made United States infrastructure more resilient in the face of natural disasters. "We've siphoned off talent that could have solved this problem for our nation," Zuckerman said.

It was one of several strong...

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