Momentous times prove instructive

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Just when the hedge fund industry seemed to be maturing to the point of getting, well, dull, things have gotten interesting.

Front and center, of course, has been the spectacular fraud that authorities say Samuel Israel III's Bayou Fund committed. The ink devoted to Bayou in the business press has rivaled that allocated to the much more damaging event, in human terms, of the hurricane that decimated the Gulf Coast's real bayous.

But it's no wonder: Every disaster and crisis, large or small, provides a bounty of practical lessons and grounds for intriguing debate.

As always, some of what