By Michelle Celarier
Speculation about the diminished size of the hedge fund industry in the wake of the ongoing global financial crisis has been rampant. Absolute Return is the first to actually tally the numbers, as we do twice a year in our Billion Dollar Club survey, painstakingly gathering information from funds, investors and whatever publicly available data exists. Now the numbers are in. The biggest American hedge funds lost almost a third of their assets in 2008 - but still hold more than $1.1 trillion.
The good news is that it's not quite as bad as many predicted. Last