Regulators betray a sense of panic


By Neil Wilson

Was it ever thus? Perhaps it is simply human nature to seek a scapegoat. Certainly, it seems that whenever the markets are in freefall and losses are leaving blood on the Street, there is a scramble to find somebody to blame. And who are the usual suspects? The hedge funds, of course - those bad guys mercilessly shorting the hell out of stocks.

Such was the case the last time markets plunged - in the wake of the tech bust, when equities fell more than 40% from 2000 to early 2003. During that period, many listed companies