Will the U.S. government take the tough action that it needs to, giving $25 billion to Ken Griffin at Citadel to stop selling? Can't we just find out who the other hurting hedge funds are and given them each $25 billion and tell them to go home?
When I read that Citadel is down 30% on one of its funds -- probably has a dozen of them, for all I know -- I get chilled. When you are down that much and you run almost $20 billion, you are going to do a ton of damage exiting and hedging and scrambling, kind of exactly what Doug Kass said would happen when hedge funds go wild. For all I know, the erratic trading from Monday, the huge upswing, was from some strategy gone bad by a guy like Griffin who was trying to get some protection from a market decline while he exited and then got caught and had to cover.Remember, no serious portfolio manager goes in and buys Exxon
But if you are running billions and you put on a short for a couple of billion dollars and your longs aren't running, you will be squeezed and the instruments you are using have so much heft and can so overwhelm the market that when you come in and say, "Sell those puts," you move the market incredibly.
I never thought it would happen again like in 1987, but then there was a firm, Leland O'Brien, that was guaranteeing performance using "dynamic hedging" that was supposed to be able to lock in gains for funds. The stuff didn't work because the market got overwhelmed and it went down so fast that the hedges didn't work.