The Financial Crisis and Hedge Fund Returns
Review of Derivatives Research 14, p.117-135, 2011

Nicolas P.B. Bollen

ABSTRACT
The financial crisis has focused the lens of politicians and regulators on hedge funds as a source of systemic and operational risk in asset markets. We examine the extent to which available data can provide useful information regarding the impact of hedge funds on the financial system. Using data from January 1994 through September 2008, we find dramatic changes in the exposures of hedge funds to risk factors, accompanied by a significant and widespread increase in correlation between hedge fund and factor returns. Lastly, the discontinuity at zero in the cross-sectional distribution of hedge fund returns persists throughout the sample.