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Allan Peterson 8:30 a.m., June 15
The people who run the 25 top-performing hedge funds had to live on a mere $464 million average income last year, according to Alpha Magazine. That was down from the average $892 million they made in 2007. Could you take such a dent in your income? Could you live on only $464 million a year? That's important, because your money, as a taxpayer, will be supporting these people this year. Treasury Secretary Geithner has set up a plan whereby investors -- hedge funds and private equity groups in particular -- will put up almost no money and be able to buy banks' toxic assets with subsidies of more than 90 percent of taxpayers' money. It's a no risk, all gain proposition. Is it any wonder these Wall Streeters do so well, even as they drive the global financial system to the brink through greed and stupidity? Four hedge fund managers brought home more than a billion dollars last year, according to the magazine: James Simons ($2.5 billion); John Paulson ($2 billion); John Arnold ($1.5 billion), and George Soros ($1.1 billion). The next best-paid seven brought home between $250 million and $780 million each.