Hedge fund managers who pay themselves billions are not 'making money' as most people understand that phrase. The cash they take is actually being carved out of the system; and this is no stray cash -- this is support cash. This is cash that should be employed to prop up America's financial infrastructure -- and one reason the U.S. dollar and U.S. economy is imploding is that vital cash meant to buttress banks' reserve requirements and to support bail-out agencies like the FDIC and other stop gap measures is being drained away by parasites in suits who read "Alpha" magazine. If given a chance these guys would have happily, with little or no margin requirements, securitized concentration camps in Germany and traded "Death Collateralized Gulag Bonds."
'Making money' in the hedge fund business is easy if you are willing to take the consequence of disenfranchising an entire country in stride and watch your fellow countrymen die in the mud as we're seeing now with tent cities and bread lines popping up faster than Fed hand outs to robo-crook investment banks who cry like babies whenever they have a losing bet -- until Ben Bernanke disrobes (reduces reserve requirements) and lactates a fresh dose of virtual Fed milk. But who'll bail out the Fed as the Fed has now become, thanks to Hank Paulson and B.Benanke, a giant hedge fund (who ultimately will rely on Saudi tit to recapitalize America in Asia's image).
Technically speaking; how do hedge'ees 'make' their money? For the most part; these funds don't take directional positions in the sense that Warren Buffett takes a position in a stock and holds it for 5, 10, 20 years and hope it goes up.
These funds take simultaneous two-direction positions; arbitrage positions with the help of computers that pinpoint gaps in the market -- securities that are mis-priced. Then they exploit these mis-priced gaps for gains using scads of borrowed money (from U.S. tax payers ultimately). Example: two bonds that should have the same yield don't because the system is out of sync; a fund may buy one 'leg' of the two-way bet and sell the other 'leg' locking in the 'spread.'
Presumably, if these guys found a gap in the insulation on the Space Shuttle they would hold off on reporting it and would instead make huge, leveraged bets on whether or not the Shuttle would blow up. If they are right, they keep the money and pay themselves billions. If they are wrong, they get bailed out of the losing position by Bernanke's ample bosom -- and still pay themselves huge bonuses. America is collapsing because fund managers like it that way. It's the easiest way to 'make' money. And their tyranny is financed by a corrupt Fed and U.S. Treasury.
On the subject of America's gulagwealthfund.com economy.
Those spy satellites the Pentagon is putting up are nothing but toll booths in outer space. The whole initiative to wire up America for 'security' reasons will do nothing for security, but it will make it easier for the military-nickel-and-diming-complex to pick Americans' pocket 24/7. Credit card tracking, RFID tags, mobile phones, pat downs on the street without probable cause, bank record examination, Facebook and MySpace hacking; it's all aimed toward one goal. Shake down. The government-banking axis of oil and credit addicts have hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of bogus derivatives in play; hundreds of billions in bad debt to work out, billions in bonus money to pay themselves, millions of NGO workers to surveil, thousands of lobbyists to pay and hundreds of corrupt government officials in various countries to keep stocked with weapons and the complete works of Milton Friedman.
How to pay for all this, now that America's savings are all gone (gone negative for two years now -- not since the Depression has America's saving rate been negative for two years). Say hello to the 24 hour surveillance state revitalizing thousands of pesky laws that are on the books but seldom enforced, due to the cost inefficiency of enforcing these laws. They will reemerge like Night of the living Warrants. Suddenly the satellite will catch you parking 5 inches too far from the curb, j-walking, using copyrighted words and phrases in emails unlawfully -- and the fines will be garnished from you bank accounts with zero recourse for you except to speak out, but then you'll get put on a no-fly list and become an American untouchable. Better to just grin and make believe someday America will get its democracy back.