Hedge fund performance in 2011 was one of the worst years ever for hedge funds. "Last year was dismal for hedge fund performance, according to an index maintained by Eurekahedge, an independent information firm that specializes in hedge fund data," reports the New York Times. "Amid political uncertainty, the debt-ceiling debate in Congress and mounting fears of a European financial crisis, the Eurekahedge index, which measures average returns, dropped 4.1 percent for the year."
Some of the hedge fund industry's biggest names were hit the hardest. Looking at hedge fund performance through November, John Paulson's Paulson & Co had some of the worst losses. Its flagship fund, Advantage Plus, was down 47.49% year-to-date through the end of November. Lee Ainslie's Maverick lost 12.37% in the first 11 months of 2011. Steve Heinz's Lansdowne also had a rough time of things. Its European Long Only fund was down 13.77% year to date through the end of November. Its UK Equity fund was down 19.44% through the same period. Philippe Jabre's Jabre Capital was down 24.50% year to date on its Jabcap Global Balanced Fund through the end of November.