Sub-prime pain burns on a 'slow fuse'

The financial history books will record 2007 as the year when a long period of extraordinarily benign credit conditions came to a sudden and dramatic end. Contrary to the expectations of many, the crisis, as it developed in the second half of the year, was relatively kind to the hedge fund community.

There were some notable fund losses and fund blow-ups, but these were the exception rather than the rule. The much-anticipated and feared sight of large numbers of hedge funds going under did not tra