Early on in the hedge fund days, the late 1980s and early 1990s, hedge funds were looking to short instruments, thus creating balance-sheet liabilities. IT systems at the time, however, were unable to handle this, given the long-only nature of most software programmers' investment clients at that time.
Shorting was problematic, requiring "somersaults and workarounds" from an accounting perspective, according to Tony Swei, chief executive of Tradar, a widely used portfolio management system.
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