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Hedge-Fund Manager Despairs, Declares ‘Time Bankruptcy,’ Quits

One Sunday afternoon in September 2007, Keith Gessen says, he sat down outside a Brooklyn coffee shop with a hedge-fund manager, the friend of a friend.

They talked for two hours, he says, about things Gessen, a novelist and founding editor of literary magazine n+1, had never heard of: quantitative trading, financial paradigm shifts and 10-sigma events. Eventually, n+1’s website featured an interview with an erudite anonymous investor identified as HFM. At least one reader suspected a hoax.