Well, they have (had?) a good thing going. This part was funny to me:
A colleague met with a partner in an activist fund who he estimates is worth a minimum of $75 million. Not huge by hedge fund standards but not shabby either. He was angry because in his view, the hedge fund game was over, in part due to the growing investor revolt over fees, and in part due to the Fed making it impossible for hedge funds generally to do anything right (as in so many people are trying to second-guess the Fed’s every twitch that it’s virtually impossible to trade the market well even when you have decent fundamental takes).
In short, he was upset because the Fed's influence has driven out the effect of fundamentals. I am not a terribly savvy investor, but it is clear to me that the market is currently not being driven by economic activity. I mean, the ECB is actually resorting to buying junk bonds because negative interest rates and printing money are not enough. That does not make for a healthy economy. Look at the last 10 years for the NASDAQ:
It went from 1200 in 2009 to 5200 in 2015. In six years it more than quadrupled in value. You feelin that? Probably not. This is what happens when central banks pull out all the stops. That is not a market index, that is a credit meter.
'So many people' were rational to second guess the Fed's every twitch, because that is where the money has been coming from. It's not like this market is propped up by all the money the middle class was socking away once they got rehired and back to work.