Hedge Fund Leverage Drops

Sep 27 2011 | 1:36pm ET

Hedge funds slashed their leverage last month faster than at any time in almost three years, according to a new report.

Margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange fell 11.1% in August, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said. That's the most since November 2008.

Despite the drop in leverage to $272 billion, margin debt on the NYSE remains above its most recent lows in June 2010 and February 2009; on the latter date, leverage was just $173.3 billion.

Hedge funds began August with their highest equity exposure since the financial crisis began.

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