It used to be the easiest job on Bay Street. In days gone by, one required neither an advanced degree in economics nor a crystal ball to predict the performance of the Canadian currency.

Annus horribilis. Of all the ways to describe the experience of hedge fund investors in 2008, none come quite as close as this to capturing the sense of disillusion and despair at a year in which the best-laid financial schemes went spectacularly awry.