Hedge funds and other hot money traders have had a bad year and are facing big redemptions.
What we have here is a bit of year end window dressing, trying to not make it too bad.
QE 3 or not, I expect the drip away from the great mid 00s risk trade to continue until something major changes.
Re: my take
The bad year all depends on how their funds were allocated. Gold has had a signficant rally in 2011. It started the year around 1400 and is currently above 1600. Crude oil started the year around 90 and is just about to 100. Live cattle started the year around 113 and is currently just above 120. Even corn is higher for the year. The March contract was trading in the 5.60's at the beginning of the year and is now above 6.10.
A lot of it depends where the funds were allocated and when positions were established. I'd think a lot of the hedge funds would be able to squeak out a 7-10 percent return for the year. Considering how every other return is doing, I'd say they're more than likely not doing so bad.