But since rumors of liquidity problems at Bear Stearns, began circulating in recent weeks, large hedge funds say they have been moving their business elsewhere. Several cited the example of Refco, the futures broker that abruptly went bankrupt in 2005, leaving thousands of clients scrambling for cash and securities held in margin accounts.
"There is no one in their right mind who is primed with Bear would keep their money there," said a portfolio manager at a $6 billion New York hedge fund. "The risk (of a Bear failure) is pretty low, but if something goes wrong all of a sudden you can't get your money out."
Bear is facing major problems in other parts of this business during its credit crisis.
Financial market traders across London have been told by their firms to stop dealing with Bear Stearns. At least six major institutions in London -- including Commerzbank, Royal Bank of Scotland and JPMorgan -- had stopped giving prices to the U.S. bank, a credit trader at one European institution in London, who declined to be identified by name.