With an appreciation - to paraphrase Warren Buffett - for being greedy when others are afraid (Edens and Novogratz had made millions at Black Rock and at Goldman Sachs being contrarians during market collapses), Fortress (FIG) raised at least $2 billion to put to work over time. All told, Fortress manages about $35 billion in assets, $18 billion of which is in its hedge fund unit.

But in a market without precedent, Edens and Novogratz can be forgiven if they feel like they've jumped into a pool that has no bottom.

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