At a time when executives are being hauled over the coals for accepting million dollar bonuses, a guy who answers to the name of James Simons has walked away with a huge US$ 2.5 billion payout without as much as being an eyebrow being raised. This translates into a daily wage of $ 6.8 million!!! Of course, the only difference being the fact that while the former have nothing to show for their bonuses, Mr. Simons runs a hedge fund that has believed to have returned 160% before fees in 2008. And Simons is not alone. A leading financial magazine has published a 25-member list of top earning hedge fund managers, who took home an average US$ 464 m in 2008. Well, did someone say recession? Operating in various markets at a time, a typical hedge fund manager has an extremely short time horizon and is known to take massively leveraged bets. Little wonder, many of them rise like a star on the firmament in one year and quickly disappear into depths of obscurity another year. However, there are some like the legendary George Soros who are a regular feature on the list. Check out other Hedge fund titans of 2008 Rank, Name, Firm Name, 2008 Earnings (US$ m) 1, James Simons, Renaissance Technologies Corp. 2,500 2, John Paulson, Paulson & Co. 2,000 3, John Arnold, Centaurus Energy, 1,500 4, George Soros, Soros Fund Management, 1,100 5, Raymond Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, 780 6, Bruce Kovner, Caxton Associates, 640 7, David Shaw, D.E. Shaw & Co., 275 8, Stanley Druckenmiller, Duquesne Capital Management, 260 9, David Harding, Winton Capital Management, 250 10, Alan Howard, Brevan Howard Asset Management, 250 11, John Taylor, FX Concepts, 250 Source: Alpha Magazine What do you say guys, Can any IM ever beat that????