The world's top 25 hedge fund managers made a collective $11.62 billion in 2014, an amount that was somehow racked up during a "mediocre" performance year. For comparison's sake, the median household income in he United States in 2013 was $51,759. Brooklyn's median household income was $44,850 in 2013, according to recent census numbers. My IKEA couch cost $580. $11.62 billion could buy so much self-assembled furniture.
The Times reports that though people who invested in hedge funds didn't get much in return this year, those who managed those funds did pretty well, provided you don't consider $1.1 billion a mere pittance. These managers include Bridgewater Associates' Raymond Dalio, who raked in that aforementioned $1.1 billion; Citadel manager Kenneth C. Griffin, who took home $1.3 billion, and Renaissance Technologies manager James H. Simons, who made $1.2 billion.
Of course, if it seems unfair that hedge fund managers earned swimming pools full of Benjamins in a year where the funds themselves saw an average return of only 2 percent, note that even these moneymakers have stumbled on hard times. In 2013, the top 25 managers earned a collective $21.15 billion, so 2014's numbers represent a startling dip. Multiple Waldorf-Astoria condos don't come cheap, after all.
Again, in case you're trying to grasp what $11.2 billion looks like, Zimbabwe's total GDP in 2012 was $10.81 billion. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, now considered the poorest country in the world, earned a per capita GDP of only $394.25 in 2013. Ken Griffin reportedly makes $90K while napping. Capitalism is such a fun game when you're winning.