For Love of Famous People

Hollywood is a funny business. There's lots of money sloshing about, the big stars see huge paydays, and some movies make a tremendous amount of cash. But it always seems like an extraordinarily bad business to invest in -- tons of uncertainty without the level of reward that normally comes with accepting that level of risk. And yet, there's invariably some new wave of capital pouring in even though every previous wave has eventually walked away bitter and disappointed. The latest wave has come from hedge funds and The Los Angeles Times reports that their experience has been no better than anyone else's.

At the end of the day what none of these hard-headed businessmen -- from the heads of Japanese conglomerates to the high-flying hedge funders to whomever else -- is that the attraction of the business isn't the business, but the fact that people like movies and know that owning a piece of a production or a studio will give them a chance to hang out with movie stars. Everyone, after all, likes hanging out with movie stars. And I suppose there's no reason very rich people shouldn't plow their savings into an enterprise like that, but oftentimes the people making these decisions aren't just playing with their own money, they're also managing assets for someone else.