If you are going to run a criminal operation that also happens to be a hedge fund, make sure you are a goliath fund with ties to all the most influential Wall Street firms.
That's one of the clear messages conveyed by the Justice Department's decision to agree to a "protective order" that will allow SAC Capital to continue trading while under a federal criminal indictment.
If SAC were an ordinary hedge fund, with just a few hundred million dollars under management, it would be out of business the moment it was under indictment. Most likely earlier, as Diamondback Capital and other firms have been forced out of business just by being the subject of investigations. Investor redemptions would drain away the assets, counter-parties would close down credit lines, employees would fill recruiters offices.