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You may still be dealing with the nasty effects of the economic downturn, but the pain and misery appears to be over for the hedge funders who were forced to momentarily put off plans to buy a new jet or private Caribbean island earlier this year. The Post reports the first six months of 2009 were very good for the likes of Steve Cohen, Paul Tudor Jones, Phil Falcone, and John Paulson as "hedge funds overall turned in their best performance in a decade, with funds up 12 percent through the end of June." Before you immediately brush this off as just another example of the rich getting richer while the less fortunate continue to struggle, consider four reasons why it's actually great news that Phil Falcone may end the year with a net worth north of $3 billion:

• The High Line needs to raise millions to finish renovating the second and third legs of the elevated railway. The Falcones gave $10 million the first time around; now they'll be in a position to continue funding the project, which, in turn, will provide you with more space to go jogging!

Lisa Maria Falcone's shopping addiction will continue unabated. Salespeople at stores like Hermès and Louis Vuitton will make out nicely. And Barneys might just be saved as a result!

• Lisa's plastic surgeon and dermatologist will continue to keep busy, which means dozens of nurses, medical assistants, secretaries will keep their jobs!

• If the New York Times gets really desperate for cash, the fact that Phil Falcone is flush with cash may mean he'll be willing to pump even more capital into the money-losing newspaper. A solvent Times is good news for everyone!

A little perspective changes everything, doesn't it?