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Commodity ETFs Spark a Backlash

Some ETFs tied to commodities are among hedge funds' favorite investments. But others have generated controversy--and at least one lawsuit--over concerns that they could distort prices in the physical assets that back them.

      Illustration by Mitch Blunt MICHAEL FARMER AND DAVID LILLEY KNOW A LOT ABOUT COPPER. They met when Farmer, 67, was running the largest copper trading firm in the world, Metallgesellschaft in Germany, and Lilley, 45, went to work for him in 1988. They talked about starting a hedge fund. In 2005,

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