Some of the nation's leading universities are trying to sell chunks of their portfolios privately as their endowments swoon with the markets, reports the New York Times. Among institutional investors, school endowments aggressively embraced private equity, real estate partnerships, venture capital, commodities, hedge funds, and other so-called alternative investments over the last few years. Endowments with more than $1 billion in assets reported 35 percent of their holdings in these types of investments on average last year, a much greater portion than big public pension funds, for example. Now, they are balking. The value of some of these investments has...

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