Paul Coughlin, a managing director at Stamford, Connecticut's Longroad Asset Management, has a bit of experience with distressed situations, but nothing prepared him for swimming in the waters off Manhattan for eight hours. “The freaky thing is you can't see your hands,” he says.

Coughlin is referring to the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, an annual relay swim around the entire island of Manhattan, a sloshing 28-mile journey. He and his team of six completed this event in 2002 and Coughlin is now preparing for a second splash on July 3.

second splash on July 3. Two years ago, it took Coughlin and team eight hours and 39 minutes to swim from Battery Park City, past the Staten Island Ferry, up the East River, past Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and back down the Hudson River to Battery Park.

When not hunkered down at Long-road, which invests in middle-market distressed companies, Coughlin likes physically pushing himself to the limit. He has al ready completed three I ronman triathalons. The name of his firm is an ode to these competitions.

Other than bragging rights and perhaps a sense of accomplishment, what reward does one receive upon swimming around an island trafficked mostly by boats and flotsam? “You get a pat on the back and a tetanus shot,” says Coughlin.

We need to reduce the amount of money, the number of firms, and the number of companies competing in a market segment. I hate to put it this way, but the VC industry needs an enema.

Todd Dagres, former Battery Ventures partner, to the Boston Globe

As for us regulating private equity funds – relax. We have enough trouble getting this hedge fund thing going.”

SEC chairman William Donaldson, the chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, speaking at a dinner sponsored by the International Finance Corporation, on whether his commission will require private equity firms to register. The SEC has indicated it may require all hedge funds to become “Registered Investment Advisors.”

Julie and I are ruthlessly focused on backing those with the visions and execution ability to change the world.

Bundeep Singh Rangar of European venture capital firm Ariadne Capital, which to date has invested $3million in six start-up companies, on what's driving him and co-founder Julie Meyer.