German Fin. Min. Warns Of Hedge Fund Spy Plan

Mar 18 2010 | 8:46am ET

Germany may deploy its spies to gather information about hedge funds and other currency speculators, its finance minister said.

Wolfgang Schaeuble told the German Parliament on Tuesday that the country may direct “intelligence agencies to set up surveillance of who is getting together with whom for which kinds of speculative processes,” Bloomberg News reports.

The information gathered, he told the Bundestag, would be used to protect the euro, which has been battered amidst widespread short-selling by hedge funds and by Greece’s debt troubles, which have also been blamed on short-selling hedge funds.

Schaeuble’s comments come the same week that German Chancellor Angela Merkel used the podium of the Bundestag to blast British intransigence over the European Union’s proposed alternative investment regulation. They also follow a report last month in El País, the largest newspaper in Spain, that the country’s secret service was probing “attacks” on Spain by investors.

Reaction to Schaeuble’s comments was swift.

“I find it sinister and silly,” the Centre for European Reform’s Philip Whyte told Bloomberg. “It is a complete overreaction. There is a certain school of thought in continental Europe that everything is always the fault of hedge funds.”

“Hedge funds are very nice targets because they are particularly based in London and New York,” Jacob Schmidt of hedge fund advisory Schmidt Research Partners said. “He is not going to say this about German banks.”


In Depth

Q&A: Star Mountain's Brett Hickey On Investing In 'The Growth Engine Of America'

Sep 22 2017 | 5:06pm ET

Lower middle-market companies form the economic fabric of the nation, but they can...

Lifestyle

CFA Institute To Add Computer Science To Exam Curriculum

May 24 2017 | 9:25pm ET

Starting in 2019, financial industry executives sitting for the coveted Chartered...

Guest Contributor

Don’t Overlook These 6 Hybrid Cloud Concerns

Sep 14 2017 | 6:27pm ET

Cloud-based technology solutions have made tremendous inroads into the alternative...

 

From the current issue of

Business Insider has been reporting on the unusual trading activity of a mystery trader who placed a profitable short equity bet to the tune of $21 million on the Aug. 10 move in the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX).