Euro. Lawmaker Brushes Off ‘Speculator’ Job Losses Under Hedge Rules

Mar 29 2010 | 2:15pm ET

Hedge fund employees fearful of losing their jobs under new European Union alternative investments regulations should not look to the lawmaker responsible for steering them through the European Parliament for sympathy.

Jean-Paul Gauzes, the French member of Parliament directing the Alternative Investment Fund Managers directive through thousands of amendments and intense lobbying from both sides, said last week in London that he wasn’t concerned by possible job losses.

“If the directive makes 1,000 or 2,000 speculator jobs disappear, I won’t be sad, and I will not be going to confession,” he said at a press conference at the European Parliament’s U.K. office. His words are likely to further enflame tensions surrounding the rules, which are likely to hit London—Europe’s largest financial center and the home to most of its alternative investments industry—the hardest.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown earlier this month blocked the directive’s adoption by the EU’s finance ministers, which is also needed for it to become law. But the U.K. is thought to be seriously isolated in its position, backed only Cyprus and Malta in opposition to the rules.

Gauzes told the assembled reporters that last week’s visit was his first to the U.K. in 38 years.

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