The last time U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner offered his thoughts on the European Union’s proposed hedge fund regulations, it was less-than-well-received. But Geithner is nothing if not persistent.
In a letter to four of the EU’s finance ministers, Geithner said the U.S. was working on its own hedge fund rules, and lobbied them to drop a proposal that could block U.S. hedge funds from Europe.
“As you consider how to design this important set of reforms, I hope you will keep in mind our shared commitment to create regulatory reform that does not discriminate against foreign firms,” he wrote to Britain’s Alistair Darling, France’s Christine Lagarde, Germany’s Wolfgang Schaeuble and Spain’s Elena Salgado Mendez. Geithner said U.S. reforms would be in line with those called for by the Group of 20.
Geithner’s similar urgings to EU Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier had Barnier warning that he would not be “bullied” from Washington.
The British government is currently blocking the adoption of the rules by the bloc’s finance ministers, demanding that the bar on foreign funds be removed. And U.S. lawmakers have threatened to shut European firms out of the American market if the regulations as written become law.