EU Markets Chief Sounds American At COC Talk

Mar 7 2007 | 11:54am ET

The European Union’s top official overseeing hedge funds has added his voice to the chorus calling for no new regulations.

Charlie McCreevy, the EU’s internal market and services commissioner, told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington—admittedly, a crowd more open to such declarations than he is likely to find in his own jurisdiction—that Europe doesn’t need any new rules, as central and investment banks are doing a fine job monitoring the situation as is.

“The evidence that hedge funds have increased the efficiency of our capital markets and increased liquidity is indisputable,” he said at a luncheon in Washington yesterday. Brokers are “checking their hedge fund clients’ positions twice a day,” as it is “their job to make sure that no element of the banking industry is overexposed.”

McCreevy’s comments echoed those made earlier in the day by Anthony Ryan, assistant U.S. Treasury secretary for financial markets. On the other side of the pond, however, efforts, spearheaded by the German government, are underway to increase global monitoring of hedge funds.

McCreevy scoffed at the idea that banks are exposing themselves to dangerous risks. “Do we really believe that any Joe Sixpack who shows up at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley or UBS will be given a fat check to trade as a hedge fund? No. That is not what happens.”

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