EU Finance Ministers To Tackle Hedge Fund Question

Apr 19 2007 | 11:29am ET

Supporters of greater supervision of hedge funds will likely have a more sympathetic forum this weekend than they did last.

With last week’s G7 meetings producing no agreement on a united international front for hedge fund oversight, Germany will take its case to European Union finance ministers, most of whom, with the notable exception of British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, have been supportive of Germany’s push for a voluntary code of conduct for hedge funds, as well as increased reporting and transparency requirements.

According to a background document, the meetings on Friday and Saturday in Berlin will consider whether “enhanced international cooperation on the regulatory response should be pursued,” with Germany asking its EU partners if hedge fund monitoring can be “assisted by a market-led process to develop and implement best practices.”

The discussion seems to be a move to bolster Germany’s flagging crusade to get some sort of global hedge fund reform pushed through during its presidencies of the G8 and EU, which coincide. Power to propose financial regulation in the EU lies with the European Commission, whose internal market chief, Charlie McCreevy—who will participate in the Berlin meetings—has opposed such a move.

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