EU To Poll Firms On Hedge Fund Regulation

Dec 2 2008 | 2:15pm ET

In a likely first step towards Europe-wide hedge fund regulation, the European Commission will begin consulting with financial firms and others on the continent, its top regulator said yesterday.

Charlie McCreevy, the European Union’s internal markets commissioner, said that the discussions would cover the risks hedge funds pose to the global financial system and how to deal with hedge funds based in offshore locations, among other items.

“Who should oversee hedge funds? Securities regulators? Central banks? Both?” McCreevy, who had previously opposed new hedge fund regulations, said in a speech to the European Parliament. “How can we ensure that too much transparency does not kill hedge funds and that we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater?”

Any new regulations would have to be approved by the governments of the 25-member EU as well as the European Parliament.

While McCreevy has changed his position on new hedge fund rules, he told legislators that he continues to oppose new regulations for private equity firms, as well as a permanent ban on short-selling.


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