EU Markets Commissioner Says Hedge, P.E. Regulation ‘Inevitable’

Feb 26 2009 | 11:10am ET

A longtime opponent of increased regulation of the alternative investments industry is raising the white flag. Charlie McCreevy, the European Union internal markets commissioner, said today that stricter oversight of hedge funds and private equity is inevitable, but continued to urge caution in action.

“Closer direct regulatory and supervisory oversight of hedge funds and private equity is inevitable,” he said at a public hearing in Brussels. But he urged the European Commission, which will consider new regulation of alts next week, to treat the two sectors separately.

McCreevy has long warned of the dangers of rash action regulating hedge funds and p.e., but has been worn down by the ongoing financial crisis and the increasingly loud drumbeat of support for reining in alternatives in Europe. Even today, he laid more blame for the worst economic environment since the Great Depression squarely at the feet of regulators, than on hedge funds.

The Irishman blasted the regulators both in Europe and the U.S., which he said “aided and abetted” the conditions that helped the financial crisis snowball.

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