July 16, 2004
I was distressed to read that Commissioners Glassman and Atkins continue to oppose the regulation of hedge funds. Isn't the fact there are now more hedge funds than mutual funds or listed stocks reason enough to merit some oversight? But there are even more basic reasons why the SEC should not shirk its duty.
1) Basic Fact: Capital markets exist to bring industry and savers together. As such, they are crucial to the economy. They do not exist just to allow hedge fund traders to buy a larger house in the Hamptons or out on the Vinyard.
2) There is an out-dated notion that somehow the markets are much bigger than the hedge funds. Not when hedge funds outnumber mutual funds and leverage their capital by a factor of 2 to 10 times. This is especially important now that credit derivatives have become such an influential market.
3) Most hedge fund strategies require market volatility and many will do their best to create it through both ethical and questionable means. Just take a look at the credit derivatives market a few years back for "Exhibit A". How does this gut-wrenching volatility help companies seeking to raise capital or the average investor seeking to save for retirement??
Why do Commissioners Glassman and Atkins continue to defend predatory hedge fund operators at the expense of the average American saver or business?
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