Saturday, March 28, 2009

Jim Chanos: Give Us a Seat at the Table

“New rules of the game” are necessary to restore confidence in the financial system after credit markets seized up and stocks fell the most since the Great Depression, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said yesterday. He proposed requiring hedge funds and private-equity firms to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and to disclose information about their holdings.

“The industry has been bracing for the call for regulation and within reasonable bounds accepts it,” Jim Chanos, founder of New York-based Kynikos Associates Ltd. and head of the Coalition of Private Investment Companies, a hedge-fund trade group, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. He stressed that, like banks, hedge funds want to be able to work with the congress on the adjustments in regulation - "give us a seat at the table."

Hedge funds and buyout firms would also fall under the purview of a new regulator that would identify companies deemed “systemically important,” or capable of wreaking havoc on financial markets. Officials would have the authority to seize these firms if they threatened the markets, much as they do now with insolvent banks.

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