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Poul Nyrup Rasmussen writes

The PES – and more recently also the European Parliament – has made a clear demand for new regulation to cover all financial players including hedge funds. In response the European Commission has launched a ‘consultation’ on regulation for hedge funds. It is not what we asked for but it is a step in the right direction. Now we have to make sure that the European Commission stays on the right direction. Despite assurances from the European Commission that they will regulate, we know that the Commissioner responsible would prefer not to regulate. So we in the PES think it is important for all people and organisations who have been arguing for better regulation of hedge funds to make their voice heard in this consultation. We don’t want the consultation to be drowned in industry claims that they don’t need regulation!

But time is short: the consultation finishes at the end of January. The PES is preparing a substantial response which we will publish as soon as possible on our website. I strongly encourage trade unions, think tanks, NGOs, member parties and all concerned individuals to make their own contribution. As the consultation is confidential we make you a special offer: to publish on our website your contribution if you want it to be made public.

For more on my report on financial market reform which was adopted by the European Parliament see http://www.pes.org/content/view/1401/1700098
For more on the PES work on hedge funds see http://www.pes.org/content/view/1133/1700098

You might be interested to know that working with my friends in the Danish Social Democratic Party we persuaded the Danish Parliament to back with a large majority 35 proposals to strengthen European financial legislation. Among the proposals is a harmonized European system – but operated nationally – to register hedge funds and private equity. In exchange for registration – with information such as identity of fund manager, financial statements, remuneration of members of board and executive management, names and domiciles of funds to which they are affiliated – they would have the right to operate in all EU member states. This offers a single market for the so-called ‘alternative investment funds’ and brings in basic standards of transparency. It was what I proposed in my report to the European Parliament but this idea was rejected by the conservatives (they talk so much about extending the single market but when it comes to doing it in practice with fair rules they get all nervous).

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