Friday, May 8, 2009

GAO Review of Hedge Funds Oversight

HEDGE FUNDS:  Overview of Regulatory Oversight, Counterparty Risks, and Investment Challenges
(May 7, 2009)

Excerpt from the report

Financial regulators and industry observers remain concerned about the adequacy of counterparty credit risk management at major financial institutions because it is a key factor in controlling the potential for hedge funds to become a source of systemic risk. Although hedge funds generally add liquidity to many markets, including distressed asset markets, in some circumstances hedge funds’ activities can strain liquidity and contribute to financial distress. In response to their concerns regarding the adequacy of counterparty credit risk, a group of regulators had collaborated to examine particular hedge fund-related activities across entities they regulate, and the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG). The PWG also established two private sector committees that recently released guidelines to address systemic risk and investor protection.

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