Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group III Issues Report on Containing Systemic Risk

In what some are calling a remarkable confession, a panel of prestigious Wall Street executives has issued a report acknowledging the role of the investment banking and brokerage industries in the financial shocks of 2007-2008 and calling for extensive changes in how their businesses operate. The report also contains a notable discussion of hedge funds as an “emerging issue.” The report contains 60 proposals, notably including: requiring banks to account for more assets on their balance sheets; enhancing disclosure requirements and sales standards for complex debt instruments; matching trades on the same day; and increasing risk management and liquidity standards. The report notes that “indirect” supervision of hedge funds via direct regulation of supervised entities that act as investors, creditors and counterparties to hedge funds has worked reasonably well during the past year of financial market turmoil. However, the report also acknowledges that some hedge funds (and private equity funds) contributed to the reach and severity of the recent financial crisis, thus reviving the question of whether direct supervision of hedge funds would be appropriate.

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