Treasury Calls for Registration of Hedge Fund Managers with Assets Under Management Above a Certain Threshold and Outlines Framework for Other Regulatory Reforms Aimed at Limiting Systemic Risk

On March 26, 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury outlined a new framework for regulatory reform, including a proposal to require advisers to hedge funds (and other private pools of capital) with assets under management above a certain threshold to register with the SEC, along with certain other regulatory reforms.  As Secretary Geithner observed in written testimony before the House Financial Services Committee that day, addressing “critical gaps and weaknesses” exposed in our financial regulatory system over the past 18 months “will require comprehensive reform – not modest repairs at the margin, but new rules of the road.”  The Treasury framework for regulatory reform includes four broad components: (1) addressing systemic risk; (2) protecting investors and consumers; (3) eliminating gaps in the regulatory structure; and (4) fostering international coordination.  To address the first category – systemic risk – the Treasury proposes, among other things: (1) registration of all hedge fund advisers with assets under management above a certain threshold; (2) formation of a comprehensive oversight framework for the Over-The-Counter (OTC) derivatives market; (3) creation of a single independent regulator responsible for “systemically important firms” and critical payment and settlement systems; and (4) imposition of higher standards on capital and risk management for “systemically important firms.”  We provide a detailed summary of the proposed framework.

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