European Central Bank Official Regards Hedge Fund Leverage As Risk to Financial System

In a keynote speech at Chatham House’s European Capital Markets conference in London on March 21, 2016, Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the European Central Bank (ECB), discussed the relevance of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) for the ECB. While Constâncio explained the ways the CMU could help enhance the economic and welfare effects of the euro area, he also enumerated risks that the CMU could pose to overall financial stability, requiring the development of a stronger macroprudential framework. Of particular relevance to hedge fund managers, Constâncio argued that the use of leverage by alternative investment funds poses a systemic risk and needs to be better controlled as part of this macroprudential framework. This article summarizes Constâncio remarks. For more on the CMU, see “European Commissioner Emphasizes Need for Proportionate Regulation to Promote the CMU” (Mar. 17, 2016); and “E.U. Action Plan to Unify Capital Markets May Affect Hedge Fund Managers” (Oct. 8, 2015).

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