Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of the Financial Crisis: The Collapse and Aftermath (Part One of Two)

On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, essentially marking the beginning of the 2008 global financial crisis. In response, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which, among other things, directed the establishment of risk-based capital requirements and liquidity requirements for large banks; barred banks from maintaining ownership interests and other relationships with hedge and private equity funds; and amended the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to change registration, reporting, recordkeeping and disclosure requirements for private funds. Ten years later, however, is the financial system stronger and more resilient? Have hedge funds changed their structures, practices and compliance programs to better protect themselves and their investors? How have new regulations affected the hedge fund space? In connection with the tenth anniversary of the financial crisis, the Hedge Fund Law Report asked Lowenstein Sandler partner Benjamin Kozinn, who was vice president and associate general counsel at Goldman Sachs during the crisis, to answer these and other questions on the 2008 crisis and its impact on hedge funds. In the first article in this two-part series, Kozinn explains the causes of the crisis; the role – if any – hedge funds played in it; the regulatory changes in its aftermath; and the new focus on counterparty risk. In the second article, he will discuss the focus on compliance programs and chief compliance officers; the present strength of the financial system; changes in hedge fund strategies; the current state of hedge fund regulation; and the future of the hedge fund space. For additional insight from Kozinn, see our two-part series “Why Fund Managers Should Ensure Personal Trading Policies Address Cryptocurrencies and ICOs” (Jul. 26, 2018); and “Factors Fund Managers Must Consider When Addressing Cryptocurrencies and ICOs in Personal Trading Policies” (Aug. 2, 2018).

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