The Financial Landscape: Sovereign Debt Woes, QE3, and New Hedge Fund Regs
In Greece, opposition leader Antonis Samaras (pictured) told the Financial Times he will not support Prime Minister George Papandreou's austerity measures, which are necessary preconditions for further support from the European Union. Compounding Greece's problems, the International Monetary Fund is holding back 12 billion euros in aid -- scheduled to have been paid within weeks -- saying the funds cannot go through until the EU agrees to pay its bailout money. Samaras, who leads the conservative New Democracy party, told the FT he agrees with the overall goal of eliminating the budget deficit, but wants to do it by stimulating the economy through tax cuts and reductions in employers' social insurance contributions. Eurozone finance ministers reject his proposals as insufficient and unrealistic. Default looms.
Getting a Handle on Hedge Funds: DealBook reports that the SEC will start to regulate hedge funds for the first time, requiring registration and disclosures from firms with more than $150 million under management. Such firms will have to "disclose the size of their funds and the type of clients who invest in them," as well as "name their 'gatekeepers' -- the auditors, prime brokers and marketers that service the funds." SEC Chair Mary L. Schapiro says these rules "will fill a key gap in the regulatory landscape." One former SEC counsel who is now a lawyer to investment advisers says the added rules "at the end of the day are not enormously onerous." The SEC was split 3-2 over whether to adopt the new requirements.