Financial system to blame for meltdown, say hedge fund managers

14 November 2008

It was not hedge funds' trading practices or a lack of regulation that brought the financial system to crisis, it was "the financial system itself", leading hedge fund managers have told lawmakers in Washington.

At a hearing of the House committee on oversight and government reform, hedge fund chiefs including George Soros, Kenneth Griffin of Citadel and John Paulson of Paulson & Co said the private investment pools had not been at the epicenter of the economic storm, rather it was highly-regulated banks that were the source of the crisis, the Financial Times stated.

"We have not seen hedge funds as a focal point of carnage," Mr Griffin said.

James Simons of Renaissance Technologies also pointed to credit rating agencies that fuelled the sale of what became toxic assets through their "fanciful" assessment of mortgage-backed securities.

Nevertheless, they accepted that the days of largely unregulated hedge funds are numbered and that the funds will be subjected to greater disclosure, although they warned against "excessive regulation", the newspaper said.

Global hedge funds lost around $100 billion in October as investors fled volatile markets, according to EurekaHedge.



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