Archive for the ‘ European Law ’ Category

Lifting the Ban on General Solicitation for Private Funds

I previously commented on the bright future for the hedge fund industry. More good news for the industry it seems: private funds could find the ban on general solicitation lifted very soon under SEC rules implementing the provisions of the JOBS Act. Europe’s pending new AIFM regime for alternative investments is stricter but still has lots of loopholes.
Long consigned to silence, hedge fund advisers are starting to practise their sales pitches. Private funds piggybacked on the JOBS Act reforms in the hope of widening the pool of investors they can pitch to. The SEC is busy writing the rules that would put the bill into practice. That process has been bedevilled by delays but it seems inevitable it will overturn the Depression-era ban on “general solicitation”.

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Dynamic Regulation of the Financial Services Industry

Governance adjustments via stable rules in reaction to financial crises are inevitably followed by relaxation, revision, and retraction. The economic conditions and the corresponding requirements for optimal and stable rules are constantly evolving, suggesting that a different set of rules could be optimal. Despite the risk of future crises, anticipation of future developments and preemption of possible future crises do not play a significant role in the regulatory framework and academic literature. Dynamic elements in financial regulation as a supplemental optimization process for rulemaking could help facilitate rulemaking when it is most needed – ex-ante before crises – to curtail the effects of crises and suboptimal regulatory outcomes – ex-post after crises. By including dynamic elements, the regulatory sine curve of financial regulation could be optimized in relation to the phase-shifted first derivative (cosine curve) that describes common elements of financial crises. Dynamic regulation could help dampen the degree of volatility of both the cosine curve and the regulatory sine curve by creating an anticipatory regulatory response to financial crises.

Full article available on SSRN at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2273857

Balancing German Power in Europe

Growing German power in Europe and the divisiveness and resentment that it generates have become one of the main topics in European politics. Curtailing German power was in many ways a founding principle for Europe. Alas, recent events in Cyprus and the bailout deal, lead by Germany, involving haircuts for Cypriot depositors as a form of a bail-in (the original idea for a bail-in did not involved depositors), are calling the balancing of German power and European interests into question.

The traditional balancing mechanisms are no longer in place. Britain is not a member of the Euro and thus sidelined. Italy and Spain are in financial distress and dealing with austerity measures. France, traditionally the intellectual leader of Europe, under Francois Hollande is no longer playing an equal role to Germany.  Michel Barnier, EU internal market commissioner, does not counterbalance German influence in the way Jean-Claude Trichet did during his tenure at the ECB.

This is a dangerous situation for Europe and calls into questions basic European ideals and principles. Germany’s financing of Europe in return for making and enforcing the rules can lead to a dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy and may create a downward spiral in European politics and policy-making. The long-term success of the European Union requires a balancing of interests. Germany has to find a way to support Europe without overreaching.

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