ITALY - Italian economy minister Giulio Tremonti has called for a ban on hedge funds, defining such funds as "insane".
media and public opinion screening. He concluded they were opaque instruments, which constituted a normative problem.
His comments came despite plans by the Italian treasury department [part of Tremonti's ministry] to launch a public consultation on a draft regulatory document by the end of the year to review current rules which prohibit pension funds from investing in hedge funds (www.globalpensions.com; 23/09/08).
In a joint statement, Florence Lombard, CEO, Alternative Investments Management Association (AIMA) and Richard Baker, president and CEO, Managed Funds Association (MFA), said the hedge fund industry in Italy was a model of successful regulation, provided excellent risk-adjusted returns for investors and was an important source for job creation.
They added: "It would be a serious mistake to consider eliminating these innovative private pools of capital that are, in fact, an essential source of capital to investors, to Italy and to the global economy."
Lombard and Baker also said hedge funds provided critical risk management tools to pension funds and helped them to meet their future funding obligations to retirees.
In particular, they said this was not the time to think about abolishing an industry that was an essential source of liquidity.
They said: "It is too easy to point a finger at an industry that is misunderstood; hedge funds are not an appropriate scapegoat during a crisis that was caused by failures in the regulated banking system."
Most respondents in this week's Pensions Buzz do not think businesses should be able suspend AE contributions if in financial distress.
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has lost the appeal against his section 72 conviction and sentence for failing to hand over information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
This week's top stories include Marsh and McLennan Companies agreeing to buy JLT, and the home secretary calling for AE to be scrapped in a no-deal Brexit scenario.
Lesley Titcomb says the watchdog wants closer interactions with pension funds to spot problems sooner and act before having to use its more stringent powers