US - Major public pension funds with over US$900bn of assets have teamed up to set out new financial regulation principles to restore trust and confidence in global markets.
CalPERS Board of Administration president Rob Feckner said: "These principles are critical to restoring trust and accountability in our financial markets and will help prevent further erosion in the future. These are critical to protecting the retirement security of the public employees we represent and all investors in the market."
The five principles are: greater disclosure and transparency; true regulatory independence; increased shareowner voice in the capital markets; earlier identification of issues which give rise to global market risk by regulators; and the preservation of institutional investors' freedoms to invest in the full range of investment opportunities.
The group said increased transparency was of "paramount importance" and also called for the re-establishment of the SEC as a voice for and protector of investors was "overdue and critical".
It urged improved regulatory tools, enhanced powers, staffing and resources for the agency in order to do this.
California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) chief executive Jack Ehnes added: "These troubled times demand immediate action by all with a stake in strengthening the marketplace. Institutional investors have a unique voice to articulate how to build the economy for long-term value. That voice comes through loud and clear in these principles."
Supporters of the principles include: CalPERS, CalSTRS, three Los Angeles pension schemes (the City, County and Police and Firefighters funds), the Maryland State Treasurer, New York State Common Retirement Fund and the State Universities Retirement System of Illinois.
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