hedge funds

£2bn, €1bn… and $19bn. Proposed bank levies so far from the UK, France and US. The tide of ever smaller bank levies appears to be turning.

American banks with assets exceeding $50bn and hedge funds with assets over $10bn would be liable to pay the costs associated with financial reform. This from a proposal by Barney Frank late last night during discussions to finalise Wall Street reform. More on ft.com.

Gordon Brown has intervened to block legislation to reform hedge funds and the private equity industry. Eighty per cent of the European hedge fund industry is based in London.

The issue has been dropped from the agenda of the next meeting of European Finance Ministers, though this is only a postponement. Officials say the vote should happen by June, handily after the British election. More on ft.com.

A report requested by the G20 recommends hedge funds should be subject to minimum risk measurement standards and reporting requirements. Minimum initial and outgoing capital requirements should be imposed on systemically relevant hedge funds.

The Joint Forum – an international panel from the banking, insurance and securities industries – has released its report snappily named the “Review of the Differentiated Nature and Scope of Financial Regulation”. It is 132 pages of assessment and recommendation on the regulation of the financial sector. The Forum found surprising and growing levels of convergence in regulation. But it points out areas of risk and makes 17 recommendations, summarised below. Read more

Ralph Atkins

Statistics latest: the European Central Bank has launched new data on eurozone investment funds, separating out for the first time information on the hedge fund sector.

What does it show? Er, the eurozone hedge fund industry is not very big – representing just 2 per cent of the share or units issued by investment funds in the 16 country region. That is perhaps not surprising. Continental Europe has nothing to rival, say, Mayfair in London. The largest part (49 per cent) of the eurozone industry is in Ireland, with Luxembourg (19 per cent), Italy (14 per cent) and Malta (6 per cent) accounting for most of the rest. Read more

Capital control, anyone? Emerging markets are taking action to curb currency appreciation. Brazil – whose economy is recovering well – introduced a 2% tax on foreign capital inflows last month, and has just announced a further measure, effective today: there will be a tax on American depositary receipts, which allow foreigners to invest easily in Brazilian stocks. Meanwhile Indonesia has announced possible capital controls, sending its currency sharply lower.

The flight to gold continues, Read more

The fall in the US dollar should be welcomed, as it will help correct global imbalances. The recovery
in China’s economy is gaining new impetus, amid concerns about the transition to a more balanced economy.  Read more

Quantitative easing set to expand as fresh capital is required, particularly in emerging markets. London’s competitiveness as a financial centre is threatened and rumours of devaluation in Switzerland and Venezuela Read more

China cuts plans to cut back on emissions, a bigger role for central banks in deflating asset bubbles is discussed and hedge funds emerge victorious over banks, says Vanessa Houlder of the Financial Times Read more

China is to lead the world in renewable energy, an increasingly profitable industry, leaving the US sidelined. Long-tail events are back, as are bubbles, and the G20 has a full agenda Read more

The G20 has broken its no-protectionism pledge once every three days, as the US-China trade dispute intensifies. France overhauls its economic indicators, sovereign wealth funds increase globally and hedge funds head to the Middle East Read more