Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh, the irony

From Helen Avery’s article (via Felix Salmon) about the failure of Lehman Brothers Europe, and the devastating consequences for its prime brokerage clients:

“US hedge funds maintain the UK law is archaic and should be changed to protect prime brokers’ clients, and some have complained to the Bank of England.”
Hedge funds are, by definition, open only to wealthy investors. The entire justification for not requiring hedge funds to register with the SEC is that their clients are supposedly wealthy enough—and therefore sophisticated enough—that they don’t need the protection of the SEC. But now that some US hedge funds have been burned by Lehman Brothers Europe's rehypothecation practices, the hedge funds are crying about how UK law doesn’t protect clients enough! The irony. It’s too much.