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19 Oct 2006

Attorney General Creates Hedge Fund Task Force

Connecticut’s attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, is taking a special interest in the “regulatory void” surrounding hedge funds. After the spectacular faliure of the Amaranth Advisors $6 billion hedge fund last month, Blumenthal has used his position to start a task force on hedge funds, although at the moment it’s only an informal group.

Connecticut is home to an estimated $250 billion of the $1.2 trillion under management in hedge funds, according to Chicago’s Hedge Fund Research. Blumenthal says us he’s still in the early stages of studying the issue and would prefer leave it to the federal government rather than taking action himself. “I don’t want to disadvantage Connecticut hedge funds” by imposing excessively burdensome rules, he claims, but “The facts about mammoth losses by Amaranth offer additional powerful and compelling evidence about the need to reform disclosure and oversight requirements.”

It is unclear how hedge fund abuse would play as a political issue as Blumenthal considers running for higher office, but the Wall Street Journal reported last week that 23 of 41 economists surveyed said they think hedge funds need more regulatory oversight. More than once in the past Blumenthal has made statements that suggest he looks at business failure and investing losses as a criminal act.

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