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1 Dec 2008

Administration plans to issue 20 highly contentious rules in last weeks

With the economy tumbling and American troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Bush has promised to cooperate with Obama to make the transition "as smooth as possible." But that has not stopped his administration from trying, in its final days, to cement in place a diverse array of new regulations.

A Labor Department proposal that would make it much harder for the government to regulate toxic substances and hazardous chemicals to which workers are exposed on the job is one of about 20 highly contentious rules the Bush administration is planning to issue in its final weeks. The rules deal with issues as diverse as abortion, auto safety and the environment. One rule would make it easier to build power plants near national parks and wilderness areas. Another would reduce the role of federal wildlife scientists in deciding whether dams, highways and other projects pose a threat to endangered species.

Obama and his advisers have already signaled their wariness of last-minute efforts by the Bush administration to embed its policies into the Code of Federal Regulations, a collection of rules having the force of law. The advisers have also said that Mr. Obama plans to look at a number of executive orders issued by Mr. Bush.

A new president can unilaterally reverse executive orders issued by his predecessors, as Bush and President Bill Clinton did in selected cases. But it is much more difficult for a new president to revoke or alter final regulations put in place by a predecessor. A new administration must solicit public comment and supply "a reasoned analysis" for such changes, as if it were issuing a new rule, the Supreme Court has said.

Excerpt from; Eleventh-Hour Rush to Enact a Rule That Obama Fought

Job Search Digest Research Reveals Hedge Fund Employees Knew About Market Shift Ahead of Time

A survey conducted by Job Search Digest, publishers of Hedge Fund Jobs Digest, revealed a shift in the hedge fund industry. Given the current state of the market, the results tell an interesting story and show that key players in hedge fund careers knew trouble was on the horizon earlier this year.

Some findings of interest are that despite no significant increase in compensation, there was a substantial increase in satisfaction with hedge fund compensation. This indicates that well before Wall Street's meltdown, hedge fund employees knew the market had shifted. This year's report reveals that 42% of hedge fund employees are happy with their current level of compensation – up from a mere 25% last year.

The survey also found that pay is not correlating with fund performance. When the fund performs well, employees are paid well – most of the time. The hedge funds reporting this year performed well with the majority reporting more than 10% return (and many reporting over 25% return). firms reporting flat performance (that is, zero return) had the highest average pay.

Although the hedge fund industry is often referred to as a meritocracy, many respondents to the survey indicated their bonus is disconnected from their individual performance and, instead, based on overall firm performance.

Job Searcg Digest also found that people are attracted to hedge fund careers because of a huge potential upside. Last year, dissatisfaction with compensation was primarily driven by the desire for greater upside. Now, with all the nervousness in the market, many hedge fund employees feel lucky simply to still be working in the industry.

The full report comes out at Job Search Digest on December 3rd.

Green Hedge Fund Directory Launched By EHFC

The Energy Hedge Fund Center (EHFC) announced that it has added a 'green' hedge fund directory to its product inventory. EHFC's Directory of Energy Hedge Funds was launched four years ago, but with the interest in 'green' hedge funds, the company has created a new green directory for investors. The directory includes carbon, renewable, cleantech, forestry, water and weather derivative funds.

"We decided that now was the time for a standalone green directory and will be offering it for prepublication in January 2009," said Peter Fusaro, co-principal of the EHFC. "The market is now large enough and growing to warrant this service with over 100 green hedge funds."

"EHFC has received innumerable requests for such a product this last 12-months or so as investor appetite for environmental and alternative energy has increased," reports Dr. Gary M. Vasey, Co-Principal, EHFC. "As a result we have complied with that demand and have now added a new directory that focuses on just the 'green' hedge funds."