Hedge Funds are "One-Night Stand" Capitalists!
<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Hedge Funds are "One-Night Stand" Capitalists!</h1><p>June 5, 2007 (LPAC)--Hedge funds and private equity funds pose a threat to "the real economy," said a trans-Atlantic group of legislators and former government officials at a press conference in Brussels yesterday. <i>EurActiv.com</i> reports that it was addressed by a group including Socialist Members of the European Parliament, led by former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, and U.S. Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.). Rasmussen warned that the funds endanger long-term growth and job-creation, and called for tighter regulations. Rep. Frank, speaking by video hook-up, called to put a stop what he called the "divide and de-regulate tactics" of private-equity investment funds.</p><p>The press conference was aimed at increasing pressure on the leaders of the G-8 summit, which begins tomorrow in Heiligendamm, Germany, to adopt tough regulation of hedge funds. Germany has demanded such regulation, while Britain has blocked it.</p><p>Rasmussen said the top 20 private equity firms employ around 4 million workers, and their ownership of companies made them the "biggest employer in the world." "The problem," he argued, "is that they do not regard themselves as employers." He added that these funds are often only motivated by short-term profit maximization, with "no respect for jobs, workers or long-term investment."</p><p>The group issued open letters to President Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling on the G-8 to adopt rules to ensure "full transparency, disclosure and accountability" by the hedge fund industry at this week's summit, the <i>Financial Times</i> reports today. The <i>FT</i> also reports that John Monks, the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, which supports this initiative, told the press conference these funds are "promiscuous one-night-stand capitalists" who have no regard for workers' well-being, or the companies they acquire.</p></div></body>