Europeans want financial restraints

Flags at the European Parliament

TEXT OF STORY

Stacey Vanek-Smith: I mentioned trading volumes were light because of the temporary ban on short-selling. That ban is keeping hedge funds out of the markets. Hedge funds and other financial market operators could face a major crackdown on both sides of the Atlantic. Members of the European parliament vote today on measures which could lead to much tougher financial regulation in Europe. From London, Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen Beard: The proposals were drafted more than a year ago, but after last week's market meltdown, they're attracting a lot more attention. The measures cover all market players and call for an unprecedented levels of disclosure. Hedge funds and private equity groups would be forced to open their books. They would have to reveal the source of their money, the level of their debt and their executive's pay. Most controversially, the rewards would have to reflect performance. The European Parliament is expected to warmly endorse the plan. The British government has always resisted such regulation, but at its annual conference this week, the ruling Labor Party has come under pressure from its own supporters to join in the crackdown.

Tape from the conference: This is a party of the people, not of fat cats, speculators, boardroom bonuses, corporate greed. Let that message go from this government.

Yet, the British government fears such stringent rules could hit London's financial center and drive business abroad. Britain is expected to opt out of the measure if it does become law.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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