European hedgies eye lending cap as regulation looms

Guardian Unlimited – European hedge funds believe capping the amount banks can lend them will be more effective in preventing systemic risks than direct regulation, but this is unlikely to satisfy politicians eager for tougher rules.

The funds are often based in far-away and loosely regulated off-shore centres, so a U.S.-style system to limit lending by prime brokers may be more effective to hem in any systemic risk from the opaque industry.

"Instead of targeting hedge funds themselves it would be more effective to target the providers of leverage," said John Donohoe, chief executive of hedge fund consultant Carne Consulting.

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