Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, today asked the heads of federal organizations with finance and pension fund jurisdiction whether their agencies "could require more transparency" about hedge funds, according to Mr. Grassley's website. Mr. Grassley also asked agency chiefs for their ideas about how Congress could improve hedge fund transparency.
"I am deeply concerned about the lack of publicly available information regarding hedge funds, and am writing to ask for your assistance in identifying the scope of this problem and appropriate ways to remedy it," Mr. Grassley wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; Labor Secretary Elaine Chao; SEC Chairman Christopher Cox; CFTC Chairman Reuben Jeffery III; and Vincent K. Snowbarger, interim PBGC director.
Mr. Grassley wrote that he was worried about the impact on public and private pension plans in light of the recent collapse of hedge fund manager Amaranth Advisors. He asked his staff to find out which major public and private pension funds were invested in Amaranth and other energy-focused hedge funds and wrote that "this information was not available either through public records or even through the various federal agencies that oversee our financial and energy markets. Not only was this information not publicly available, it also was impossible to even determine the identity of the largest energy-focused hedge funds."