A newly formed congressional task force in its first meeting today discussed establishing investment and transparency parameters for sovereign wealth funds. About a dozen members of Congress participated in the meeting, said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., one day after he created the task force to examine the funds impact on the markets, economy and geopolitics.
One of the things we need to do is better define what is a sovereign wealth fund, Mr. Moran said in an interview, calling the $387 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund-Global, Oslo, the gold standard in terms of transparency and investment behavior.
The SWFs havent done anything wrong, Mr. Moran said. But members expressed concern that important details of their activities arent fully known, he said.
Mr. Moran said sovereign wealth fund investments have been to the benefit of the U.S. so far. Were not losing money. Its helping our stock market for them to be engaged. We want to encourage them, but he added, we are clearly only beginning to understand what impact this is having.
The task force has not developed a time frame for coming up with recommendations. It is coordinating its activities with the House Financial Services Committee and Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Moran said.
Mr. Moran expects the task force to meet next in a couple of weeks, when it hopes to have Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. discuss the funds. A date hasnt been set. The meetings will be open to the public.