Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hedge-Fund Libertarian Finds New Target

With his recent lawsuit, hedge fund manager Phillip Goldstein freed thousands of funds from having to register with the government. Now, he has set his sights on another controversial rule: disclosure requirements imposed on big money managers.
In the document filed Tuesday, Mr. Goldman has asked the S.E.C. for an exemption from having to submit quarterly 13F forms. Money managers with more than $100 million in U.S.-listed equity assets are usually required to disclose their holdings though such filings.
In his filing, the passionate libertarian contends that the requirement violates the “takings clause” — the Constitution’s ban on taking property without just compensation — which is frequently used to argue against land seizures by eminent domain.
Mr. Goldstein suggests that required public disclosure of his holdings amounts to legalized piracy:
"The simple truth is that 13F filings allow anyone to analyze and use the strategies of instutitional investment managers without paying any compensation for the manager’s data. In essence, Section 13(f) legalizes the misappropriation of trade secrets by transforming trade-secret piracy into trade-secret entitlement."

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