COURT TELLS SEC TO LEAVE HEDGE FUNDS ALONE: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has dealt a blow to the Securities and Exchange Commission's plans to more closely regulate hedge funds. The court ruled unanimously in late June that the SEC had overstepped its authority in defining hedge fund investors as "clients" of a fund manager, and subsequently ordering any manager with 15 investors or more to register with the agency.SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said that he hasn't yet decided whether or not the decision will be appealed. In a statement, he said that he had already instructed SEC staff to evaluate the court's decision, as well as to provide a set of alternatives for the commission's consideration. "The SEC takes seriously its responsibility to make rules in accordance with our governing laws," Cox said. "The court's finding that, despite the commission's investor protection objective, its rule is arbitrary and in violation of law requires that going forward we re-evaluate the agency's approach to hedge fund activity."

Hedge funds are still treated like any other investor in determining whether they have violated basic securities laws, like insider trading, but hedge fund managers have said that they have acted responsibly and should not be subjected to the regulatory burdens faced by mutual funds.

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