Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren seek hedge fund regulation

March 19
10:51 PM 2016

The new Brokaw Act, a Congressional effort to regulate activists funds, has been promulgated in the wake of activist funds' role being at center of criticism. Several senators accuse activist funds of breeding 'quarterly capitalism,' instead of long-term growth plans. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren have co-sponsored the Brokaw Act.

New legislation Brokaw Act seeks to rein in Wall Street. Activist fund activity is ruining financial performance of companies. For instance, Wausau Paper mill in Wisconsin has closed down owing to its CEO Hank Newell's activist fund deals. Wausau Paper mill contributed to 90 percent of employment requirements in the town.

Forbes reports that the so-called quarterly capitalism is resulting in short-term accounts manipulation. Many corporate firms are forced to give priority to next quarter numbers. Instead of long-term investment, capital appreciation, and investing in research and innovation, only quarterly numbers take priority to impress upon the market. 

Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Jeff Merkley of Oregon unveiled The Brokaw Act, which is aimed at regulating activist funds such as Jeffrey Smith-led Starboard. The Brokaw Act is co-sponsored by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Baldwin and Merkley have stated in the act that "activist hedge funds are leading the short-termism charge in our economy."

Boston Herald further adds that Elizabeth Warren, Progressive firebrand US Sen., has gone ahead on Hillary Clinton's ties to Wall Street and denied to endorse fellow Democrat in evasive network interview. Warren during the 2014 election cycle said what Democrats had to do is be willing to stand up and fight. 

Baldwin said, "We cannot allow our economy to be hijacked by a small group of investors who seek only to enrich themselves at the expense of workers, taxpayers and communities."

Merkley adds "Hollowing out longstanding companies so that a small group of the wealthy and well-connected can reap a short-term profit is not the path to a strong and sustainable economy for our nation. It's time to take on this rigged system and stop the short-term game playing that sells our workers, businesses and economy short."

Baldwin stressed that the Brokaw Act will take on a rigged game by increasing transparency and strengthening oversight of activist hedge funds. These reforms will reportedly help ensure that no other small towns in America will fall victim to activist hedge funds on Wall Street.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has again refused to endorse either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Warren said she would be glad both "Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are out talking about the issues."
Warren's fellow female Democratic senators have endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Party's Presidential nominee. They asked Warren if she would endorse a candidate before the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July, as reported by CBS Boston

Companies under Brokaw Act will have to file 13D with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within two days instead of 10 days window. The new act also focuses on 'wolfpack' groups of investors, who hold less five percent of shares individually, but as a group exceed the limit. Brokaw Act will force such funds to report their holdings as a group. The new act also seeks hedge funds to disclose net short positions. 

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