The Guardian reports that EU lawmaker Jean-Paul Gauzes is determined to force through tough regulatory changes which are thought likely to cause the loss of up to 3,000 hedge fund and private equity jobs in London.
A draft EU law will oblige hedge funds and private equity firms to comply with bonus and leverage restrictions if they wish to operate within EU border states, and the proposed directive is thought likely to cause thousands of job losses in London, where 80% of Europe's hedge fund industry is based.
Speaking in his native French, Gauzes said in a rare visit to London last week (he is said to have last been here in 1972): 'If the directive makes a thousand or two thousand speculator jobs disappear I won't be sad. I won't be going to confession'. The Guardian quotes an unnamed industry source who said: 'It takes chutzpah to come to London, without speaking English, to say you wouldn't be sad if thousands of jobs are lost'.
One hedge fund professional told Here Is The City: 'Don't be fooled into thinking that it's just hedge fund jobs that will be affected by this proposal. If hedge funds quit London for Zurich, New York or Asia, there will be plenty of City lawyers, accountants, prime brokerage staff and countless others who support our industry who will also end up losing their jobs'.
Another told us: 'The French don't have much of a hedge fund industry, so this self-righteous idiot doesn't give a fig about hedge fund jobs. This makes a mockery of the whole concept of European community. If there were French jobs at risk, of course, it would be a whole different matter. Can you imagine the uproar if a British politician went to Paris and said some thing similar ? There'd be outrage, yet our hapless government says nothing. It's pathetic'.
'Let's see what happens if we try and withdraw farm subsidies!'.