Posts filed under “Regulation”
Every now and then, I read an article that is factually accurate, technically correct — and utterly misleading.
Items like this are “accurate but false” as they leave the reader with an impression of something that is incorrect. Because the world is nuanced and not black and white, the sum of many facts, statistics and data can (when skillfully blended) create a completely inaccurate impression.
The latest example of such is a perfectly accurate but utterly misleading article in All About Alpha titled AIMA Survey, Interviews: On Regulatory Costs.
“Hedge fund managers have sustained significant costs in the course of compliance with new regulatory requirements.
According to a new report by the Alternate Investment Management Association, the Managed Funds Association, and KPMG International, small fund managers have invested on average $700,000 in compliance, medium-sized fund managers $6 million, and large fund managers $14 million.
The industry as a whole has spent $3 billion on compliance costs. This is more than 7% of its total operating costs.”
Most people’s immediate emotional response is that $3 billion is a lot of money, and that 7% of its total operating costs is a very significant percentage.
A few obvious problems with the report:
1) That $3 billion in Regulatory Costs is out of more than $2 trillion dollars in assets under management. In other words, their compliance costs are about 1/10th of 1% of AUM. Given that managers get paid 2% plus 20% of profits, this is a teeny percentage.
2) The article fails to inform us if this total operating costs is going up or down relative to recent easing of regulatory requirementsm such as the JOBS act.
3) Finally, the report is based on a survey of 200 hedge fund managers from around the world — out of more than 10,000. Such a small statistical sample has a very large potential error rate.
To be fair, the regulatory burdens will most likely fall disproportionately upon smaller funds. There are fixed costs inherent in all asset management / trading ventures, and they fall in proportion relative to increase in size. Indeed, the chart below showing the response to the survey — notwithstanding the self-selecting bias inherent thereto — shows the greatest response from smaller funds.
With this post, we introduce the category “Bad Math”.
AIMA Survey, Interviews: On Regulatory Costs
All About Alpha, Oct 27th, 2013
Greenspan discusses many of the ideas he had reversed himself on regarding the financial requirement.
Note he has adopted my Partner’s Joint & Thesis Liability explanation (from BN) that states the move to Corporate structure from a Partnership radically reduced the focus on risk management.
Click to enlarge A previous discussion on the founding and dissolution of the First Bank of the United States (BUS) which existed from 1791 to 1811. After the First BUS recharter was defeated, the United States suffered defeat in the War of 1812, and suffered from a lack of fiscal order and an…Read More
click to embiggen Source: BCA I have been meaning to get to this since I was in Toronto last week, where I saw my friend (and fishing partner) Martin Barnes of BCA give an excellent presentation at the Toronto CFA Prediction Dinner. One of that charts that really stood out to me was…Read More
Fines here, fines there, fines everywhere! The Wall Street Journal discusses the proposed $11 billion dollar JPM fine, but buries the good stuff in this morning’s article on Jamie Dimon (This Generation’s Greatest Banker! ®) We have been tracking JPM’s fines, but if you want an industry overview, try this collection: Here is a quick…Read More
click for ginormous graphic Source: NYU VLAB I mentioned NYU’s VLAB earlier, but one more trick I wanted to share: You can drill down by region or even country to see how much risk is in the system. Note that this is a function of both size and riskiness, i.e., a very small reckless…Read More
Click to enlarge Source: Institute for New Economic Thinking NYU prof Robert Engle, who long-time blog readers may recall from this post a ways back, won the Nobel prize for his work on Volatility. He has developed new ways to measure “Systemic risk” from his perch at the Volatility Institute at NYU: “We…Read More
Time to update the tally: Each year, JPM has profits of about $25 billion dollars on revenues well over $100 billion dollars. Part of the cost of generating that revenue in a variety of dubious and even extra-legal ways are fines. Since 2011, JPM has been fined $8B: $56 million (April 2011) $153.6 million (June…Read More