In a recent Financial Times article, Robert Pozen and Theresa Hamacher argue that new regulations need to be considered to address the proliferation of alternative mutual funds. The article criticizes US regulations for being outdated and a poor fit for the new alternative strategies being used by funds. The more principle-based EU regulations (which allow synthetic leverage in a fund as long as there is a process to manage and monitor risk) have also been criticized for allowing aggressive funds to be widely-marketed when they may not be appropriate for the majority of retail investors. Pozen and Hamacher recommend that regulators consider other approaches to regulations including requiring clear labeling of alternative funds so they can be differentiated from traditional mutual funds, as well as restricting how alternative funds may be advertised to retail investors.
The full article is available here (free registration required).