Hedge funds were not the speculators that caused the financial crisis. Blame it on the banks.

That was one of the key messages from the Alternative Investment Management Association, in the face of increasing calls for regulation, including from the G-20. AIMA said that hedge funds’ leverage averages two to three percentage points below banks, whose leverage reached 50 times assets, in some cases.

The world is experiencing a banking crisis and hedge funds, if anything, could help lead world economies out of the mess by purchasing assets, AIMA said.

“The current crisis is a banking crisis, and the major international reports on it so far have concluded that the hedge fund industry’s role was marginal, “ AIMA said. “There is increasing awareness that our industry can play a positive role in assisting recovery because of the hedge funds to provide counter-cyclical risk capital,” AIMA said.

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