Hedge funds were spared disclosure requirements in the financial overhauls proposed by the Obama administration, and that is definitely due to the industry’s stepped-up lobbying efforts, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the proposal, hedge funds will be required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, tougher rules that the industry feared, such as disclosing trades and lowering fees, are not in the proposal. Congress, however, is still considering additional hedge fund disclosure requirements.

Major hedge funds spent $6.1 million lobbying Washington last year, 45% more than the $4.2 million it spent in 2007 and nearly seven times the $897,000 average it spent annually between 2003 and 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

This is a very different approach than the traditionally reactive one of the $1 trillion hedge fund industry. Secretive even in the way it deals with Washington, hedge funds have preferred to react to regulatory proposals after the fact. Now, they are courting lawmakers and regulators, hoping to cut off regulations ahead of time.

Evidently, hedge fund executives played to their strength as controlling vast sums of money recently, telling the Federal Reserve that they would be less likely to buy bank assets if the government imposed regulatory changes on the, a source told The Journal.

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