Research Handbook on the Regulation of Mutual Funds
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Research Handbook on the Regulation of Mutual Funds

Edited by William A. Birdthistle and John Morley

The growth of mutual funds has been a truly global phenomenon and deserves a broad international analysis. Local political economies and legal regimes have created different regulatory preferences for the oversight of these funds, and academics, public officials, and legal practitioners wishing to understand the global investing environment need an appreciation for these international differences. This Handbook addresses these and several other issues concerning mutual funds. The contributors, leading scholars in the field of investment law from around the world, provide a current legal analysis of funds from a variety of perspectives and using an array of methodologies that consider the large fundamental questions governing the role and regulation of investments funds as well identity and behavior of investors and issues surrounding less orthodox funds, such as money market funds, ETFs, and private funds.
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Chapter 2: The rise and fall of the mutual fund brand

Mercer Bullard

Abstract

The chapter explores the rise and fall of the mutual fund brand, beginning with the observation that growth in the mutual fund industry has stagnated relative to the industry’s dramatic rise in the preceding two decades. It suggests that both that stagnation and the previous growth may be attributable to government policies. Specifically, the chapter identifies a suspension of the SEC’s program of aggressive regulatory innovation and the agency’s inaction in the face of threats to the mutual fund brand. The author calls for the Commission to reclaim its role as a regulatory entrepreneur by using its broad exemptive authority to stave off the prospect of the mutual fund brand stagnating and withering in the vacuum of SEC paralysis.

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