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November 20, 2008

Iranian American addresses House Committee

A recent and prominent example of Iranian-American participation in American civic life took place on Thursday, November 13th when Houman Shadab testified on Thursday, November 13th before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing entitled, “Hedge Funds and the Financial Market.” Houman is a senior research fellow in the Regulatory Studies Program of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
At the hearing, Houman addressed the committee on issues pertaining to hedge funds and the financial crisis. This was the fifth such hearing since the financial crisis began and while the prior four have dealt with the reasons leading up to the crisis, the fifth addressed future risks to our economic stability.

Mr. Shadab addressed the committee’s concerns on the role hedge funds may have played in the financial meltdown on Wall Street. “Hedge funds did not cause the financial crisis and are in fact helping mitigate its damage and save taxpayers money,” he concluded.”Hedge funds have historically made markets more stable and helped their investors conserve wealth in times of economic stress.”
Regarding the controversial issue of hedge funds’ lack of regulation, he stated that they in fact are subject to the same laws as other funds in their category. “Although hedge funds are often described as ‘unregulated,’ a substantial body of federal and state law restricts the activities of the funds and their managers and requires certain mandatory disclosures.”
Houman also noted the positive side of hedge funds as corporate activists, “When hedge funds target a company, average CEO compensation declines by approximately $1 million dollars, and the chances of the CEO being replaced also increases.”
Finally Houman stated that, as far as the future role of hedge funds in the economy, “Hedge fund losses do not seem to threaten the economy.”
Houman Shadab, a NIAC member, is the first of many outstanding Iranian Americans that will be featured in NiacINsight. As Director of Community Outreach, I feel it is essential that we spotlight the achievements of Iranian-Americans to counter the negative stereotypes that plague us. NIAC is proud to have Iranian-Americans like Houman who demonstrate the vibrant activism that we strive for. Would you like to spotlight someone you know? Please tell me why at [email protected] and we would be happy to post it.

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