A February 8 dinner is sparking controversy because one of the nearly two dozen topics discussed during the program was how hedge funds could profit from a decline in the euro, one of the world's most heavily traded currencies.
The portion of the program, at the Park Avenue Townhouse restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side, devoted to trading the euro took up no more than five minutes, according to people familiar with the event.
But ever since the Wall Street Journal wrote about the dinner and the discussion about the euro in a February 25 article, a shadow has been cast over much of the $1.5 trillion hedge fund industry.
Lord bankers talked about ways to nmake money. Hardly a great surprise, but the Justice department takes a dim view of this,
The U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division has sent letters to a number of hedge funds that attended the February 8 dinner, asking the funds not to destroy any trading records involving market bets on the euro, said people familiar with the situation.
They must put this into the bracket of Adam Smith's
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary."