Two weeks ago, Italy’s coronavirus nightmare took something of a turn for the better, as the growth of COVID-19 cases slowed to its lowest level since the pandemic struck the country. Since the worst was clearly over, Italians turned their attention to weightier matters, imposing short-selling restrictions—as did the French and the Spanish—as part of Europe’s attempt to make lemonade out of coughed-upon lemons and sneak some new anti-hedge fund regulations in. Now, things have continued to get “better” as the death toll has jumped only fourfold over the last couple of weeks, so rather than worry about building new hospitals, the Italians are focused on what really matters: making sure hedge and private equity funds never again have cause to spread a novel coronavirus around the world for their own nefarious profits.

The European Union markets watchdog is considering leverage curbs on hedge funds and private equity funds to shore up financial stability as the coronavirus outbreak roils global markets…. Neil Robson, partner at law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, noted that the bloc’s market watchdog was seeking feedback by Sept. 1, and finalised guidelines will follow.

Yup, that’ll be effective.

Now, you don’t need to worry about any of that kind of thing over here, of course.

“We shouldn’t be banning short selling,” Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said Monday in an interview on CNBC. “You need to be able to be on the short side of the market in order to facilitate ordinary market trading.”

“We think it is in the best interest to keep the markets open,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a Thursday meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a body of regulators that includes the heads of the Treasury, Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

EU watchdog considers leverage curbs on hedge funds to bolster financial stability [Reuters]
SEC Chairman: Government Shouldn’t Ban Short Selling in Current Market [WSJ]
U.S. Rebuffs Calls to Close Stock Market [WSJ]