Compliance Bits and Pieces for March 26

Here are some compliance related stories that recently caught my eye:

PEI Media’s Private Fund Compliance Forum

Don’t miss your last chance to attend the essential event for compliance professionals in 2011 at a discounted price. Book your place before midnight on Friday March 25 and save $355 off the full delegate price.

(I will be speaking on a panel on the new rules governing fundraising.)

Ethics, Compliance, and Company Size by Matt Kelly

Ethics is not about compliance; ethics is about the discipline to follow a certain code of conduct. Where compliance is mandatory (someone else forces you to obey the code), ethics is voluntary (you choose to obey the code). I go back to that word “discipline” because it’s important: you the employee, you personally, must exercise the discipline to behave a certain way. Nobody can compel you to behave in that certain way; you must, as the cliché goes, buy into that code of behavior willingly.

The Truth About Hedge Funds and the Financial Crisis by Veronique de Rugy in Reason.com

Myth 2: The hedge fund industry’s tendency to take excessive risks, combined with a lack of regulation, was an important cause of the financial crisis.

Fact 2: Not only did hedge funds not precipitate the financial crisis, they did nothing to exacerbate it. If anything, hedge funds have helped the economy to recover more quickly.

Commitment From the Top by Howard Sklar in Open Air

I’ve been told that “tone from the top” has been replaced by a meatier phrase, “commitment from the top.” I would still define it in the same way. Essentially the entire discussion around tone/commitment from the top revolves around the same thing: which comes first, revenue or ethics, when you can’t have both? Compliance officers will tell you that their job is to be a creative solutions vendor for the business (at least, good compliance officers will tell you that). To get to “yes.” Sometimes, however, the answer is “no.” Sometimes, it’s “not only no, but ‘hell no.’” Ethics is what happens next.

Although not compliance-related, as a web publisher I was very interested in The Latest in Style from the New York Times with some revisions to their style guide:

  • We no longer have to write about people sending “an e-mail message” — we can call it “an e-mail.” The term is also acceptable as a verb. (For now, at least, we are keeping the hyphen for this and similar coinages like e-commerce and e-reader.)
  • For now, we’ll continue to capitalize Web and Internet, and we’ll keep “Web site” as two words.
  • A revised entry on Web addresses underscores the need for external linking from our online stories.
  • the ubiquitous “app” is now acceptable in all references to software applications, particularly for mobile.
  • We have eased our guidance on “girlfriend” and “boyfriend.” While traditionalists still view these terms as informal, and even a bit awkward for adults, there’s no ignoring that we live in a city where a mayor of a certain age has a girlfriend of a certain age.

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