Today, hedge funds and stock market practices like short selling have become a target for some lawmakers who claim they’re pushing to support “the little guy.” While the markets have seen some volatility, lawmakers are missing the mark by claiming hedge funds are to blame.

In fact, hedge funds are a critical investment tool that secure the retirement income of public employees including teachers, firefighters, and first responders. Here in North Dakota, they are part of an ecosystem of investment opportunities that provide extensive returns for our state pension plan, as well as universities and nonprofits.

They are also widely regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is where that regulation should stay. Legislation regulating short sale disclosures is an example of excessive government overreach, and would only hurt the investments and market tactics that make retirement attainable for everyday North Dakotans.

Having served in the state legislature since 2001, and as the owner of an employee benefits company, I recognize how hedge funds help thousands of our constituents – from the public employees reliant on our PERS retirement plans to the work of our university foundations. A lot of North Dakota residents may even unknowingly depend on hedge fund investments to secure their financial futures.

As our economy slowly recovers from a turbulent pandemic year, our Congressional leaders should support our free market operating as it is designed to, without excessive government overreach and regulation.

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Jim Kasper, North Dakota House of Representatives, District 46, Fargo