Carl Hasselbarth ’09 took first place in the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association’s (PIABA) James E. Beckley writing competition. The competition, which is open to students with an interest in securities law or securities arbitration, honors Beckley, a passionate securities arbitration activist known for promoting the rights of public investors. Hasselbarth’s article “How Should We Regulate Hedge Funds?,” for which he was awarded a $1000 prize, will be published in forthcoming issue of the PIABA Bar Journal.
The article began during Hasselbarth’s second year of law school as part of part of an independent study with Professor James Park. He was inspired to write it while working in the summer at Bear Stearns during which two major hedge funds crashed. “I had a front row seat to the crisis as it was unfolding,” recalled Hasselbarth. “I wanted to explore the idea of additional hedge fund regulation to protect market participants.”
His article analyzed the current regulatory regime and ultimately made two recommendations. The first was to change the definition of “Qualified Investor” under the Securities Act of 1933, raising the income requirement and attaching it to a moving benchmark to maintain purchasing power parity. His second recommendation was to impose a leverage limit on hedge funds.
Hasselbarth’s dedication to investor protection developed prior to his law studies when he worked as a financial planner for Ayco (a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs). He realized he’d rather reform the financial services industry than participate in it and decided to go to law school. While at BLS, he channeled his energies into investor protection, working for the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in Philadelphia during his second summer, and participating in Professor Karen van Ingen’s Investor Rights Clinic during his third year, representing investors before FINRA (The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). “I am very pleased to have had numerous opportunities to be involved with a variety of work for which I went to law school in the first place.”
Hasselbarth is currently completing a Public Service Fellowship at The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York’s Foreclosure Prevention Project in Albany.