Mutual funds: Reputational repair

The US mutual fund industry enjoyed the first three quarters of 2003. After a miserable three years, the bear market in equities finally ended and investor confidence in corporates stopped haemorrhaging after the WorldCom and Enron debacles. But in September 2003, the industry was shaken to its core.

This time, mutual funds had nobody to blame but themselves. A series of revelations related to market timing (allowing selected investors to access stale prices in order to exploit arbitrage oppo