Tuesday's grilling of UK hedge fund executives is likely to create plenty of noise but produce little in the way of new rules.

While media-shy TCI founder Chris Hohn and others will face tough questions from the Treasury Select Committee on financial stability, short-selling and other issues, it nevertheless seems that the pro-legislation lobby's position may be weaker than it has been in recent years.

For one thing, many hedge funds simply do not have the financial clout -- and therefore carry the associated risks seen by some politicians -- that they once did.

rtr23p9nAt the start of 2007 hedge funds were booming and assets had swelled to more than $2 trillion, according to HedgeFund Intelligence. Coupled with the substantial leverage employed by some strategies, hedge funds were a significant force in many markets.

Today, leverage has been cut back, investors are pulling out assets, and many funds are playing it safe and sitting on cash.