Federal Reserve playing with fire on bank capital

February 18, 2016

The watchdog is allowing Capital One to buy back more stock than initially permitted under Dodd-Frank stress tests. It’s good news for lenders aiming to exploit recent stock drops. But it singes the central bank’s reputation for toughness in ensuring banks keep adequate cushions.

Bank living-will laggards risk capital punishment

November 30, 2015

Big American lenders will soon hear whether their resolution plans are to be rejected for a third time. New global bail-in rules remove the pressing need for regulators to break banks up. But in an election year they could punish insolence by insisting on higher capital buffers.

White House wannabes give Wall Street much to fear

November 11, 2015

The fourth GOP presidential debate unleashed many fanciful notions about the financial crisis and its aftermath. Ben Carson blamed stock buybacks, Jeb Bush botched bank capital and Ted Cruz flubbed monetary policy. It’s modern history whose lessons are too dangerous to repeat.

Dodd-Frank opponents return to the drawing board

May 14, 2012

JPMorgan’s prop-like $2 bln trading flub gives ammo to proponents of more stringent bank oversight. Yet Mitt Romney and many in the GOP have promised to gut Dodd-Frank and Volcker. One tactic may be to embrace Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher’s call to make banks smaller.

Barclays’ HQ move talk puts regulators on the spot

March 31, 2011

It should come as no surprise that New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg welcomes the idea of Barclays moving its headquarters to Manhattan. But U.S. regulators would be unlikely to match the mayor's warm welcome.