Commentaries

New US consumer body needs broad mandate

June 22, 2009

Securities regulators are famous for fighting the last war and not paying enough attention to the newest financial products that Wall Street banks are pushing.

Putting investors first

June 19, 2009

While the Obama administration’s financial overhaul plan falls short on a lot of big issues, it does get some of the smaller things right. One smart move by team Obama is a call for brokers to put clients first when making financial decisions.

Obama treads lightly on Wall Street

June 18, 2009

President Obama, in a speech on the financial crisis at Georgetown University in April, spoke eloquently about the need to move away from a Wall Street-fueled “bubble and bust economy.” But Obama’s proposal for overhauling the financial regulatory system falls well short of his stated goal of making “sure such a crisis never happens again.”

Regulation as will and idea

June 18, 2009

It is somewhat strange that a disgraced elected official has now repositioned himself as an expert commentator on financial regulation, but that is exactly what Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor, has done.  His most compelling article for Slate to date is a critical look at the Obama administration’s proposed financial overhaul.

Just say no to CDOs

June 17, 2009

Enough of tinkering around the edges, it’s time for tough reform. The Obama Administration’s plan to overhaul the regulation of the financial system doesn’t go far enough when it comes to the securitization market — a source of credit that both it and Wall Street see as vital to the future of consumer and commercial lending.

No fix for the derivatives monster

June 17, 2009

It’s still not clear if the Obama administration has a plan for dealing with the derivatives monster, which is one of the biggest problems regulators must confront in dealing with the potential collpase of a “too big to fail” financial institution.

Obama loves hedge funds

June 17, 2009

Matthew GoldsteinThe big winner in the Obama administration’s financial regulatory reform package is the beaten-up hedge fund industry.

The people not in the room

June 17, 2009

President Obama says he wanted a “light touch” in his adminstration’s approach to regulatory reform. And he certainly appears to have gotten that, after a quick read of a draft copy of the administration’s 85-page “white paper.”

It’s time to audit the Fed

June 16, 2009

The centerpiece of the Obama administration’s long awaited financial regulatory reform package is to give more power to the Federal Reserve to oversee any financial institution deemed too big to fail.

Really, a new type of rating will make a difference?

June 15, 2009

The Obama Administration’s expected to require rating agencies to differentiate the ratings it applies to corporate bonds and more complicated securities to give investors a heads up that some debt is not the same as others.  Wall Street, unsurprisingly is opposed to the idea, since it could sap demand out of the already lackluster securitization business. But, this all seems a bit silly. If investors need a different rating to let them know what they are investing in, they’ve hardly learned much from the debacle of the last two years.