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Jul 28, 2014

U.S. derivatives regulator prepares for courtroom showdowns

WASHINGTON, July 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. federal agency
regulating derivatives has fought just three trials since 2011,
all against small-time fraudsters in Florida. Now it is poised
to take on a series of formidable opponents in the biggest
courtroom tests yet of its efforts to crack down on market
wrongdoing.

A loss in the courtroom would be a setback for the Commodity
Futures Trading Commission as it tries to catch up with its
sister agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which have already adopted
more aggressive tactics toward reining in Wall Street excesses.

Jul 23, 2014

U.S. swaps regulator O’Malia to head bank lobby group

WASHINGTON/HONG KONG, July 23 (Reuters) – A member of the
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission will become the new
head of a bank lobby group that is fighting the derivatives
regulator in court over a crucial new rule curtailing Wall
Street.

The International Swaps and Derivatives Association said on
Wednesday that Scott O’Malia, a Republican who often voted
against new CFTC policy in the wake of the financial crisis,
will become the trade group’s next chief executive.

Jul 22, 2014

Banks trade barbs with U.S. Senate panel in tax avoidance probe

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank and
Barclays on Tuesday locked horns with a U.S. Senate
committee that has accused them of selling option products to
hedge funds to help them avoid taxes.

Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund, defended the
so-called basket options it used, saying at a hearing of the
Senate Permanent Subcommittee for Investigations that they
served legitimate business purposes.

Jul 21, 2014

Commissioner O’Malia to leave U.S. CFTC swaps watchdog

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – Commissioner Scott O’Malia
said on Monday he intends to leave the U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission, creating a vacancy just a short while after
Chairman Tim Massad took over at the derivatives regulator.

O’Malia, a Republican, said he intended to resign as of Aug.
8, 2014, after roughly 4.5 years as a member of the five-strong
commission. He did not disclose his future plans.

Jul 21, 2014

U.S. panel says Barclays, Deutsche Bank helped funds avoid taxes

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – The head of a powerful U.S.
Senate panel has accused Deutsche Bank AG and
Barclays Plc of helping hedge funds avoid taxes,
calling for tougher action from the authorities.

The banks sold complex option products to Renaissance
Technology Corp that saved it and other hedge funds
billions of dollars in taxes, Democratic Senator Carl Levin, who
heads the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations,
said on Monday.

Jul 15, 2014

U.S. Senator Levin urges SEC to tackle trading conflicts of interest

WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. stock market
regulator should eliminate two pricing models that can create
conflicts of interests for brokers, the head of a powerful
Senate panel wrote in a letter released on Tuesday.

The letter follows a hearing last month in which Senator
Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who chairs the panel,
scrutinized pricing models U.S. stock exchanges use to attract
trading, which have increasingly come under fire.

Jul 1, 2014

U.S. regulators warn banks on home equity loan defaults

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators on Tuesday
urged banks to work with clients to avoid defaults on hundreds
of billions of dollars of home equity lines of credit taken out
during the housing bubble that will come due in the next several
years.

The regulators also pledged to thoroughly check banks’
programs to control the risk arising from the lines of credit,
or HELOCs.

Jul 1, 2014

Wall St trading revenues drop in first quarter -U.S. regulator

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) – Trading revenues at U.S.
banks dropped by 18 percent in the first quarter from a year
earlier, weighed down by subdued markets and tougher
regulations, a regulator said on Tuesday.

Foreign exchange had the steepest drop at 31 percent, the
U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said. Equity
trading revenue was 27 percent lower, and revenue from trading
interest rate products fell by 20 percent.

Jun 27, 2014

Ramp up role in Bitcoin, U.S. consumer agency told

WASHINGTON, June 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau should play a bigger role in shielding people
against risks from virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, a
government watchdog said on Friday.

Federal regulators have started working together to gauge
the risk in these virtual currencies, which are generated by
computers outside the control of governments.

Jun 25, 2014

U.S. watchdog warns banks for rising risks in lending

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. regulator warned of the dangers of banks attracting clients by easing loan standards as the economy ticks up after the financial crisis.

Loosening underwriting standards was a problem in leveraged lending – a type of loan often used for private equity firms, which use the debt to buy companies, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said.

    • About Douwe

      "I head up the Financial Services team in London. We're 20 journalists, covering M&A, IPOs, restructuring, banking, real estate, investment management, hedge funds and private equity. I've worked for Reuters in Zurich, Frankfurt and Amsterdam."
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