"They love a conspiracy theory on the boards," David Jones, chief market strategist at spread betting firm IG Index told UK correspondents Rosalba O'Brien and Matt Scuffham when they were reporting for "The stock, the web, the CEO and his lawyers" . It's a look at some of the shenanigans around highly speculative resource stocks when they are discussed on message boards like ADVFN and iii. Late-night gossip and personal insults are par for the course: some suspect organised short-sellers may be behind the talk. Given the high volumes of online trading in the UK, we wonder how long it will be before regulator FSA is forced to take a closer look.
Financial Regulatory Forum
By Keith Mullin, Editor at Large, International Financing Review
– the views expressed are his own –
LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) The popular quote about focusing on the journey rather than the destination could well have been written about current moves to create the next generation of bank capital instruments and determine the place of hybrid debt in bank capital structures.
Stakeholders – politicians, regulators, supervisors, issuers, intermediaries and investors – have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with a formula that will offer affordable hybrid capital to banks that meets lawmakers’ demands for a robust safety net (i.e. one that absolves taxpayers of responsibility) and at the same time hits investors’ return and risk metrics. Yet for all of the progress made so far, we are nowhere near a conclusion on rules and processes that will facilitate any of the above. (more…)
By Scott McCleskey, Complinet
Suppose a law were passed that made driver licenses optional. If you want one, you’d still need to pass exams and pay fees every few years, and you’d be subject to fines for speeding and parking violations. Or you could just say ‘no thanks’, turn in your license, and get back on the road. Of course, no lawmaker would contemplate such a thing. But flawed provisions in the Dodd–Frank Act would do exactly that for the credit ratings agencies, making regulation an optional multimillion dollar expense.
The license in question is designation as a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO). Having this status used to mean something. NRSRO ratings have been written into the financial regulations for a good thirty years, so that the designation was a license to print money. Yet until Congress passed a law regulating them in 2006 (only implemented in late 2007), there were virtually no regulatory requirements imposed on NRSROs and their activities. We all know how that turned out.
OUT FOR BLOOD
The 2006 law imposed requirements, costs and penalties for non-compliance on the NRSROs, but it was still worth the bother to be one because the designation was required in order to do business. But the financial crisis exposed both the flaws in the way the NRSROs conducted their ratings and the widespread damage that their mistakes could cause, and the politicians were out for blood.
from Global Investing:
It ain't easy being an oracle.
Pilloried for going too easy on the mortgage-backed securities that eventually sparked off the global financial crisis, credit rating agencies have been accused more recently of being trigger-happy on euro zone sovereign ratings downgrades that have roiled global markets.
But other than credit ratings, do investors have alternatives to assessing credit risk?
– John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own –
By John Kemp
NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Two proposed regulations published by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) clarify its power to take enforcement action in cases of market manipulation and are intended to lead to a tougher regulatory regime in future.
The Commission is giving effect to the sweeping provisions of Section 753 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (PL 111-203) which give it strong new powers over market manipulation and spreading false information.
By Dena Aubin
NEW YORK, Nov 2 (Reuters) – U.S. rule-makers are mulling an expansion of fair-value accounting to land and buildings held for investment, a change that could reshape the balance sheets of hundreds of real estate companies.
Fair value, which measures assets by their market worth rather than historical cost, is at the center of a big debate in the banking sector, where the Financial Accounting Standards Board is broadening its use. (more…)
By Lisa Lambert
WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The strongest weapons that U.S. regulators use to combat fraud in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market have long been financial disclosure requirements, but rules on their content and timeliness are proving difficult to wield.
By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – If Republicans make big gains in U.S. Congressional elections on Tuesday, as expected, Wall Street and big banks will have sweet, but incomplete, revenge on Democrats who drove through sweeping financial reforms against industry opposition.
The likeliest outcome of Democrats losing control of one or both chambers of Congress will be divided government and two years of legislative gridlock on issues important to the financial services sector, said policy analysts and aides.
That means the sector’s regulatory headaches — near migraine level following the enactment in July of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act — won’t get worse, but probably won’t get much better, either.
By Al Yoon and Matthew Goldstein
NEW YORK, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Houston attorney Kathy Patrick represents a group of powerful mortgage investors trying to wring money out of Bank of America, but many legal experts say her chances of winning are slim.
For the second time in two months, the Gibbs & Bruns partner has sent a letter to a big bank trying to get some measure of financial relief for her clients who hold $16.5 billion of home loans packaged into bonds.
Oct 20 (Reuters) – Iran’s day-to-day business is affected by tighter international, U.S. and European Union sanctions imposed in response to Western fears the country’s nuclear activities are aimed at making a bomb. Tehran says it has no such aim.
Tighter sanctions have scared away the Islamic Republic’s usual trading partners, particularly in the oil and gas industry, where the country has been dependant on fuel imports.
Following are key facts on some firms that have been moving away from Iran and on others still dealing with the country: