Financial Regulatory Forum

U.S. House approves sweeping financial regulation overhaul

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved the biggest changes in financial regulation since the Great Depression on Friday, marking a win for the Obama administration and top Democrats in Congress.

The sweeping bill, which will have to be reconciled with any measure the slower-moving Senate might eventually approve, aims to safeguard the financial system and ward off future crises of the type that punished the nation in the past year with its deepest recession since the 1930s.

The House voted 223-202 to pass the 1,279-page bill, which was hammered out in the months since last year’s crisis convinced Democrats of an urgent need for reform. All of the chamber’s Republicans and 27 Democrats voted against bill.

“This legislation brings us another important step closer to necessary, comprehensive financial reform that will create clear rules of the road, consistent and systematic enforcement of those rules, and a stronger, more stable financial system,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.

The bill would create an inter-agency council to police systemic risk in the economy, crack down on hedge funds and credit rating agencies, set up a financial consumer watchdog agency, and expose Federal Reserve monetary policy to unprecedented congressional scrutiny, among other reforms.

U.S. House poised to back financial rules overhaul

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives was expected to approve the biggest changes in financial regulation since the Great Depression on Friday, marking a win for the Obama administration.

With the Senate due to debate reforms well into next year, the House could complete its legislative work by passing a 1,279-page bill that has been hammered out in the months since 2008′s financial crisis.

The bill still faces potential amendments on the House floor, including one that would gut a key provision — the proposed creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) — and another to change mortgage bankruptcy law.

US Rep. Frank seeks changes in derivatives bill

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, listens to a reporter's question during the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington, April 28, 2009.     WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee is seeking changes to draft legislation for the $450 trillion privately-traded derivatives markets, with the intent of making it harder for banks to avoid trading the contracts on exchanges.


US SEC, CFTC push for tougher enforcement laws

Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission,  July 22, 2009. (file photo) By Charles Abbott and Rachelle Younglai
WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – U.S. securities and futures regulators asked Congress on Friday for more authority to police their markets, including legislation to help rein in insider trading in the commodity futures markets.


Thomson restructuring auction puts credit derivatives in spotlight

A man walks past a billboard promoting French consumer electronics maker Thomson in Beijing November 4, 2003. By Jane Merriman
LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The opaque world of credit derivatives is in the spotlight ahead of an auction to settle contracts on a debt restructuring at French electronics company Thomson that could expose flaws in the process.


Some hedge funds eager for Irish “No” on EU treaty – Finance Minister Lenihan

Ireland's Finance Minister Brian Lenihan talks to France's Economy Minister Christine Lagarde (R) at the start of a Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, March 9, 2009.  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   (BELGIUM BUSINESS POLITICS) DUBLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Hedge funds which bet unsuccessfully that Ireland would default on its sovereign debt want the country to reject the EU’s reform treaty this week to recoup some of their losses, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said on Monday.


Regulator blocks Royal Bank of Scotland payout of subordinated bonds

By Jane Baird and Jane Merriman
LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Royal Bank of Scotland will not exercise options to redeem more than $1.5 billion of subordinated debt next month after regulators objected to it using state aid to repay the low-ranked bondholders.


Europe’s derivatives sector warns on regulation

By Huw Jones
LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) – The trading of privately-arranged derivatives contracts must not be forced onto exchanges and there must be no penalty for choosing not to clear trades, Europe’s derivatives industry said on Wednesday.

ECB calls for more transparency on credit derivatives

FRANKFURT, Aug 28 (Reuters) – More disclosure and transparency in credit derivatives is needed to allow better risk management in a market that amounted to over $41 trillion in December 2008, the European Central Bank said on Friday.


New U.S. commodity futures reporting may raise transparency, questions

By Alden Bentley
NEW YORK, Aug 25 (Reuters) – More transparency or too much information?

Energy traders, analysts and mom-and-pop farmers may find themselves swimming in detail on the big bets and hedges in the commodity markets, when the U.S. futures market regulator overhauls its widely-watched report on trader positions.