Financial Regulatory Forum

ANALYSIS-After hardball, Greece gets EU solidarity pledges

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton (L) poses with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels December 10, 2009.  REUTERS/Yves Herman By Brian Love, European Economics Correspondent

PARIS, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Reassuring noises from France and Germany suggest Greece can ultimately count on help from its euro zone partners if its debt problems get out of hand — though its partners were content to see financial markets scare Athens for a while.

As Greek bond spreads ballooned early this week, officials in major European Union governments indirectly fuelled the panic by refraining from making clear pledges of support for Greece.

Most of the officials’ public statements focused on urging Athens to face up to its problems and, like Ireland, take drastic steps such as public spending cuts to reduce its budget deficit and prevent its debt from becoming unserviceable.

But since Thursday, European officials have changed tack and indicated they are prepared, if necessary, to act to prevent the fiscal pressures on Greece from growing so heavy that the country might have to pull out from the euro zone.

Some analysts think the EU deliberately used the bond market turmoil to make the Greek government recognise the need to act decisively on its deficit — and then calmed the turmoil before it could become unmanageable and do lasting damage to Greece.

EU ratings register would boost competition-banks

    By Huw Jones
   LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Financial firms said European Union plans for comparing credit rating agencies would boost competition and increase investor power, documents from the bloc’s regulators showed on Wednesday.
(more…)

U.S. Treasury sends credit-rating regulation bill to Congress

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department sent a draft bill to Congress that would prevent credit rating agencies from consulting for the companies they evaluate, and said it hoped new disclosure and conflict-of-interest rules will curb the agencies’ power. (more…)

US SEC mulls ways to rely less on credit ratings

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary SchapiroWASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – U.S. securities regulators are looking at ways to rely less on credit ratings, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro told lawmakers on Tuesday. (more…)

  •