Financial Regulatory Forum

Bernanke confirmation shakier as more Democrats defect

By Thomas Ferraro and Pedro da Costa

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Ben Bernanke’s nomination for a second term as U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, once seen a sure thing, appeared increasingly under threat on Friday after two Senate Democrats said they would vote against it.

“I believe there will be the votes to confirm him, but it’s going to be very close,” a senior Democratic leadership aide said.

With the U.S. job market in disarray, voters angry at Wall Street firms and members of Congress worried about their re-election in November, the Fed and its chairman have become targets for discontent.

Senators Barbara Boxer and Russ Feingold brought the total of known ‘no’ votes among the Democratic majority to four, while many others have said they were undecided.

Several Republicans also oppose him and some senators have moved to block his confirmation, forcing Senate leaders to secure a super-majority of 60 vote in the 100-member chamber to move the nomination.

UK finance executives worried by regulation – CBI

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) – London’s status as a world financial centre is at risk due to a combination of rising regulation and global economic shifts, according to senior executives polled by Britain’s biggest business lobby.

London has emerged from the 2008 banking crisis but it faces fresh threats from a transfer of economic power to Asia, as well as potential unilateral regulatory action aimed at prevening a repeat of the financial meltdown, the Confederation of British Industry quoted company executives as saying in a report.

“London will lose market share, though it won’t diminish in importance,” Stephen Green, chief executive of HSBC, Europe’s biggest bank, told the CBI. “This is not because of the financial crisis, but because of shifts in the global economy.”

U.S. Senate panel nears agreement on role of Fed

By Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – As Congress moves to reform U.S. financial regulation, key senators are nearing bipartisan agreement on stripping the Federal Reserve of its authority to supervise banks, two people familiar with the matter said.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, in charge of shepherding reform legislation through the Senate, has introduced a bill aimed at preventing a recurrence of the 2008 financial crisis that shook economies worldwide.

The outlook for that legislation and Dodd’s handling of it shifted suddenly on Wednesday, however, with news that he has decided not to seek re-election in November.

U.S. financial scandals seen sparking 2010 zeal

By Dan Margolies

WASHINGTON, Dec 29 (Reuters) – The year of the Ponzi scheme will be followed by heightened regulation and more aggressive prosecutions, experts say, as U.S. officials respond to past failures.

Bernard Madoff’s massive $65-billion fraud grabbed most of the headlines in 2009, but other schemes that paid early investors with money from new victims came to light as the recession dried up new money and Madoff-inspired vigilance boosted awareness.

As 2010 approaches, regulators and prosecutors are scrambling to uncover and pursue more fraudsters, while lawmakers seek to close regulatory gaps through legislation and give enforcement officials more resources.

Dubai “needs more time”; investor confidence hit

Investors monitor stock prices at the Dubai Financial Market December 8, 2009. Investor confidence in Dubai took a fresh knock on Tuesday as its leaders dithered over a rescue for debt-laden company Dubai World and ratings agency Moody's slapped a downgrade on government-related debt.   REUTERS/Mosab Omar By Tamara Walid and Tessa Walsh

DUBAI, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Investor confidence in Dubai took a fresh knock on Tuesday as officials dithered over a rescue for debt-laden state conglomerate Dubai World  and ratings agency Moody’s slapped a downgrade on government-related debt.

“You can usually take the view that no news is good news, but in Dubai’s case it’s quite the opposite — investors need to hear some developments on Dubai World’s restructuring,” said Julian Bruce, EFG-Hermes director of institutional equity sales.

Leading lenders met Dubai World on Monday to negotiate over a $3.5 billion sukuk, the world’s largest, issued by Dubai World subsidiary Nakheel, builder of Dubai’s palm-shaped islands.

UK bank bailout cost hits 850 billion sterling – watchdog

banking_landing_page_image By Kirstin Ridley

LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – The price tag for bailing out UK banks has hit 850 billion pounds ($1.4 trillion) but Britain’s spending watchdog says the final cost to taxpayers will not be known for years.

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U.S. Treasury chief Geithner, under fire, defends AIG bailout

FINANCIAL-REGULATION/GEITHNER By David Lawder and Emily Kaiser
WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended on Thursday the costly bailout of AIG and urged swift regulatory reform to safeguard the economy from the failure of big financial firms.
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REUTERS SUMMIT – Panmure chief warns against “mad” UK regulation

By Clara Ferreira-Marques
LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Britain’s excessive regulatory zeal is hitting competitiveness and driving away top talent and innovative firms, as they flee a poorly devised tax regime and “spurious” legislation, one of Britain’s oldest brokerages said.

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G20 ministers to keep stimulus, seek ways to coordinate economies

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling speaks at a Thomson Reuters newsmaker event in London October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN BUSINESS POLITICS)   By Sumeet Desai
ST ANDREWS, Scotland, Nov 6 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 leading nations will agree this weekend it is too early to pull the plug on emergency support for the global economy and launch a new system of checks to help rebalance world growth and prevent future crises.

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U.S. pay czar: Will soon decide how to use clawback

Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation, speaks to Reuters during an interview at his Washington law office, October 26, 2009.  REUTERS/Jason Reed   (UNITED STATES)   By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) – The U.S. pay czar said on Monday that he will determine “in the near future” how he will use his power to claw back pay at companies that have taken bailout money but is not currently in negotiations to do so.

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