Financial Regulatory Forum

Kuwait financier accusation, death highlight weak Gulf rules

HARMAN-BRAIKAN/By Rania El Gamal

KUWAIT, July 26 (Reuters) – The apparent suicide of a Kuwaiti broker, sued for fraud by U.S. regulators in a case linked to Kuwait’s ruling family and its top investment firm, shines an unwelcome light on the weak regulatory environment in the Gulf Arab state. Kuwaiti Hazem Khalid Al-Braikan, 37, who had been at the centre of a financial scandal that erupted last week, was found dead on Sunday, days after being sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over suspicious stock trades.

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US’s Geithner- will work with Congress, but regulatory overhaul essential

Treasury Secretary Timothy GeithnerWASHINGTON, July 24 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Friday he was willing to work with lawmakers on shaping an overhaul of financial regulations but insisted major changes are necessary. The financial crisis of the past two years show the financial system “failed in its most basic responsibility” to supply credit and protect consumers and that cannot happen again, he said in prepared testimony for delivery to the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. (more…)

Obama administration unveils U.S. insurance office language

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Wednesday released proposed legislative language for its proposal to create an Office of National Insurance as a part of the U.S. Treasury Department.
The language says the office, part of the administration’s broad plan to reshape U.S. financial regulation, would “monitor all aspects of the insurance industry.” (more…)

U.S. court orders SEC to reconsider annuity rule

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission to reconsider a rule it adopted in the final weeks of former President George W. Bush’s administration to expand scrutiny over annuities linked to equity indexes. (more…)

EU president Sweden vows quick action on crisis

By Julien Troyer
STRASBOURG, France, July 15 (Reuters) – European Union president Sweden promised on Wednesday to secure quick agreement on moves to tighten financial regulations to combat the economic crisis and on steps to fight climate change. (more…)

UK sees progress in battle over EU hedge fund law

By Huw Jones
LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) – Britain was “gaining traction” in persuading its EU partners to rein in a draft law regulating hedge funds but the industry should also get its customers out on the campaign trail, a government minister said on Tuesday. (more…)

ANALYSIS-U.S. banks prepare to battle over OTC derivatives

U.S. Representative Barney Frank By Steve Eder and Rachelle Younglai
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, July 13 (Reuters) – The banking industry is gearing up for a battle over the lucrative derivatives market, but will have to fight hard to head off a crackdown by regulators.
Calls to regulate the $450 trillion private market — long seen as the Wild West of the financial services sector — have been building for months. Policymakers were caught off guard when a type of derivative — credit default swaps — nearly toppled insurer American International Group Inc and global financial markets. (more…)

Basel panel sets higher capital rules for bank trading books

BASEL, Switzerland, July 13 (Reuters) – The Basel Committee published the final version on Monday of its new rules that will force banks to tie up more capital to offset trading book risks from the end of 2010. (more…)

US’s Geithner seeks clampdown on derivatives dealers

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner By Rachelle Younglai
WASHINGTON, July 10 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Friday proposed clamping down on dealers in freewheeling markets for little-understood derivatives that helped create a crisis in U.S. and world financial markets.  In testimony at a joint hearing by two congressional panels that will play a role in writing legislation on derivatives, Geithner set out proposals that would make big dealers like JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs subject to much stronger supervision than was the case in the past.

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Top examiner to leave U.S. securities regulator

 

The headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission   WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s top inspector and examiner, Lori Richards, plans to leave the agency Aug. 7, the SEC said on Wednesday. Richards, director of the compliance inspections and examinations unit since it was created in 1995, leaves after a year in which her division and the SEC enforcement unit were accused of failing to spot Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion investment fraud. (more…)

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