Financial Regulatory Forum

SEC proposes stricter muncipal bond disclosure

By Lisa Lambert and Rachelle Younglai
WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – Municipal bond issuers must disclose more information about events such as bankruptcies on a timely basis so that investors who buy debt from states and counties will be able to better monitor their investments, securities regulators proposed on Wednesday. (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…)

US group calls Fed ‘tarnished,’ demands risk monitor

Arthur LevittBy Jennifer Ablan and Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) – Some of the biggest U.S. investors and two former top securities regulators warned that a “tarnished” Federal Reserve should not be put in charge of preventing systemic risk in the financial system, a central plank of the administration’s response to the credit crisis. (more…)

“Credit Crisis Cassandra” named to U.S. inquiry

Brooksley BornWASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – Brooksley Born, dubbed the “Credit Crisis Cassandra” for giving unheeded warnings about risks in the U.S. financial system, was appointed on Wednesday to a commission Congress established to investigate the causes of the U.S. and global financial crisis. (more…)

INTERVIEW – U.S. Treasury devising aid for CIT -Rep. Frank

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department wants to find a “responsible” way to provide government aid to troubled lender CIT Group Inc, Representative Barney Frank said on Wednesday. “I’ve spoken with (Treasury) Secretary Geithner, and I understand they’re working hard to try to come up with something responsible to try to prevent the failure,” Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told Reuters in an interview. (more…)

Switzerland nears removal from tax haven “gray list”

ZURICH, July 15 (Reuters) – Switzerland said on Wednesday it had agreed a new tax treaty with Austria, bringing the total of tax deals to 11 and leaving it only one step away from being removed from an OECD list of tax havens. (more…)

Bank of Japan extends funding steps, with eye on exit

Bank of Japan Governor Governor Masaaki ShirakawaBy Hideyuki Sano
TOKYO, July 15 (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan voted to extend its corporate finance-support measures by three months, after which they could be scaled backed or scrapped if financial conditions keep improving, the head of the central bank said on Wednesday. (more…)

SEC to require more US muni disclosure -chairman

USA/    WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – The Securities and Exchange Commission will consider ways to increase disclosure of information about U.S. municipal bonds at a meeting on Wednesday, its chairman told Congress on Tuesday.

Minnesota sues credit card arbitration firm

Modonna's credit card NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) – The National Arbitration Forum, which provides arbitration services for consumer credit disputes, has hidden ties to the credit card industry, the Minnesota Attorney General charged in a lawsuit on Tuesday. (more…)

Citigroup punished by Pennsylvania on auction-rate sales

NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc was ordered by Pennsylvania to pay a $2.31 million penalty and repurchase hundreds of millions of dollars of illiquid auction-rate debt from more than 1,200 retail investors in the state.   The third-largest U.S. bank is among many securities firms that have agreed to buy back more than $60 billion of the debt, after the $330 billion market froze in February 2008 when dealers stopped taking part in auctions where rates are set. (more…)