Financial Regulatory Forum

UK coalition may yield more “sensible” financial reform — The Economist

Britain’s new coalition government may come up with a better approach to financial reform than the Liberal-Democrats and Conservative  partners would do invididually, and any compromise “will go further and faster” than the ousted Labour government,  The Economist writes.

The magazine approvingly notes the first compromise, in which the Conservatives dropped the idea of abolishing the Financial Services Authority and instead agreed to retain the agency while making the Bank of England the protector of long-term financial stability.

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ANALYSIS-Credit rating agencies should not be dupes

By Dan Wilchins

NEW YORK, May 13 (Reuters) – New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is looking at whether investment banks duped credit rating agencies, but a bigger question is why the rating agencies failed to prevent the financial meltdown.

Banks may indeed have misled Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch into giving higher ratings than some securities really merited, but rating agencies should have done more to avoid being fooled, critics said.

Until the structural problems with rating agencies are fixed, new credit bubbles will likely be inflated.

COLUMN-What’s in a word? Senate battle on derivatives: John Kemp

– John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own –

By John Kemp

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) – May or shall. Even one small word can make a big difference. Lobbyists for financial services firms and officials from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the U.S. Treasury are sparring over a single word in the derivatives reform legislation being considered by the U.S. Senate.

At issue is the Commission’s authority to impose position limits on major energy contracts.

US Senate OKs plan for dismantling ailing financial giants – details

WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment to a sweeping Wall Street reform bill that would set up a new government protocol for seizing and dismantling large financial firms that are in distress.

Here is a description of the bipartisan plan, in a statement by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat.

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White House highlights “lobbyist loopholes” in regulation debate – link

The White House published a top 10 list of “lobbyist loopholes” sought by Wall Street in Senate debate on an overhaul of financial regulation. Here is a link to the list, which tellingly omits the banking industry’s desire to strike a provision that would force banks to spin off their lucrative swaps desks.

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BREAKINGVIEWS-Is Obama losing control of U.S. financial reform?

– The authors is a Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are his own –

By James Pethokoukis

WASHINGTON, May 3 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Is President Barack Obama losing control of financial reform? It is starting to seem that way. With the bill nearing its finale in the U.S Senate, Democratic legislators — and even some Republicans — seem to be scrambling to out-regulate each other while the White House keeps mum. The Obama administration defied its liberal base on nationalizing the banks last year and breaking them up this year. But as controversial amendments, such as those on derivatives, continue to emerge, it may be time to pipe up.

Of course, Team Obama would understandably prefer to lie low. It doesn’t want to backtrack entirely from the populist, get-tough-on-the-banks line. Arguing forcefully on behalf of letting banks keep their derivatives businesses, in particular, would risk message mismatch. That’s especially true after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs over its involvement in a derivatives deal.

FACTBOX-Key amendments to Wall Street reform bill in US Senate

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) – More than 100 amendments were circulating on Thursday in the U.S. Senate as debate began on a sweeping bill to overhaul financial regulation.

Here are snapshots of some of them, which the Senate will be dealing with over the next two weeks or so, and a link to the full roster. No votes on amendments are expected before Tuesday.

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NYSE Euronext lobbying more, rosy on market reform

By Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK, April 29 (Reuters) – NYSE Euronext has ramped up its lobbying effort in Europe, and the exchange operator’s chief said that it should benefit from regulatory changes on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The regulatory landscape in both regions is a net positive for the company,” Chief Executive Officer Duncan Niederauer said on Thursday at NYSE Euronext’s annual shareholder meeting.

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After clash, Senate filibuster ends with a whimper

Just a few minutes after the Senate failed for a third time in as many days to reach the 60-votes needed to approve a cloture motion on the financial reform bill (failing 56-42), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rose to his feet and asked the chamber’s presiding officer: “Mr President, I now ask unanimous consent the motion to proceed to S 3217 be agreed to”.
After the president officer asked for objections, and heard none, he replied “Without objection, it is so ordered”, according to the Congressional Record, Reuters columnist John Kemp writes. (more…)

PREVIEW-Reuters Summit-Banks face pressure to get dull

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, April 25 (Reuters) – If the U.S. Congress approves financial regulation reform — and that looks likely to happen soon — banking stands to become a duller business.

On the “out” list will be unrestrained trading desks spitting out exotic debt instruments. On the “in” list will be the banker trying to find a solid 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for borrowers with good income.
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