Financial Regulatory Forum

On the other hand: When Woodstock meets Wall Street

By Scott McCleskey

Nov. 29 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - If you didn’t know any different, you’d think the Occupy Wall Street movement was the kind of military operation so often criticized by people of a certain political temperament. It started off with a clear mission (financial reform), then suffered from mission creep (economic justice) and it never had an exit strategy. I think there was a surge in there somewhere as well but it’s hard to tell when they all live in tents.

The shame is that they had a point, in the beginning. Reforming the financial system is a gravely serious priority that is losing momentum. But by opening its arms to all who feel oppressed, repressed or suppressed, the inevitable result of the Occupy movement was that the original issue was lost in the noise. And as the movement begins to wind down it is likely to miss its greatest opportunity – to become the Tea Party of the Left.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Tea Party has been successful in grabbing the microphone and framing much of the conservative agenda. It may represent only a minority of Republican voters, but it will undoubtedly influence the outcome of the party’s nomination process and its 2012 platform. It does so by focusing on a few core issues, and has accomplished all this without an organized structure or dominant leader.

What’s to keep the Occupy Wall Street crowd from doing the same? The Democrats could use a good issue to rally around these days. The more level-headed Occupiers could give them one, by putting financial reform back on the forefront of the political debate and casting it in the interests of the broad American public. This would not only benefit an incumbent president whose weak approval ratings endanger his reelection prospects, but would actually move the Occupiers closer to the goal they started with as well.

To pull this off, they need credibility. That means jettisoning some of the nuttier proposals that bear the OWS imprint, like free universal college education and legalized marijuana. It also means no more blocking the port of Oakland, occupying the New York subway and other publicity-seeking tactics. Such tactics are doomed to fail because they appeal only to the protesters themselves, and annoy everyone else. Financial reform is a complex and serious issue, and will be advanced through the political process, not by sitting around in a park munching on organic locally sourced fair-trade vegan hemp muffins.

Dead man walking: The FSA’s aggressive stance with financial services firms

Pedestrians through Canary Wharf business districtBy Christopher Elias

LONDON, Sept. 20 (Business Law Currents) – If the death sentence of the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) was to earn a last request then it may well have been to introduce a new era of aggressive enforcement as it prepares to hand over power to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It may have slept through the worst financial crisis in living memory and be about to be put to death but this seems to have only invigorated the FSA in its enforcement actions, as it introduces increasingly tough measures on financial firms. Dead man walking? Perhaps. But beware of those boots, as the FSA toughens up its enforcement actions. (more…)

U.S. Fed chief Bernanke says ‘exit’ strategy essential for dollar confidence

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke speaks at the Federal Reserve Conference on Key Developments in Monetary Policy in Washington October 8, 2009. (File Photo) REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct 19 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Monday said that the performance of the dollar and the U.S. economy will depend on the government’s success in controlling the country’s budget deficit.

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G20 faces credibility test on markets

By Sumeet Desai and Chris Buckley
PITTSBURGH, Sept 26 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 rich and developing economies, fresh from a triumphant show of unity at Pittsburgh, faces months of deal-making and communication to markets that will test its credibility as the premier global forum for economic cooperation.

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U.S. to push for new economic world order at G20

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands before speaking about the economy during a visit to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York, September 21, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque   (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS)By Alister Bull

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States wants world leaders to agree this week to launch a major rethink of the world economy in November as they try to strengthen the global economy after its near meltdown.

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G20 to keep stimulus, seek coordinated exit strategies

By Anna Willard
BRUSSELS, Sept 2 (Reuters) – G20 countries have agreed it is too soon to withdraw measures to end the global economic crisis and will discuss coordinating policy to wind up the trillions of dollars in support at talks in London this week.

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Iceland sets plan for lifting capital controls

Iceland's Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir (file) By Niklas Pollard and Adam Cox
STOCKHOLM, July 31 (Reuters) – Iceland’s central bank on Friday outlined plans to lift capital controls in the next few months to get the economy functioning more normally, roughly 10 months after the island country’s financial system tottered amid fallout from the global financial crisis.
Also on Friday, the International Monetary Fund and Iceland reached an agreement on economic policy measures under the country’s IMF loan programme.

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