Financial Regulatory Forum

ANALYSIS-Deck chairs secure aboard USS Financial Regulation

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, March 21 (Reuters) – The big U.S. government agencies in charge of policing banks and markets, despite being excoriated over the severe 2008-2009 financial crisis, have successfully dodged a major structural shake-up.

While Congress may yet clamp down on the financial industry from Wall Street to Main Street, a top-to-bottom overhaul of the nation’s regulatory apparatus — which seemed like a certainty a year and a half ago — is not going to happen.

As political reality has tempered reform proposals, plans to reconfigure a patchwork bureaucracy stitched together over decades have faded from view, with just one agency closure still on the negotiating table.

Only the Office of Thrift Supervision — smallest and newest of the big seven agencies — is likely to be closed with regulatory reform bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives targeting it for shutdown.

Otherwise, thousands of workers will stay in place at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and other agencies ensconced in stately, federal buildings across Washington.

EXCLUSIVE-Bank cop reworked in Senate financial bill-sources

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The beat walked by a proposed super-cop for banks is shrinking in the latest financial regulation reforms being debated in the U.S. Senate, said sources familiar with committee negotiations on Thursday.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd has called for the formation of a Financial Institutions Regulatory Administration (FIRA) to replace a current patchwork system that includes four bank supervisors in Washington.

But Dodd and other lawmakers, seeking compromise on this and other issues, are revising the FIRA proposal, said sources who asked not to be named because negotiations continue.

Obama administration praises early Senate financial bill

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) attends a fundraiser for U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) in Stamford, Connecticut, October 23, 2009.    By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) – The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee is poised to release a draft bill on financial regulatory reform that meets many of President Barack Obama’s core goals, but it is unclear if it will gain any Republican support, an administration official said on Tuesday.

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US bank regulators warn on commercial real estate

The Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village private residential development (bottom C) is seen in New York, October 26, 2009.  New York State's highest court on Thursday ruled that the landlords of Manhattan's largest apartment complex improperly raised thousands of rents, further pushing the owners of the $5.4 billion deal struck at the height of a commercial real estate boom toward default.REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton  (UNITED STATES BUSINESS)   By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – U.S regulators on Friday encouraged banks to modify troubled commercial real estate loans, which are seen as a looming danger spot for the banking industry.

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Credit rating agency bill backed by US House panel

By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Credit rating agencies, which have been widely blamed for failing to spot problems that helped trigger the global financial crisis, would be more tightly regulated under legislation approved on Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

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White House, Congress Democrat bill urges new US powers over financial firms

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (R) talks with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank on Capitol Hill in Washington March 24, 2009.  (File Photo)   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES BUSINESS POLITICS) By Kevin Drawbaugh and Rachelle Younglai
WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – The U.S. government would gain far-reaching new powers to regulate, and even shut down, large financial firms that threaten economic stability under a draft bill released in Congress on Tuesday.

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Reuters Summit-U.S. FDIC seeks bailout ban, risk fees

Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Sheila Bair speaks with reporters during the 2009 Reuters Washington Summit in Washington October 21, 2009.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS) By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Congress should eliminate any possibility of temporary bailouts in draft legislation that would give the government power to break up troubled, systemic financial firms, a top U.S. bank regulator said on Wednesday.

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U.S. bank industry groups oppose super bank cop

WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Two major bank industry groups said on Tuesday they oppose a congressional proposal to consolidate federal banking supervision into one regulator. The American Bankers Association and the Independent Community Bankers of America jointly sent a letter to lawmakers saying that maintaining multiple federal regulators provides a helpful range of regulatory perspectives and is a healthy check against any one regulator neglecting its duties.

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Key US senator determined to create super bank cop

U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) speaks in front of his close friend Senator Edward Kennedy's casket during a "Celebration of Life Memorial Service" for Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Library and Presidential  Museum in Boston, Massachusetts August 28, 2009. By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – A senior U.S. Democratic senator said on Tuesday he is moving forward with his effort to consolidate bank supervision into a single federal regulator, despite criticism from current bank regulators who do not want to lose power.

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SCENARIOS-US weighs how to rebuild depleted bank insurance fund

Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair,  June 17, 2009. By Karey Wutkowski
WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – U.S. bank regulators plan to meet next week to propose options for replenishing the insurance fund used to safeguard bank deposits, including tapping a line of credit with the Treasury Department.

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