Financial Regulatory Forum

Is the medicine for financial services turning out to be worse than the disease?

By Susannah Hammond

LONDON/NEW YORK , Sept. 9 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Almost three years on from the fall of Lehman Brothers and the widespread public bail-out of financial services the world is looking grim. In the white heat of the crisis itself jurisdictions, policymakers and governments moved together to resolve the worst of the immediate issues and bought global financial services time to heal. While some recovery and mending of balance sheets has certainly taken place, global financial services continue to suffer at the hands of divergent policymakers, international recessions and sovereign debt crises.

The medium-term aftermath of the financial crisis may well turn out to be more damaging to financial services than the crisis itself. Quite how severe the current state of affairs has become was highlighted by the new head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, who stated that “there remains a road to recovery, yet, we do not have the luxury of time”. The risks to any recovery are increased by “a growing sense that policymakers do not have the conviction, or are simply not willing, to take the decisions that are needed”.  (more…)

Is the Financial Stability Board the regulator to rule them all?

By Susannah Hammond, Thomson Reuters’  regulatory intelligence team. The views expressed are her own

LONDON, May 9 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The Financial Stability Board, regulatory policy maker of choice for the G20, has started to show its teeth. From its roots as the supranational setter of standards, guidance, policies and principles in the wake of the financial crisis, the FSB has started to clarify how it will monitor compliance with its requirements as well as deal forcefully with breaches.

A progress report on one of its strands of work regarding promoting global adherence to regulatory and supervisory standards on international cooperation and information exchange highlights how the FSB uses the International Monetary Fund as its objective reviewer of compliance with international standards. Critically, it shows how the FSB has taken the first steps in setting out the implications for what are called non-cooperative jurisdictions.

US senator offers ‘too big to fail’ bank break-up bill

Senator-elect Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is interviewed by a Reuters reporter at Sanders' office in Burlington, Vermont November 28, 2006. (File photo) REUTERS/Brian Snyder    (UNITED STATES)   WASHINGTON, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Senator Bernie Sanders on Friday introduced legislation that would make the U.S. Treasury Department identify and break up financial institutions that are “too big to fail.”

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G20 tries to roll back moral hazard in banks

An office worker leaves an Australia and New Zealand Bank mortgage centre in central Sydney September 1, 2009.   By Huw Jones
ST ANDREWS, Scotland, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Finance ministers from the world’s big economies launch difficult discussions this weekend on how to deal with banks whose failure could destabilise economies. Any blueprint is likely to take many months to thrash out.

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Resolution authority bill hits speed bump in Congress

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, listens to a reporter's question during the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington, April 28, 2009.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS HEADSHOT)   By Kevin Drawbaugh and Karey Wutkowski
   WASHINGTON, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Congressional Democrats need more time to debate the funding for an Obama administration “resolution authority” bill for dealing with troubled financial firms, likely pushing committee consideration of the measure into next week, said lobbyists and a House aide on Tuesday.

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US lawmaker favors curbing size of financial firms

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (Reuters) – The government should have the authority to break up or reconstruct financial firms before they become “too big to fail,” a prominent U.S. lawmaker said on Tuesday.

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US Rep Frank wants big banks to prepay resolution fund – aide

U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, listens to a reporter's question during the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington, April 28, 2009.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS HEADSHOT)   WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Barney Frank has changed his position and supports requiring large financial firms to make payments into a fund for unwinding troubled competitors before the money is needed, an aide said on Friday.

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Obama systemic risk plan blasted in Congress

By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s new proposal for tackling financial risk in the U.S. economy, unveiled just two days ago, came under attack on Thursday from all sides, with critics targeting its funding and scope.

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WRAPUP 1-Obama financial reforms advance in U.S. Congress

Onlookers gather outside the historic Federal Hall where U.S. President Barack Obama is speaking in the heart of Wall Street in New York September 14, 2009. Obama, marking a year since Lehman Brothers collapsed, urged financial firms Monday not to fight regulatory reform and urged Congress to pass his proposals by the end of the year. (File Photo)     REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES BUSINESS POLITICS)   By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Oct 27 (Reuters) – The Obama administration made gains on Tuesday in its push for U.S. financial reform, unveiling a landmark bill to tackle systemic risk in the economy and winning congressional committee approval for a measure to expose hedge funds to more government scrutiny.The systemic risk bill would grant vast powers to a new systemic risk regulatory council, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp to monitor and address risks to economic stability posed by shaky financial holding companies.

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Obama readies tougher ‘too big to fail’ strategy

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) attends a fundraiser for U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) in Stamford, Connecticut, October 23, 2009.  REUTERS/Jason Reed   (UNITED STATES POLITICS)   By Kevin Drawbaugh
WASHINGTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) – The Obama administration within days will move to get tougher with large financial firms that are in trouble by urging Congress to let the government seize control, wipe out shareholders, boot management and restructure debts, an administration official said on Monday.

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