Financial Regulatory Forum

FACTBOX – Comparing EU and U.S. financial reform

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate approved a reform of Wall Street on Thursday and President Barack Obama may be signing into law the most sweeping changes to financial rules since the 1930s as soon as next month.

It implements pledges the United States, the European Union and other leading countries in the Group of Twenty made in 2009.

With the United States set to adopt its reform soon — and thus easily meet G20 deadlines — the EU has to play catch-up in some cases. Banks are watching carefully as transatlantic differences are emerging that will affect business models.

The following compares U.S. and EU reforms.

PREVENTING MORE TAX-FUNDED BAILOUTS

The G20 wants to end the belief among banks they are “too big to fail” by requiring resolution mechanisms and “living wills” for speedy windups that don’t destabilise markets.

The Senate sets up an “orderly liquidation” process.

The EU, a collection of 27 states with no common insolvency laws, faces a much harder task of thrashing out a pan-EU mechanism even though cross-border banks dominate the sector.

FACTBOX-Winners and losers in the U.S. Senate’s financial bill

May 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would overhaul the country’s financial system and usher in new rules for Wall Street.

While last-minute changes are still possible, below are some of the likely winners and losers under the bill.

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PREVIEW-Wall St. reform’s final round in U.S. Senate

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) – The Wall Street reform fight enters its final stages in the U.S. Senate this week with an overdue reckoning on three issues that cut to the heart of how, and for whom, the financial system works.

Although a final vote is expected within days on the White House’s top domestic priority, lawmakers have yet to settle disputes on regulating over-the-counter derivatives; curbing risky trading by banks; and the power of state authorities.

There will need to be resolution on these topics before the Senate can approve a massive Democratic bill designed to make the financial system less prone to crises like that of 2007-2009.

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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SCENARIOS-How U.S. financial regulation fight might play out

March 23 (Reuters) – The financial regulation debate has a long way to go in the U.S. Congress, with the action shifting to the full Senate and big headlines unlikely until April.

The Senate Banking Committee approved a sweeping Democratic bill by a party-line vote on Monday. That bill is now headed for the Senate floor, but not before lawmakers try again to hash out a bipartisan deal in closed-door negotiations.

With Congress adjourning on Friday for a two-week holiday break, the off-line financial reform talks probably will not produce results before lawmakers return next month.

BREAKINGVIEWS-U.S. financial reform process takes risky turn

– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

By James Pethokoukis

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The effort to reform the U.S. financial regulatory system was supposed to show the Senate working more or less as intended — bipartisan up to a point, and largely non-confrontational. But it’s starting to follow the healthcare bill’s more contentious path.

Hundreds of Republican and Democratic amendments to the legislation authored by Democrat Chris Dodd, the panel’s chairman, were supposed to be hashed out by the relatively expert Senate Banking Committee this week. Instead, Republicans yanked their proposed changes, and the bill was approved with just Democratic support. Now it will be hashed out on the Senate floor. Democrats will need to bring at least one Republican across the aisle to hit the 60 votes needed to be certain of passage.

Consumer watchdog debate threatens U.S. financial reform

    By Kevin Drawbaugh

  WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – A  fight over how sharp to make the teeth of a new U.S. watchdog for financial consumers threatened on Friday to derail progress toward tighter bank and capital market regulation, amid much posturing on both sides.

Democrats want an independent agency that can clamp down hard on abusive mortgages and credit cards, but Republicans and bank lobbyists want a tamer beast that won’t threaten profits too much and that answers to a higher master.

The Obama administration’s proposal to create a U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) has emerged as the main impediment to bipartisan agreement on financial regulation reform, one of the White House’s major priorities for 2010.

Talks resume in U.S. Senate on financial reform

WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – In an unusual move that cuts a senior Republican out of the loop, bipartisan U.S. Senate negotiations have resumed on financial regulation reform, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee said on Thursday.

Committee chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat, said in a statement that he has begun talks on legislation with Bob Corker, a first-term Republican member of the panel handling a sweeping regulatory overhaul package.

Just six days ago, Dodd said he had hit an impasse with Senator Richard Shelby, the committee’s top Republican, in talks under way for more than a year.

Obama bid to rein in banks meets Senate resistance

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday looked increasingly likely to adopt, at best, only a watered-down version of the Obama administration’s ambitious proposal to limit risky trading by banks.

After two hearings in three days on the issue, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told reporters it will be difficult to legislate a curb on bank trading practices as specific as the White House proposed last month.

He said it would be easier to include something less ambitious in a sweeping package of financial regulation reforms, under development for more than a year now, which aides said was fast nearing completion.

US Senate backs Bernanke for second term at Fed

By Mark Felsenthal and Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved Ben Bernanke’s nomination to a second four-year term running the Federal Reserve, the world’s most powerful central bank, despite deep misgivings over his perceived policy missteps.

The Senate voted 70-30 to confirm Bernanke, after clearing a procedural hurdle with the support of 77 senators.

Bernanke won the Senate’s needed backing despite the stiffest opposition to any nominee for Fed chairman in the nearly 32 years the Senate has voted on the position.

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