Financial Regulatory Forum

ANALYSIS-Key US senator gains clout on Wall Street bill

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, an Arkansas moderate Democrat, is buoyed by winning nomination to a third term in the Senate but not sure of victory for her hot-button Wall Street reform — forcing big banks to spin off their swaps desks.

The proposal is one of the salient disputes for House-Senate negotiations that could begin this week on a financial regulatory reform law. The Senate endorsed the idea. The House is silent on the question.

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PREVIEW-Final act begins in U.S. Congress on Wall St reform

By Kevin Drawbaugh

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) – Negotiators from the U.S. Senate and House will begin meeting this week to craft a final Wall Street reform bill, with banks facing changes that threaten their profits, if not their business models.

Some congressional Democrats want to fashion a bill that forces a basic banking industry restructuring, but leaders will have to balance that agenda against the need to forge compromise legislation that retains some Republican support.

Analysts are expecting that fundamental restructuring will be avoided, “This bill is more about profitability and less about viability. That means the legislation will hurt the banking sector, but it will not sink it,” said Jaret Seiberg, a policy analyst at investment firm Concept Capital.

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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US watchdogs may still get ‘Volcker rule’-consultant

    FRANKFURT, April 12 (Reuters) – U.S. banking supervisors could get indirect powers to ban proprietary trading by banks even if the “Volcker rule” is not in the financial reform bill, a banking consultant with close contact to decision-makers said. (more…)

COLUMN-Volcker Rule unexpectedly revived by Dodd bill: John Kemp

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

By John Kemp

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) – Paul Volcker’s proposed ban on banks’ proprietary trading or owning hedge funds or private equity funds has been unexpectedly revived in the financial regulation bill published by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd yesterday.

The Volcker Rule’s surprise survival comes despite fierce opposition from the banking industry and after many commentators had written it off as a short-term political gimmick in the wake of the shock election defeat in Massachusetts. Dodd himself had appeared lukewarm.

UK must erase taxpayer subsidy for banks – minister

By Matt Falloon

LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) – Britain wants to remove the implicit taxpayer subsidy to banks but must not be left alone in clamping down on the financial sector, financial services minister Paul Myners said on Monday.

In a speech to bankers in London, Myners said there was a risk that high-flying financiers had not learned their lesson from the financial crisis and stringent reforms were needed to change behaviour.

Policymakers are increasingly mindful that improving economic conditions across the world may diminish the appetite to overhaul the financial system following the credit crisis.

Obama reasserts Volcker rule, U.S. Senate bill seen

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) – The Obama administration reasserted its commitment to banning proprietary trading by banks with draft legislative language on Wednesday, despite signs that the U.S. Congress is unlikely to adopt such a rule.

In a scant five pages from the Treasury Department, the administration put a two-year phase-in on its “Volcker rule” to curb “prop trading” — or buying and selling of investments on financiers’ own books unrelated to customer needs.

The rule would apply to banks, with limits slapped on large, non-bank financial firms, as well. In addition, banks would be barred from sponsoring or investing in hedge funds and private equity funds, under the administration’s language.

Obama lays out “Volcker rule” specifics for Congress

By Karey Wutkowski and Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) – U.S. banks would be banned from proprietary trading and other large financial firms would face quantitative limits on such activity, according to draft language on the so-called “Volcker rule” from the Obama administration.

The language maintains the toughest components of the proposal first floated in January, despite skepticism from lawmakers and the industry that such restrictions would do little to prevent another financial meltdown like the one that seized markets in 2008.

Banks would also be banned from investing in or sponsoring hedge funds and private equity funds, according to a draft version of the legislative language obtained by Reuters. A final version of the language is expected to be sent to lawmakers later on Wednesday.

W.House recommits to ‘Volcker rule’ bank trade ban

   By Kevin Drawbaugh
   WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The Obama administration said on Tuesday it is still committed to the “Volcker rule” to ban risky trading by banks, although Congress looks increasingly unlikely to adopt the rule as proposed. (more…)

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