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May 7, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Market Structure Moves to Top of Regulatory Agenda

The SEC’s chief said the growing concerns about technological changes in the capital markets are going to drive much of the agency’s agenda for the rest of the year. She fears creation of a two-tier system—one for hedge funds and other large traders and a more limited tier for everyone else. Her goal includes passing a series of rules designed to update the basic principle of market fairness that was established at the agency’s founding during the New Deal, according to Thomson Reuters Checkpoint’s WG&L Accounting & Compliance Alert.

May 7, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

IPOs Rising: Hong Kong’s Siren Song, Meet Regulatory Gatekeeper

Hong Kong’s stock exchange beckons with an equity market “siren song”, a song that is being heard by a growing number of foreign firms, from Asia and beyond, writes Helen H Chang of Westlaw Business Currents.

May 6, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

UK gets election fever

The UK goes to the polls today in what promises to be the tightest election for 18 years. Acres of newsprint and millions of cubic feet of hot air have been expended on all the possible outcomes: from an outright Conservative majority in the House of Commons, to a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition.
Each different permutation of power means a different path for UK policy on regulating banks, financial services and markets. Will the Liberal Democrats insist on their regulatory policy as the price for their participation in a coalition with the Conservatives or Labour? Could a minority Conservative government force through its plan to blow apart the tripartite regulatory regime?

May 5, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Goldman Getting Ahead of Bad News?

Goldman Sachs’s disclosure pendulum appears to have now sharply swung in the other direction, Matthew Merrin of Thomson Reuters Westlaw Business Currents writes.

May 4, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

US Congress Looks for New Ways to Tax Financial Services

During a congressional hearing, lawmakers searched for ways to use the tax code to dampen short-term speculation in the financial markets and close the budget deficit. To fix the problem, they suggested changes in tax structures, including discounted capital gains tax for long-term investors, transaction tax, bank tax, and financial speculation tax, Thomson Reuters WG&L Accounting & Compliance Alert reports.

May 4, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

US revises anti-money laundering manual

Bank regulators revised an anti-money laundering examination manual. But government watchdogs said financial regulators are still not doing enough outreach to local law enforcement agencies to aid in the battle against terrorist funding and drug smuggling, reports Thomson Reuters WG&L Accounting & Compliance Alert.

Apr 30, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Global Disclosures: Litigation Risk

For most U.S. trained attorneys, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that even the mere possibility of litigation should be disclosed somewhere in a company’s annual report, writes Jesse R. Morton of Thomson Reuters Westlaw Business Currents. (Click here for further information.) But for attorneys preparing an annual report for a foreign filer from a less litigious country – basically every other country – take note this 20F/40F season: companies are erring on the side of conservatism when it comes to litigation risk.

Apr 29, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Goldman Sachs’ soul search – sincere or strategy?

   By Steve Eder and Rachelle Younglai
   NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) – Contrary to popular belief, Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> has a soul – and it is even spending time searching it.
   In the closing hours of Goldman’s marathon showdown with a Senate panel in Washington on Tuesday, Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein shared that the Wall Street giant is in the midst of an internal cleansing in which a top executive is leading a business practices committee and “going over everything.”

Apr 29, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

After clash, Senate filibuster ends with a whimper

Just a few minutes after the Senate failed for a third time in as many days to reach the 60-votes needed to approve a cloture motion on the financial reform bill (failing 56-42), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rose to his feet and asked the chamber’s presiding officer: “Mr President, I now ask unanimous consent the motion to proceed to S 3217 be agreed to”.
After the president officer asked for objections, and heard none, he replied “Without objection, it is so ordered”, according to the Congressional Record, Reuters columnist John Kemp writes.

Apr 29, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

It looks like Plan B for accounting convergence

Full convergence of US and international accounting standards appears to be some way off, and while International Accounting Standards Board member Philippe Danjou is still aiming to achieve Plan A – meeting the G20 deadline of full convergence by mid-2011 – a compromise Plan B is clearly being prepared, John Manley writes.