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May 24, 2011

House panel votes to delay swaps market rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulation of the swaps market, a $600 trillion behemoth that is now largely unpoliced, would be delayed until September 2012 under a Republican bill approved on Tuesday by a House of Representatives committee.

The measure is not expected to become law. Democrats in control of the Senate oppose it, as does the White House, but it shows the persistent clout of Wall Street in Congress almost three years after the worst of the financial crisis.

May 13, 2011

House panel votes to weaken consumer watchdog

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The power and independence of a new U.S. financial consumer watchdog agency would be curbed under three pieces of legislation approved on Friday by a Republican-controlled House of Representatives panel.

The measures may win approval in the full House later, but analysts do not expect them to become law.

May 12, 2011

Regulators assure Congress on Wall Street crackdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. financial regulators, under pressure from a deeply divided Congress, pledged to follow through with a crackdown on Wall Street and the banking business, but to take enough time to get it right.

Members of a new inter-agency council, set up under 2010′s Dodd-Frank reforms, told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Thursday that they will take more time to figure out how to select banks, insurers and hedge funds for extra-strict government policing.

May 11, 2011

Frank sees consumer watchdog recess appointment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will likely use a recess appointment to name a director for its new financial consumer watchdog agency, Democratic Representative Barney Frank said on Wednesday.

Such a move to sidestep the Senate’s confirmation process for agency head nominees would underscore deep partisan divisions that remain over financial regulation nine months since passage of 2010′s landmark Dodd-Frank reforms.

May 10, 2011

Senate banking panel chief defends Dodd-Frank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rolling back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street law of 2010 “would be dangerous and irresponsible,” said the Democratic chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.

As Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives move to weaken and delay key parts of Dodd-Frank, banking panel chairman Tim Johnson made clear that such efforts will face a steep uphill climb in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

May 6, 2011

SEC head eyes fast traders on crash anniversary

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. securities regulator on Friday called for a broad reassessment of high-frequency trading on the one-year anniversary of the so-called “flash crash” of 2010.

“We need to assess the entire regulatory structure surrounding high frequency trading firms and their algorithms,” said U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro at a funds conference.

May 5, 2011

Senate Republicans draw line on consumer watchdog

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Forty-four Republican senators vowed on Thursday to vote against any White House nominee to head a new consumer watchdog agency without fundamental changes to how it is structured.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, set to open its doors in July, was created by 2010′s Dodd-Frank legislation as part of that law’s response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

May 5, 2011

U.S. insurers fight over control of flood policies

WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) – Major U.S. insurers jostled
on Capitol Hill this week over control of 800,000 former State
Farm flood insurance policies as lawmakers tried to advance
reform of the nation’s flood insurance system.

The conflict began last year when State Farm dropped out of
the government’s flood insurance program, leaving behind
800,000 existing policies. That was equal to almost 15 percent
of the $3.3-billion flood insurance market.

Apr 15, 2011

Delays, divergence threaten swaps crackdown: FSB

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Global efforts to rein in the over-the-counter derivatives market are being threatened by worrisome delays and divergent approaches, an international policy-coordinating panel said on Friday.

The Swiss-based Financial Stability Board (FSB) said it was “concerned” that many members of the Group of 20 wealthy nations may not meet an end-2012 deadline to tighten oversight of the $600 trillion OTC market for derivatives such as swaps.

Apr 13, 2011

Senate panel slams Goldman in scathing crisis report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the most damning official U.S. report yet produced on Wall Street’s role in the financial crisis, a Senate panel accused powerhouse Goldman Sachs of misleading clients and manipulating markets, while also condemning greed, weak regulation and conflicts of interest throughout the financial system.

Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, one of Capitol Hill’s most feared panels, has a history with Goldman Sachs.