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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.

Apr 8, 2011

House rejects FCC’s ‘open’ Internet rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives voted on Friday to reject Internet “neutrality” rules that were adopted last year to keep big Internet service providers from blocking certain traffic

House Republicans, in a 240-179 vote, pushed through a measure disapproving the Federal Communications Commission’s rules. Tech and telecom giants such as Verizon Communications Inc and Microsoft Corp could be affected.

Apr 8, 2011

U.S. House votes against FCC ‘open’ Internet rules

WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. House of
Representatives voted on Friday to disapprove Internet
“neutrality” rules that were adopted last year to keep big
Internet providers from blocking certain traffic

House Republicans, winning by a vote of 240 to 179, pushed
through a measure against the U.S. Federal Communications
Commission rule affecting tech and telecom giants ranging from
Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Apr 7, 2011

Markets weigh 2 US gov’t shutdowns-1 bad, 1 awful

NEW YORK, April 7 (Reuters) – Investors face two possible
U.S. government shutdown scenarios, one of limited impact on
markets, and another so potentially devastating that analysts
are struggling to assess it fully.

Neither is sure to occur, but the limited-impact version
seemed distinctly possible on Thursday as Democrats and
Republicans argued over the federal budget. It would involve
the expiration at midnight on Friday of a stop-gap spending
measure known as a continuing resolution, or CR.