We’re pretty sure that Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve’s point person on regulation, expects the United States will finally understand exactly what financial reforms are coming “some time next year.” But the Fed governor made doubly sure to qualify that statement lest anyone – especially any press “in the back” – take it as gospel.
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher wants the biggest U.S. banks broken up, calling them a danger to financial system stability and their perpetuation a drag on the economy. It’s an argument he’s made before – in full-length speeches, asides to reporters, parries to audience questions. (For the latest iteration, see Dallas Fed bank’s annual report published Wednesday.)
from The Great Debate:
On the basis of "stress tests" it ran, the Federal Reserve has given permission to most of the largest U.S. banks to "return capital" to their shareholders. JPMorgan Chase announced that it would buy back as much as $15 billion of its stock and raise its quarterly dividend to 30 cents a share, up from 25 cents a share.
It seems sensible for most professions but in economics it’s nothing short of a revolution: The 17,000-strong American Economics Association has adopted a stringent new code for disclosures meant to prevent or at least highlight possible conflicts of interest.
It has become a common refrain in both politics and finance: intrusive regulations, an overreaction to Wall Street’s 2008 crisis, are generating uncertainty and preventing employment from bouncing back. Some top Federal Reserve officials have joined the chorus. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher made the argument to business executives in Austin, Texas last month to justify his lack of support for additional monetary stimulus.
The mantra that regulation is holding back the U.S. economic recovery is playing into Wall Street’s efforts to prevent significant reforms of the financial industry in the wake two major crises – one of which continues to rage in the heart of Europe. The sector’s staunch opposition to reform was captured in JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon’s claim that new bank rules are “anti-American.”
Dave Clarke also contributed to this post.
Inside the Beltway, the ability to stay on message is a coveted trait. Politicians hate letting tough questions sidetrack them from their talking points. But it turns out they don’t particularly like it when others use the same tactic on them.
The world of hedge funds is as mysterious as it is profitable, and remains highly opaque even after a raft of new reforms aimed at strengthening financial stability. While there is general agreement among policymakers that the the so-called shadow banking system was at the epicenter of the financial crisis of 2008, hedge funds still face little or no regulatory scrutiny, despite their size and importance in financial markets.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday gave a speech on the lessons about sustained growth that can be gleaned from the experience of emerging markets. Bernanke said not all of the “Washington consensus” policies pushed by multilateral lenders in the 1990s had proven fruitful. In particular, he said the Asian financial crisis showed the risks of opening up financial markets to foreign capital flows until a country has implemented measures to strengthen banks and regulation.