Editor, Global Regulatory Briefing
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Apr 24, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

SEC summary for U.S. senator on senior staff porn use at work

Did senior staffers of the U.S. ┬áSecurities and Exchange Commission watch porn on their government computers while the financial system burned? Here is a link to an SEC inspector general’s summary report, via the Washington Post, which was prepared for Republican Sen. Charles Grassely of Iowa.

Apr 16, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

BREAKINGVIEWS – Western probes a risk for multinationals in Russia

– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

By Jason Bush

MOSCOW, April 16 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Hewlett-Packard is under investigation for paying bribes in Russia. It’s the latest sign that western regulators are paying close attention to Russian business practices. The resulting reputational and legal risk may now be the biggest worry for foreign companies in Russia.

Apr 14, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

FACTBOX – UK parties’ policies on banks, bonuses, M&A, jobs

LONDON, April 14 (Reuters) – Britain’s three main political parties have published their manifestos ahead of a general election on May 6.

Below are details of their business policies in areas such as banking, regulation, acquisitions, executive bonuses and job creation.

Mar 25, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Reuters Summit – Regulators, fund providers, at odds over investor information

By Antonia van de Velde and Martin de Sa’Pinto

LUXEMBOURG, March 24 (Reuters) – Regulators and fund providers agree on the need to restore investor faith in financial markets, but are at odds over how to both ease client fears and guarantee a greater degree of security.

Regulators want more information on funds and investments to ensure investors are fully aware of the risks they are taking on, but the industry faces a tough challenge in informing clients of potential risks without scaring them off.

Mar 24, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

ANALYSIS – Dodd bill takes pass on key U.S. broker reforms

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By Helen Kearney

NEW YORK, March 23 (Reuters) – As Senator Christopher Dodd’s financial regulatory reform bill heads to the full Senate, brokerages for now have escaped tougher regulation thanks largely to fierce lobbying by insurers.

A bill approved by the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday took a pass on two big issues affecting financial advisers — a uniform fiduciary standard for all professionals advising investors and rules that mandate brokerage customers take disputes to an industry arbitration panel.

Mar 4, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Germany wants reports of bank-stock short positions

FRANKFURT, March 4 (Reuters) – German financial watchdog Bafin will introduce new rules this month requiring reporting of short sale positions in major German financial stocks.

The new rules, which come into effect on March 25, will let Bafin intervene effectively if it determines that short positions may threaten financial stability, the watchdog said in a statement.

Mar 3, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

SNAP ANALYSIS-Austerity steps to ease, not end Greek crisis

By Andrew Torchia

LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) – Austerity steps announced by Greece on Wednesday may pave the way for European Union government aid, easing fears that Greece could lose its ability to borrow from debt markets at affordable rates.

But market worries about Greece are likely to remain acute for the foreseeable future, and doubts will remain over its ability to hit fiscal targets amid a deep recession.

Mar 2, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

New Basel rules could hit synthetic CDOs – Goldman Sachs

By Jane Baird

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) – New bank capital rules could deal the final blow to any resurgence of deals in synthetic collateralised debt obligations as well as hurt the value of $330 billion of existing triple-A tranches, Goldman Sachs said.

Proposed changes to Basel II rules, effective end-2010, would increase bank capital requirements by an estimated 11.5 percent overall and 223.7 percent in the trading book, according to a study by the Bank for International Settlements.

Feb 18, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

New Zealand aims to align tax rates, boost capital markets

WELLINGTON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – New Zealand wants to align tax rates paid by company, individual and trusts to improve the country’s economic performance and is also looking at policies to boost its capital markets, government ministers said on Thursday.

Finance Minister Bill English said his government’s medium-term goal was to have company, trust and top personal rates at the same level, but was looking to see if such a move was affordable and fair.

Feb 17, 2010
via Financial Regulatory Forum

Fannie, Freddie regulator pitches new housing goals

By Al Yoon

NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) – The federal regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday proposed an overhaul of government rules on how the mortgage funding giants serve low-income homeowners while limiting their risks.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency wants new goals that would target borrowers with lower incomes than in the past — including families with incomes at or below 80 percent of their area’s median, down from 100 percent — while giving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more flexibility in measuring success.