(James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)
By Jim Saft
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., May 25 (Reuters) – With tax credits for house buyers gone and tough new banking regulations on the way, expect lending in the United States to come under significant pressure.
Demand for mortgages, kept artificially high through the end of April by juicy credits for first-time and other buyers, has now crashed and, at least to judge by the fundamentals in the housing market, should stay low. Loans to consumers too will be getting, appropriately, more expensive, at least in part due to costs imposed by new financial regulations, which while if anything not tough enough from a prudential point of view will without doubt make banking less profitable.
LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate approved a reform of Wall Street on Thursday and President Barack Obama may be signing into law the most sweeping changes to financial rules since the 1930s as soon as next month.
It implements pledges the United States, the European Union and other leading countries in the Group of Twenty made in 2009.
By Kim Dixon
WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) – Companies and investors can only guess whether dividend taxes for high-income Americans will skyrocket next year, a distinct possibility.
If the U.S. Congress fails to take action, taxes on dividends will more than double to about 40 percent next year for individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples with annual incomes of more than $250,000.
By Karen Brettell
NEW YORK, May 14 (Reuters) – Legislation designed to create more independent credit ratings for risky assets may not result in more reliable indicators of an asset’s future performance and details on how the process would work are still unclear.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted in favor of a proposal by Democratic Senator Al Franken to create a clearinghouse that will be comprised in majority by investors including pension and other fund managers, who will be responsible for assigning a rating agency to rate complex products at their inception.
The U.S. Senate may call its financial regulatory overhaul a “Wall Street reform bill,” but corporate leaders from across U.S. industry are lining up to oppose one of its provisions, the Washington Post writes. The newspaper says chief executives are lobbying to kill a “proxy access” provision of the legislation that would make it easier for shareholders to nominate board directors at publicly traded companies, and thus exercise a tighter rein on management.
By Huw Jones
LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) – The new British government will make the Bank of England responsible for spotting asset bubbles as part of global efforts to learn from the financial crisis but the new set-up will still be overshadowed by EU centralisation.
Was it a trading error, or the tipping point of market anxiety? A range of potential factors has drawn scrutiny after the record 1,000 point plunge and rebound in the Dow Jones industrial average on Thursday.
While the regulators try to figure out what happended and how to respond, here is some commentary on the fall:
WASHINGTON, May 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved an amendment to a sweeping Wall Street reform bill that would set up a new government protocol for seizing and dismantling large financial firms that are in distress.
Here is a description of the bipartisan plan, in a statement by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Democrat.
By Matthew Goldstein
NEW YORK, April 30 (Reuters) – Brass-knuckle sales tactics, worthless assets and clueless investors: the vignettes that emerge from hundreds of pages of three-year-old emails from members of Goldman Sachs Group’s mortgage securities trading desk would not be out of place in a David Mamet play.
In “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Mamet depicted the aggressive and desperate sales tactics employed by a group of salesmen to push worthless Florida real estate on unsuspecting buyers. The play helped popularize that age-old mantra of salesmen everywhere: “ABC or Always be Closing.”