Summit Notebook

Audio – Strong regulator needed for Freddie, Fannie

January 11, 2007


A single, strong regulator is needed to oversee mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the head of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight says.  James Lockhart, director of OFHEO, describes his support for proposed legislation that would combine OFHEO and the Federal Housing Finance Board to oversee the trillion-dollar investments of Fannie and Freddie.

Audio – No U.S. hedge funds legislation this year

January 11, 2007


The U.S. House Financial Services Committee will hold a series of hearings this year on the role of hedge funds and private equity in the economy. But the panel does not plan any hedge fund legislation in 2007 “and maybe never”, Chairman Barney Frank says. Frank spoke at the Reuters Regulation Summit in Washington.

Audio – U.S. House seen voting this spring to block retailers from owning banks

January 11, 2007


Barney Frank, new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, predicts the U.S. House will approve a bill this spring to block big retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot from expanding into banking. Frank explained his opposition to an existing loophole that lets retailers own industrial loan companies (ILCs) at the Reuters Regulation Summit in Washington.

Audio – FBI’s Burrus sees option manipulation cases declining

January 10, 2007

    The stock options scandal has mushroomed to comprise one-eighth of the FBI’s corporate fraud caseload. Sixty-one of 492 pending cases involve alleged mispricing of options, such as backdating, but that number is seen declining says James Burrus, a Federal Bureau of Investigation assistant director who heads the agency’s criminal investigative division.

Audio – FDIC could enforce conditional approvals to retailer applications

January 10, 2007


Faced with Congressional ire about big retailers owning banks known as industrial loan companies, federal regulators could choose to approve ILC applications with narrow conditions, Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan says. U.S. banking laws generally wall off banking and commerce, but an exception allows nonfinancial firms to own ILCs, which are state-chartered and regulated by the FDIC. A six-month moratorium on ILC applications is set to expire at the end of this month.

Audio – FDIC decision on ILC moratorium due this month

January 10, 2007


The FDIC meets at the end of this month to decide whether to agree to a congressional request that the agency extend a six-month moratorium on retailers’ applications for banks known as industrial loan companies (ILC). FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair says the agency is prepared to work “in a collaborative, supportive way” on the issue with lawmakers such as House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank.

Audio-FBI’s Burrus on pursuing white-collar crime

January 10, 2007

burrus1.jpgJames Burrus, the FBI Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division, talks about the agency’s role in uncovering business fraud. Investors accept risk he says, but expect the playing field to be fair. 

Audio – FDIC takes closer look at alternative mortgage guidance

January 10, 2007


Federal regulators might expand the list of alternative mortgage products that could lead subprime or high-risk borrowers into trouble, says Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Bair, speaking at the Reuters Regulation Summit, said she hopes to soon issue a proposal for public comment.

Audio – Halt to ILC approvals would be “180 degree change” for FDIC

January 10, 2007


Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan says “it would be an 180 degree change” for the FDIC to stop approving applications from U.S. retailers that want to own an industrial loan company (ILC). Dugan is a member of the FDIC board, which will meet at the end of this month and decide whether to extend a moratorium on ILC applications from Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other retailers. Some Democratic lawmakers want the moratorium extended so they can consider legislation.

Audio – SEC’s Campos advocates pilot program on shareholder proxy access

January 10, 2007


SEC Commissioner Roel Campos describes how the agency could conduct a pilot program this spring to let corporations and shareholders work out a “moderate approach” to shareholder proxy access. A federal appeals court last September overturned a longtime SEC practice of allowing corporations to exclude certain shareholder proposals from proxies in a lawsuit involving the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).