Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

ABA’s Yingling sees danger in rhetoric: it’s Wall Street, not banks

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REGULATION-SUMMITEd Yingling, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, is a little worried about the rhetoric that’s been flying around as Congress tries to produce financial reform legislation.

And he wants people to be clear that the problems are with Wall Street, not banks.

Though, the differentiation gets a little tricky here because some of the largest banks in the country and biggest players on Wall Street are members of his organization and received taxpayer bailouts. The thousands of other banks that his trade association represents did not.

“The general tone has I think been harmful, particularly to the banks we represent,” Yingling said at the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit 2010.

Reuters set to spotlight financial regulation in DC

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FINANCIAL-REGULATION/OBAMA
The fight over new rules that will dramatically change Wall Street and financial markets is approaching the finish line in Washington, with both lawmakers and the financial industry making last-ditch efforts to put their stamp on the reform effort. Reuters will be hearing from the key players in the debate on April 26-29 during the 2010 Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit.

Top regulators, watchdogs, lawmakers and stakeholders will provide their perspectives on how this landmark legislation will impact banks, investors, traders and consumers. The talks will focus in on proposals for a strong new consumer agency, strict oversight of derivatives and attempts to end the perception that some financial firms are “too big to fail.”

Reuters set to spotlight financial regulation in DC

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FINANCIAL-REGULATION/OBAMA
The fight over new rules that will dramatically change Wall Street and financial markets is approaching the finish line in Washington, with both lawmakers and the financial industry making last-ditch efforts to put their stamp on the reform effort. Reuters will be hearing from the key players in the debate on April 26-29 during the 2010 Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit.

Top regulators, watchdogs, lawmakers and stakeholders will provide their perspectives on how this landmark legislation will impact banks, investors, traders and consumers. The talks will focus in on proposals for a strong new consumer agency, strict oversight of derivatives and attempts to end the perception that some financial firms are “too big to fail.”

Jon Stewart’s brother says mom ‘pretty happy with both’

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EXCHANGES-SUMMIT/A bit grayer and world wearier, maybe, but there’s no mistaking the family resemblance between NYSE Chief Operating Office Larry Leibowitz and his kid brother Jon Stewart. Unlike the Daily Show host, Leibowitz mostly keeps a low profile, although he did find himself in the spotlight even before his appearance at the Reuters Global Exchanges and Trading Summit on Monday. The Wall Street Journal interviewed him in a story about the NYSE’s effort to turn some high frequency traders — who have been chipping away at the exchange’s business — into exchange floor traders.

Leibowitz may be sick of the Jon Stewart questions, but when pesky Reuters editors and journalists  inevitably raised them, he answered them with relatively good humor.  

Avoiding another financial crisis

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The Global Exchanges & Trading Summit takes place as lawmakers and regulators craft new rules to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis. The rising chorus for more transparency in capital markets could drive a host of new derivatives to exchanges and clearinghouses, propelling them out of the recession, but growing calls for a clampdown on speculation and automated trading could hit some of the world’s most powerful dealers and investors, undercutting the exchanges that rely on them. High-frequency trading is behind much of the spike in volumes over the last year, but as volatility drops from crisis-era highs, traders of all kinds are forced to reevaluate strategies, and exchanges are maneuvering to attract that business. A couple years after a period of blockbuster mergers, investors wonder whether the heavyweight exchange operators are angling for another round. Join us March 29-31 as we ask some of the biggest players in the industry to share their insights and outlook for the industry at the Reuters Global Exchanges and Trading Summit which will take place in New York, London, Hong Kong.

Video – New regulations, done thoughtfully

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Columbia University’s David Beim says the financial markets need re-regulation but the approach needs to be done with thoughtfulness.

Beim says the key to crafting new regulations will be to focus especially on the significance of incentives and leverage.

Bair: Resolution. Authority. Now.

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    Congress needs to get off the dime and create a resolution authority that would break down failed institutions in an orderly manner, since the lack of such an authority is driving policy decisions,  according to Sheila Bair, head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
    Speaking at the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington,  Bair said that gap has fed into the too-big-to fail presumption and created a dilution in market discipline for those who invest and extend credit to very large institutions.
    “We think Congress should give a very high priority to providing a resolution mechanism for very large organizations, Bair said. “The lack of this mechanism is driving policy choices right now.”

“Sicko” documentary gets mixed reviews from regulator

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    Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko” is up for an Oscar award.
    But the controversial film about problems with U.S. healthcare gets a mixed review from Dr. Barry Straube, a physician who also happens to be the chief medical officer at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 
    CMS runs the government health plans for tens of millions of people, mostly the elderly and low income.
    “I used to work at a health plan (insurance company) and I think that documentary had some gross exaggerations that were off the wall,” Straube told the annual Reuters Regulation Summit, when asked about the film. The doctor emphasized that he was speaking for himself and not the agency.
    But certain aspects of the movie did hit close to home for him.
    Straube, who specialized in nephrology and transplantation, said the documentary was correct in raising concerns about insurance companies looking for ways to remove high risk patients from their health plans.
    “Quite honestly, when I was at a health plan level I think people had processes (regarding high risk patients) that went further than they probably should,” Straube said.

  (Contributed by Ayesha Rascoe) 
   

Audio – U.S. senator aims to stop offshore tax havens

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carllevinpix.jpgMichigan Sen. Carl Levin, the Democrat who heads the U.S. Senate’s permanent subcommittee on investigations, says he hopes to get legislation passed soon that would ban the use of offshore tax havens used by American companies and investors to avoid paying an estimated $100 billion annually in taxes. ”They are using the Caymans in ways to avoid taxes and that is just totally unacceptable,” Levin told the annual Reuters Regulation Summit.

 

Audio – Rep. John Dingell unimpressed with FCC management

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john8.jpgRep. John Dingell, chair of the committee that oversees the Federal Communications Commission, told the Reuters Regulation Summit that he was less than impressed — to put it mildly — with the FCC’s management of a key piece of the airwaves being auctioned by the U.S. government. 

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