Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

How do White House staff know when it’s time to leave?

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SUMMIT-WASHINGTON/GIBBSIt’s an age old question that even applies to senior staff working in the White House: At what point do you decide it’s time to quit your job and move on?

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs predicted at the Reuters Washington Summit that some people working in the White House will soon decide they want to go back to a less hectic life. Especially those who worked on President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign which lasted two grueling years.

“It’s a tremendous privilege to come and work in that building each and every day,” said Gibbs.

Gibbs said he told himself early on in the job, when he was driving to work on a dark and cold morning, that if he ever lost his awe of the White House it would be time to go.

Berman: House may be “lame” after elections but won’t be paralyzed

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The chairman of the House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs hasn’t lost his sense of humor…yet.

USA/Representative Howard Berman said he has been struggling for 24 years to get Congress to ease up on travel restrictions for Americans who want to go to Cuba. He’s determined to get it through his committee this year, even if it doesn’t happen until after the November election when the lawmakers are in “lame duck” session.

Shift in power on the horizon in Washington?

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USA/
Republicans stand poised to gain substantial influence in Congress, putting at stake billions of dollars in investment as a shift among power brokers throws legislative initiatives old and new into doubt. Reuters Washington Summit will bring together an influential line-up of insiders just weeks before Americans cast their votes, promising a must-read stream of exclusive news on the outlook for Congress and President Barack Obama’s agenda. Editors and correspondents from the Reuters Washington bureau are sitting down with senior lawmakers, including GOP heavyweights in line for leadership, and regulators whose implementation of Wall Street and healthcare reform could be complicated by a change in control on Capitol Hill.

The Summit will generate exclusive stories, investable insights, online videos and blog postings, which will be immediately available only to Thomson Reuters clients during the Summit. Key interviews will air live exclusively on Reuters Insider – a new multimedia platform delivering relevant news, analysis and trade ideas presented through a personalized video experience. Visit http://etv.thomsonreuters.com/

Angelides: People make mistakes, take Alan Greenspan and Captain of Titanic

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Phil Angelides, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission chairman, says he’d rather see some taking of responsibility than hear another “I’m sorry.”

REGULATION-SUMMIT/“Personally I don’t see my role as … to obtain apologies. What I don’t hear is a sense of responsibility and self-assessment about what occurred. There seems to be a disconnect between the practices that people undertook and the financial collapse,” he said at the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit.

Where disaster and compensation intersect you’ll find Kenneth Feinberg

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You can call him mediator, or you can call him negotiator, but don’t call him pay czar. REGULATION-SUMMIT/

Kenneth Feinberg says he doesn’t like the shorthand title that’s used to describe his role as the administration’s supervisor of compensation practices at firms that received money under the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Eliot Spitzer loved politics, so will he run again?

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This much is clear — Eliot Spitzer loved politics, he loved being New York governor, he loved being New York attorney general.

So will he run for public office again?

Well here it gets a little bit like watching a tennis ball going back and forth over the net. REGULATION-SUMMIT/

Against high Hill drama, SEC chief mum on Goldman

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First of all, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro would not talk about Goldman Sachs.

There was no drawing her out. The head of the agency that filed a civil fraud lawsuit charging that Goldman misled investors would not say a word about the case. GOLDMAN/

FDIC Chair Bair: think before you point that finger…

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The latest blame game circulating in Washington on financial regulation may end up with those who point fingers  finding that they have three fingers pointing back.

During the debate on tightening financial regulations, there have been some backhanded jabs at regulators with the implication that perhaps they were asleep at the wheel. Just this morning on NBC’s “Today” show, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said Wall Street had been creating things just to bet on — “they were like the casino, but they had less regulation than Las Vegas.”

What if there were no “too big to fail”? Fed’s Hoenig has a vision

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USA/Democrats and Republicans alike on Capitol Hill say they want to toss out the concept of “too big to fail” in the financial regulation reform they are tussling over. That way if a financial firm is going to go under, it will go under, with no thought for a taxpayer handout.

Since the concept of “too big to fail” has yet to be erased by law, and its demise yet to be tested by a failing financial institution, it was interesting to hear how Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig envisioned the financial industry without that concept to lean on.

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 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.”

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