Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Senator Reed sees need for speed to chase bad guys

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Ann Saphir takes a look at Senator Jack Reed’s comments on cars and trading.

With traders buying and selling at dizzying speeds these days, underfunded U.S. regulators can’t hope to keep up unless they get more funding, better resources, and faster technology — think cars,  Democratic Senator Jack Reed says.

FINANCE-SUMMIT/REEDReed, who drives a 1991 Ford Escort, says he loves his car for city driving.

But if he had to take on a race car, he’d need to upgrade – and the same goes for the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which are stuck using outdated technology even as their policing obligations pile up after Dodd-Frank financial reform.

House Republicans have moved to block funding increases for the regulators, saying they don’t want to add to the federal deficit.

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/

Lamenting the good ol’ days

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    The sprouting of privately-held alternative trading venues has seriously mucked up the trading landscapes in the United States and elsewhere, or so says Thomas Caldwell, chairman and chief executive of Caldwell Financial.
    Caldwell, founder of a major exchange investment firm, sees a world that has quickly evolved into one of nimble, electronic players coupled with more and more trading venues with the proliferation of alternative trading systems, or ATSs.
    (They’re also called electronic communications networks (ECNs) in the United States and multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) in Europe).
    These new venues, which can include the ominously-named dark pools, or alternative venues, where they can secretly match buy and sell orders, leads to, among other things, “deeply flawed” pricing for market participants, in Caldwell’s view.
    The idea of bank-backed stock trading venues is also suspect, says Caldwell.
    “Publicly-owned exchanges, open and visible trading, an auction market environment,” he said during the Reuters Exchanges and Trading Summit in New York.
    “These are centerpieces if you really want an economy to grow and you want to encourage entrepreneurs with access to capital. The more we get into gamesmanship and side products and all this other stuff it depletes from this.”
    (Posted by Jennifer Kwan)

How to gum up an exchange merger: salt water

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It’s a puzzle M&A bankers and corporate executives have been trying to solve for years: how far from your home market can an acquisition take place and ultimately stumble over cultural differences? It’s a question that looms large as quintessentially Italian automaker Fiat prepares to swallow up Chrysler – inventor of the K-car and the minivan – and which reportedly haunts St Louis-based employees of Anheuser Busch in the aftermath of their company’s takeover by the penny pinching Belgians and Brazilians at InBev.

Gary Katz, CEO of Deutsche Boerse unit International Securities Exchange, insisted during his appearance at the Reuters Exchanges and Trading Summit that all has been sweetness and light since the Germans assumed control of the upstart American options exchange and that there has been “nearly zero turnover” since the takeover.

from LEGACY Reuters Summits:

Troubled Freddie Mac exec was “straight arrow”

James Lockhart, head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency

James Lockhart, head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency

The chief financial officer at Freddie Mac who died in an apparent suicide was a capable executive who had no involvement in any improper accounting, according to Freddie Mac's federal regulator.

"David (Kellermann) was a very conscientious and hard-working person and took, unfortunately, too much onto himself," James Lockhart, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington.

SEC’s Schapiro says journalist job cuts worrying

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Mary Schapiro, America’s new top cop for the securities industry, said the current mass culling of journalists’ jobs is a concern because it could reduce the number of leads that regulators get as they seek to crack down on nefarious behavior.

“It’s an absolute worry for me because I think financial journalists have in many cases been the sources of some really important enforcement cases and really important discovery of practices and products that regulators should be profoundly concerned about,” the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission told the Reuters Global Financial Regulation Summit in Washington on Tuesday.

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