When Paul Volcker announced this week that he was starting a new organization–the Volcker Alliance–whose goal is to “restore public... View ArticleContinue reading
Today’s New York Times looks into the case of Promontory Financial Group, a self-described “leading strategy, risk management and regulatory compliance consulting firm focusing primarily on the financial services industry.” What’s notable, according to the Times is that:
Nearly two-thirds of its roughly 170 senior executives worked at agencies that oversee the financial industry. The founder, Eugene A. Ludwig, is a former comptroller of the currency and a law school friend of Bill Clinton; the latest hire, Mary L. Schapiro, ran the Securities and Exchange Commission until late last year.
Building off those connections, the Promontory Financial Group has emerged as a major power broker in Washington, helping Wall Street navigate an onslaught of new rules and regulatory scrutiny. Promontory accompanied Morgan Stanley when the bank urged regulators to rethink limits on risky trading, records show. It also joined Bank of America, Citigroup and other big banks at the Treasury Department to discuss plans for dismantling failing financial firms.
Using Sunlight’s Dodd-Frank meeting logs tracker, the Times found ten instances where firm executives met with regulators to discuss “thorny issues like the so-called Volcker Rule that curbs risky trading.”Continue reading
Like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that touched off World War I, the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the largest underwriter of bonds backed by subprime loans when it declared bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008, was an event whose repercussions extended far beyond its executives, investors and creditors. It touched off a financial crisis that's affected employment and earnings of the middle class.
The bankruptcy of the 158-year-old Lehman Brothers wasn't the first sign of trouble in the economy, or in the mortgage backed securities market--the bad investments that brought the firm down. More than a year earlier ...Continue reading
This piece was prepared in collaboration with Drew Vogel In the two years since the mammoth Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act became law, federal regulators have heard overwhelmingly from the biggest banks, according to a new Sunlight Foundation analysis of financial regulatory agency meeting logs. The voices of reform-oriented groups have been much quieter – particularly in the past 12 months. Since July 21, 2010 (when the president signed Dodd-Frank), regulators at the three major banking regulatory agencies – Treasury, the Fed and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – have reported meeting with 20 big banks and banking associations on average a combined 12.5 times per week – as compared to on average just 2.3 meetings with reform-oriented groups. The top 20 banks show up 1,298 times in meeting logs at the three agencies, while groups favoring tighter regulations of the financial markets show up just 242 times.Continue reading
House Republicans are on an anti-Dodd-Frank blitz, but with a populist twist, leading up to the financial reform law’s second birthday later this week.
The Republican-controlled Financial Services Committee has launched an "online survey," which asks users a series of questions about how Dodd-Frank affects “you, not Wall Street.” The survey comes as the committee has scheduled a half dozen hearings over a two-week period focusing on such topics as Dodd-Frank's impact on home mortgages, consumer choice, and access to credit and municiple finance.
We'll be covering one of those hearings — titled "Who’s In Your Wallet ...Continue reading
While the U.S. Supreme Court has now upheld the health care reform law as constitutional, conservative groups still are on a legal attack on the constitutionality of one of the other signature achievements of President Barack Obama’s term in office: the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
Last week, C. Boyden Gray, an eminence grise of conservative Washington, along with the Competitiveness Enterprise Institute and the 60 Plus Association, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to challenge the constitutionality of Dodd-Frank, joining the Texas-based community bank, State National Bank of Big Spring. While the Dodd-Frank has been under ...Continue reading
When JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon delivers his not-so-abject apology for his bank's $2 billion-plus blooper on Wednesday morning, he'll be facing some interrogators who are also his beneficiaries.
Since 1998, according to Sunlight's Influence Explorer, Dimon and members of his immediate family -- wife Judith, father Theodore and mother Themis -- have given more than $400,000 to politicians and political organizations, including to members of the Senate Banking Committee that has summoned Dimon to testify. Dimon gave $2,000 to committee chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., during his last reelection campaign and the same amount to Sen ...Continue reading
JPMorgan executives, including CEO Jamie Dimon, attended several meetings at the Treasury Department last month to discuss the controversial Volcker rule and other matters related to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, according to new meeting logs released by the agency Thursday.
In the weeks leading up to the bank's disclosure that it had lost at least $2 billion in the sort of hedging strategy that could come under question as agencies implement the Volcker ban on proprietary trading, JPMorgan executives attended three meetings at the agency, the logs show.
Two of those meetings, both on April 26 with Deputy ...Continue reading
Updated 4:22 p.m. The Treasury Department has now fixed the link to March meetings with outside groups concerning implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. A spokesman also just called to thank us for alerting the agency to the missed deadline.
Something curious happened after we contacted the Treasury Department press office Tuesday to inquire why it had missed the April deadline for releasing information about meetings with outside groups around implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law--meetings that often include financial heavyweights such as JPMorgan Chase & Company.
We did not get a response -- neither to our initial ...Continue reading
With the news focused on JPMorgan Chase & Company's $2 billion "mistake" and company's lobbying campaign at financial agencies to permit the sort of trades that led to the loss, it's worth reviewing some other examples where industry have pushed hard to limit the reach of the Dodd-Frank financial law, arguing as JPMorgan did against a heavy hand because they could handle the risk.
The emphasis is on "some:" the list really is much longer. The law famously set in motion more than 220 rulemakings of which just under a third have been completed. Dominating the dockets of ...Continue reading