A group of state-based banking associations have launched a new Super PAC--known as "Friends of Traditional Banking"--to target lawmakers who they consider hostile or friendly to their concerns: namely, the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law.
"Everyone knows that traditional banks didn't cause the economic crisis, but that didn't stop Congress from heaping massive new regulations on them and their customers," reads the group's website. "The Dodd-Frank regulatory reform act...was supposed to target Wall Street abuses. It didn't. Instead it aimed squarely at traditional banks and their customers. When it all shakes out, it will reduce ...Continue reading
Today the House plans to take up two industry-backed bills dealing with derivatives, the hitherto opaque financial instruments so crucial to the 2008 meltdown, under a procedure usually reserved for noncontroversial matters.
A coalition of labor and consumer groups, Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), believes the bills, which have bipartisan support, should be controversial and is urging lawmakers to oppose them. "Both proposed bills are unnecessary and potentially harmful attempts to micromanage the work of regulators in implementing the Dodd-Frank Act," the groups argued. "They amplify the views of the regulated industries which already have overwhelmingly greater resources to intervene ...Continue reading
The six senators who introduced legislation Thursday to slow down implementation of the "Volcker rule," designed to prohibit banks from profiting from trading on their own accounts, are the recipients of ample amounts of campaign cash from the financial industry.
Three Democrats and three Republicans are cosponsoring the effort to push back the effective date of a rule that has provoked bitter complaints from the banking industry. The Dodd-Frank law mandated that it go into effect July 21, the second anniversary of the financial regulatory overhaul. More than 17,000 comments have flooded into federal financial agencies. The proposed legislation ...Continue reading
Big banks paid calls on federal financial agencies in the days leading up to Monday's midnight deadline for the public to submit comments on the controversial Volcker rule, a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory legislation meant to prohibit banks from using customers' money to make risky bets on the market.
Bank of America and Morgan Stanley paid visits to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in recent weeks, according to reports of meetings with outside groups that federal financial agencies make available voluntarily.
Last month representatives from the law firm Davis Polk -- which was hired by the Securities ...Continue reading
The Private Equity Growth Capital Council has a new president with Democratic credentials who has been through Washington's revolving door.
Steven Judge won the job after serving since last year as interim head of the trade group, which, among other things, lobbies against proposals to increase taxes on carried interest. Those proposals have gained steam in recent weeks because of revelations that carried interest enabled GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to keep his tax rate lower than that paid by many Americans who made considerably less.
Before coming to the council, Judge worked for 14 years as the lead ...Continue reading
Federal regulators have had at least 89 meetings with outside groups, most of them big banking interests, about the controversial "Volcker rule," the provision in the Dodd-Frank financial law that prohibits banks from making bets with their own money. The effort to curb the practice, widely held to be a contributor to the 2008 financial meltdown, was the subject of a hearing in Congress today.
Representatives of the same agencies that met with these outside interests testified that the Volcker rule would be difficult to implement. "One of the more difficult tasks in implementing the statutory prohibitions is distinguishing between ...Continue reading
In the latest example of a former financial regulator finding employment in the industry, the Futures Industry Association (FIA) has announced that its new president will be a former leader at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Walter Lukken was nominated to the commission by former President George W. Bush and chaired the agency's global markets advisory committee while there. From 2007-2008, when the financial crisis was at its height, he served as its acting chairman. Lukken resigned when President Obama took office in 2009.
In his current role as chief executive officer for New York Portfolio Clearing, he ...Continue reading
A week before Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioners unanimously approved new rules restricting how brokerage firms may invest customer funds, executives from Newedge, which had pushed against the rules along with the now bankrupt firm MF Global, attended several meetings with high ranking CFTC officials.
However, not all of these meetings were disclosed on the agency's official logs that track meetings of CFTC officials with outsiders on implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial law.
On November 28, the CEO and high level executives from Newedge, a global brokerage firm, attended two meetings at the CFTC, according to meeting log ...Continue reading
Moody's credit rating service -- one of the major credit rating agencies that was cited as a contributor to the 2008 financial meltdown -- has more employees go through the revolving door to work at companies they used to rate than any other credit rating agency, according to new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings required under the Dodd-Frank financial law.
Eighty-two Moody's employees have moved on to jobs at big banks such as Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America over the past five years, according to the filings, which are available here. This is nearly four times ...Continue reading
Late last year MF Global—the failed investment firm headed by Democratic heavyweight Jon S. Corzine that can't account for as much as $900 million of its clients' money--urged a federal agency to allow futures firms to invest funds from their customer segregated accounts in foreign sovereign debt.
In a December 2010 comment letter to the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC), MF Global, along with another firm, Newedge, argued that the agency’s proposal to disallow such investments “is unnecessary, and will eliminate a liquid, secure, profitable and necessary category of investment....no foreign country that actually defaulted on ...Continue reading