Currently, there are two laws that show how important it is for people to pay attention to the rule-making process. The first deals with protecting people's wallets, while the other is intended to protect people's lives.Continue reading
Why Promontory matters
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
Bank executives plead case to administration officials over Volcker rule
Top executives with major banks met regularly with federal agency officials who were writing a draft rule meant to curtail risky Wall Street trading — known popularly as the Volcker rule, named for the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker — federal agency meeting records show.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler were among the agency leaders who met with CEOs from companies including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Chase since June 2010. Big banks are strongly critical of a provision in the Dodd-Frank financial law that calls for restricting banks from trading for ...Continue reading
Dodd-Frank: How investment banks contributed to the financial crisis
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in response to the financial crisis of 2008, added new regulations and new regulators for some—but not all—of the institutions whose actions led to the crisis. Over the next several days, we’ll be taking a look at each of the major groups of contributors to the economic crisis, who the major players were, what political influence they brought to bear on Congress and regulators, how Dodd-Frank intends to regulate them, and, using our new Dodd-Frank Meeting Logs tool, what rules these groups are trying to influence as ...Continue reading
Sunlight Live to cover Dodd-Frank anniversary hearing
This Thursday, one year after the president signed a sweeping new financial reform bill into law, the Senate Banking Committee will ask tough questions of regulators in charge of making it real. And Sunlight will cover it live.
President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act (officially the “Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act”) into law on July 21, 2010. The final bill made massive changes to how the financial industry is overseen, in response to a devestating fiscal crisis that stemmed in large part, experts agree, from recklessness in the financial sector.
The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group ...Continue reading
Lobbyists swarm agencies as Dodd-Frank is implemented
Throughout the last Congress, which adopted far-reaching reforms of the financial sector through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, there were an average of 577 clients lobbying on issues related to the act. Eventually some 1,172 clients—including banks, ratings agencies, investment banks, securities firms and a host of other interests with a stake in the legislation—listed Dodd-Frank or related issues on their lobbying disclosure forms. And in 2011, lobbyists for some 488 clients are still lobbying on the bill, according to the most recent data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
The number of ...
Bills designed to alter or repeal Dodd-Frank
When Republicans took over the House after the mid-term elections in 2010, one of the first things on the agenda for some members was to alter or repeal the sweeping financial reform passed by the previous Congress.
In the year that has passed since H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, was signed into law, there have been at least 12 bills proposed to alter or remove provisions from the law, with two of those bills proposing to repeal the legislation altogether. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., introduced the first of the two bills—H.R ...Continue reading
Goldman Sachs, financial firms flood agencies to influence financial law, new Dodd-Frank tracker shows
Investment bank Goldman Sachs, one of the major players in the crisis that led to the economic meltdown of 2008, has had more meetings with government officials about the implementation of the law intended to reform the financial system than any other company or organization, an analysis of nearly a year’s worth of financial agency meeting logs shows.
The Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group has made those logs--published by five separate federal agencies--available in one location in and easy-to-search format, updated to include the most current information on contacts between officials and private interests seeking to influence federal regulators.
Agency ...Continue reading
Dodd-Frank: Will the bill overturn decades of industry influence?
The financial crisis had several authors--federal policies that opened the door to predatory mortgage lending, unregulated financial products, integrated firms that borrowed heavily from one another to invest in the "sure bet" of mortgage-backed securities, and hedge funds and insurers that sought to profit by mitigating risk through complex financial instruments. In the aftermath of the crisis, Congress passed and President Obama signed on July 21, 2010, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to set new safeguards for the public, to rein in financial firms, to ensure oversight of new types of financial instruments, and to ...Continue reading
Agencies slow to provide new data required by Dodd-Frank
One year after passing Dodd Frank Financial reform, much of the work of reforming America’s financial system still lies ahead. This is not too surprising considering the sheer size of the legislation. The law created 243 rules and requires agencies to produce 67 studies, according to Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. One-hundred-twenty-two deadlines are due between July 16 and July 21.
The law also requires agencies to make new data from disclosures filed by financial firms public, but to do so agencies must overcome obstacles such as lack of funding and limited bureaucratic capacity ...Continue reading