In Bank Fraud, Responsibility Lies at the Very Top

By: Friday December 14, 2012 6:59 am

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which under the direction of Thomas Curry has been moderately more tough-minded against the banks, released a report that essentially admits that the big banks are poorly managed and have inadequate risk management controls. As Yves Smith points out, this means that the executives need to go [...]

FHA’s Passivity Could Lead to Big Loan Losses

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 10:05 am

Gretchen Morgenson has an interesting story today about risky lending at the FHA AFTER the housing collapse. The story here is that, after the bubble popped, it became harder and harder to secure a loan. The FHA stepped in to insure a lot of what loans were made over that time, and as a result [...]

Today in Our Completely Captured Financial Regulatory Apparatus

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 11:40 am

Adding to the spate of delays on finalizing rules from the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the final Volcker rule will probably not get finished until 2013. This is at least six months past due, as the original law called for a final Volcker rule in July. Five separate government agencies – the FDIC, the Federal [...]

With Unclear Successor at SEC, a Look at the Agency’s Recent Failures

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 8:30 am

Mary Miller, a Treasury Department official seen as the expected pick for the next head of the SEC, dropped out of contention yesterday, leaving an unclear path forward. Elisse Walter, who was designated as the new chair, replacing the departing Mary Schapiro, is seen as a stopgap pick. But her elevation to the top slot [...]

White House Makes Politically Expedient End Run By “Designating” Elisse Walter SEC Chair

By: Monday November 26, 2012 10:49 am

The White House, in announcing the departure of Mary Schapiro as Chairwoman of the SEC, also took the unusual step of “designating” her replacement – a way to fill the vacancy at the top of the commission without confirmation in the Senate. Elisse Walter, a current commissioner, will replace Schapiro. Here’s the announcement: President Obama [...]

Mary Schapiro Steps Down as SEC Chief

By: Monday November 26, 2012 8:30 am

Schapiro’s replacement matters. Simon Johnson kicked this off a few days ago, juxtaposing the bona fides of Treasury Department under secretary for domestic finance Mary Miller (a former mutual fund executive) against former Special Inspector General for TARP Neil Barofsky. There’s no question than an experienced prosecutor like Barofsky would change the SEC’s culture, but there’s almost no chance he will ever hold another job in Washington, as he was specifically told by Herb Allison right at the beginning of his book Bailout.

Financial Regulation Advocates Fighting Bill to Gut Regulatory Agencies

By: Friday November 9, 2012 10:17 am

Among the other goodies in store for America in the lame duck Congress is a bid to gut financial regulatory and other agencies and set up a process to take away their independent control and subsume them under the power of the executive. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, under the direction of [...]

Merkley, Levin Call Out Obstructionist Regulators Holding Up Volcker Rule

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 10:43 am

Almost four months after the deadline passed on finalizing the Volcker rule, the firewall on most types of proprietary trading set up between investment and commercial banks, the regulators tasked with writing the rule are no closer to a resolution. The Treasury Department last promised that the rule would get written by the end of [...]

CFPB Getting Reputation as a Fearsome Regulator

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 1:41 pm

You might have guessed that I don’t have a ton of respect for our nation’s regulatory apparatus, particularly in the finance space. Too often, regulators listen to their Wall Street friends over the nuances of the law, are slow to identify abuses and slower still to crack down on them, and when they finally get [...]

Treasury Lowballs Settlement Against Standard Chartered, Despite Large Award to New York Regulator

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 8:17 am

Several weeks back, Standard Chartered Bank, caught engaging in multiple acts of money laundering, settled with the New York Department of Financial Services for $340 million. At the time I wrote that if the Treasury Department and the other federal regulators cannot get as much from Standard Chartered as the DFS, “it will be completely [...]

Senators Seeking to Delay, Water Down Wall Street Rules

By: Monday September 10, 2012 11:02 am

There has been a multi-stage reaction from Wall Street to the prospect of financial regulation, ever since the crash necessitated the need for the political class to act like they were doing something to rein in the financial sector. First the banks tried to water down the legislation which eventually became Dodd-Frank. Then they used [...]

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