Posts Tagged ‘Dodd-Frank’

Banking and finance roundup

Banking and finance roundup

  • Cato Book Forum tomorrow (Wednesday, May 13): Paul Mahoney, “Wasting a Crisis: Why Securities Regulation Fails” [register or watch online]
  • “When The SEC Pays Your Lawyer For Informing On You, Is That A Good Thing?” [Daniel Fisher]
  • “Unfortunately for the CFPB’s ideological imperative, Ballard Spahr concludes otherwise: ‘In fact, the study confirms that arbitration does benefit consumers.'” [Kevin Funnell]
  • Which “established members of the business establishment” brought the AIG prosecution to Eliot Spitzer’s desk, and from what motives? [Ira Stoll]
  • Dodd-Frank “say on pay” failed to slow rise in CEO compensation, and it would help to understand why [Marc Hodak vs. James Surowiecki]
  • “One-Third of Americans Living Abroad Have Thought Actively About Renouncing Citizenship Due to Tax-Filing Requirements” [Matt Welch, followup, earlier on FATCA] Rand Paul bill would repeal the law, and there’s also a constitutional challenge in the works [TaxProf]
  • “What’s the point of the implied covenant of good faith? Other than generating fees for lawyers?” [Prof. Bainbridge]

Banking and finance roundup

  • Critics say by naming payment processors in massive enforcement action over debt collection practices, CFPB is implementing its own version of Operation Choke Point [Kent Hoover/Business Journals; Barbara Mishkin, Ballard Spahr; Iain Murray, CEI]
  • Green sprout in Amish country: “Bank of Bird-in-Hand is the only new bank to open in the U.S. since 2010, when the Dodd-Frank law was passed” [WSJ via Tyler Cowen; Kevin Funnell on smothering of new (de novo) bank formation; Ira Stoll (auto-plays ad) on growth of non-bank lenders]
  • “Quicken Loans Sues DOJ; Claims ‘Political Agenda’ Driving Pressure to Settle” [W$J; J.C. Reindl, Detroit Free Press]
  • Shocker: after years of Sen. Warren’s tongue-lashings, some banks consider not giving to Democrats. Is that even legal? [Reuters] “Elizabeth Warren’s Extraordinarily Bad Idea For A Financial Transactions Tax” [Tim Worstall]
  • Still raging on: Delaware debate about fee-shifting corporate bylaws as deterrent to low-value shareholder litigation [Prof. Bainbridge first, second, third posts]
  • “How a Business Owner Becomes Criminally Liable for How Customers Spend ATM Withdrawals” [Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason]
  • New York financial regulator pushes to install government monitors at firms where no misconduct has been legally established [Robert Anello, Forbes]

Banking and finance roundup

  • Administration has abused the law in mortgage lender settlements [House Judiciary hearing: Paul Larkin, Ted Frank testimony]
  • Department of Justice official says banks may need to go much farther in informing authorities of customers who may be up to no good than just sending Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) [Kevin Funnell] Interpol Red Notices, which among other effects cut off banking access, are open to geopolitical manipulation [Ted Bromund, Weekly Standard]
  • No, Operation Choke Point hasn’t gone away, not in the slightest [Funnell, Jared Meyer/Economics21]
  • What Elizabeth Warren has done to Michael Greve’s mortgage refinance application isn’t pretty [Liberty and Law]
  • Battle over loser-pays clauses in corporate governance rages on in Delaware [Reuters]
  • “The U.S. government’s stupid tax war on expatriates” [Brett Arends, earlier on FATCA]
  • Dodd-Frank: “Wall St. attacked, Main St. wounded” [Iain Murray]

Banking and finance roundup

  • Calvin’s refuge: how Swiss banking confidentiality undermined state despotism [Matt Welch, who also discusses how the gruesome FATCA law is proving to be the first component of an multilateral effort by OECD governments to curtail account privacy]
  • Dodd-Frank compliance costs and the rapid decline of community banks [Marshall Lux and Robert Greene/Kennedy School, Carrie Sheffield, Jeff Sovern with a scoffing view; WSJ]
  • “The IRS seized $242 million based on suspected structuring in more than 2,500 cases from 2005 to 2012.” [Jacob Sullum, new Institute for Justice report (PDF) by Dick Carpenter II and Larry Salzman and summary] More: new structuring case against Dubuque, Iowa widow raises question of whether feds have really followed through on promise not to press structuring charges where income is otherwise legal [AP/WHEC]
  • “House Investigators: DOJ Forced Banks to Donate to Left-Wing Groups” [Joel Gehrke, NRO]
  • “FDIC retreats on Operation Choke Point?” [Todd Zywicki] Rep. Luetkemeyer likely to keep up the pressure on regulators [Kevin Funnell]
  • “Fed Officials Accused of Perjury in AIG Bailout Trial” [Lawrence Cunningham, Concurring Opinions]
  • “Standard & Poor’s Settlement Shows Futility Of Fighting Government Policy” [Daniel Fisher, earlier]

A Dodd-Frank reform menu, ready to go?

Jim Hamilton’s World of Securities Regulation has a list of seven bills “amending the Dodd-Frank Act [that] passed the House in the 113th Congress by a bi-partisan vote, sometimes an overwhelming bi-partisan vote, but were never taken up [by] the Senate.” Topics of the bills include: exempting from SEC registration venture capital and SBIC advisers; exempting advisers to private equity funds when not over-leveraged; requiring study of effects of non-conforming U.S. standard on derivative credit valuation adjustment (CVA) capital requirement; clarifying handling of centralized treasury units (CTUs); removing indemnification requirement imposed on foreign regulators; coordinating regulations on cross-border derivatives transactions; and curbing Volcker Rule application to debt securities of collateralized loan obligations.

Banking and finance roundup

An agenda for financial regulation

Steve Bainbridge has a wish list for reforms to financial and securities law in the new Congress, especially the damaging Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley laws. Included: repeal of conflicts minerals disclosure, “say on pay,” and pay ratio disclosure; more leeway for public companies to opt out of various regulatory obligations to shareholders that their own shareholders have not contractually seen fit to impose; and litigation reform.

Meanwhile, my Cato colleague Mark Calabria points out that there “are numerous protectors of the status quo in both major political parties,” which may frustrate the relatively free-market instincts of the responsible committee chairs, Sen. Richard Shelby and Rep. Jeb Hensarling. “But at least financial regulation is unlikely to get any worse.”

“Should the SEC be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner?”

Prof. Bainbridge flags this disturbing Wall Street Journal piece:

The Securities and Exchange Commission is increasingly steering cases to hearings in front of the agency’s appointed administrative judges, who found in its favor in every verdict for the 12 months through September, rather than taking them to federal court.

Previously, the agency had tended to use the ALJs (administrative law judges) for relatively cut-and-dried enforcement actions, while taking more complex or cutting-edge disputes to federal court. Now, following the Dodd-Frank expansion of its powers, it prefers ALJs even for many complex and demanding cases arising from charges such as insider trading. Defendants enjoy a range of protections in federal court that are not provided in administrative litigation, including juries as well as the presence of federal judges who are independent of agency control, held to a more demanding ethical code, and drawn generally from higher and more sophisticated circles within the legal profession. Read the entire Bainbridge commentary, with followups linking Henry Manne (adjudicatory actions are ways to avoid the more demanding process of rulemaking) and Keith Bishop (current system open to constitutional challenge?).