JPMorgan’s $2 Billion Loss Shows Impotence of the Volcker Rule

By: Friday May 11, 2012 6:40 am

I spent most of yesterday afternoon laughing my ass off about Jamie Dimon’s London Whale loss, but it’s actually not all that funny.


MF Global CFO Learned of Shortfall in Customer Funds During Firm’s Collapse

By: Wednesday March 28, 2012 12:10 pm

At a House Financial Services Committee hearing today, former MF Global CFO Christine Serwinski will testify that customer funds were used to cover proprietary bets. This comes on the heels of a treasurer at the company alleging that MF Global CEO Jon Corzine ordered $200 million to be moved from customer accounts to cover a payment to JPMorgan Chase. And they still haven’t found the money.

Corzine Ordered $200 Million Raid on MF Global Customer Accounts

By: Saturday March 24, 2012 10:15 am

In the most damning evidence thus far of malfeasance at MF Global, Bloomberg reports that former New Jersey Senator and Governor Jon Corzine, while CEO of the company, personally ordered $200 million in investor funds transferred to cover an overdrawn account at JPMorgan Chase.

The Blowback Begins on Ex-Goldman Exec Greg Smith

By: Wednesday March 14, 2012 2:33 pm

It was only a matter of time before Goldman Sachs would start to smear their former employee, Greg Smith, who published his resignation letter in a celebrated op-ed in the New York Times. At first they merely denied the change in culture that Smith stressed, one from nurturing a relationship with their clients to field-stripping their clients for as much money as they could get. But now they’re bringing out the big guns.

Bair Recommends Scrapping the Volcker Rule

By: Saturday December 10, 2011 5:00 pm

If you needed to appeal to one authority on banking regulation, you could do worse than to consult Sheila Bair, the former chairwoman of the FDIC. And now she’s advocating scrapping the Volcker rule and starting over. She comes at this by looking at the spectacle of MF Global – a brokerage house that would not be covered under the Volcker rule – and asking whether they would be permitted to trade depositor funds on their own account if they were a bank. The answer is far less clear-cut than it should be – and that’s the problem with how the Volcker rule emerged from the sausage grinder of the regulatory apparatus.

Corzine on MF Global Depositor Funds: “I simply do not know where the money is”

By: Thursday December 8, 2011 7:01 am

Former Senator Jon Corzine faces a House Agriculture Committee panel today, where he will testify that he doesn’t know “where the money is” from customer accounts that was used by his former company, MF Global, to trade on the company account.

Joe Weisenthal points us in the direction of Corzine’s testimony, which he will give without pleading the 5th Amendment, despite still being liable for criminal charges in the MF Global case.

Volcker Rule on Path to Be Gutted to Point of Irrelevance

By: Thursday September 22, 2011 2:30 pm

In retrospect, the banks had a pretty sound strategy with Dodd-Frank: fight it during the legislative process, but not too hard, allowing lawmakers to think they’ve accomplished something. Then, during implementation, bend the regulatory apparatus to your will, gutting the law before having to follow it. That has been extremely successful, especially because Dodd-Frank wasn’t really a law so much as a promise to write a law later.

The latest victim of the finance lobby’s efforts on Dodd-Frank is the Volcker rule.

Basically, the banks successfully got the regulators to define “hedging” so broadly that virtually any proprietary trade could be seen as a hedge.

This Week in FinReg Implementation

By: Thursday August 12, 2010 4:40 pm

It’s very important to keep on top of the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, because Congress basically outsourced the writing of the bill to the regulators. There are 67 studies and 200 rules that regulators will have to conduct, enact and implement. And so it’s worth looking into their progress, which has already begun.

Last Chance for Lobbyists as FinReg Conference Concludes

By: Monday June 21, 2010 6:50 am

This will be a jam-packed week for the Wall Street reform conference committee, with a final draft expected to go to both chambers of Congress by Friday. And many of the more important details remain up in the air. In particular, the consequential, hard-wired reforms designed to reduce risk and even the size of risky markets still have to clear the final hurdles.

FinReg Conference Comes Down to Three Key Provisions

By: Monday June 7, 2010 11:30 am

The New York Times has a preview of the conference committee for the Wall Street reform bill, which the President would like completed by the time of the next G-20 conference in Toronto at the end of the month. They narrow down the whole negotiation to basically three proposals expected to be the major sticking [...]

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