Posts filed under “Regulation”

NAR Anti Appraisal Reform Lobbying Effort

TO: State Association Executive Officers
State Association Presidents
FROM: NAR Government Affairs
DATE: 19 June 2009
RE: Fly-In Head’s Up

Please note this notice is going to all state executive officers and state presidents. We will be sending Fly-In details on Monday June 22, 2009 to the states who have Members of Congress and/or United States Senators on the House Financial Services Committee or Senate Banking Committee. (list of states at end of memo)

There is growing concern in the real estate industry over the implementation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and its effect on the use of appraisal management companies (AMCs) by lenders.

NAR is taking the following actions: (Target dates in bold)

1. NAR is scheduling meetings with the Director of Federal Housing Finance Agency, Jim Lockhart to raise concerns about implementation of the HVCC and problems with AMCs and ask for an immediate 18 month moratorium. Director Lockhart is the conservator over Fannie and Freddie who entered the consent order with the NY Attorney General. ( June 22, 23, 24, or 25th)

2. Government Affairs will conduct a fly in the week of June 22. Two members from each Association (State AE/State President or FPC as appropriate) to meet with members/staff of the House and Senate Banking/Financial Services Committee. The ask will be to cosponsor the bill (item 3) and to support an 18 month moratorium.

3. Our legislative team will work on getting a bill introduced in Congress asking for a 18 month moratorium. (week of June 22)

4. We will ask the Chair and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Banking [ Reps Frank and Bachus/ Senators Dodd and Shelby] Committees to write Director Lockhart asking him to grant a 18 month moratorium (week of June 22)

5. We will try and get an 18 month moratorium attached to an immediate pending appropriation bill or other similar fast track bill. (June)

6. Staff will talk to the American Bankers Association who heretofore is fine with the AMC system to see if we can negotiate support.(June 19)

NAR will engage a coalition of Appraisal Institute, MBA, Home Builders and other appropriate trade groups.

7. NAR Research is conducting a survey so we have concrete data information to bring to the regulators and the NY Attorney General’s office . The survey will also be run through the State Association. EHS will be released next week and the appraisal issue will be mentioned front and center in NAR’s release. Survey release June 22

8. NAR is scheduling a meeting with NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and representatives of NYSAR. (June 29. 30)

9. NAR will conduct a Call For Action if we do not get a moratorium in the next week to 10 days

NAR is aware of multiple petitions calling for an end to the HVCC. NAR is taking a more tempered and thoughtful approach of asking for a moratorium during this trouble housing economy.

States with Members of Congress and/or United States Senators on the House Financial Services Committee or Senate Banking Committee: AL, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK,OR
PA, RI, SC, SD, TN,TX, UT, VA, WI, WV

Category: Legal, Real Estate, Regulation, Think Tank

NAR Urges 18 Month Moratorium on Appraisal Reform

Letter from Charles McMillan, 2009 President, National Association of REALTORS urging an 18 month moratorium on the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) to Andrew Cuomo, NY Attorney General and James B. Lockhart III, Federal Housing Finance Agency: HVCC Moratorium Lockheart

Category: Real Estate, Regulation, Think Tank

Obama’s Weak Regulatory Reform For Derivatives

The Obama administration continues to demonstrate their lack of understanding about a) how derivatives work, and b) their role in the crisis and collapse. The proposals to regulate derivatives are weak and ineffective. CDOs and CDS may be trading at healthy discounts to their notational value, but at least Wall Street is getting 100 cents…Read More

Category: Derivatives, Regulation

Structural Changes in Fed Reg of Financial Industry

I  just love this info/chart porn: > Proposed Changes in Federal Regulation of the Financial Industry click for ginormous graphic via NYT > Source: Some Lawmakers Question Expanded Reach for the Fed STEPHEN LABATON NYT, June 17, 2009 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/18/business/18regulate.html

Category: Regulation

Too Big to Fail: Special NYT edition

If they are too big to fail, make them smaller.”

-Nixon Treasury Secretary George Shultz about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

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This Sunday NYT seems to be all about one of our favorite crisis whipping boys: The concept of TBTF — “Too Big to Fail.”  There are numerous articles, stories, blog posts on this pernicious policy, including our own “Too Big to Succeed” meme (aka chapter 18: Too Big to Succeed? in Bailout Nation).

• Gretchen Morgenson asks: Too Big to Fail, or Too Big to Handle?:

Rather than propose ways to shrink these companies and the risks they pose, the Geithner plan argues instead for enhanced regulatory oversight of the behemoths. This suggests the taxpayer safety net will be larger after our national financial train wreck, not smaller.

More than two years after the crisis began, “too big to fail” remains “too problematic to address” with anything other than more souped-up regulation. Given that earlier efforts at policing these entities failed so miserably, why should anyone think that a new-and-improved regulatory approach will fare better?

• Eric Dash asks If It’s Too Big to Fail, Is It Too Big to Exist?:

Today, amid the wreckage of the gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression, bigness is one of our biggest problems. Major banks, the Detroit automakers, the financial basket case that is the American International Group — the only reason these giant, sclerotic companies are still standing is that they have been deemed “too big to fail.”

Or, more precisely, too big to be allowed to fail. Policy makers fear companies like these are so enormous and so intertwined in the fabric of the economy that their collapse would be catastrophic. Hence, all those multibillion-dollar, taxpayer-financed bailouts.

In its overhaul of financial regulation last week, the Obama administration proposed several measures to try to contain the biggest of America’s big banks. But it stopped far short of calling for the dismantling of those institutions.”

Paul Krugman gets meta on the idea — Too big to fail FAIL — and surprisingly argues that we can never eliminate TBTF:

“I’m a big advocate of much strengthened financial regulation. One argument I don’t buy, however, is that we should try to shrink financial institutions down to the point where nobody is too big to fail. Basically, it’s just not possible . . .

So I think of the pursuit of a world in which everyone is small enough to fail as the pursuit of a golden age that never was. Regulate and supervise, then rescue if necessary; there’s no way to make this automatic.”

I totally disagree — size is problem, for it not only creates companies too large to effectively practice risk management with, the mere size creates other issues.  The fact that CitiGroup was able to get Glass Steagall repealed, but did so by forcing the government’s hand via a technically illegal merger is quite telling.

When companies get to be that large, their vast wealth buys influence and power and corrupts the political system. Despite the crisis caused by the banks, just look at how successful their lobbying effort was. Their enormous pushback effectively neutered any true regulation of the finacial sector.

I think that from now on, I will be referring to the President as Barack W. Obama — since he is adopting Bush’s economic policies, he might as well as adopt his middle initial.

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Previously:
Too Big To Succeed . . . (January 14th, 2009)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/too-big-to-succeed/

Obama Reform Plan Fails to Fix Whats Broken (June 18th, 2009)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/06/obama-reform-plan-fails-to-fix-whats-broken/

Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, M&A, Regulation

Barack W. Obama

More on why I have changed the president’s name in a few minutes . . .

Category: Bailouts, Politics, Regulation

Regulatory Reform (Steven Pearlstein on Charlie Rose)

A conversation about Regulatory Reform with Steven Pearlstein of “The Washington Post”

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Category: Bailouts, Regulation, Video

Regulating Big Firm Bad Behavior

In today’s WSJ, we learn of the proposed shift in standards for retail stock brokers — from “Suitability” to “Fiduciary:” “Buried in President Obama’s proposed regulatory overhaul is a change that could upend Wall Street: Brokers would be held to a higher “fiduciary” standard that would compel them to place their client’s interests ahead of…Read More

Category: Finance, Investing, Regulation

Obama Reform Plan Fails to Fix Whats Broken

So much for “not letting a crisis go to waste.” The initial read on the Obama Regulatory plan was an enormous disappointment. Both supporters and critics who expected him to take a hard turn to the Left have been left either surprised or disappointed, depending upon their leanings. To the pragmatic center, including your humble…Read More

Category: Bailout Nation, Bailouts, Regulation

Draft of Financial Regulation Proposal

A recent draft of the plan to reshape financial regulation sent to members of Congress (via NYT) > click for PDF via NYT

Category: Bailouts, Politics, Regulation, Think Tank