Posts filed under “Regulation”

NYT: Don’t Forget Shumer’s Role in the Mess

“Since the financial meltdown, people have been asking, ‘Where was Congress? Why didn’t they see this coming? Why didn’t they provide better oversight?’ And the answer for some, including Senator Schumer, is that they were actually too busy pursuing a deregulatory agenda. Their focus was on how we have to lighten up regulation on Wall Street.”

-Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America

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Today’s New York Times has a damning article linking Senator Chuck Schumer to many of the radical deregulatory policies that underlie much of the current crisis.

I have assessed a lot of blame for the crisis on several people — Greenspan at the top of the list, followed by several others, including President Bush. Phil Gramm was a prime sponsor of all manners of ruinous legislation — which, I hasten to add, was signed into law by one President Clinton (he sure isn’t blameless in the mess).

In the Senate, on the other side of the aisle from Gramm was Chuck Schumer. The votes and support noted by the NYT shows Schumer was not much better than Gramm:

“But in building support, he has embraced the industry’s free-market, deregulatory agenda more than almost any other Democrat in Congress, even backing some measures now blamed for contributing to the financial crisis.

Other lawmakers took the lead on efforts like deregulating the complicated financial instruments called derivatives, which are widely seen as catalysts to the crisis.

But Mr. Schumer, a member of the Banking and Finance Committees, repeatedly took other steps to protect industry players from government oversight and tougher rules, a review of his record shows. Over the years, he has also helped save financial institutions billions of dollars in higher taxes or fees.

He succeeded in limiting efforts to regulate credit-rating agencies, for example, sponsored legislation that cut fees paid by Wall Street firms to finance government oversight, pushed to allow banks to have lower capital reserves and called for the revision of regulations to make corporations’ balance sheets more transparent.”

Schumer, nicknamed the jackhammer for his fund raiser technique, apparently drank deeply of the deregulatory Kool-Aid also.

There’s a full table of the legislation he supported here: Schumer’s Stands

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Source:
A Champion of Wall Street Reaps Benefits
ERIC LIPTON and RAYMOND HERNANDEZ
NYT, December 13, 2008

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/business/14schumer.html

Related:
Schumer: Cut regulations, make NY more competitive (pdf)
Schumer Letter to SEC regarding “Soft Dollars” (pdf)
Schumer co-signer on letter regarding derivatives (pdf)
Schumer to FDIC on Bank’s Capital Reserve Requirements (pdf)
Schumer to SEC on Credit Rating Agencies (pdf)
Schumer objecting to Proposed Auditing Rule (pdf)

Category: Bailouts, Corporate Management, Legal, Markets, Regulation

History Lesson: Madoff tops charts; skeptics ask how

> Go to NakedShorts and read the entire 2001 article of the various ways some people challenged the Madoff story: > If it sounds too good to be true… > UPDATE: Paul points to this Barrons story from 2001 Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Barron’s MAY 7, 2001 http://online.barrons.com/article/SB989019667829349012.html >

Category: Legal, Regulation

More CRA Idiocy

Howard Husock has an exercise in cognitive dissonance in today’s NYT Op-Ed pages titled Housing Goals We Can’t Afford, and it begins: “The national wave of home foreclosures, many concentrated in lower-income and minority neighborhoods, has created a strong temptation to find the villains responsible.” What can you say about an Op-Ed whose very first…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Data Analysis, Legal, Politics, Psychology, Regulation

SEC’s Chair’s Bailout Bull$%&t

In what I can only type with a combination of disgust and astonishment, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox blames the current crisis on the “boom-and-bust cycles” of markets. “Financial markets, of course, are not perfect. In particular, they are susceptible to boom-and-bust cycles. Cycles of this sort have been a hardy perennial over the past 400…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Legal, Markets, Regulation

Capitalist Fools

Terrific piece in Vanity Fair by Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz. I especially love the accompanying art work nearby. Stiglitz is da man: “The administration talked about confidence building, but what it delivered was actually a confidence trick. If the administration had really wanted to restore confidence in the financial system, it would have begun…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Corporate Management, Markets, Regulation

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair on CRA: NOT Guilty

“Let me ask you, where in the CRA does it say to make loans to people who can’t afford to repay? Nowhere.” -FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair > This is old news to readers of the Big Picture, but I wanted to at least excerpt this: “I want to give you my verdict on CRA: NOT…Read More

Category: Credit, Real Estate, Regulation

What Did the Repeal of Glass-Steagall Do ?

Here is a question that I have been wrestling with: What exactly did the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act accomplish? Were there positives as well as negatives? Should the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act be repealed, and Glass-Steagall reinstated? > ~~~ What say ye? >

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Finance, Legal, Regulation

Bush WH Ignored Mortgage Meltdown Warnings

“In hindsight, it was spot on.” -Jeffrey Brown, former top official at the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, one of the first agencies to raise concerns about risky lending. > A brutally damning article about the warnings the Bush administration received and ignored was published this morning by the Associated Press. The AP summed…Read More

Category: Bailouts, Credit, Finance, Legal, Real Estate, Regulation

The Lost Generation

The Obama team is keeping its cards close to the vest. That’s probably a good way to manage expectations, good politics and it may even be good policy. Until the new team can get in place, there doesn’t seem much point in sending signals or taking responsibility for actions they cannot control. More to the…Read More

Category: BP Cafe, Regulation

Regulation after Bush

What does the future hold for regulating Wall Street? Regardless of who wins today’s election, both Barack Obama and John McCain have staked out different positions on issues involving economic regulation – and each is very different than the outgoing president. The Economists’ Voice looks at what we might expect in the post-Bush era: While …Read More

Category: Markets, Politics, Regulation