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02/12/2011 | SIFMA

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Banks seek more time to comment on proposed Volcker rule
Reuters (12/1)

Cost of insuring against Morgan Stanley default remains elevated
The Wall Street Journal (12/2)

  Washington Roundup  
  

White House will defend tougher rules, Geithner says
The Obama administration will continue to oppose attempts to change new regulations intended to prevent a repeat of the global financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said. "If these efforts to weaken reform are successful, then consumers will be more vulnerable to future abuse, businesses will be more vulnerable to future contractions in credit availability caused by financial mistakes, and the economy will be more vulnerable to devastating crises," he said. MarketWatch(12/1)

Lawmakers scrutinize Gensler and CFTC over MF Global
Republican members of the Senate agriculture committee criticized Commodity Futures Trading Commission and its chairman, Gary Gensler, for actions leading up to the collapse of MF Global. Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., questioned whether Gensler's recusal from the MF Global investigation was a way to "avoid the heat." Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., is demanding an independent investigation into how MF Global was monitored by regulators. Reuters(12/1), The Hill/On The Money blog(12/1)

SEC reviews accounting technique used by MF Global
The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing an accounting technique that MF Global Holdings used. The U.S. agency is discussing "repurchase-to-maturity" agreements with the Financial Accounting Standards Board, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said. "We are talking ... about whether we need more disclosure of those," she said. Bloomberg(12/2)

Khuzami defends SEC's settlements with Wall Street firms
Robert Khuzami, enforcement chief at the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the agency should not have to obtain admissions of guilt in settlements with Wall Street companies. Khuzami defended the agency's policy of allowing firms to neither admit nor deny wrongdoing when reaching a settlement. Judge Jed S. Rakoff has challenged the SEC's policy by rejecting a $285 million settlement between the agency and Citigroup. "To turn down that type of reasonable settlement due to the absence of an admission is in my view often unwise policy," Khuzami said. The Wall Street Journal(12/1)

Analysis: FINRA on front line but rarely gets the glory
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority battles insider trading, fraud and other wrongdoing as Wall Street's self regulator. However, while FINRA often uncovers problems, it rarely gets credit. "FINRA’s fraud group is akin to being the sous chef to the SEC and other government regulators: the team prepares evidence against America’s most-wanted traders, but receives little of the glory when the cases are served," according to this analysis. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/DealBook blog(12/1)

Commentary: Bank stress tests fail to address major concern
Major U.S. banks are undergoing stress tests, but columnist Nin-Hai Tseng argues that they are not considering defaults in Europe, a major concern for investors and other market participants. The Federal Reserve has asked the six largest banks to consider "sharp market price movements in Europe sovereign and financial institutions," but the central bank doesn't ask lenders to determine how a default by Greece or Portugal would affect them. CNNMoney.com/Fortune(12/1)