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Financial Services Update – July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011

Authors

Matt Jessee

Financial Services Update – July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011

by: Matt Jessee

Debt Limit Negotiations Continue

On Tuesday, the House passed its “Cut, Cap and Balance” legislation which would cut government spending now, cap it in the future and approve a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget. On Friday, the Senate voted to table a motion to consider the measure. However, after another tense week of negotiations between the Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, House Republicans, House Democrats, and the President Obama, the outline of a purported deal seemed to emerge late Thursday. Congressional Democrats reported that President Obama discussed with them a deal he had reached with Speaker John Boehner to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion, enough to get through the 2012 elections, with at least as much in immediate spending cuts and a promise of  “tax reform”  in 2012. On Friday, in response to the news of a “deal,” Speaker Boehner told the House Republican Conference there was

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Financial Services Update – July 15, 2011

July 15, 2011

Authors

Bryan Cave

Financial Services Update – July 15, 2011

July 15, 2011

by: Bryan Cave

Debt Limit Negotiations Continue

After a week of tense negotiations between President Obama and Congressional leaders over the debt-limit increase, lawmakers now have less than three weeks to reach a deal before August 2, when the Obama administration says the U.S. could risk defaulting on its loans without an increase in the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. All parties involved say that a significant deficit reduction plan should be part of the plan to raise the debt ceiling, but Democrats want to balance the budget by raising tax revenues in addition to making spending cuts — and the GOP remains firmly opposed to any tax increases.  However, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have proposed a contingency plan that would give President Obama authority to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion through the end of 2012 but require the President to submit spending

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Financial Services Update – June 10, 2011

June 12, 2011

Authors

Bryan Cave

Financial Services Update – June 10, 2011

June 12, 2011

by: Bryan Cave

Goldman Settles Massachusetts Trading Investigation

On Thursday, the Massachusetts Securities Division announced that Goldman Sachs agreed to a consent order to pay $10 million and to ban so-called “trading huddles.”  The Massachusetts Securities Division had been investigating Goldman for the past two years to determine whether the trading ideas that analysts had shared with traders during these huddles “favored the interests of certain priority clients.”  Goldman settled the matter without admitting or denying the state regulator’s allegations and agreed to disclose to future research clients that they would not all be treated equally.  In its consent order, the Massachusetts regulator said it found no instances of fraud.

Senate Defeats Bill to Delay Interchange Fee Caps

On Wednesday, after a long and divisive lobbying fight, retailers defeated the banking industry in the Senate on a vote to delay new caps on debit-card swipe fees.  The legislation was offered by Sens.

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Financial Services Update – April 29, 2011

April 29, 2011

Authors

Bryan Cave

Financial Services Update – April 29, 2011

April 29, 2011

by: Bryan Cave

Q1 GDP Slows to 1.8%

On Thursday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the U.S. GDP growth rate in the first quarter of 2011 slowed to an annual rate of 1.8 percent, compared to a rate of 3.1 percent in fourth quarter 2010 and 3.7 percent in first quarter 2010. The Bureau cited a combination of lower-than-expected economic data, global energy uncertainty, and concerns about the budget deficit as causes of the growth rate decelerating.

Bernanke Announces Rates to Stay at Near Zero, Ends Bond Buying Program

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke held his first quarterly press conference in which he said that the economy and job market are improving moderately, but the housing market and other factors such as gas prices continue to be a drag on growth. He announced that the Fed plans to end the $600 billion treasury bond-buying program in June and will

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Financial Services Update – March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011

Authors

Matt Jessee

Financial Services Update – March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011

by: Matt Jessee

Bernanke to Hold Regular Press Briefings

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced that Chairman Ben Bernanke will begin holding press briefings four times per year to present the Federal Open Market Committee’s current economic projections. In 2011, the Chairman’s briefings will be held on April 27, June 22 and November 2.

Fed Rejects Bank of America Dividend Increase

On Wednesday, Bank of America announced that the Federal Reserve had vetoed its plans for a dividend increase in the second half of 2011. Bank of America did not disclose the central bank’s reason for rejecting the dividend proposal, and the Fed declined to comment on how individual institutions fared in its latest round of examinations. The Bank said it had originally submitted its dividend proposal to the Fed in January, and it now intends to submit a revamped dividend proposal at a later date.

Treasury Department Opposes Tax Repatriation Holiday

On

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Financial Services Update – January 14, 2011

January 17, 2011

Authors

Matt Jessee

Financial Services Update – January 14, 2011

January 17, 2011

by: Matt Jessee

Consumer Products Safety Commission Announces Complaints Database

On Monday, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that for the first time the Agency will make public thousands of complaints it receives each year about safety problems with consumer products. The database, which was authorized in 2008 consumer product safety legislation, will be launched online in March. Until now, the only way for consumers to access safety complaints has been to file a public records request with the CPSC. The agency was then required by law to consult with the manufacturer before releasing information about their products, and the company could protest or sue to stop disclosure. The database, which is scheduled to be launched March 11, will be available at www.saferproducts.gov.

TARP Inspector General Criticizes Citi Bailout

On Thursday, Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, issued a report saying that Citigroup is still

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Financial Services Update

October 16, 2010

Authors

Matt Jessee

Financial Services Update

October 16, 2010

by: Matt Jessee

Bernanke Indicates New Fed Actions

Speaking Friday, Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated the central bank would take new actions to fight the high rate of unemployment.  The Fed’s most likely next move will be to resume large purchases of government debt to lower long-term interest rates but weaken the dollar.  Bernanke argued that by making credit even cheaper it will encourage businesses and consumers to borrow and spend which would eventually lower unemployment.  Bernanke’s comments suggest that the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy, is likely to take new steps at its next meeting taking place November 2nd through 3rd.  Bernanke also indicated the Fed intends to keep short-term interest rates at nearly zero for even longer than the markets now expect.

Former Countrywide Executives Agree to Settlement with the SEC

On Friday, in a settlement with the SEC over charges of misleading shareholders, former Countrywide

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Financial Services Update – Issue 17

May 7, 2010

Authors

Matt Jessee

Financial Services Update – Issue 17

May 7, 2010

by: Matt Jessee

Financial Regulatory Reform Bill

On Wednesday, the Senate began its formal debate of amendments to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 with nearly unanimous support for an amendment by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) clarifying that taxpayers would not bear any losses from the liquidation of bankrupt firms. The Senate moved to consider a bipartisan proposal by Senators Dodd (D-CT) and Shelby (R-AL) to strip the bill of a $50 billion fund which would be filled upfront by the financial industry, that would cover the cost of closing down failing firms. Under the Dodd-Shelby deal, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation would liquidate faltering firms by borrowing money from Treasury to cover initial costs. The government would recover the costs by selling off the firm’s assets, with creditors and shareholders incurring losses. Other large banks could be assessed to pay for additional costs as a last resort. Also, creditors of

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Financial Services Update – Issue 10

March 22, 2010

Authors

Matt Jessee

Financial Services Update – Issue 10

March 22, 2010

by: Matt Jessee

  Senate Financial Regulatory Reform Bill On Monday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced his latest draft financial regulatory reform bill. The bill creates a new consumer protection agency, which will be located within the Federal Reserve, with regulatory authority over financial products such as mortgages and credit cards. The legislation also creates a resolution authority framework to liquidate failed financial firms, imposes stricter capital and leverage requirements on banks, creates a systemic risk council, requires shareholders be allowed a non-binding vote on executive compensation, and imposes new rules and standards for credit rating agencies. The bill also alters the banking regulatory structure by giving the FDIC regulatory oversight of state banks with assets below $50 billion, giving the OCC authority over national banks and federal thrifts with assets below $50 billion, eliminates the Office of Thrift Savings, and gives the Federal Reserve authority over national banks and

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Financial Services Update – Issue 6

February 21, 2010

Authors

Matt Jessee

Financial Services Update – Issue 6

February 21, 2010

by: Matt Jessee

Senate Financial Regulatory Bill

On Friday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd indicated he would introduce a new financial regulation reform bill next week.  The markup for the bill would therefore likely occur during the week of March 1-5.  Dodd and Republican Senator Bob Corker, who announced last week that the pair would be working together on the bill, are spending this week together on a Congressional trip to South America.  While there is bipartisan agreement on major issues including resolution authority, consumer protection remains one of the largest areas unresolved.  The role of the Federal Reserve in the new financial regulatory scheme also remains a point of contention.  In a change from the bill he introduced in November, Dodd is now likely to propose creating a council of regulators to monitor emerging risks, which would be chaired by the Treasury Secretary.

Fed Raises Discount Rate

On Thursday, the Federal

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