Monthly Archives: November 2011

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AFR in the News: The Volcker Rule and Barclays’ UK Bear Hug

The Volcker Rule and Barclays’ UK Bear Hug – Nick Dunbar

“On Nov. 3rd, I attended the inaugural BBC Today Business Lecture, given by Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays. The man who told the UK Treasury Select Committee that it was time to stop apologising for the financial crisis had been given an image makeover. …The more I thought about it, aside from the change in tone, there was not a great deal of difference between the unrepentant Diamond addressing the Treasury Committee and the contrite version lecturing the BBC. …The answer came to me last week…I was invited by the legislative counsel for Sen. Jeff Merkley, one of the architects of the original Volcker Rule bill, and… Americans for Financial Reform.”

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AFR in the News: Politico’s Morning Money Push Back: Volcker Edition

M.M. Push Back: Volcker Edition – Ben White (Politico’s Morning Money)

“ Pro-reform groups were not, ahem, too happy about the anonymous comments from a senior banker in M.M. suggesting the Volcker Rule as drafted goes beyond what the statute intended. … John Carey, Communications Director for Americans for Financial Reform emails: ‘Hard to believe that bankers have a better idea of what Congress intended than Senators Merkley and Levin, who drafted the Volcker Rule. Wall Street lobbyists seem to think that the impact of the rule is limited to taking the word ‘proprietary’ off traders’ business cards. …’

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AFR in the News: Gov’t Shutdown Looms if ‘Mini-bus’ Isn’t Passed

Gov’t Shutdown Looms if ‘Mini-bus’ Isn’t Passed – Michelle Hirsch (The Fiscal Times)

“The Commodities Futures Trading Commission, for instance, is being asked to swallow a near one-third cut relative to what the Obama administration requested. …’The Dodd-Frank Act assigned massive new markets to CFTC oversight, leading to a 600 percent increase in the size of the CFTC’s supervisory responsibilities,’ said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform. ‘The funding level just advanced by the Conference Committee would barely allow the CFTC to expand its current oversight resources and would not permit the agency to implement its new responsibilities.’

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AFR in the News: Robocalls Instigate a Cellphone Fight

Robocalls Instigate a Cellphone Fight – Randall Stross (NYT)

“… The American Bankers Association, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals and other trade groups…are backing a bill in the House, H.R. 3035, that they say would clarify issues of consent surrounding automated calls. …The bill is opposed by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the Consumer Federation of America, Americans for Financial Reform, Consumer Watchdog, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and other consumer advocates.

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AFR in the News – House Democrats ask for tougher Volcker rule

House Democrats ask for tougher Volcker rule – Dave Clarke (Reuters)

“A group of House Democrats are asking regulators to start over with a proposed ban on proprietary trading by banks, arguing the current proposal has too many loopholes. … At a November 9 event on the rule, however, Volcker’s top aide, Tony Dowd, said…‘[f]rom Mr. Volcker’s standpoint I think he is hanging his hat on the strong wording of the general prohibition on prop trading and the accountability for senior management and boards of directors to implement the policy,’ he said at an event hosted by Americans for Financial Reform, which supports the Volcker rule.”

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AFR in the News: Volcker conflict-of-interest rule too weak: Levin

Volcker conflict-of-interest rule too weak: Levin – Dave Clarke (Reuters)

“U.S. regulators are not going far enough with the Volcker rule to prevent large banks from betting against their clients’ interests, Senator Carl Levin said on Wednesday. …Levin found fault with language that allows banks to take positions that may conflict with their clients…‘That’s not nearly tough enough for me,’ Levin said at an event examining the Volcker rule that was hosted by Americans for Financial Reform…”

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AFR in the News: National Journal’s Need-To-Know Memo – Reform Advocates Outraged Over Proposed CFTC Cuts

Need-To-Know Memo – National Journal

Financial reform advocates are up in arms over the House-Senate conference ‘minibus’ appropriations bill that would slash roughly one-third of what President Obama requested to fund the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for 2012 to $205.3 million, raising questions about how it will be able to enforce new financial regulations. ‘This leaves the agency without the funding it needs to do its job and will make it impossible to implement key aspects of financial reform,’ said Lisa Donner, the executive director for Americans for Financial Reform, in a press release.