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  • Should Pay Be Political?

    Bloomberg news has an article on Wall Street pay revealing that the CEOs of many large banks have taken big pay cuts in the past year or two (CEO pay at the 50 largest financial firms has fallen 37% in the past two years). Buried in the story was a … More

    Dodd and Derivatives: Swapping New York for London

    Senate Democrats secretly agree that Sen. Blanche Lincoln’s (D-AR) proposal to attempt to impose a complete separating on credit default swaps and credit providers (i.e. banks) makes no sense. But they’re too embarrassed to say so while Lincoln uses the proposal to wage a populist campaign for re-nomination against liberal Arkansas … More

    Dorgan’s Naked Idea – Doesn’t Work

    As debate on the Wall Street “Reform” bill winds down in the Senate, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is still pushing his ban on “naked” credit default swaps. We warned that the idea wouldn’t work. Now we have some real world experience with just such a proposal: Germany banned the practice … More

    The Fannie and Freddie Solution for Pollution

    Senators Kerry and Lieberman have introduced their “compromise” climate change legislation that relies largely on a “cap and trade” scheme to reduce carbon emissions. Even assuming there was a need for carbon limits, the Kerry-Lieberman bill gets the mechanism all wrong, apparently because the Senators either don’t understand or don’t … More

    How Bad is the Lincoln Derivatives Bill?

    It makes a future market melt-down more likely. Today the Senate takes up Senator Blanche Lincoln’s amendment to regulate over-the-counter derivatives. The Lincoln bill is very, very bad, but don’t take out word for it, ask the Federal Reserve. Fed Staffers released a four page, seven point critique saying the … More

    The Berkshire Bailout: Congress Misunderstands Markets

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Barack Obama’s favorite capitalist, Warren Buffet, is seeking an exemption from Obama-endorsed derivatives rules for his insurance-and-everything conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway. Derivatives are risk-shifting financial contracts that Buffet infamously described as “weapons of financial mass destruction.”   After the 2008 financial crisis, Buffet decided to join … More

    50% More Bureaucrats = Government “Cost Savings” for Financial Derivatives Reform

    Sponsors of derivatives “reform” legislation claim it will reduce costs to derivatives users. Just how more government regulation is supposed to reduce costs in the private sector has never been exactly clear, but discussion at Wednesday’s Senate Agriculture Committee mark-up of derivatives reform legislation revealed that the “reform” will cost … More

    Financial Reform: Blocking Innovation, Not Meltdowns

    One of many bureaucratic boondoggles in the Senate financial “reform” legislation is a “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Protection.” Just how exactly would the proposed new bureaucracy protect consumers? The same way bureaucrats do everything: with more paperwork and fewer choices. A few years ago, a TV commercial showed a … More

    President Obama Threatens Veto on Financial Regs for Wrong Reasons

    So now President Obama is threatening to veto financial reform legislation Democratic leaders in Congress are working to pass if it is not tough enough on derivatives. There is really no disagreement between Obama and Congressional Democrats on the issue, just a bizarre attempt to make non-news. Obama is in … More

    Missing the Important Issues on Derivatives Reform

    Senator Chris Dodd’s monstrous 1336-page financial reform draft includes a whopping 217 pages devoted to “improving” over-the-counter derivatives markets. Dodd the derivatives section may be replaced by a yet-to-be-released bipartisan compromise from Senators Jack Reed and Judd Gregg. But the Dodd draft suggests that legislators are focused on bureaucratic imperatives … More