• News, Regulators

    In Good, Somewhat Ironic News, SEC Now Plans To Punish Stupidity

    You might think that an agency that missed the Madoff fraud for years even after being told about it would have some sympathy for people who are, not bad guys necessarily, just a little sloppy on the whole looking-out-for-investors front. But you would be wrong: Securities and Exchange Commission officials are trying to make it […]

    / Sep 30, 2011 at 2:31 PM
  • Bear Stearns, Regulators

    Bear Stearns And The Criminalization of Failure

    Federal prosecutors are preparing to file criminal charges against managers of two Bear Stearns hedge funds that collapsed at the dawn of the credit crisis last year. Although it’s being described as the conclusion of a year long investigation, it seems very likely that Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin there wouldn’t be facing criminal charges […]

    / Jun 16, 2008 at 3:45 PM
  • Regulators, short selling

    UK Regulators Still Hating On The Shorts

    You’d think that if we’ve learned anything from the past few waves of financial crisis, we’d have learned that shorts sellers play an important role in financial markets. Shorts can check otherwise unbridled financial enthusiasm, improve price discovery and have often pointed out accounting chicanery at powerful public companies. Shareholders and management are incentivized to […]

    / Jun 13, 2008 at 11:20 AM
  • Regulators

    If Rules Won’t Reduce Risk, Will Principles?

    We’ve often complained that regulatory generals are constantly fighting the last war. Following the accounting scandals that led to the collapse of Enron, we got Sarbanes-Oxley. And fear about hedge funds following the collapse of Long Term Capital Management led to calls to regulate hedge funds. All the while, real systemic threats to our economy […]

    / Jun 13, 2008 at 9:40 AM
  • Carl Icahn, Regulators, Yahoo

    Icahn Gets Green Light For Yahoo Stock Purchase

    Carl Icahn got the go ahead from the Federal Trade Commission to scoop up huge amounts of Yahoo stock. Icahn owns around 10 million Yahoo shares now, and has options to acquire another 49 million. He said he’s seeking clearance from the FTC to buy up to $2.5 billion of the stock. In our not-so-free […]

    / May 30, 2008 at 3:33 PM
  • Hedge Funds, Regulators

    California Backs Off Hedge Fund Regulation Plan

    Opponents of hedge fund regulation scored a win yesterday when California backed away from its plans to regulate hedge funds. Since the registration of hedge funds with the Securities and Exchange Commission was over-turned by the federal courts, several states have considered enacting their own regulatory schemes. Such moves have typically been opposed by the […]

    / May 13, 2008 at 10:32 AM
  • continuing education, politics, Regulators

    Comcast Packed The Net Neutrality Debate At Harvard

    Yesterday a cameraman for the Free Press caught two members of the audience napping during an FCC hearing on net neutrality at Harvard Law School. Now we don’t blame them for snoozing through a meeting about net neutrality–our eyes glaze over just thinking about it–but it does raise the question: why would you go to […]

    / Feb 26, 2008 at 3:43 PM
  • politics, Regulators

    The Psychology Of Overregulation

    We’ve been on a bit of a tear today about the politics of regulation. So why quit when we’re having so much fun with it? As we noted today, calls for additional regulation often depend on a double standard under which market process are characterized by imperfect information and dominated by self-interest while regulatory processes […]

    / Feb 4, 2008 at 3:20 PM
  • politics, Regulators

    Systemic Risk: Government and Media Misdirection

    The first time we heard the term market failure we assumed the term referred to the occasional inability of market processes to withstand government interference. Later a good friend who was majoring in economics explained to us that this was not the standard understanding of the term. It was another case of our own conceptual […]

    / Feb 4, 2008 at 11:33 AM
  • Regulators

    Double Standards: Market Failures, Government Solutions

    To their credit, lawmakers, regulators and the media have not yet begun to frame the story of the subprime mortgage mess in criminal terms. Forget Ben Stein because his antics have now made him forgettable. Even Gretchen Morgenson had to note in her Sunday column that the story of subprime profiteering was one of greed […]

    / Feb 4, 2008 at 9:03 AM
  • Regulators

    Against Common Regulatory Frameworks

    One thing you can always count on is that as geographic scope of businesses and finance grow, someone will call for the harmonization of the relevant legal and regulatory structures. Roger Ehrenberg blasts that familiar horn today, calling for “common regulatory frameworks” in order to minimize regulatory arbitrage and cut down on the “immense friction […]

    / Jan 29, 2008 at 4:39 PM
  • Regulators

    Looking For Risk In All The Wrong Places

    In the demonological pantheon of the subprime crisis orthodoxy, the deepest level of hell are reserved for unscrupulous lenders. Uncreditworthy borrowers live at a slightly higher plane, nearby unvigiliant regulators. But the cant and caterwauling of the orthodox overlooks that much of the world was focused on quite different concerns before the mortgage bills for […]

    / Jan 29, 2008 at 12:07 PM
  • Banks, Citicorp, Regulators, The Entity, Treasury

    Too Big To Be Deregulated?
    As Big Banks Teeter On Edge Of Abyss, Government Regulation May Rise Again

    The Treasury’s Entity is seen as a Citigroup bailout by lot of people for the very simple reason that it is a Citigroup bailout. That might not be the only thing it is, but stupid is as stupid does, and one thing this stupid thing does (or will do, if it ever gets off the […]

    / Nov 5, 2007 at 1:02 PM
  • Hedge Funds, legal, Regulators

    Fishy Hedge Fund Gets Hooked By CFTC

    Piranhas are nasty little fish known for their sharp teeth and an aggressive appetite for meat and flesh. And today the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it had hooked one of the little buggers. In a case first brought by the the CFTC in May, a federal court in California has fined Robert Joseph […]

    / Sep 26, 2007 at 1:36 PM
  • Attorney General, Regulators

    Will Attorney General’s Resignation Help or Hurt Wall Street?
    Gonzales Had A Mixed Record In The Eyes Of Many On The Street

    The resignation today of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has ignited speculation about who might fill the top spot at the Justice Department. On Wall Street some are wondering whether the Gonzales’ resignation might help or hurt investment banks, brokerages and corporate America on a number of pending legal issues. The Justice Department handles more than […]

    / Aug 27, 2007 at 12:57 PM
  • Amaranth, Brian Hunter, Hedge Funds, Regulators

    Brian Hunter Vows To Fight!
    Disgraced Energy Trader Denies Manipulation Charges

    “Brian Hunter simply did not undertake any manipulative trading and we are going to prove it,” said Michael S. Kim. Kim is a partner at the Kobra Kai dojo Kobre & Kim lawfirm that advises Hunter’s new hedge fund, Solengo. Earlier today the CFTC filed a lawsuit charging that Hunter, who was trading gas for […]

    / Jul 25, 2007 at 3:22 PM
  • Amaranth, Brian Hunter, Hedge Funds, legal, Regulators, Solengo Capital

    Brian Hunter Sued—By The CFTC!

    It looks like Brian Hunter is getting his way. Yesterday his lawyers asked a federal court to block an energy regulator, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, from filing a lawsuit against him on the grounds that it was infringing on the jurisdiction of another regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This morning the CFTC responded […]

    / Jul 25, 2007 at 1:32 PM
  • Mutual Funds, Regulators

    Mutual Fund Distribution Fees Reconsidered

    Securities regulators will review the $11 billion distribution and service fees charged by many mutual funds. Yesterday the Securities and Exchange Commission said it will hold a roundtable discussion on June 19 to discuss the fees. Often referred to as “12b-1 fees” after the Investment Company Act rule that allows them, the fees were instituted […]

    / May 31, 2007 at 9:08 AM

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