Congress

  • bradydougantakesovercreditsuisse

    News

    Credit Suisse Printing Out Syllabi For Senate Subcommittee Hearing Re: Tax Evasion 101

    Group AG Chief Executive Brady Dougan is scheduled to testify Wednesday at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on offshore tax evasion, a move that comes as the Swiss bank seeks to settle allegations it helped Americans evade their obligations. According to a witness list made public on Monday, Robert Shafir and Hans-Ulrich Meister, who jointly […]

    / Feb 24, 2014 at 1:53 PM
  • News

    Insider-Trading Still Illegal For Congressional Aides, But Impossible To Prove

    There’s a fun new meta-debate over insider-trading, beyond the not-so-simple question of what is and isn’t.

    / Aug 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM
  • Get ratings right? Hmm. I hadn't thought of that.

    News

    Congressmen Have Some Advice For Ratings Agencies

    The ideal financial regulatory regime would go like this: Regulators would tell market participants not to screw up. Market participants would not screw up. Peace and harmony would reign throughout the land. This is ideal not only because of the peace and harmony but also because it omits any work by the regulators. Why choose […]

    / Jun 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM
  • Look at this face, does this face look like a tax avoider, etc.

    News

    Senate Discovers There’s A Tax Code

    Here’s a math problem: what does this sentence, from John McCain, tell you? “Apple claims to be the largest U.S. corporate taxpayer, but by sheer size and scale, it is also among America’s largest tax avoiders,” he said in Monday’s pre-hearing comments. The answer, of course, is that Apple is among the most profitable companies […]

    / May 21, 2013 at 11:06 AM
  • Those sad little sidebars for AAA

    News

    Congressman Wants To Warn Creditors Of Too-Big-To-Fail Banks That Those Banks Can Fail

    There’s nothing surprising, exactly, about this chart that Fitch sent out today, but it’s still sort of stark: Once there was a land where bank debt was AA, AAA if it was particularly good or A if it was particularly dicey. Now AA is the new AAA and BBB is commonplace. The idea of risk-free […]

    / Feb 13, 2013 at 5:27 PM
  • News

    The Post Office Will Stop Delivering Your Catalogues and Junk Mail on Saturdays

    Once upon a time, the United States Postal Service was a big deal. It was sort of founded by Benjamin Franklin. The Postmaster General was a Cabinet-level post. Now, like so many arms of our government, it’s a financial albatross that hemorrhages money as a statutory requirement.

    / Feb 6, 2013 at 1:37 PM
  • News

    G.O.P. Rethinks ‘Make U.S. Default’ Strategy

    Jonesing for the rush of another ride off a fiscal cliff? The guys who run the House of Representatives are going to disappoint you, again.

    / Jan 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM
  • News

    Wall Street Adrenaline Junkies Juiced By Our Two Hours Careening Over The Fiscal Cliff

    It wasn’t pretty or timely and didn’t seem to make anyone happy, but the fiscal cliff is no more… for another two months.

    / Jan 2, 2013 at 1:50 PM
  • elizabethwarren

    News

    Elizabeth Warren, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Doesn’t Sound So Bad Anymore, Does It?

    It’s official: “Wall Street’s worst nightmare” is now among the few with some kind of power over it.

    / Dec 13, 2012 at 1:13 PM
  • New rule: every financial regulator, bank CEO, whatever, when they're sworn in, they have to pose for two pictures, one doing "thiiiis small" and the other doing "the fish was thiiiiiis big."

    News

    Tim Geithner Dealt With Libor Manipulation By Writing Strongly Worded Letters And Then Lending Billions Of Dollars At Libor-Based Rates

    Tim Geithner had a nice chat with Congress about Libor in a theoretically unrelated hearing today, and since Congressional hearings are mostly about restating everyone’s pre-existing prejudices I figured I’d lay out my Libor hobbyhorses: Nobody really has ever been all that troubled by the fact that banks manipulated Libor to make themselves look like […]

    / Jul 25, 2012 at 4:55 PM
  • Come at me, Maxine.

    News

    Jamie Dimon Chats About Managing Duration Risk With Friendly Congressman

    The House’s ping-ponging alternation of smacking and caressing Jamie Dimon today got pretty boring but I was struck by one number that Dimon mentioned, perhaps because it was about the only number that he mentioned. One Republican, with somewhat unclear intent,* suggested that the biggest risk to JPMorgan is that interest rates go up and […]

    / Jun 19, 2012 at 3:22 PM
  • News

    Jamie Dimon To Be Asked Why He Was Running JPMorgan Like SeaWorld, Hopefully

    If we’re being totally honest, while it had its moments, last week’s Jamie Dimon Congressional hearing to discuss Whale Boy was a bit of a letdown, theatrically-speaking. This was probably due in large part to the fact that it was conducted by the Senate Banking Committee, and the Senate typically comes off intelligent and reasonable compared to the House,* and proceeded accordingly. As we surely don’t have to tell you, this is not the kind of hearing we are interested in.

    We are interested in hearings that involve Congressmen and women screaming “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU HAVEN’T BEEN PROSECUTED YET!!!” at financial services employees and accusing them of dressing up as Girl Scouts in order to deceive the public. We are interested in hearings that involve the use of the term “smart-alecks.” We are interested in hearings that involve subjects being told to be more like Magic Johnson. We are interested in hearings that involve subjects who’ve never worked for Goldman Sachs being grilled until they break about working at Goldman Sachs. We are interested in hearings that involve bath salts, or the suggestion that the people conducting it have taken a bunch of them and at any moment might leap across the dais to eat the witness’s face off. Fortunately, we might get the chance for all that and more tomorrow, when Dimon makes another trip down to D.C. to appear before the House Financial Services Committee to talk whales.

    In House Testimony, Dimon Sticks To Script [Dealbook]

    *Make no mistake, most of them fell short of becoming Rhodes Scholar Quarterfinalists, but we’re speaking in relative terms here.

    / Jun 18, 2012 at 5:07 PM
  • News

    Congressional Insider Trading Gets Somewhat Less Legal

    Today is a good day for Congress passing laws with sunny punny names, so after the JOBS Act on we go to the STOCK Act, for Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge, which, who wouldn’t want JOBS and STOCKS and also much less Congressional insider trading. Anyway it passed, so now Congressional inside information is like […]

    / Mar 22, 2012 at 7:09 PM
  • david einhorn great tie

    News

    After The STOCK Act It Will Still Be Legal To Trade On Congressional Inside Information*

    Here’s a sort of touching monologue from David Einhorn’s call with Punch:

    If you’ve done the analysis, and come to the conclusion that on it’s own, the company is not going to make it, it makes all of the sense in the world to raise equity at whatever the price is, so that you can know that the company, you know, is – is going to make it. Now, what that brings to my mind though is, you know, obviously we haven’t done your analysis, we haven’t done — signed an NDA; I don’t know that we’re going to sign an NDA, because we prefer to just remain investors, but from my perspective, and I’ll be just straight up with you, is that gives a lot of signalling value. And the signalling value that comes from figuring out the company has figured out that it’s not going to make it on it’s own is that we’ve just grossly misassessed the — you know what’s going on here. And — and that, that will cause us to have to just reconsider what we’re doing, which is not the end of the world to you. You will continue on even if we don’t continue on with you.

    You could sort of see why the FSA read that to mean that he was insider trading. Like …
    (1) You have told me something with signalling value. Sorry – “a lot of signalling value.”
    (2) I will now act on that signal.
    (3) Don’t be mad.
    “Signalling value” sure sounds like it means “material nonpublic information,” doesn’t it?

    Now as we’ve discussed before, trading on that information would not be enough to make Einhorn guilty of insider trading in the US, though maybe it wouldn’t be exactly a great idea here either. Why? Because in our weird but sort of sensible insider trading laws, it’s just not illegal to trade on material nonpublic information. It’s only illegal to trade based on material nonpublic information that was obtained in violation of some sort of duty of confidence. Since Einhorn didn’t sign an NDA, he had no duty of confidence. And since the Punch CEO and bankers weren’t tipping him for nefarious purposes, but were instead sounding him out on the company’s behalf as a shareholder and potential investor in a new capital raise, they weren’t breaching their duty of confidence. You could quibble with the details of that but it’s basically the law here. In England not so much.

    That also seems to be the law for our friends in Congress, who recently passed a law making it illegal for them to insider trade, which is worrying some people who make their living from trading on Congressional inside information:

    / Feb 16, 2012 at 7:10 PM
  • News

    With A Name Like Feline Pride It Has To Be Good

    Sometimes it’s useful to be reminded that not all financial structuring is designed to get around capital requirements or defraud customers. Some is designed to get around taxes and defraud the treasury! One group of people who like to think about that kind of thing is the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, who took some […]

    / Dec 7, 2011 at 4:21 PM
  • News

    Some Zuccotti Park Thoughts On Insider Trading

    It’s fun to get all riled up about insider trading! So let’s. But first, I see you have some XYZ shares. Would you like to sell them to me? Here are some things you might want to know about it: 1. Warren Buffett is secretly buying loads of it. 2. Congress is going to do […]

    / Nov 15, 2011 at 1:07 PM
  • taxes

    Warren Buffett Opens His Kimono Ever So Slightly…

    …and gives Congress a glimpse of the silver tuna. Want to see the full enchilada? The golden goose? The cast-iron baby arm? El Chorizo? Then you’re gonna have to get some other deep pocketed guys and gals to show what kind of heat they’re packing. You do that and WB promises he’ll give you the […]

    / Oct 12, 2011 at 3:42 PM
  • News

    What Congressman Would You Buddy Up With To Help With Your Insider Trading?

    The Wall Street Journal has a totally maddening article today about insider trading by hedge funds who pay expert-network consultants to give them inside information about congressional deliberations. Which you’d think would have prosecutors demanding that they get 20 years in jail without any concern for their delicate constitutions, except no:

    / Oct 4, 2011 at 3:01 PM
  • News

    Being Elected To Congress Continues To Be A Pretty Good Wealth Maximization Strategy

    In these volatile times it helps to have role models to steer you through economic uncertainty, wise investors who you can look to when your faith in markets is shattered. And that sort of wisdom is hard to find right now, what with John Paulson continuing to trip over his own feet and George Soros […]

    / Aug 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM
  • News

    Congressional Leaders Emerge From Wildly Productive Meeting With Consensus On Debt Issue

    Here’s what they’ve got: we need to raise the debt ceiling.

    / Jul 7, 2011 at 3:15 PM
  • News

    An Issue of National Securities

    The following post is by Dealbreaker reader and commenter Infinite Guest. President Obama has nothing to gain by negotiating with Republicans in Congress in order to raise the debt ceiling. The Department of Treasury doesn’t need Congressional approval to issue more debt and it will be a long time before Treasury actually needs to exceed […]

    / Jun 1, 2011 at 12:13 PM
  • News

    Congress Vows To Have Its Day With Meredith Whitney, Whether She Likes It Or Not

    This much they promise you.

    / Feb 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM
  • News

    Congressional Subcommittee Would Like To Speak With Meredith Whitney About Muni Bonds

    Apparently she’s “rebuffed” their advances so far but they’re planning to persevere.

    / Feb 3, 2011 at 4:30 PM

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