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Financial Institutions

A Conversation on Proposed Systemic Risk Regulation - Podcast

Financial Services and E-Commerce Practice Group
Peter J. Wallison, Wayne A. Abernathy, John L. Douglas July 24, 2009
On March 26, 2009, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined the administration’s plan to regulate the financial system during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee.  The proposals included the creation of a systemic regulator that would have the authority to designate “significantly important” financial institutions that may pose serious risks to the stability of the financial system. What does it mean for an institution to be so designated? Can a systemic regulator provide the needed oversight of financial institutions? Does the federal government have sufficient existing authority to deal with systemic risk and should it have the authority to resolve financial institutions outside of existing bankruptcy law?  Our speakers address these and other questions.

ABA Watch August 2011

Table of Contents
August 02, 2011

ABA WatchIn this issue, we are pleased to offer a preview of the ABA's annual meeting in Toronto, including discussing proposals regarding judicial disqualification and profiles of those lawyers being honored by the Association. We also discuss recent scrutiny of the ABA law school accreditation process. And, as in the past, we digest and summarize actions before the House of Delegates. [More]

AIG Bonus Payments

New Federal Initiatives Project
John C. Eastman, Marisa Maleck April 13, 2009
AIG Bonus PaymentsMany have expressed outrage that 73 American International Group (AIG) employees received $165 million in bonuses after the company received a $170 billion bailout package. President Barack Obama has urged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to pursue all legal avenues in order to get the bonuses back. Congressional leaders have passed emergency legislation meant to tax the bonuses away. On March 19, 2009 the House passed a bill (HR 1586), by a margin of 328-93, which imposes a 90 percent tax on bonuses given to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at AIG and other companies (including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money. Top members of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus and Charles Grassley, have introduced similar legislation which will impose a 35 percent tax on non-retention bonuses—year-end bonuses, performance bonuses, and others—if they exceed $50,000. The Baucus-Grassley proposal will be imposed both on the company and on the recipient of the bonus.2

America Would Be Better Off Without Fed Monetary Policy

Financial Services & E-Commerce Newsletter - Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 1998
Bert Ely August 17, 2009
Monetary policy is one of the cornerstones of American economic policy and the Federal Reserve is increasingly seen as one of America's bedrock institutions while the Fed chairman is often viewed as Washington's second-most powerful official. But, is this as it should be? Or is the Fed chairman in fact nothing more than a real-world Wizard of Oz? This article will first explain what present-day monetary policy is and is not and then explain why money doesn't count, as least as a major public policy concern. Interest rates, however, do count enormously, because properly setting interest rates in the commercial marketplace rather than in the political marketplace in which the Fed operates, is central to ensuring price stability and steady economic growth. The final portion of this article will describe how a truly market-based, Fed-free monetary policy can be implemented.

An Overview and Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Engage Volume 12, Issue 3, November 2011
Sarah Riddell January 11, 2012

An Overview and Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection BureauThe Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”), signed into law by President Obama on July 21, 2010, created a major overhaul of the financial industry. For years, advocates have praised the benefits of financial reform and promoted legislation that would provide such reform. Specifically, these advocates have focused their support on consumer protection legislation. The Act addresses many of these concerns by creating an entirely new regulatory regime with the purpose of “ensuring that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services and that markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive.” This paper describes the new regime and its powers and analyzes the effectiveness of the new bureau, which is still in its early stages... [Read more!]