Monthly Archives: August 2010

shilly shallying on elizabeth warren

The Obama Administration has been steadily losing its luster in many areas, but perhaps nowhere more so than in the field of financial regulation, where leadership is more urgently needed than anywhere else. Today’s American Banker (proprietary content, unfortunately) carries…

fees will go on and on

Let’s face it.  Very few people have a clue how much money gets deducted from their mutual funds and then used to pay sales, marketing and service expenses.  These ongoing, “hidden” deductions are above and beyond management fees that also…

what’s going on at Basel

Here is Planet Money (including our Duke Law alumna, Barbara Matthews) on what’s going on at Basel. This is more important than most realize because the rules being developed internationally will apply to US banks, and they are about the…

not so fast

Yesterday I noted that the Basel Committee and the Financial Stability Board had issued reports challenging the complaints of bankers that stricter bank capital and liquidity rules and demonstrating the the proposed rules would make for healthier economic growth. I…

uncovering covered bonds

The next “next thing” in finance is said to be covered bonds. These securities have a long and distinguished pedigree, originating under the rule of King Frederick the Great in order to generate mortgage financing for Prussia’s landed gentry, who…

it’s about time

Many banking leaders have been whining incessantly about how proposed new capital and liquidity requirements will adversely impact GDP and reduce credit. This is an old canard raised by almost every industry when facing new regulation. The logic is about…

being honest about Fannie and Freddy

Today the Treasury Department is hosting a summit designed to explore options for reforming the two housing giants, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. Addressing these government-controlled mortgage underwriting organizations is a task that has remained conspicuously absent from the financial…

haunted houses, the sequel

The mystery unfolds. On Monday in “haunted houses,” I mulled over the question, why is it that many people believe that the $700 billion, Troubled Asset Relief Program (“Bailout”) of 2008 was authorized during President Obama’s administration. Today, I’d like…

capitalizing on microfinance

Microfinance has become the rage of late, with its leading proponent, Muhammad Yunus, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance loans, an estimated $60 billion of which is outstanding, enable low-income individuals and the poor to start or expand small businesses.…