Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street’

Banking and finance roundup

Banking and finance roundup

  • The Department of Justice cuts a settlement deal with Bank of America under which the bank agrees to give millions to liberal groups [Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner, Federalist Society blog rounding up criticisms]
  • Seizures under bank structuring law have hit small business owners who deposited cash in under-$10,000 amounts because their insurance policies wouldn’t cover cash-on-hand holdings above that amount [Ali Meyer/Free Beacon, earlier and generally]
  • “It is hereby enacted that Smith wins his lawsuit” statutes and the Bank Markazi (Iran funds) case [Michael Greve, Liberty and Law]
  • Second Circuit panel throws out $1.2 billion verdict against B of A over Countrywide mortgage lending, saying government didn’t prove fraud [Daniel Fisher, more]
  • “The crowdfunding catch: government regulations” [Thaya Brook Knight, Newsweek/Cato]
  • Too left-wing to get tenure at Harvard Law in era of the Crits. Now, to banks, “he’s judge and jury and everything else.” [Wall Street Journal profile of Fed governor Daniel Tarullo]

“New Hedge Fund Strategy: Dispute the Patent, Short the Stock”

Like a sports team getting to bet on its own game? “A well-known hedge-fund manager is taking a novel approach to making money: filing and publicizing patent challenges against pharmaceutical companies while also betting against their shares.” [WSJ; ten years ago on selling short, then suing] More: Bainbridge on an academic paper analyzing the effects when a litigant holds long or short positions in its opponent.

Banking and finance roundup

  • “Why We Could not Bail Out Mortgage Borrowers” [Arnold Kling]
  • Here come the Wall Street pay clawback rules [John Carney/WSJ MoneyBeat Blog, more, yet more] Jesse Fried on “Rationalizing the Dodd-Frank Clawback” [SSRN via Bainbridge]
  • Price controls on credit card interchange fees: “the folks who supported the Durbin amendment [to Dodd-Frank] should be ashamed of themselves” [Bill Isaac, quoted by Kevin Funnell]
  • New light on whether Treasury handling of Fannie and Freddie bailouts violated existing creditor or shareholder rights [Peter Van Doren, Cato]
  • “Dollar Value of Securities Class-Action Settlements Surges” [WSJ Law Blog on Cornerstone Research analysis, Insurance Journal]
  • Some reasons to think that actual tax evasion falls far short of what was speculated in the wake of the Panama Papers story [Tim Worstall] Legal confidentiality was breached in that episode. Should we be celebrating? [Tyler Cowen] Economist mag proposes more regulation of offshore, not so fast [Bainbridge first, second]

Investment-adviser fiduciary rule could trip up broadcast personalities

Brokers who advise retirement investors are bracing for more intense regulation under the Labor Department’s new “fiduciary” rule, and some are already planning to reduce the business they do. The rule is also expected to accelerate a shift toward fee-based investment advice, and is welcomed by some fee-based advisors. [Michael Wursthorn, WSJ] Perhaps less expectedly, the rule could trip up large numbers of persons who less obviously fit the role of financial advisor. John Berlau, Forbes:

Experts both for and against the rule I have talked to agree its broad reach could extend to financial media personalities who offer tips to individual audience members, a group that includes not just Ramsey but TV hosts like Suze Orman and Jim Cramer, as well as many other broadcasters who opine on business and investment matters. They would be ensnared by the rule’s broad redefinition of a vast swath of financial professionals as “fiduciaries” and its mandate that these “fiduciaries” only serve the “best interest” of IRA and 401(k) holders.

One insurance agent, Michael Markey, has written that such media personalities need to “be regulated and to be held accountable” by the government for the opinions he dish out, and “hailed the Labor Department rule as ushering a new era in which “entertainers …can no longer evade the pursuit of regulatory oversight.” Prof. Bainbridge wonders whether there might be a First Amendment issue lurking here, as well as an impulse to support regulation that works to handicap one’s competitors.

Environment roundup

  • Eminent domain on the silver screen: “Wild River” (1960) starring Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick tells story of TVA’s taking of the last parcel for a dam [Gideon Kanner]
  • Berkshire Hathaway: up to now, climate change has not produced more frequent insured weather-related events [Tyler Cowen]
  • Erin Brockovich goes on the Dr. Oz show to spread doubts about fluoride in drinking water [Hank Campbell, ACSH; more Brockovich follies]
  • California declares relatively unprocessed “aloe vera whole leaf extract” to be a dangerous chemical, which means it can be added to the Prop 65 list; note however that the refined aloe vera used in consumer products is not so included [Conkle Law]
  • Some environmentalists plan to sue fund managers who don’t act against global warming [The Guardian, Nature]
  • A tale of Superfund joint and several liability: “How tort reform helped crack down on polluters” [Ross Marchand, R Street Institute]
  • “Great Moments in US Energy Policy: In the 1970’s, The US Government Mandated Coal Use For New Power Plants” [Coyote]

Banking and finance roundup

Banking and finance roundup

  • Bernie Sanders still rants and raves about Glass-Steagall Act. Who will break the news to him? [Catherine Rampell/WaPo, P.M. Carpenter (Krugman, Pearlstein in accord with Rampell), earlier] “Hillary Clinton vows to go ‘well beyond’ Dodd-Frank” [Housing Wire via Kevin Funnell]
  • “In the past, ‘financial institutions were unwilling, for relationship reasons, to litigate against each other…That has changed dramatically.'” [Daniel Fisher quoting New York attorney Brian Fraser]
  • “Government Thinks You’re Too Dumb To Try Crowdfunding” [Ben Weingarten, The Federalist]
  • “If every bank behaved like Abacus, the financial crisis wouldn’t have occurred.” So guess which bank got prosecuted [Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker back in October]
  • Billions in free money for consumers, just by regulating credit card fees! Sorry, it’s not that simple [Todd Zywicki]
  • “The war against cash”: government vs. the cash economy [Daniel Mitchell, Cato, first and second post]
  • New IRS authority to secure revocation of passports should give pause to everyone concerned about American liberty [Investors Business Daily]

Banking and finance roundup

  • Trying to buy gift cards in bulk as an employee bonus, Coyote discovers anew that the government hates cash;
  • Initial public offerings are drooping again, regulation one reason [Thaya Knight, Cato]
  • A dissent from the lamentations, here and elsewhere, on the decline of small community banks [Ira Stoll] “Fed’s Tarullo says looking into smaller banks’ concerns” [Business Insider]
  • Berned out? Financial transactions tax “one of the more overrated ideas in American Progressive political discourse” [Tyler Cowen, Wikipedia on Sweden’s experience via @aClassicLiberal on Twitter] And Sen. Sanders continues to express incredulity on Twitter about college loans’ carrying higher interest than home mortgages do, despite attempts to enlighten him on the whole topic of secured lending and collateral [@tedfrank]
  • Video of Federalist Society convention panel on constitutionality of administrative law judges at SEC and elsewhere with John S. Baker, Jr., Stephen Crimmins, Todd Pettys, Tuan Samahon, moderated by F. Scott Kieff;
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ban on contractual arbitration will help class action lawyers, few others [Todd Zywicki, Mercatus]
  • “How US policies to stop terrorist financing end up hurting innocent families abroad” [Dylan Matthews, Vox] Money laundering regs, “de-risking” result in many bank closures in U.S.-Mexico border areas, hassles result for local residents and businesses [Kevin Funnell]

Banking and finance roundup