November 30, 2009

Can We Just Go Home Now Mommy?

Always an interesting conference for hard-core securities practitioners, I attended the ABA’s Fall Meeting for the “Federal Regulation of Securities Committee” in DC a week ago Friday. This year’s meeting drove me to despair as it became evident that the finest minds in the securities bar didn’t have a complete grasp on what was happening in Congress. If those of us “inside the Beltway” and normally plugged in didn’t have all the answers, who does? No one, probably not even those working on the Hill.

The sheer pace of changes to proposed legislation – not to mention the large number of bills being floated – makes this a time unlike no other during my career. Truly anything can happen and at any time (eg. see this blog and this follow-up blog). Lobbyists are making their marks felt and who knows what type of regulatory framework we will end up with.

Even as senior Corp Fin Staffers laid out a blitzkrieg of upcoming proposals and adoptions during a panel, it was hard not to think about the real background and cause for concern these days. The great unknown of Congress. In terms of keeping up with the latest developments, the next few months may be our greatest challenge yet…

SIGTARP’s Latest Audit Bashes New York Fed’s Handling of AIG

Just as Congress readies legislation to enhance the oversight powers of the Federal Reserve (although this action taken by the House Financial Services Committee would move “too big to fail” power from the Fed to a new “Financial Services Oversight Council”), the TARP’s Special Inspector General released its audit of how the Federal Reserve Bank of New York handled the AIG crisis. As noted in this NY Times article, the report is not good news for the Fed, including now-Treasury Secretary Geithner.

Dissecting the Dodd Bill’s Broker-Dealer Provisions

In this podcast, Bob Colby of Davis Polk (and former Deputy Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading & Markets) provides insight into the broker-dealer provisions of the Dodd bill and what we can expect to see, including:

– What is the background of the broker-dealer provisions of the Dodd bill and how did they come to be?
– How would the Dodd bill affect broker-dealers if it is passed in its draft form?
– How does the Dodd bill differ from the House’s bill on broker-dealers?
– What are the odds of passage of the broker-dealer provisions of the Dodd bill?

– Broc Romanek