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Blog Post
9/21/2010
Posted by Carmen Balber
The initial apoplectic furor of opponents of the new consumer financial regulator - the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection - at President Obama's appointment of Elizabeth Warren to serve as an advisor to the president whose job will be to get the bureau running has shifted gears. Naysayers (those opposed to a consumer regulator from the start...
News Release
8/3/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043; or Judy Dugan, 310-392-0522 ext. 305
$1 Million Grant Would Bolster Industry-favored Schwarzenegger Plan, Help Kill Actual Regulation of Insurance Companies Washington, DC -- Consumer Watchdog today asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reject Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s request for a $1 million grant under the new health reform law. The grants are...
News Release
7/30/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Judy Dugan, 213-280-0175 (cell); or Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043
If Californians Have to Buy Health Insurance, Insurers Have to Be Regulated, Says Watchdog’s Letter to Gov. Santa Monica, CA -- Consumer Watchdog has called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to withdraw weak pseudo-reforms of the health insurance industry that would bar strong regulation of health insurers. Schwarzenegger sent his proposals this...
Blog Post
7/22/2010
Posted by Carmen Balber
I flew back to Los Angeles this week to touch base with colleagues in CW's Santa Monica office, and sit on a panel discussion about the financial reform package at Town Hall Los Angeles. It couldn't have been better-timed. The panel - planned months in advance - was the day before President Obama signed the bill. I joined an SEC regulator,...
News Release
7/15/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Carmen Balber, (202) 629-3043
Washington, D.C. – Consumer Watchdog applauded final Congressional passage today of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which now heads to President Obama for his signature.   “Nearly two years after the financial crisis brought the nation’s economy to its knees, this bill is a critical first step toward...
Blog Post
7/1/2010
Posted by Khan Shoieb
As Angelides pounds the gavel and adjourns the hearing, there is one question that is yet to be resolved amongst the Commission: How much of the crisis can be attributed to overarching regulatory deficiencies and how much of it can be attributed to poor risk management and incompetence by individual firms? Or are these two inextricably...
Blog Post
7/1/2010
Posted by Khan Shoieb
Commissioner Peter Wallison is suggesting that Credit Default Swaps are not inherently problematic. We just don't understand the underlying principles, he tells the witnesses. Wallison is asserting that CDS are just loans under another name, and if society and financial firms come to understand CDS everything will be fine. Gary Gensler, Chairman...
Blog Post
7/1/2010
Posted by Khan Shoieb
Eric Dinallo, former Superintendent of the NYS Insurance Department, points out to Commissioner Keith Hennessey that AIG FP was in large part able to take on absurd amounts of risk because market perception viewed AIG FP in the context of its holding company, AIG. This meant that the risk that AIG FP had was greatly offset by the assets that AIG...
Blog Post
7/1/2010
Khan Shoieb
In Session 2 so far, a lot of the questioning has been directed at the structural deficiencies of regulatory agencies. One large revelation has been the way in which many financial firms are able to manipulate and de facto pick which agency it would like to be regulated by. This leads, as Chairman Phil Angelides points out, to firms picking the...
Blog Post
7/1/2010
Posted by Khan Shoieb
Towards the end of Session 1, a great deal of the questioning focused on why the government paid Goldman 100 cents on the dollar to unwind AIG's Credit Default Swaps. Some Commission members were griling GS' Viniar as to why, although the market value of these CDS were roughly 48 cents on the dollar, taxpayers paid 100 cents on the dollar for...