Tag Archives: Wall Street

U.S. attempt to limit Wall Street bonuses fizzles out quietly

The regulatory agenda released by the Trump administration on Thursday contained a signal that the U.S. government has halted its work on restricting Wall Street executives’ bonuses and other pay incentives.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law called for federal banking and securities regulators to create limits on incentive-based compensation at big financial companies and prevent executives from receiving outsized rewards for overly risky gambles.

Last year those regulators, many appointed by former President Barack Obama, a Democrat, rolled out a 500-page rule over many weeks that would require senior executives to return bonuses earned by making decisions that materially hurt their banks.

But in the biannual White House agenda on regulation, the rule was listed under the heading “long-term action,” instead of one denoting regulators were making progress toward a final version. In Washington-speak that meant the rule was dead.

The move followed President Donald Trump’s campaign pledges to lighten federal regulations that hurt liquidity and strangled business.

Read on.

Here’s why Wall Street has a hard time being ethical

This article was a few years ago but nothing has changed today…

A new report finds 53% of financial services executives say that adhering to ethical standards inhibits career progression at their firm. A former Wall Street trader describes why

My first year on Wall Street, 1993, I was paid 14 times more than I earned the prior year and three times more than my father’s best year. For that money, I helped my company create financial products that were disguised to look simple, but which required complex math to properly understand. That first year I was roundly applauded by my bosses, who told me I was clever, and to my surprise they gave me $20,000 bonus beyond my salary.

The products were sold to many investors, many who didn’t fully understand what they were buying, most of them what we called “clueless Japanese.” The profits to my company were huge – hundreds of millions of dollars huge. The main product that made my firm great money for close to five years was was called, in typically dense finance jargon, a YIF, or a Yield Indexed Forward.

Read on.

Trump’s message to bankers: Wall Street reform rules may be eliminated

President Donald Trump told a group of chief executives on Tuesday that his administration was revamping the Wall Street reform law known as Dodd-Frank and might eliminate the rules and replace them with “something else.”

At the beginning of his administration, Trump ordered reviews of the major banking rules put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, and last week he said officials were planning a “major haircut” for them.

“For the bankers in the room, they’ll be very happy because we’re really doing a major streamlining and, perhaps, elimination, and replacing it with something else,” Trump said on Tuesday.

“That will be the minimum. But we’re doing a major elimination of the horrendous Dodd-Frank regulations, keeping some obviously, but getting rid of many,” he said.

Read on.

Top Wall Street lawyer takes aim at SEC in new book

One of Wall Street’s top lawyers is taking aim at one of Washington’s biggest regulators.

In his new book, “Going Public: My Adventures Inside the SEC and How to Prevent the Next Devastating Crisis,” veteran lawyer Norm Champ recounts his tumultuous five years at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Champ, now a partner at Kirland & Ellis, laments a “culture of fear and paranoia” spurred by anonymous complaints and backbiting. He ultimately stopped regulators from sharing information about investigations.

Read on.

The Wall Street Merry-Go-Round Revolves Again!

Well, while many of us notice, and many of us care, our opinions matter not! President Trump continues to astound citizens with his about-face on Wall Street, now welcoming them with open arms and he’s filling the White House with former TBTF executives and those who defend them.
The revolving door which exists in government and on Wall Street, where the government sends key individuals to government; they serve in the Department of Justice, the Treasury,  the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),  about which I’ve commented many times, just goes on. They serve in a government position knowing that their real reward is coming full circle – they come back home to Wall Street or serving Wall Street via the law firms which pander to them and reap huge financial rewards. Many of us believe that these golden parachutes open the door to placing even more financial insiders in government who in turn are then more favorable to their former Wall Street bosses.
Regards,
Richard

Should We Welcome Back Wall Street?

A recent New York Times Sunday Review featured an article by my good friend, William D. Cohan, author of The House of Cards and the forthcoming Why Wall Street Matters. The article, Welcome Back Wall Street, points out President Trump’s vilifying Wall Street throughout his campaign and his present about face- which is now welcoming Wall Street’s “financial guidance” with open arms.
William (Bill) pointed out that at a recent Strategy and Policy Forum meeting, the group’s chairman and billionaire co-founder of the Blackstone Group, Stephen Schwarzman, was seated to the right of Mr. Trump with Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, directly across from him.
Mr. Trump, whose intentions are to “modify” (read gut) Dodd-Frank, was quoted as saying, “There’s nobody better to tell me about Dodd-Frank than Jamie,” … which according to Bill may “presumably mean that there was nobody better to help dismantle Dodd-Frank than Jamie.”
Regards,
Richard

Trump’s Gifts to Wall Street Threaten Retirees—and Robots

Wired:

In the wake of the financial crisis, a slew of so-called robo-advisors promised consumers a fully automated version of money management that purports to remove human error—and avarice—from the equation. Instead of a human broker making decisions about how to invest your money, companies like Betterment and Wealthfront let algorithms do it. Experts have speculated the fiduciary rule would benefit robo-advisors by making the compliance costs too great for money managers to justify holding onto smaller clients. Robo-advisors that can perform much the same function at a lower cost would likely gobble that business right up.

In a 2015 Congressional hearing, then-Labor Secretary Tom Perez repeatedly cited Wealthfront as the way of the future. “They have a platform that enables them to lower their fees, operate as a fiduciary and do well by doing good,” Perez saidat the time.

“Today’s announcement of a rollback or freeze on some of those rules probably will shrink the market for robo-investing,” says former California state senator Sam Blakeslee, president of the broker-dealer Blakeslee & Blakeslee.

“This is a sad day for individual investors. Repeal of the fiduciary rule would imperil the retirement savings of millions of Americans,” Jon Stein, founder and CEO of Betterment, said in a statement. “Repeal means favoring the bottom lines of the financial services industry over the American people, who deserve financial transparency and honesty.”