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Showing posts from March, 2008

SEC Chairman Cox on the "Blueprint for Financial Regulatory Reform"

"Statement of SEC Chairman Christopher Cox Regarding Blueprint for Financial Regulatory Reform FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2008-53 Washington, D.C., March 29, 2008 — Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox today issued the following statement regarding the Blueprint for Financial Regulatory Reform being proposed by the Treasury Department: 'Recent events have provided further evidence, if more were needed, that financial services regulation in the United States needs to be better integrated among fewer agencies, with clearer lines of responsibility. Just as systemic risk cannot be neatly parceled along outdated regulatory lines, the overarching objective of investor protection can't be fully achieved if it fails to encompass derivatives, insurance, and new instruments that straddle today's regulatory divides. The proposed consolidation of responsibility for investor protection and the regulation of financial products deserves serious consideration as a wa

"Treasury Dept. Plan Would Give Fed Wide New Power"

According to the New York Times , a Treasury Department plan released (over a weekend to the press and selected insiders only) would give substantial new power to the Federal Reserve Board. "The Treasury plan would let Fed officials examine the practices and even the internal bookkeeping of brokerage firms, hedge funds, commodity-trading exchanges and any other institution that might pose a risk to the overall financial system." This would be a significant expansion of the central bank’s regulatory mission. We are not, at this point, opposed to this effort. We noted, in an October 2, 1998 filing with the DC Circuit of the US Court of Appeals (Case Number 98-1459), our belief that the Fed should be designated a "Super-regulator, with broad responsibility for overseeing the activities of banks, thrifts, pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds, brokerage firms and investment banks. We believe social investors need to review the plan carefully. The Times stated: &qu

Subprime lender used "significant improper and imprudent financial practices."

According to a report described in the Washington Post, "New Century Financial, the subprime lender that was one of the first casualties of the housing crisis, had a 'brazen obsession' with risky home loans that spurred it to engage in 'significant improper and imprudent' financial practices, according to a report released yesterday. The long-awaited report examines what went awry at New Century, the second-largest subprime lender before it raced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2007, and says shareholders could recover a small fraction of the billions of dollars they lost in the process by suing companies and individuals who may have exacerbated the debacle. Michael J. Missal, the lead investigator, acting at the behest of the Justice Department, pointed the finger at audit firm KPMG, which he said contributed to New Century's problems in 'troubling and puzzling' ways. In some cases, KPMG may have recommended departures from accounting s

Rating Agency Reform

Recently, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer "has been leading a national effort to persuade the rating agencies to change the way they rate municipal bonds. Munis are held to a much higher standard than corporate bonds, as the rating agencies' own default studies demonstrate. This unjustifiable system has cost taxpayers billions of dollars." This "also helped trigger (a) meltdown..when several (municipal) bond insurers suffered downgrades below the minimum ratings required for money market eligibility." See: States and Cities Start Rebelling on Bond Ratings. Also see: "Three weeks ago, the Treasurer took the lead in writing a letter to the rating agencies requesting that they change the way they rate municipal bonds. The letter was signed or endorsed by 13 state treasurers, as well as four other state and local municipal issuers across the country." Other institutional investors..o

Emerging Managers Summit & Awards Luncheon

Emerging Managers Summit and Awards Luncheon May 14-16, 2008 Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Last year we attended the Emerging Managers Summit and Awards Luncheon, an event that provides a unique opportunity to meet a diverse group of money managers and managers of managers. This year, we are a media sponsor for the event. This year's event will take place at the Marriott Downtown on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and will feature the 2008 Emerging Manager Awards Luncheon, recognizing the leading emerging manager, emerging fund of funds, emerging hedge fund, emerging private equity manager, emerging consultant and the top emerging manager strategy. Topics of Discussion at the Summit Include: • Implementing an Emerging Managers Program into an Institutional Portfolio • Private Equity Investments and Strategies • How are Emerging Managers Creating Successful Styles and Strategies • Manager Selection • Emerging Managers in Alternative Investments To register, visit www.opalgr

Minority Banking News

From the New York Times: Banks Springing Up to Serve the Underserved From Earth Times News: Cole Taylor Bank, recently announced the sale of the bank's branch office located at 824 East 63rd Street, Chicago, Illinois, to Highland Community Bank.

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