May 212015

Crowdfunding makes sense for a neighborhood hairstylist or dry cleaner, but not so much for a tech startup aspiring to be the next Facebook, experts said May 7-9, 2015, during the Smith Entrepreneurship Research Conference at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

SEC-amended rules that take effect June 19 undervalue the distinction, crowdfunding panelists said at the event staged by the Center for Financial Policy and Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Discussion participants said the rules, designed to facilitate smaller companies’ access to capital, focus too much on equity investment and discount crowdfunding as a resource for small startups serving their immediate communities.

Read the full recap here, or you can listen to the event.

Apr 242015

Markets ground steadily higher this week ahead of the Fed’s meeting next week where they are expected to leave rates unchanged. An increase in June has also become less likely due to slow economy growth in the first quarter, unsteady global economy and strong U.S. dollar. All eyes will be on the Fed’s forward looking guidance. On the regulatory front, the SEC recently proposed a rule to require all off-exchange trading firms become members of the FINRA, in an aim to strengthen regulatory oversight of high-frequency trading firms.

The Economist published an article on whether regulators have actually made the banking system safer, the topic of our afternoon panel at the CFP’s conference on May 11th with The Clearing House on The Intended and Unintended Consequences of Financial Reform. Visit the CFP’s website to register.


Frozen: Regulators have made banking safer. But has that made markets riskier?

Fed Crisis-Liquidity Function Reviewed for Potential Use by IMF

5 Ways Volcker Would Change Financial Oversight

Fed’s Rate Decisions Hang on Dollar, Growth Concerns             

Fed’s Dudley: Hopeful for 2015 Rate Increase, but Action Depends on Economy

Fed Should Make Bond Buys a Regular Policy Tool, a Boston Fed Paper Find

U.S., E.U. Regulators Trade Barbs over Swaps

This High-Speed Trader Says Thanks, Regulators

Risks the Bankers Facing Now

Apr 222015
Bill Longbrake

Bill Longbrake

With the exception of Europe, the global economy, including China and the U.S., is off to a disappointing start this year. As for Europe, the stars appear to have aligned at long last but is Europe’s recent good fortune prelude to steady, if uninspiring growth, or will it turn out in a few quarters to be a dead cat bounce within a trend of long-term secular decline? Bill Longbrake discusses Europe’s long-term prospects and the threat posed by Greece’s acute financial crisis. He also examines the surprisingly weak first quarter growth in the U.S. and what this portends.  

Read the full letter.

Apr 172015

Both politicians and regulators have been on the tapes with their views on where regulation should go next, in particular how to regulate and oversee the nonbank, or shadow banking, system. The CFP and Clearing House will be discussing the systemic importance of non-banks at our conference on May 11, 2015 on the Intended and Unintended Consequences of Financial Reform. Please visit the CFP’s website for more information and to register.


Fed Divided on June Rate Increase, but Soft Data May Prove Deciding Factor

Fed’s Fischer Floats Ideas for Regulating Shadow Banks

SEC Official: ‘Not Clear’ Bank Regulation Has Made Economy Safer

Judge Allows SEC Insider-Trading Suit to Proceed

U.S. Agencies Block Technology Exports for Supercomputer in China

Blackrock to Shift Funds to Comply With New Rules

Regulators Call for Short-Term Loan Changes to Handle ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’

OFR’s Berner stresses importance of LEI adoption

Elizabeth Warren’s New Agenda for Democrats on Financial Reform

SEC tightens reigns on retail investor products

FSOC has process for rescinding SIFI status

Apr 032015

After years of pushing banks to boost their capital cushions, regulators have now turned to corporate governance and the role of directors to ensure banks have the right culture and controls to prevent excessive risk taking. The Federal Reserve and other bank regulators are holding frequent meetings with individual directors at the nation’s biggest banks, demanding detailed minutes and other documentation of board meetings. The markets had a volatile week leading up to this week’s non-farm payroll report.  The worse than expected result caused the dollar to slump and bonds to surge as the market pushed out the timing of the Fed’s expected interest rate hike.


Hedge funds urge CFTC to allow anonymous swaps trades

SEC Pushes Extractive Disclosure Rule Decision to 2016

Regulators intensify scrutiny of bank boards

Startups can raise $50 million in mini-IPO

Pinning New Jobs to 2012 IPO Legislation Proves a Challenge

Battle lines drawn over “systemically important” label