Regulators Promise Higher Leverage Ratios.
On February 6th, Bloomberg discussed the testimony of financial services regulators before the Senate Banking Committee. Banking and treasury officials said that leverage ratios for U.S. banks will be higher than their international counterparts. Testimony. See also Hearings Webpage (with links to archived webcast and prepared testimony).
Hippie Sensibilities Protected Firm from the SEC.
On February 6th, Ben Horowitz of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz blogged about the time his firm Opsware almost became the subject of a SEC stock options backdating investigation but didn't thanks to a general counsel with "hippie sensibilities" who was "nearly allergic to corporate politics, showmanship, or any behavior that covered the truth." Hippie Sensibilities.
Martoma Convicted of Insider Trading.
On February 6th, a federal jury found Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital portfolio manager, guilty on three counts of conspiracy and securities fraud for engaging in insider trading that allegedly earned SAC Capital $275 million. See, e.g., DealBook; Forbes.
Volcker Rule Coordination.
On February 5th, Bloomberg summarized the testimony of five federal regulators before the House Financial Services Committee concerning the Volcker rule, the Dodd-Frank Act's prohibition against proprietary trading by deposit-taking banks. Witnesses, including SEC Chair Mary Jo White and Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo, discussed the agencies' creation of an interagency group to coordinate the implementation of the Volcker rule. Interagency Coordination. See also hearing webpage (with links to archived webcast and text of witness's prepared remarks).
Volcker Rule Exemption.
On February 5th, the Wall Street Journal reported that Federal Reserve Board Governor Daniel Tarullo, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, said that the five federal regulators implementing the Volcker rule are considering loosening the rule's provisions concerning collateralized loan obligations. Exemptions.
On February 4th, ABC News discussed a shareholder proposal New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has submitted to two national banks. The proposal would require the banks to name the employees who could expose the banks to losses as a result of their portfolio activities and compensation structure. The banks have asked the SEC for permission to exclude the proposals as pertaining to ordinary business. Employee Risk.
Links to Sovereign Wealth Funds Examined.
On February 3rd, Bloomberg reported that the Justice Department is looking into the relationship between various financial firms and sovereign wealth funds. The investigation is examining whether the firms made payments to obtain the sovereign funds' business. Sovereign Wealth Funds.