Tag Archives: Banking reform

Big Banks Face Another Round of U.S. Charges


By Ben Protess and Jessica Silver-Greenberg – With evidence mounting that a number of foreign and American banks colluded to alter the price of foreign currencies, the largest and least regulated financial market, prosecutors are aiming to file charges against at least one bank by the end of the year.

Yet the breadth of the suspected wrongdoing in the currency inquiry — Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and UBS are among the dozen or so banks under investigation — might distinguish it from the piecemeal nature of the crisis-era investigations. more> http://tinyurl.com/msouwc6

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Here Comes the Internet of Money


Bloomberg – Money and payment systems, the underpinnings of all financial activity, are still traditional in one respect: They rely on central third parties — banks — to record and vouch for transactions.

Digital currencies dispense with this. They create a decentralized record — a “distributed ledger” — which allows buyers and sellers to interact directly. more> http://tinyurl.com/mx4unrg

Your Debt, Our Nation’s Headache


By Barry Ritholtz – Assets purchased with cheap and widely available credit become worth significantly less once the bubble bursts. But the debt remains.

All of that leverage used to purchase all of those assets — regardless of whether it’s subprime mortgages or dot-com stocks — sticks around.

Hence, a post-credit-crisis recovery is dominated not by the release of pent-up demand, but by massive corporate, household and government deleveraging. more> http://tinyurl.com/pryw54s

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Occupational Hazards of Working on Wall Street


By Michael Lewis – “I’m going to Goldman,” is still about as close as it gets in the real world to “I’m going to Harvard,” at least for the fiercely ambitious young person who is ambitious to do nothing in particular.

One moment this herd of graduates of the nation’s best universities are young people — ambitious yes, but still young people — with young people’s ideals and hopes to live a meaningful life.

The next they are essentially old people, at work gaming ratings companies, and designing securities to fail so they might make a killing off the investors they dupe into buying them, and rigging various markets at the expense of the wider society, and encouraging all sorts of people to do stuff with their capital and their companies that they never should do. more> http://tinyurl.com/mrv2zxm

The Goldman Sachs Aluminum Conspiracy Lawsuit Is Over


By Matt Levine – Let me tell you about aluminum. Aluminum is a metal that is used to make beer cans, and also for some other things.

About a year ago, the New York Times published a famously puzzling article about Goldman Sachs’s network of aluminum warehouses.

The point of the story was that Goldman — in its Metro International subsidiary, which it’s now selling — did an evil trick where it would load aluminum onto a truck, drive the truck around Detroit, and then deliver it back to the warehouse.

This apparently made a lot of money for Goldman, though the mechanism was a bit mysterious. more> http://tinyurl.com/kokfsuy

Wrecking an Economy Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry


By Dean Starkman – The megabanks are finally feeling the hurt for the depredations of the mortgage era. That’s what the government, and some in the financial press, too, would have us believe.

There’s a much deeper problem here, however, and one that has received far less attention:

Not only has the Department of Jus­tice (DOJ) failed to build any criminal cases for financial-crisis misdeeds, but it’s also now settling with these banks without even filing civil complaints.

A complaint is the cornerstone of civil litigation, the foundation for even routine lawsuits.

One of its primary benefits—and of adversarial legal proceedings generally—is that a complaint can bring huge amounts of previously undisclosed information into the public record. more> http://tinyurl.com/paqp7yc

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Old Debts, Shady Collectors and Your Rights


BOOK REVIEW

Paper Boys, Author: Jake Halpern.

By Megan McArdle – The problem is enforcement.

The Federal Trade Commission, which is in charge of regulating this stuff, is not really equipped to rid the world of a bunch of fly-by-night collection shops operating out of temporary office spaces or the back of some guy’s warehouse; it’s good at wrangling with corporations that have big, marble-floored headquarters that can’t easily be moved to a nearby shed if the government comes knocking.

It’s easy to see why enforcement would be a low priority when shutting one fishy operation down just means that someone else will pick up the paper and do the same thing — maybe even the owner, operating through a brand-new shell company. more> http://tinyurl.com/qaefsmn