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Tag >> Obama Administration
Nov 08
2010

Geithner against government involvement in executive pay decisions

Posted by dbedell in Timothy GeithnerObama AdministrationMorgan Stanleyexecutive payexecutive compensationCredit suisseCareers/Management

dbedell

According to a report on Reuters, on Monday Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the government should not be involved in setting corporate executive pay levels. 

What impact, if any, this will have on how regulation of compensation plays out is unclear, but it does once again bring to the fore the arguments on both sides of the executive pay discussion.

Aug 18
2010

Keynes' biographer skewers deficit hawks

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionObama Administrationgovernment financeglobal economyFederal ReserveFedeconomyECBdemanddefaultcareer/management

Ron F

This piece published today by Project Syndicate is as insightful a critique as I've seen of the consensus that has emerged among policymakers that government deficits must be cut to restore economic growth.

Not that we haven't taken a stab at that ourselves.

Aug 04
2010

When confidence is merely a con

Posted by Ron F in Timothy GeithnerRegulationObama Administrationfinancial crisisEUcomplianceBanksbanking reformbanking industryBankingbailouts

Ron F

A column published on Tuesday by Project Syndicate sums up the world's flailing (if not downright cynical) response to the financial crisis in particularly apt terms, I'd say.

The governments' efforts to restore confidence in the banking sector without really addressing the causes of its loss of confidence is akin to trying to tickle oneself, observed Paul Seabright of the University of Toulouse in the piece, entitled "Financial History's False Lessons."

Jul 29
2010

The battle to reform banks is far from over

Posted by Ron F in RiskRegulationObama AdministrationFederal ReservecomplianceBanksbanking reformBanking

Ron F

Anyone who thinks the financial reform bill is all that was necessary to finish fixing the banking system needs to read a couple of pieces published in recent days.

As Simon Johnson points out over at Baseline Scenario, a new paper by several respected academics shows that the stiffer capital requirements that the Obama administration is focused are not only easily gamed, but can have major unintended consequences, and these can amount a repeat of the systemic crisis we saw two years ago.

Jul 27
2010

Time to reread Keynes

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionObama Administrationjobsjoblessnessinvestmentfinancial crisisenvironmental policyenergyemploymenteconomydemandCongressCareers/Management

Ron F

I've avoided rehearsing the on-going debate over the bleak macroeconomic picture, because it quickly descends into endless political back and forth along with the usual name-calling, as my colleague Steve Taub and I have been discussing internally today.  But it's time to make an exception:

Is the private sector not hiring because it fears more aggressive action from the public sector, and so the public sector (read Obama administration) should leave the economy to itself, as those on the right claim? Or is the lack of private sector hiring a reflection of a lack of private sector hiring, and thus a vicious circle and market failure that requires the public sector (read Obama administration) to step in with a serious jobs program involving infrastructure, alternative energy and schools, as those on the left insist?

Not to speak for Steve, but my sense is he tends to agree with the first perspective, at least for the most part, and I can safely report that I agree with the second, and would recommend James Surowiecki's recent column to help make my case if I could find it. Since I can't, suffice it to say Surowiecki made the useful observation that the two sectors where hiring is picking up, banking and health care, are those where the government has taken the most aggressive regulatory action.

Jul 08
2010

Why companies aren't spending

Posted by Ron F in recoveryrecessionObama AdministrationObamajobsjoblessnessemploymenteconomyearningsdemandcash positioncash managementCashcapital expenditurescapex

Ron F

There's a political debate heating up about companies' hesitancy to invest the cash they're sitting on.

Essentially, the Democrats--or at least those in favor of further government stimulus measures such as a jobs program or at least extended unemployment benefits--argue that companies are wary of spending because of the lack of aggregate consumer demand.

Jul 07
2010

The financial crisis is only "on pause"

Posted by Ron F in Volcker RuleRiskRegulationObama Administrationfinancial market reformfinancial crisisCongresscomplianceBanksbanking reformBankingbailouts

Ron F

There's some additional recent work out there that's worth citing in connection with Karen's post on Tuesday.

In particular, I would point readers to the piece posted Monday on voxeu.org by Enrico Perotti, a finance professor at the Amsterdam Business School. Essentially, Perotti's piece explains why Kotlikoff's prescription is necessary. As it did the US Congress, the banking industry has fought off international attempts to get the so-called Basel Committee to force the industry to de-leverage its business model. And Kotlikoff's idea does exactly that, simply because mutual funds are financed entirely by equity.

Jun 23
2010

Letting Geithner off easy on the TARP

Posted by Ron F in Timothy GeithnerTARPObama Administrationfinancial market reformfinancial crisisCongressoinal Oversight PanelcomplianceBanksbanking reformBankingbailouts

Ron F

Tim Geithner once again says taxpayers are getting a good return on the funds they provided banks through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

And his line about 75 percent of the money being repaid may be true enough. It may even reflect this uncomfortable fact.

Jun 18
2010

BP's market value shows reputation gone

Posted by Ron F in Riskoil productionObama Administrationcash flowcash concernsCash

Ron F

The surest sign that BP's reputation has is worthless is the fact that its stock's market value is now about equal to the book value of its assets. After all, any premium over book value is normally considered to reflect a company's intangible assets, and in BP's case at the moment, its primary intangible is reputation, or rather the lack of one.

So observes Charles Mulford, an accounting professor at Georgia Tech and an editorial advisor to CFOZone.

Jun 16
2010

BP's legal options

Posted by dbedell in risk managementregulatory frameworkObama Administrationliability managementcorporate liabilityCashBP

dbedell

With more than 100 federal and state cases already having been filed in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it is hardly surprising that BP has hired advisers to help it sort out and control its liability exposure.

As Ron Fink reported on June 7, BP has waived its right to seek protection under a federal law that could have limited its liability to $75 million.

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