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Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> Regulation
Nov 22
2010

Surge in restatements, material weaknesses

Posted by Stephen Taub in Section 404Sarbanes-OxleyRiskrestatementsRegulationmaterial weaknessinternal controlsGlass LewiscomplianceAccounting

Stephen Taub

The number of financial reporting issues is on the rise this year, exceeding multi-year lows set last year.

In the first nine months of 2010, about 20 percent more companies filed restatements to correct accounting errors or reported internal-control weaknesses than in the first three quarters of 2009, according to a new study published by Glass Lewis.

Aug 25
2010

Proposed pension reg could cause companies to hike funding

Posted by Stephen Taub in RegulationpensionsPBGCERISAcomplianceCash

Stephen Taub

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has published a proposed regulation which, if adopted, may force companies to increase the funding of their pension plan in excess of legal requirements, warns law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

The regulation impacts Section 4062(e) of ERISA, which requires a company that sponsors a single-employer defined benefit pension plan to notify the PBGC within 60 days if it closes down operations at a facility in any location and, as a result, more than 20 percent of the company's employees participating in the pension plan are fired.

Aug 18
2010

Why regulators shouldn't listen to economists

Posted by Ron F in RiskRegulationNew York Fedfinancial crisisFederal ReserveFedcomplianceBanksbanking reformBankingbank failures

Ron F

This brouhaha over the Boston Fed's rationalization for missing the housing bubble reminds me of a conversation I overheard a few weeks ago between a former Federal Reserve bank supervisor and his counterpart at the New York Fed.

I can't give you their names since they were conversing privately a few feet away from me before the start of a conference on financial regulation (nor can I give you the name of the confab since that would give their identities away), and I just managed to overhear the exchange.

Aug 17
2010

Punish shareholders for managers' sins? By all means

Posted by Ron F in Securities and Exchange CommissionSarbanes-OxleyRegulationfraudfinancial reportingfinancial crisisEnroncomplianceCitigroupAccounting

Ron F

Barry Ritholtz today usefully repeats a point he made earlier this month in connection with an Andrew Ross Sorkin column about the SEC's proposed settlement with Citigroup and the court's refusal to go along with it.

And that is that shareholders of companies run by corrupt management are supposed to be punished.

Aug 13
2010

Time to keep subsidizing home prices

Posted by Ron F in RegulationrecoveryrecessionFreddie Macfinancial crisisFederal ReserveFASBFannie MaeemploymentCareers/Managementbankruptcybanking industrybailoutsAccounting

Ron F

I have to disagree with my colleague Steve Taub on this, not because my heart bleeds for jobless, underwater homeowners, but to keep foreclosures from driving home prices ever downward.

Here's the thing: What is the "natural" price that Steve wants the market to find?

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."

Aug 02
2010

Life after FinReg: What’s next?

Posted by mcole in RiskRegulationFreddie MacFannie MaeCreditcompliancebonds

mcole

The recently enacted financial reform bill addresses most aspects of the financial services industry. But there are still two major areas which still need the attention of lawmakers--government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and covered bonds. 

Of the two, the most needed reform is that of GSEs, as Hank Paulson brought up in an op-ed to the Washington Post last week. 

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 21
2010

How to reopen the ABS market

Posted by mcole in securitizationRiskRegulationreformcredit-rating agenciesCredit RatingsCreditBanksasset backed

mcole

The main three credit ratings agencies have told Wall Street in recent weeks that underwriters won't be able to use their credit ratings in documents selling asset-backed securities for fear of being sued.

While it has already placed the ABS market on hold and has securitization professionals up in arms, there are several ways for banks to continue to sell ABS going forward.

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.

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