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Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> banking industry
Oct 07
2010

Should banks give up the payments game?

Posted by dbedell in SWIFTpaymentsGoogleelectronic bank account managementeBAMcash managementCashbanking industryBanking

dbedell

In a blog Thursday on FinanSer--the Financial Services Club blogsite—commentator Chris Skinner posed the following question: Since payments are becoming so commoditized that it is foreseeable at some point they may become free, what does this do to the role of a bank as an intermediary in the payments business?

Skinner suggests that banks should and are moving towards becoming repositories of information, as they are further disintermediated from the payments space, and as margins disappear for payments processing.

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 05
2010

Why Tim Geithner should ignore the banks

Posted by Ron F in Timothy GeithnerGoldman Sachsfinancial reformfinancial crisisDodd-Frank billcomplianceBanksbanking reformbanking industryBanking

Ron F

Banks' arguments against stricter capital reserve requirements seem to be getting a hearing from regulators such as Tim Geithner and the Basel Committee, but a recent paper suggests they should not.

This was alluded to in a blog today by Simon Johnson over at the Baseline Scenario, but the relevant passages are worth reading.

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 15
2010

Banks' anti-fair value somersault falls flat

Posted by Going Concern in GAAPFASBfair valuecomplianceBanksbanking reformbanking industryAccounting

Going Concern

 Submitted by Caleb Newquist, republished from Going Concern, Accounting News for Accountants and CFOs.

 Just last week we mentioned the American Bankers Association and its efforts to undermine the FASB's latest fair value proposal that, in the ABA's mind, could bring down civilization as we know it.

Jun 30
2010

Bad governance at root of crisis

Posted by Ron F in RiskRegulationfinancial reformfinancial market reformfinancial crisisexecutive compensationderivativescorporate culturecompliancecompensationBanksbanking industryBankingbank failuresauditorsAccounting

Ron F

Anyone counting on regulation alone to prevent the world from falling into another financial black hole will be sorely disappointed, a group of experts warned in an article published yesterday by the International Federation of Accountants.

The experts say that all key parties to the financial disaster--from regulators to managers and investors--share the blame and that tighter regulation alone can therefore go only so far to prevent another crisis from materializing. 

Jun 30
2010

Bad governance at root of crisis

Posted by Ron F in RiskRegulationfinancial reformfinancial market reformfinancial crisisexecutive compensationderivativescorporate culturecompliancecompensationBanksbanking industryBankingbank failuresauditorsAccounting

Ron F

Anyone counting on regulation alone to prevent the world from falling into another financial black hole will be sorely disappointed, a group of experts warned in an article published yesterday by the International Federation of Accountants.

The experts say that all key parties to the financial disaster--from regulators to managers and investors--share the blame and that tighter regulation alone can therefore go only so far to prevent another crisis from materializing. 

Jun 12
2010

PwC's UK affiliate in hot water over JP Morgan mess

Posted by Going Concern in PwCPricewaterhouseCoopersJPMorgan ChaseJP Morgan ChaseCPAscompliancebanking industryauditorsauditingauditAccounting

Going Concern

Submitted by Adrienne Gonzalez, republished from Going Concern, Accounting News for Accountants and CFOs.

Now £15.7 billion may not seem like much to you if you are, say, Bill Gates or Ben Bernanke but for PricewaterhouseCoopers UK, it may be the magic number that gets the firm into a whole steaming pile of trouble.

Jun 09
2010

The Fed once again proves to be a regulatory pushover

Posted by Ron F in Timothy GeithnerRegulationObama Administrationfinancial market reformfinancial crisisFederal ReserveFederal Deposit Insurance Corp.FedEnroncomplianceBanksbanking reformbanking industryBanking

Ron F

Anyone who thinks the Federal Reserve ought to oversee systemic risk ought to take a close look at this article.

By now, of course, it's no surprise that banks used yet another financing gimmick to make their capital look stronger than it really was. This one, involving Trust Preferred Securities known as TruPS, is doubly gimmicky, in so far as it involves both hybrid securities (i.e., a have your cake and eat it combination of debt and equity) and off-balance-sheet treatment. In terms of magnitude and significance, this stuff makes Andy Fastow look like a piker. Then again, Enron violated the letter as well as the spirit of the accounting rules. The banks were smarter than Fastow in that respect, or at least their lawyers and lobbyists were.

Jun 08
2010

SMIDs to banks: lend me money

Posted by Karen1 in small businesssmall and medium-sized businesslendingFederal Reserveeconomybanking industry

Karen1

According to the Fed’s April 2010 survey on bank lending practices, almost all – 90-plus percent of – banks stayed the course when it came to lending to small and medium-sized firms. Just under six percent tightened standards, while about two percent eased up. 
 
As we wrote after the same survey came out in January, at that time, more than one-fourth of all banks reported weaker demand for commercial and industrial loans. Among small banks, 29.6 percent said demand had dropped. This time around, only 7 percent overall and 9.3 percent of small banks said that demand had dropped. 

The view from businesses themselves, however, shows a slightly different story. Most business owners participating in a recent survey by Greenwich Associates said the lending environment is tight. Less than one-fourth had borrowed money over the preceding three months, down from more than 40 percent in September 2009.  

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