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The Chinese Economy is On a Slowing Boat
James Finnan

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"The corporate brand is not only used to improve competitive positioning and express company aspirations, it can also be a powerful tool to motivate employees."

Market Populism: Karl Cates

The line -- if there is one -- between free-run capitalism and the greater good.

Feb 26

Consumer protection agency would burden banks? Precisely.

Posted by kcates in kcates, Consumer Financial Protection AgencycomplianceCFPA


For better or for worse, the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency - already being shrunk in Washington shorthand to CFPA - would create another level of government bureaucracy.

Its advocates have a two-word response: "So what?"

Feb 21

On banking reform, a bipartisan sighting

Posted by kcates in Volckerresolution authority, Obama, kcates, JPMorganHank PaulsenCongresscompliance



So maybe we're not such a purple nation, after all. Red is red and blue is blue and they're not mixing, especially if you're using bipartisanship in Washington as a gauge. Regulatory reform of banks is a good example. The party in power would if it could resurrect Glass-Steagall, but that's not going to happen unless they rewrite the rules of the Senate and grant simple majority rule.

Feb 17

The often-underestimated Internet-driven backlash

Posted by kcates in YouTubeMoveYourMoney, kcates, IndyMacGoogle BuzzFDICcompliance



In what seemed at first blush a weird collision between lowbrow Internet and high-n-mighty government agency, the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation has been busy doing damage control on a YouTube video.

Feb 15

Tinker, Tailor, Computer Programmer, Spy

Posted by kcates in U.S. District CourtTeza TechnologiesSergey Alynikov, kcates, indictmentGoldman SachscomplianceCitadel Investment Group



Okay, as far as I know Sergey Aleynikov isn't a tinker or a tailor. But he is a computer programmer, and prosecutors say he's a spy as well.

Feb 12

A daring rate increase by a big insurance company

Posted by kcates in WellPoint, Obama, kcates, Kathleen Sebelius, health insurancecompliance



In the you've-gotta-be-kidding-me category of recent news comes word that WellPoint, the big California health-insurance company, wants to increase rates by 39 percent.

Feb 10

Snow day: an affirmation of the value in telecommuting

Posted by kcates in telecommutingpersonnel management, kcates, efficiency



As a blizzard blitzes the East Coast today, millions of workers sit home idle and trapped by a vagary of Mother Nature that provokes the National Weather Service to post no-travel warnings.

Feb 09

The CFO Nightmare Before Easter

Posted by kcates in RakoffMerrill LynchKen Lewis, kcates, Joe Price, complianceBank of AmericaAndrew Cuomo



As professional horrors go, they probably don't get a whole lot more unsettling than Joe L. Price's.

Feb 05

The financial crisis: a silver lining for IT?

Posted by kcates in Technology, kcates, GartnercomplianceCommerce DepartmentCisco SystemsCelentArmanta


Look around a little bit and you find a horde of anticipation that corporate spending on technology - after a painful slump in 2009 - is destined for a rebound in this New Year, almost 10 percent spent already. Yesterday's banner headline in the WSJ trumpeted the news that Cisco Systems was hiring 3,000 people to keep pace with a surge in demand. The significance of the story came mostly from Cisco's stature as a harbinger of things to come.

That was before the Dow dropped 268 points on fears that the Eurozone is in jeopardy and that the global economy is sicker than the market thought. The jitters of 2008 have not gone away entirely, and one can sense the fragility of this oh-so-delicate recovery (today's unemployment report isn't going to help).

Feb 03

Chris Dodd is acting like a bank lobbyist

Posted by kcates in Volcker RulePaul Volcker, kcates, Glass-SteagallcomplianceChris Doddbanking reform


Chris Dodd's scolding of the Obama administration on Tuesday for wanting to do "too much" to restore banking regulation sent me into a short trance and a vision of the future: Dodd as banking lobbyist.

Here's the Dodd quote if you don't believe it: "I don't want to be in a position where we end up doing nothing because we tried to do too much."

Feb 01

Naked came the swap

Posted by kcates in naked swap, kcates, credit-default swapCollin PetersonCDSAIG


Ever read "Naked Came the Stranger," that 1969 hoax in which a bunch of newspaper literati got together anonymously and wrote a terrible pulp novel with gratuitous sex and betrayal as a send-up of bad popular fiction? Me either, but it was a huge hit and its writers were said to have been simultaneously sickened and enriched.

Naked credit-default swaps are also kind of sickening but clearly those who dabble in them aren't put off by the stench. The good news is that the days of naked-swap wine and roses may be numbered. The chatter about regulatory reform as it relates to the CDS market has focused these past few months on how trade in standardized contracts will likely be forced onto exchanges and clearinghouses, where counterparties will have to post collateral - a requirement that would have them actually make good on their commitments - I know, what a concept (as opposed to having Joe Taxpayer do it in order to "save the financial system from collapse" or some such (hello, AIG).

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