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Showing posts from October, 2013

Turn in your boss. Get $14 million

According to a recent press release, one (presumably low-level) Wall Street staffer got a $14 million payout from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for blowing the whistle on his boss. It's not clear who this person is, who their boss was, nor what wrongdoings said boss committed. The only thing that we know for sure is that the $14 million payout represented a 30% of what the SEC recovered as the result of information from this whistle-blower.

This entire program of rewarding whistle-blowers is part of a program that was built into the Dodd-Frank Act.

Quite frankly, after reading about this, I think it's time for me to renew my series 7 registration and go back to work in the financial world. I could do a lot with $14 million and there isn't exactly a shortage of crooks on Wall Street.

Janet Yellen nominated as Fed Chair

President Barack Obama today nominated Janet Yellen to become the new chair of the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System to replace outgoing Chair Ben Bernake. She currently serves as vice chair of the Fed.
Yellen released a lengthy statement in which she thanked the President for his nomination, thanked her family for their support, and made some rather pointed remarks about the current state of the American economy and Fed's role in it. The full text of it is available here.
Bernake, in contrast, issued a much shorter statement. It was a much shorter statement, at only 43 words in length. In its entirety, it reads: President Obama has made an outstanding choice in nominating my colleague and friend Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Board. Janet is exceptionally well qualified for the position, with stellar academic credentials and a strong record as a leader and a policymaker. Bernake's statement is positive towards his replacement. However, I cannot hel…

Regulators issue statement? Will it make a difference?

Regulators from five different federal agencies issued a joint statement today, in which they encouraged financial institutions to work with borrowers who find themselves effected by the on-going government shutdown. The five agencies issuing this statement are Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
The big question is: will it make any difference?

The answer, unfortunately, is probably not. There will be a few banks who have an incentive to act. This includes financial institutions such as those who were rated "needs improvement" during their most recent audit for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act.
Most of them, however, have no such incentive. They will, therefore, most likely squeeze their customers for all they can. In short, they will act a lot like bankers.

5 Best Tweets from the government shutdown

The federal government shutdown at 12:01 a.m. this morning when Congress and the President failed to agree on a budget. Others have devoted so much to what this means, as well as predictions about what will happen next, that there really isn't anything practical left for me to add to the conversation on that front.
However, I have been impressed with how much wit and wisdom others have packed into 140 characters to express their thoughts on this shut down on Twitter. Therefore, I am pleased to present my picks for the five best Tweets regarding the federal government shutdown.
#5. Ryan Teague Beckwith of Digital First Media in Washington, DC.

I dare a Democratic senator to log onto healthcare dot gov from the floor and sign up for insurance tonight at midnight.
— Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) October 1, 2013 Unfortunately, none of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate took Beckwith up on his challenge. I have to admit that I'm disappointed because it would have made for an a…

Why are American healthcare costs so high?

The Vlogbrothers released a video this past August that does a better job of explaining why healthcare costs are so high in the United States relative to the rest of the industrialized world than anyone else has ever done. With the insurance marketplaces opening today, and the U.S. Government shutting down in large part due to the Affordable Care Act, I figured that now would be a good time to highlight it.
This video is less than eight minutes long; it's based on reliable resources and credible research. I encourage everyone to take a moment to watch it.