Before lawmakers grilled SEC Chairwoman Mary L. Schapiro on Thursday on whether she mishandled of a conflict of interest, one of her leading critics chatted amiably with her and shared some sympathetic words.
House Republicans want to know more about Securities and Exchange Commission general counsel David M. Becker's entanglement in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. In a letter to SEC chairman Mary Schapiro Thursday, four senior Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, including Chairman Spencer Bachus of Alabama, asked questions probing whether the matter created any conflict of interest at the agency.
U.S. regulators are preparing to sanction some of the 14 largest, federally regulated banks for "critical deficiencies and shortcomings" in foreclosure procedures, Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh testified on Thursday. In remarks before the Senate Banking Committee, Walsh said that a multi-agency task force had concluded its examination of the banks and found violations of state and local foreclosures laws, regulations and rules.
As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law meant to prevent future crises, Congress last year demanded a new system of regulation for the financial instruments known as derivatives. Now a battle is brewing over the details of that regulatory regime. Tuesday, a House committee operating under the new Republican majority is examining how regulators are writing rules that could determine the safety, efficiency and cost of derivatives. The House Financial Services Committee is giving businesses a forum to air complaints that the emerging rules may be too confining.
The Obama administration today released a white paper that proposes winding down mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and putting new measures in place that would lessen government's role in the housing finance system. The Post's Zach Goldfarb has a full report on the plan and its potential impact. The long-anticipated report has prompted responses and assessments from politicians, industry groups and analysts in Washington and beyond. Here's a look at some of them.
Business leaders vented their frustrations with government regulations on Thursday at a committee hearing chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), while Democratic lawmakers on the panel argued that some government rules are necessary to protect public health and safety. Eight business representatives gave testimony at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, at which they pointed to a host of regulations across the federal government that they said adversely affected job growth. Their targets ranged from financial regulatory reform provisions to transportation, labor, environmental and energy rules.