venerdì 16 luglio 2010

La riforma finanziaria USA è tra noi. Un accordo tra Goldman Sachs e la S.E.C.

Il Senato americano ha approvato ieri sera la riforma del sistema finanziario, che
ora dovrà essere firmata dal presidente Obama per diventare legge. La superlegge è un  provvedimento di 2.300 pagine e impone nuove regole al settore bancario, istituisce una nuova procedura per liquidare aziende in crisi e crea una nuova agenzia per la protezione dei consumatori. Secondo il New York Times

The result is a catalog of repairs and additions to the rusted infrastructure  of a regulatory system that has failed to keep up with the expanding scope and  complexity of modern finance.
The bill subjects more financial companies to federal oversight,  regulates many derivatives contracts, and creates a panel to detect risks to the financial system along with a consumer protection regulator. 
It leaves a vast number of details for regulators to work out,  inevitably setting off another round of battles that could last for years.
Over the last half-century, as traders and lenders increasingly drove the  nation’s economic growth, politicians of both parties scrambled to get out  of the way, passing a series of landmark bills that allowed financial companies  to become larger, less transparent and more profitable.
Usury laws were set aside. Banks were allowed to expand across state lines,  sell insurance, trade securities. The government watched and did nothing as the  bulk of financial activity moved into a parallel universe of private investment  funds, unregulated lenders and black markets like derivatives trading.
That era of hands-off optimism was gaveled to an end on Thursday as the Senate gave  final approval to a bill that reasserts the importance of federal supervision of  financial transactions.
“The financial industry is central to our nation’s ability to grow, to prosper,  to compete and to innovate. This reform will foster that innovation, not hamper it,”  Mr. Obama said Thursday. “Unless your business model depends on cutting corners  or bilking your customers, you have nothing to fear.”
The White House said Mr. Obama would sign the legislation next week.(...)

The bill expands federal banking and securities regulation from its focus on banks and  public markets, subjecting a wider range of financial companies to government oversight,  and imposing regulation for the first time on “black markets” like the enormous trade  in credit derivatives.
It creates a council of federal regulators, led by the Treasury secretary,  to coordinate the detection of risks to the financial system, and it provides new powers  to constrain and even dismantle troubled companies.
It also creates a powerful new regulator, appointed by the president, to protect consumers  of financial products, which will be housed in the Federal Reserve. The first visible result  may come in about two years, the deadline for the consumer regulator to create a simplified  disclosure form for mortgage loans. (...)

“This is a framework that has the potential to be as modern as the markets, but its  efficacy will certainly depend upon the judgments that regulators make,” said Lawrence H.  Summers, the president’s chief economic adviser.
The legislation, for example, requires many derivatives to be traded through  clearinghouses, a form of insurance for the traders, and it requires traders to disclose pricing data to encourage competition. But regulators will decide which derivatives,  and how long traders can wait to disclose pricing information.

Per una sintesi dei contenuti della legge di riforma vi consiglio questo link mentre qui potete dare un voto (con il sistema in uso nelle università americane: A,B,C,D oppure F per la bocciatura senza appello) alla legge: la sua popolarità tra il lettori del Wall Street Journal è bassissima, mentre vi sto scrivendo hanno votato 6932 lettori con il 67% di bocciature (F) e il 15% di sufficienze risicate (D). La legge è piaciuta molto (A) solo al 4% dei lettori. Nouriel Roubini le ha dato C+ e Bill Gross D+ . Sempre sul WSJ trovate qui l'articolo dedicato all'approvazione della legge, naturalmente di tenore abbastanza diverso da quello apparso sul NYTimes. Eccone qui un breve estratto

Now, the legislation hands off to 10 regulatory agencies the discretion to write hundreds of new rules governing finance. Rather than the bill itself, it will be this process—accompanied by a lobbying blitz from banks—that will determine the precise contours of this new landscape, how strict the new regulations will be and whether they succeed in their purpose. The decisions will be made by officials from new agencies, obscure agencies and, in some cases, agencies like the Federal Reserve that faced criticism in the run-up to the crisis.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has designated 30 "team leaders" to begin implementing its expansive new authority over derivatives, and has asked for $45 million for new staff. The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Securities and Exchange Commission are also in the thick of the implementation.
J.P. Morgan Chase, one of the biggest U.S. banks by assets, has assigned more than 100 teams to examine the legislation.

Sempre di ieri la notizia dell'accordo exrtragiudiziale tra la S.E.C. e Goldman Sachs per l'affaire Abacus:  

The civil suit brought by the S.E.C. focused on a single mortgage security that Goldman created in 2007, just as cracks appeared in the housing market. That security, called Abacus 2007-AC1, enabled a prominent hedge fund manager, John A. Paulson, to place a bet against mortgage bonds. The commission contended that Goldman misled investors, who were making a positive bet on housing, because Goldman did not disclose Mr. Paulson’s involvement in creating the deal. Mr. Paulson has not been accused of wrongdoing. Though Goldman did not formally admit to the S.E.C.’s allegations, it agreed to a judicial order barring it from committing intentional fraud in the future under federal securities laws. In addition, Goldman acknowledged that the marketing materials for Abacus “contained incomplete information” and that it was “a mistake” not to have disclosed Mr. Paulson’s role. As part of the agreement, the bank also said it “regrets that the marketing materials did not contain that disclosure.”
Il mercato può forzare la mano di chiunque, anche dell'importantissima banca americana: infatti 
“We believe that this settlement is the right outcome for our firm, our shareholders and our clients,” Goldman said in a written statement on Thursday.
When the commission filed its case in April, Goldman took a notably defensive stance. The bank had apparently been surprised that investigators did not warn its executives about the case and give them a chance to settle at that time.
Yet Goldman began holding settlement talks with the S.E.C. immediately after the complaint was filed. As the weeks and months dragged on, Goldman executives heard concerns from clients and former executives.
Goldman was bound to face another round of questions from analysts next week, when the bank is scheduled to report its earnings.
The settlement removes a significant problem looming over Goldman, but it could still face other legal problems. (...)
Under the proposed settlement, Goldman would pay back the $15 million in profit it made from the Abacus deal and also pay a civil penalty of $535 million. The money would be given to the two banks that had losses on the deal — $150 million to IKB Deutsche Industriebank and $100 million to the Royal Bank of Scotland Group — with the rest, $300 million, going to the United States Treasury as a fine.

Nessun commento: