Category Archives: Credit markets

SEC Lawyer on Goldman CDO Case Describes How the Agency Wimped Out

Susan Beck at American Lawyer (hat tip Abigail Field) has managed to get an inside view of what was going on at the SEC when it launched its case against Goldman and a Goldman vice president, Fabrice Tourre, over a Goldman CDO called Abacus that went spectacularly bad. So was the SEC corrupt or merely incompetent?

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David Dayen: How Chase Bank Denying Services to a Condom Shop Is Really About Deregulating Payday Lending

Under the odd conventions of journalism, if someone else writes about a topic, especially if it resembles a “scoop,” nobody else can write about it. So if you go down the road for a week or so chasing a story and then you see it in your friendly neighborhood copy of The Huffington Post, you can basically stop chasing. Thanks for taking food out of my mouth, HuffPo!

But in this case, the complicated story in question warrants more attention, because it’s a really good lesson in how “lobbying” incorporates more than just paying rich people in suits to sweet-talk politicians and regulators. This is the darker side of lobbying, with the venerated “small business owners” everyone loves to deify caught in the crossfire.

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The SEC Finally Takes an Interest in Collateralized Loan Obligations

The old saying is “better late than never,” but as we hope to demonstrate, the SEC is awfully late to take an interest in collateralized loan obligations. The problems it has gotten curious about now were discernible years ago. And the failure to take interest until now means that misbehavior that was discussed in the press during the crisis is almost certain to go unpunished, since the statute of limitations for securities law violations has passed.

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Quelle Surprise! Banks Are Opposed to More Liquid Markets When They Don’t Make Enough From Them

Bloomberg has an intriguing story about a bit of lobbying the big dealer banks are engaged in via a group called the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, which represents 15 out of the total of 22 primary dealers (a primary dealer, among other things, gets to bid for its own account at Treasury bond auctions). Of course, the object of their efforts is to improve their profitability, here by putting parties they regard as competitors at more of a disadvantage.

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