Financial Institutions

When stone is dust and only air remains


Some thoughts on customer protection at brokerages, following MF Global, over at DealBook.


The Interchange Settlement


I've held my tongue for a while on the proposed class settlement in the multidistrict credit card interchange fee litigation (MDL 1720).  I'm weighing in on it now.  I've written up an analysis of the proposed settlement.  It's available here.


The Tenuous Case for Swaps Clearinghouses


I've got a new short article out about swaps clearinghouses.  It's a response piece to an article by Prof. Yesha Yadav.


Why Bother?


The SEC enters into another rounding error settlement with a financial insitution, this time Wells Fargo.


Everything You Always Wanted to Know About CDOs (But Were Afraid to Ask)


Bill Bratton and I have a new paper out, called A Transactional Genealogy of Scandal:  from Michael Milken to Enron to Goldman Sachs.


Exit Consents Killed in England?


The English High Court just ruled in Assenagon Asset Management S.A. v. Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (formerly Anglo Irish Bank) that a popular technique used to pressure bondholders to participate in a debt restructuring, as deployed by Anglo Irish in late 2010, violated English law and the terms of the Trust Deed.


Team Tim v. Team Neal on the Financial Crisis


Matthew Yglesias has a fantastic piece about the Barofsky-Geithner proxy debate on the financial crisis.  Read it here.

The only thing I would add is to note how this same debate continued through the mortgage servicing scandal and the debate over the CFPB. 


Geithner on Financial Crimes: The Dog Ate My Homework


If I rob a federally insured bank and make off with $20,000, I'm facing years of federal prison time. If I defraud federal insurance programs, be they FHA or Medicaid, I'm also facing years of prison. If I engage in insider trading, I could also be looking at prison time (although that's pretty rare).


Location, location, location: ATM Fee Disclosure Edition


The number one agenda item for small banks is to repeal the physical, on-machine disclosure requirement for ATMs.  Yes, I'm serious, that, that is the top agenda item for small banks. And they wonder why they're not doing so well...


The New Cramdown


For the past couple of years, I've been thinking that cramdown is dead as a policy solution. But I was thinking about cramdown as requiring legislation. It doesn't. We could start doing it tomorrow. Under current bankruptcy law, a Chapter 13 plan may be confirmed only if secured creditors receive their collateral, receive the value of their collateral, or consent to the plan.