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Don't Expect the Earth to Move

Economic summits can be invaluable during crises, but rebalancing commerce or reforming regulation takes more than a meeting.
Original publication date: 
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 (All day)

By Friday evening, the heads of the world's 20 biggest economies -- from the US to South Africa, encompassing 85 percent of global economic activity -- will have dined, met, lunched, met again, and made their pronouncements.

If history is any judge, there may not be much in the way of immediate or lasting results.

How Europe Began Flexing Financial-Regulation Muscle

Original publication date: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 (All day)

Fewer Washington Lobbyists, but More Spending

Original publication date: 
Thursday, July 30, 2009 (All day)

Just how busy are Washington lobbyists these days? Consider this: There are nearly 1,000 fewer of them than there were at this time last year—but their clients are spending just as feverishly as they did a year ago, shelling out $1.6 billion through June 30 alone. 

Big Spenders

Table of top lobbying spenders
Original publication date: 
Thursday, July 30, 2009 (All day)

The number of lobbyists fell slightly and overall lobbying spending stayed flat compared to the first half of 2008, but some groups increased spending dramatically—especially those in health care and energy, the focus of Obama's biggest legislative initiatives. Of the 100 biggest lobbying clients, spending by these companies grew the fastest:

Retail Derivatives: Overpriced at a Broker Near You?

Original publication date: 
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 (All day)

We wrote this week about retail derivatives, one of several ways banks are still playing the risk game. So just how risky are these structured products for the average investor?

The SEC Speeds Up Its Enforcement Arm

SEC officials signal an enforcement division that functions more like a criminal prosecutor's office
Original publication date: 
Friday, August 7, 2009 (All day)

It has been a big week so far for the market cops at the Securities & Exchange Commission: Each day brought a new multimillion-dollar settlement, most involving high-profile people or companies—Bank of America (BAC), General Electric (GE), and two former executives of American International Group (AIG), plus two smaller trading firms.

World Leaders Commit to Rein in Financial Bonuses

Original publication date: 
Thursday, September 24, 2009 (All day)

The leaders of 20 of the world's biggest economies committed to a laundry list of executive pay reforms for financial firms, including limiting bonuses to a portion of total net revenues and linking them tightly to share prices. But don't count on sweeping mandates from regulators just yet.

Banks: Good News — and Bad Assets

Despite a comeback on Wall Street, the heaps of toxic debt aren't going anywhere. Be warned: Banking losses will be playing out for years
Original publication date: 
Thursday, June 11, 2009 (All day)

Regulators, investors, and policymakers are breathing a sigh of relief about the banks. Profits are up. Bank share prices are surging. And on June 9 Uncle Sam gave 10 banks the go-ahead to pay back $70 billion in bailout funds. "These are early signs of repair and improvement," Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a press briefing.

European Regulators Target U.S. Firms

New regulatory efforts by European policymakers may put American banks, insurers, and money managers at a competitive disadvantage
Original publication date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2009 (All day)

President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul financial regulation covers everything from mortgages to hedge funds. But reform efforts in Europe may prove more significant for U.S. companies. European regulators are hashing out new rules for banks, insurers, and money managers that could put U.S. firms at a disadvantage.

Washington's Lobbyists Change Their Tactics

The Obama Administration aimed to reduce K Street's power, but Washington's agile influence brokers have shifted to different styles
Original publication date: 
Wednesday, July 29, 2009 (All day)

Despite the rhetoric of the past 18 months, few in the nation's capital really believed the Beltway lobbyist would disappear overnight just because a new President vowed to change business-as-usual in Washington and Congress heightened scrutiny. Yes, lobbyists now must heed stringent new disclosure rules; the gift-giving and golf outings have largely vanished.

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