Week InReview

"...Dodd-Frank is an act of Congress that can't be repealed by executive order or regulation; all the Treasury Secretary can really do is come up with a list of laws that don't meet [the 'Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System' issued by executive order on Feb. 3], and then try to persuade Congress to repeal them. Congress, though, seems to be amenable; on Friday,  the Senate voted to repeal a small part of Dodd-Frank, a rule that 'requires oil companies to publicly disclose payments made to governments when developing resources around the world.' That doesn't have much to do with any principles, core or otherwise, of financial regulation, though I suppose 'it should be easier for companies to make undisclosed payments to government officials' could be a  core principle of some sort."

Matt Levine
Matt Levine's Money Stuff 
Feb 5, 2017
Fri Feb 19, 2017
Let's recap
In case you missed it . . .
This year's attempt to weaken Dodd-Frank is again likely to be a tough sell, especially in the Senate where it will need Democratic support to pass (Feb 9)

DOL now 3-0 in court challenges to fiduciary rule
A federal judge in Texas upheld the rule, ruling in favor of the DOL and against groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who challenged numerous aspects of the rule (Feb 8)

Mortgage ratings blamed for subprime crisis still flawed, ex-insider says
There's an easy fix for rating firms' conflicts, Esaki says; tossing out the most lenient ratings can improve incentives (Feb 8)

US derivatives industry anticipates modest Dodd-Frank changes
Wholesale repeal of post-2008 financial crisis rules finds little industry appetite (Feb 7)

Five charts that say all is not well in markets
Price of plunge protection rising even as VIX remains low; measures of policy uncertainty now at all-time highs (Feb 6)
Fiduciary rule delayed
DOL sends proposal to OMB
(Feb 9) Three federal courts have upheld the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, but on the same day a federal judge in Texas upheld the rule and refused to delay its implementation, the DOL  sent a proposal to postpone the rule's applicability date  to the Office of Management and Budget .   Expected to delay the rule, currently scheduled for Apr. 10, by 180 days and open a short public comment period, the proposal will be available to the public as  soon as it clears the OMB. 
The 'Single Security' made simple
INVESTORS' MPC Council hosts FHFA, Fannie & Freddie
(Feb 8) The INVESTORS Mortgage Securitization Council hosted their quarterly meeting with representatives from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the FHFA on board to explain the Single Security,  a joint initiative of Fannie and Freddie to develop a single mortgage-backed security that will be issued by the GSEs to finance fixed-rate mortgage loans backed by one- to four-unit single-family properties.  Products in scope are fixed rate 30-year, 20-year, 15-year and 10-year securities. The Single Security will be called the "Uniform MBS" or "UMBS." Single Class re-securitizations of UMBS will be called "Supers."
Swap-collateral rules
Financial industry wants more time
(Feb 7)  Trade groups for the world's largest banks, asset managers and insurers asked regulators for more time to meet new swap-collateral rules scheduled to begin on March 1, claiming global markets could splinter or face disruptions without a transition period. Thousands of firms are working to redo legal agreements to comply with the rules, but are unlikely to finish by the deadline and might need to stop trading derivatives as a result, according to executives for groups including the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the Global Financial Markets Association and the American Bankers Association.
Binge reading disorder
Hand-curated, chosen with love
A synthethic CDO by any other name is still risky
Throw in some leverage for good measure and there's cause for concern

A complete list of brokers and their approach to the fiduciary rule
Many changes made to adhere to retirement advice rule will remain whether the Labor Department delays, revises or rescinds the regulation

11 simple ways to improve your memory
Whether you want to be a Jeopardy  champion or just need to remember where you parked your car, here are 11 things you can do right now to turn your mind from a sieve into a steel trap