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Modernizing our Regulatory Structure

By Richard H. Neiman and Mark Olson
Published April 14, 2014 The Hill's Congress Blog

Streamlining America’s financial regulatory architecture was a major missed opportunity in the Dodd-Frank Act. Our existing structure is a patchwork of reactions to past financial crises that date back more than 150 years. Modernizing this patchwork system would improve regulation, enhance financial stability and increase economic growth. Today, we propose a road map for how to achieve these goals.

Each major U.S. financial regulator was created following a crisis. The need for Civil War funding birthed the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The Panic of 1907 brought about the creation of the Federal Reserve. The Great Depression resulted in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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New Bill Wades Into CFTC Overreach Debate

By Richard Henderson
Published April 11, 2014 The Trade

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) may be limited in its ability to enforce new swaps rules if a bill that has gained early support in the US House of Representatives is passed.

The Customer Protection and End-User Relief Act on Wednesday was approved by the US House Agriculture Committee with bipartisan support and may face a full vote on the House floor.

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U.S. House Panel to Vote on Swaps Regulator Mandate

By Douwe Miedema
Published April 8, 2014 Reuters

U.S. lawmakers on Monday launched a bill to rewrite the rules of of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), giving more leeway to smaller players in the derivative markets it oversees.

The agency became one of the most prolific reformers of Wall Street after the financial crisis under its previous chairman, Gary Gensler, who was frequently criticised by some in the financial industry for his hard-nosed style and sometimes-hasty adoption of new rules.

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Lawmakers Spurred by Lewis Book Try to Slow Flash Traders

By Derek Wallbank
Published April 4, 2014 Bloomberg

Democrats in Congress today will renew a long-stalled push to levy fees on high-frequency trading in an effort to generate hundreds of billions of dollars -- or tax the practice out of existence.

The move comes after Michael Lewis, author of the book “Flash Boys,” charged that the stock market is rigged against investors because of high-frequency traders with advanced computers. That sparked a national debate, prompting lawmakers to take up what just last week had been a dormant issue.

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House Republicans Push to Make Dodd-Frank Tweak Law

By Peter Schroeder 
Published March 26, 2014 The Hill's On the Money

House Republicans are pushing the Senate to take up a bill tweaking financial regulations that has already been unanimously passed by the House.

The lawmakers pointed to recent regulatory relief from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as proof of the need for the bill, which would exempt public utilities from having to register as a swap dealer.

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Democrat Says CFTC's Low Budget 'Sucks'

By Tim Devaney
Published March 6, 2014 The Hill

A leading House Democrat on the Appropriations Committee said Thursday that the federal regulator for commodities has such a small budget that it "sucks."

During a hearing, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) said the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is grossly underfunded and called on Congress to give the agency more money to regulate commodity markets such as oil, gold, wheat and coffee. 

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Obama Scales Back Budget Request for CFTC, While Sparing SEC

By Sarah N. Lynch and Douwe Miedema
Published March 5, 2014 Reuters

The White House on Tuesday asked Congress to ramp up funding for the U.S. securities regulator, but caused an outcry from the top derivatives regulator by scaling back its prior request for a boost for that agency.

President Barack Obama proposed a fiscal year 2015 budget for the Securities and Exchange Commission of $1.7 billion, and a budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of $280 million. The new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

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Wall Street Regulators Face Budget Crunch Under New Spending Deal

By Sarah N. Lynch
Published January 14, 2014 Reuters

Two of Wall Street's top regulators are due to receive much smaller increases in their budgets than they requested, potentially hobbling their ability to police the markets for wrongdoing.

The $1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate would allot the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission $1.35 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2014, a figure the agency said "falls far short of what we need to fulfill our responsibilities."

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House Lawmakers Fault SEC on Volcker

By Andrew Ackerman
Published January 13, 2014 WSJ Law Blog

Two key House Republicans said U.S. securities regulators violated federal law by approving the Volcker Rule without a detailed analysis of its economic consequences.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) and Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.) wrote Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White for an explanation. They cited a recent judicial ruling saying the agency has an obligation to assess the impact of its rules’ on market “efficiency, competition and capital formation.”

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Stanley Fischer Nominated as Fed Vice Chair

By Annalyn Kurtz
Published January 10, 2014 CNN Money

Following disappointing news on the U.S. job market, President Obama announced that he plans to nominate two new officials to the Federal Reserve Board.

Obama's pick for Fed vice chair -- the no. 2 in command at the Fed -- is Stanley Fischer, a former Bank of Israel chief. Fischer would succeed current Fed chair Janet Yellen, who the Senate recently confirmed to serve as the next head of the Fed starting next month.

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