The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened an “informal inquiry” into Washington, D.C.’s finances after the city’s finance chief faced scrutiny for failing to disclose internal audits of his agency.
It isn’t every day that a reporter gets to sit in on a high-stakes policy meeting in New York’s financial district, but that’s exactly what I did on a balmy evening in late February at 60 Wall Street, the U.S. headquarters of Deutsche Bank AG.
When Congress overhauled the financial regulation system last year, it handed the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission the tough task of policing the bulk of the derivatives business. Then lawmakers refused to give the tiny agency extra money to hire staff or upgrade its computer systems.
Of all the new rules for Wall Street being considered by Congress, few have the potential impact of a derivatives plan that emerged from nowhere and, to the surprise of its authors, has so far survived the debate.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Harvard University are among public and private entities that could be shut out of the $605 trillion privately negotiated derivatives market they use to manage risks under legislation being debated in the U.S. Senate, according to an industry group.