WSJ Goes Big on Financial Regulation

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal launched a new product called WSJ Pro Financial Regulation devoted to covering all of the activity in this space. WSJ reporter Andrew Ackerman had one of the first pieces on the new service discussing how the SEC’s current complement of three Commissioners could lead to paralysis at the agency. Agency action requires a quorum of three so any one Commissioner can stop something by not showing up at a meeting. Apparently this has never happened before but you never know in the divided Washington of today. Read more

The Comptroller of the Currency is right to be concerned about auto loans but the problem is the Federal Reserve

Yesterday Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said that he is concerned that auto loans are showing signs of the frenzy seen in housing loans before the 2008 financial crisis.  He is right to be worried about auto loans but he misses the reason why.  The surge in auto sales and loans to finance them is not, as the Comptroller says, an issue that needs more regulatory attention.  It is instead an easily foreseeable outgrowth of the Federal Reserve’s failed policy of near zero interest rates. Read more

Hillary Clinton’s Email Mess is a Failure of Leadership

Hillary Clinton’s email practices as Secretary of State have cost her dearly in the polls as voters now view her as untrustworthy for her shifting explanations of her conduct but her predicament is more about a failure of leadership while she had the top job at State.  A leader must observe those around her closely and tailor her actions to reflect their concerns, otherwise no one will follow.  By ignoring what federal employees go through every day with regard to email management, Secretary Clinton violated this fundamental tenet of leadership.

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OPM Data Breach is Result of the Wrong Incentives for Federal Government

15674477521_75eb7eb105_zThe revelation that the data lost by the Office of Personnel Management in hacking incidents last year included most background check forms on federal employees since 2000 demonstrates how ill-equipped government is to operate in a world that requires expertise in technology and the ability to manage effectively.  For anyone who has been a federal employee, the revelations of OPM’s failure to safeguard its data and its incredibly slow response to this data breach come as no surprise.

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NormChamp_ConferenceFriday I attended a conference on “The Role of the SEC in a Changing World” at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington put on by the Hills Program on Governance.  The conference was co-sponsored by the Center for Business Ethics Research at Penn’s Wharton School and The American Assembly at Columbia University.

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