Phillip Knightley: When is a terror threat not a terror threat? Let's ask a man called Felix... - Commentators - Opinion Dzerzhinsky took over anti-terrorism duties in the newly-emerged Russia at the end of the First World War when the country was riven with revolt and violence. He realised that he had no chance of identifying all the terrorist threats and those planning to perpetrate them. Instead he developed a questionable technique that has become part of espionage theory throughout the international intelligence community: you lure the terrorist to you. When the story of the foiled bomb plot first broke it seemed too good to be true. In the tradition of Dzerzhinski, the Saudi intelligence service had apparently "dangled" one of its agents in front of known al-Qa'ida members hoping for a "bite". The Trust appeared to be a huge anti-Bolshevik organisation working from Moscow to overthrow the Communists and reverse the revolution. In intelligence circles the Trust became a textbook operation and its principles copied worldwide. But they are risky.
The Simplicity Solution Will the law prevent another bank bailout if we have a repeat of September 2008? Will it bring transparency to the trading of ? Will the truly eliminate the ability of banks to make risky trades for their own account? Are all the new regulations burying small and medium-size banks in excessive costs? Or are they ensuring their safety and soundness? No one can say for sure. The crucial difference between the Glass-Steagall Act, the landmark banking reform law that was passed during , and Dodd-Frank, is that the former had an appealing simplicity that Dodd-Frank lacks. That is why I wrote a recent column about a persuasive paper by Karen Petrou, a banking expert, in which she argued that Dodd-Frank was creating a new kind of risk that she labeled “complexity risk.” The article, entitled “Four Ways to Fix Banks,” was written by Sallie Krawcheck. In a nifty bit of timing, her article comes out just as the country is reacting to the news of JPMorgan Chase’s big credit derivative losses.
The Political Economy of Dodd-Frank: Why Financial Reform Tends to be Frustrated and Systemic Risk Perpetuated by John Coffee Columbia Law School; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); American Academy of Arts & SciencesJanuary 9, 2012 Cornell Law Review, 2012 Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper No. 414 Abstract: Several commentators have argued that financial “reform” legislation enacted after a market crash is invariably flawed, results in “quack corporate governance” and “bubble laws,” and should be discouraged. This criticism has been specifically directed at both the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. As a result, a persistent cycle that this article calls the “Regulatory Sine Curve” can be observed: the legislative success of the latent investor group is followed by increasingly equivocal implementation of the new legislation, tepid enforcement, and eventual legislative erosion. This article does not deny that “reform” legislation often contains flaws (as does much deregulatory legislation). Number of Pages in PDF File: 85 Accepted Paper Series Suggested Citation
The M1 Abrams: The Army tank that could not be stopped - Open Channel Saurabh Das / AP file U.S. M1 Abrams tanks withdraw to a safe position after mortar rounds landed nearby in Kufa, Iraq, on April 29, 2004. By Aaron Mehta and Lydia Mulvany, Center for Public Integrity Editor's note: This article was corrected after publication. The M1 Abrams tank has survived the Cold War, two conflicts in Iraq and a decade of war in Afghanistan. But now the machine finds itself a target in an unusual battle between the Defense Department and lawmakers who are the beneficiaries of large donations by its manufacturer. The Pentagon, facing smaller budgets and looking towards a new global strategy, has decided it wants to save as much as $3 billion by freezing refurbishment of the M1 from 2014 to 2017, so it can redesign the hulking, clanking vehicle from top to bottom. Its proposal would idle a large factory in Lima, Ohio, as well as halt work at dozens of subcontractors in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states. The Center for Public Integrity The cash and the tank. Sen.
JPMorgan Chase Fought Rule on Risky Trading Jim Young/Reuters JPMorgan’s trading mistakes “were self-inflicted, and this is not how we want to run a business,” said Jamie Dimon, above, the bank’s chief executive. The bank’s shares tumbled 9.3 percent on Friday. Several visits over months by the bank’s well-connected chief executive, , and his top aides were aimed at persuading regulators to create a loophole in the law, known as the . Even after the official draft of the Volcker Rule regulations was released last October, JPMorgan and other banks continued their full-court press to avoid limits. In early February, a group of JPMorgan executives met with Federal Reserve officials and warned that anything but a loose interpretation of the trading ban would hurt the bank’s hedging activities, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting. In the February meeting was Ina Drew, the head of JPMorgan’s chief investment office, the unit that suffered the $2 billion loss. JPMorgan officials declined to comment for this article.
So then Who in the Hell Are We? “This is not a reflection of who we are or what we stand for.” -- Jeff Gearhart, Wall-Mart general counsel, on the firm’s Mexico bribery [Torture] “is not the norm.” -- Mike Pannek, Abu Ghraib prison warden. “This is not who we are.” -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the US massacre of 16 Afghan villagers. “This is not who we are.” -- General John Allen, commander of forces in Afghanistan, on Koran burning “This is not who we are.” -- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on troops posing with enemy body parts “This is not who we are.” -- Secretary of State Clinton, also on troops posing with enemy body parts Spying by the New York Police on Muslims in Newark, NJ, which the Newark Police Chief was alerted to, is “not who we are” -- Newark Mayor Cory Booker “I can tell you something all of you know already - that using pepper spray on peaceful protesters runs counter to our values. “You can't say, well, we developed trade and the economic relations first and the disregard of human rights.
A Debate Goes Behind Closed Doors In the long war over Wall Street regulation, a little-noticed clash erupted this week over a plan to rein in risky trading overseas. Signs that a clash was brewing behind the scenes came after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission abruptly canceled a meeting to vote on the overseas trading proposal with just hours to spare. The agency provided no explanation, sending out only a short e-mail that it would “no longer hold a scheduled meeting on June 21, 2012.” Interviews with regulators, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, show that the agency canceled the meeting after closed-door talks yielded a more flexible proposal that gives Wall Street additional time to comply. Now, rather than debating the issue in public, the commissioners plan to cast their votes in private over the next several days, according to people briefed on the matter. The events this week also highlight the challenge facing independent regulators with five-member commissions. But Mr. Mr. Mr. Ultimately, Mr. Mr.
Paul Volcker Pushes for Reform, and Regrets His Past Silence He left behind a group of legislators in Washington still trying to nail down a controversial attempt to overhaul the nation’s in the wake of the country’s most serious economic crisis since . A well-regarded lion of the regulatory world, Mr. Volcker had endorsed the legislation before he went fishing, but unenthusiastically. If he were a teacher, and not a senior White House adviser and the towering former chairman of the , he says, he would have given the new rules just an ordinary B — not even a B-plus. “There is a certain circularity in all this business,” he concedes. As the financial overhaul took final shape recently, he worked the phone from his Manhattan office and made periodic visits to Washington, trying to persuade members of Congress to make the legislation more far-reaching. Like few other policy giants of his generation, Mr. Some analysts share Mr. Hear, hear, says Mr. “People are nervous about the long-term outlook, and they should be,” he says. AMONG the tools that Mr.
Obama’s Goldman-Sachs surrender Rarely does one see a more perfect illustration of the Obama administration’s tortured relationship with Wall Street. On August 9, the Justice Department and the SEC both announced the end of investigations into potential criminal behavior related to Goldman’s handling of mortgage-backed securities in the runup to the financial crisis. That same day, the Center for Responsive Politics reported that Goldman’s employees had switched from giving 75 percent of their campaign donations to Democratic candidates in 2008 to giving 70 percent of their donations to Republicans in 2012. That’s called having your mortgage fraud cake and eating it too. And misdeeds there were, as the 635-page Levin-Coburn report on the financial crisis, which was released in April 2011, makes clear beyond any reasonable doubt.