Buried Treasure

Chris Dodd unveiled an 1100 page bank reform bill. Are there any nuggets in there?

The Connecticut Senator is infamous for receiving sweetheart loans from Fannie Mae while overseeing the mortgage giant. But there are some sensible proposals in his bill.

First, it would limit the Fed’s power to overseeing monetary policy. In an era of mission creep and personality cults, limiting any institution’s power is a good thing. Most financial derivatives would be centrally cleared, avoiding a big element of systemic risk. And Municipal bond advisers would need to register with the government, removing a big source of pay-to-play conflict.

But it’s not all high-minded ideals, either. Dodd’s bill would require big banks to issue “reverse convertible” bonds that would turn into equity if their businesses went south. Nice for the insurance companies in Hartford who aren’t banks.

Significantly, Dodd’s bill would politicize the banking industry and establish an alphabet soup of agencies to oversee consumer lending, commodities trading, and hedge funds. It even establishes an educational arm to administer pork, er, federal grants to States for “financial literacy projects.” Wonder who’s gonna get that money?

The Senator from the Nutmeg State did indeed bury some treasure in this bill. But by making banking even more political, it seems to me that it’s leading in the wrong direction.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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By |2017-07-17T12:35:21+00:00November 11th, 2009|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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