New Regulatory Framework of Financial Research Paper

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" (Crawford, 2011)

These comments are showing how Wellstone understood the risk that this would pose to the financial system. In eight years after making this speech, the federal government would be directly bailing out firms that were too big to fail. This is indicating how the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act allowed financial institutions to engage in excessive amounts of risk taking. It is at this point that they took on large amounts of debt and had no accountability. (Crawford, 2011)

The information from this source is useful in showing how the repeal of certain laws helped to create situations which allowed for an atmosphere of deregulation. This set the stage for excessive amounts of risk taking with the liquid assets of the firm. When this happened, many institutions began to engage in activities that were believed to be safe. However, they were considered to be speculative and increased the company's risk position exponentially. This shows what the regulatory environment was like prior to the financial crisis and those factors allowed it to occur. (Crawford, 2011)

The lack of regulation has led to a concentrated push in having the federal government increasing the underlying guidelines inside the sector. This occurred with a focus on the size of these firms and how they were able to become so vulnerable. The results were that the organizations did not have any kind of responsible lending activities. Instead, they were basically approving loans without analyzing the borrower's ability to pay back the money or their income / credit history. Once interest rates increased, is when many of them could simply walk away from having very little invested in the house. (Crawford, 2011)

Solutions and New Regulatory Approach in the Global Financial Aftermath

In response to these challenges, the federal government has enacted the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This law is reversing the deregulation from the late 1980s and 1990s. Under the new guidelines, a Consumer Protection Agency will have the authority to monitor the transactions of financial firms. Those organizations that are becoming a threat to the economy will be reduced in size from this entity. (Steiner, 2012)

Evidence of this can be seen with observations from Steiner (2012) who said, "Recent bad corporate behavior compelled legislators to step in and tweak corporate governance by giving shareholders proxy access and allowing them to vote on executive pay and golden parachutes. Small investors may also get more protection when it comes to their investment advisers. Retail investors are rarely aware that it's perfectly legal for brokers to overcharge customers -- as long as suitability standards are met. With the new legislation, investors will get the assurance of knowing that brokers have to put their customers' best interests first. Finally, people with money in the bank can rest easier knowing that FDIC insurance will permanently cover more of their funds." (Steiner, 2012)

These insights are showing how Dodd Frank is increasing the overall protections that are available. For all classes of investors, this is resulting in more honest practices when it comes to commissions and the kinds of products that are recommended. This will provide the industry with a set of morals and guidelines that will automatically reduce risks for these firms. (Holzer, 2012) (Steiner, 2012)

The results of the Dodd Frank Act are that the new Consumer Protection Agency is directly going after areas that are creating potential problems for the financial system. For example, in the last year the SEC has wanted to impose new rules on money market funds. This is because they determined that they were engaging in risky practices by investing in areas that are considered to be safe. Yet, they offer a higher return and greater amounts of income. Historically, these assets have always traded at $1.00. This is because it was believed that the practices of money managers were focused on meeting FDIC guidelines. (Holzer, 2012) (Steiner, 2012)

However, once the financial crisis began is when they were exposed for making purchases of subprime mortgages and other areas that were thought to be safe. To address these issues, the SEC wants to have prices trade similar to mutual funds. This will force the markets to accurately evaluate these areas and they are increasing disclosure requirements. Recently, one of the commissioners on the SEC was blocking any attempts to impose these guidelines. Then, when the Consumer Protection Agency stepped in, is the point that this person reversed their position (allowing for the implementation of these new guidelines) (Holzer, 2012)

Commenting about what is happening is Holzer (2012) who said, "Money funds typically invest in short-term debt instruments and, similar to investors, they pay back the amount that they put in (exactly $1 per share on top of any interest). In 2008, the collapse of Lehman Brothers led to a fund that held Lehman debt to 'break the buck' or fall below $1.00 peg (a rare event). The government intervened to prevent panic from spreading to other parts of the financial system, and the aim of any regulatory overhaul is to prevent a similar kind of situation." This is illustrating how the markets can provide investors with more accurate information about the risks in these assets. The ability to float against the $1.00 mark will help them to determine this and conduct more precise analysis. These provisions might not have been implemented, if the Consumer Protection Agency wasn't there to play an important role. (Holzer, 2012)

Moreover, the introduction of these provisions will require money market funds to register with the SEC under the Investment Company Act of 1940. This mandates that all mutual funds and other investment related companies must provide disclosures about their investing activities and risks. The fact that money market funds will be forced to follow these standards makes them list any assets that are more risky. In the future, this will assist investors by having better information surrounding specific areas. (Holzer, 2012)

The information from these sources is showing how the regulatory environment has changed after the financial crisis. What is occurring is the federal government has begun to take a more active role in regulating the size of financial institutions and the activities they are involved in. The results are that the entire industry will face increased amounts of scrutiny surrounding their activities. (Holzer, 2012)

For a number of years, this will help to promote the long-term stability of the sector. However, everything will change once financial institutions are able to remove the various protections that are in place. If history is any guide, there will always be attempts to remove these restrictions as the economy changes and adjusts. The key is creating an environment that promotes healthy competition and has effective regulations that will limit abuses. This is the challenge that the global financial markets will face for many decades to come. (Crawford, 2011)

Furthermore, Dodd Frank is directly targeting hedge funds and the activities of medium sized investment advisors. Under the new law, both are required to register with SEC and disclose their investing activities. For hedge funds, this is designed to prevent speculation and ensure that there is increased transparency. This prevents these firms from taking excessive amounts of risk. Prior to the implementation of these laws, any kind of regulation was considered to be voluntary and only 10% of hedge funds participated. ("More than 1,500 Private Fund Advisors," 2012)

While medium sized investment advisors were regulated by the state. However, the concerns about Ponzi schemes and the potential for others developing, resulted in these firms registering with the SEC vs. The state. This is supposed to improve the reporting and monitoring of how client assets are stored / protected. ("More than 1,500 Private Fund Advisors," 2012)

Commenting on these changes is SEC Chairperson Mary Shapiro who said, "Prior to the Dodd-Frank Act, regulators only saw a slice of the pie but didn't know how big the pie even was. The law enables regulators to better protect investors by providing a more comprehensive view of who's out there and what they're doing." This is illustrating how the law will have long-term positive effects on consumers. As firms will be forced to provide them with more information and there will be greater amounts of scrutiny over their activities. ("More than 1,500 Private Fund Advisors," 2012)

The information from this source is illustrating how there will be an aggressive focus from regulators. This is because they want to prevent any kinds of situations from becoming out of control early. The new found authority that they are receiving from the laws such as Dodd Frank will set the tone in the way rules are enforced. In the future, this means that these guidelines will create a set of acceptable practices for everyone to follow. This is the point that the financial system will have greater amounts of stability. ("More than 1,500 Private Fund Advisors," 2012)

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