The Next Bonfire of the Vanities

Aug 9 2018

As The New York Times noted in its obituary of author Tom Wolfe in May, his wildly successful “The Bonfire of the Vanities” provided readers with “a sweeping, bitingly satirical picture of money, power, greed and vanity in New York during the shameless excesses of the 1980s.”

Being the thorough journalist that he was, Mr. Wolfe carefully and accurately described how the novel’s central character, Sherman McCoy, made his living as a bond trader. Of course, explaining how Wall Street works wasn’t the purpose or the main thrust of the novel, but Mr. Wolfe did a great job of laying out how the sausage is made in layman’s terms.

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GDPR – Sink or Swim

May 22 2018

Data-focused regulation by any other name would still be regulation. But will GDPR make a difference?

Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. A familiar refrain that seems to apply to many areas of life – love, vices, household appliances… you name it. But when it comes to the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on 25 May (yes, this week), ‘can’t live without it’, isn’t an option.

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Regulation Hits the Big Screen

Regulation Hits Big Screen
Apr 21 2016

Regulation is always one of the top stories across the global financial sector. Market structure is constantly evolving and, as such, must be cautiously monitored by regulators around the globe. While regulatory issues are not exactly the most enthralling of discussion topics, I thought it would be fun to compare some of the big ones to films. Below you’ll find a little AFI (American Film Institute) and a little AIFMD (Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive).

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Blockchain plus smart contracts equals boon for regulators

Blockchain, Compliance, Fintech, Smart Contracts, Bitcoin, Regulation
Feb 26 2016

Of the many benefits to capital markets promised by smart contracts and blockchain technology, none are more important than those to be gained by regulators. Indeed, regulation was one of the main themes touched upon by panelists from CME, Geopay, PwC, Symbiont, and TD Bank at the Mankoff Company’s After-the-Bell discussion this past Wednesday (February 24) in Chicago, which addressed the blockchain as a game-changing technology.

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Drafting the Dodd-Frank Narrative

Feb 13 2015

George Bailey is making a vicious comeback.

The release of a working paper from the Harvard Kennedy School concluded that the declining strength of community banks has accelerated since the passage of Dodd-Frank in 2010. While the authors admit that the decline in community banks – with their share of U.S. banking assets falling to 20 percent – is not solely attributable to Dodd-Frank, they express concern that the trouble may stem from “inappropriately designed regulation and inadequate regulatory coordination.”

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Global Regulation: Is it Even a Possibility?

Jul 18 2014

There are buzzwords across the financial services industry – cyber-security, cloud computing, SEFs – which have a value in their respective sectors. However, there is one term that seems to be almost ubiquitous and even synonymous with banking and finance – regulation.  On a national level, there have been numerous laws passed over the last six years. But what about on a broader level?

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Time for “Private Equity” to Change its name… Again?

May 23 2014

The implosion of the junk bond market in the early 1990s, along with a number of high profile LBO failures – Federated Department Stores, Macys, Revco, and of course, the deal dubbed “the Burning Bed,” Ohio Mattress – made the term “leveraged buyout” somewhat unsavory. Then, in one of the most successful rebrandings in financial history, dealmakers thought up a new moniker and since then have operated under the accurate if unwieldy name “private equity.”

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