regulators

CFPB to Oversee Debt Collectors

Expanding its reach, the government's consumer finance watchdog agency will monitor the day-to-day operations of big debt-collection companies. It is the first time that debt collectors have been subject to federal scrutiny of their routine business practices.

MetLife Sells Bank Unit to Avoid New Fed Regulations

In order to avoid new federal rules and heightened scrutiny from regulators, MetLife has decided to sell its banking unit. That's a smart move for the nation's largest life insurer, and keeps it on a level playing field with its competitors.

3 Firms Charged With Oil Price Manipulation

A "manipulative" scheme that made unlawful profits on the price of crude oil was flagged in a complaint Tuesday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a sign that the regulator is cracking down on potential speculation in energy markets.

Nasdaq, ICE Drop $11 Billion Bid for NYSE Euronext

Nasdaq and IntercontinentalExchange are withdrawing their $11 billion bid for the New York Stock Exchange after recognizing that it wouldn't receive regulatory approval. The decision leaves the path open for NYSE Euronext to merge with the German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse.

Decoding the GOP Argument Against Punishing Banks

Almost as soon as regulators proposed a settlement for the mortgage mess that would require banks to obey the law, the banks' Republican allies began trying to weaken it through obfuscation and confusion. Read on for some plain English translations of their arguments against the settlement.

The Mortgage Mess Settlement Proposal: Off to an Awful Start

A partial settlement plan has been constructed by a group of state attorneys general and federal regulators. In theory, it addresses banks' flawed mortgage servicing, modification and foreclosure practices. In reality, it just lets the banks off the hook.

Financial Meltdown Accountability: Bring On the Class Actions!

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission's report concludes that ineffective regulators and big banks were the primary causes of the financial meltdown. Next stop: Government and class action lawsuits to recoup some of what we all lost, and (please please please) criminal charges against the worst offenders too.

New SEC Rule Gives Investors a Vote on Executive Pay

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday approved a measure that gives institutional shareholders a vote on executive pay at large corporations, part of regulators' efforts to give investors greater say over top-level salaries that have been described as excessive.

BHP, Rio Scrap Plans to Form World's Biggest Iron Ore Exporter

BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) gave up on plans to form the world%u2019s biggest iron-ore exporter, citing regulatory requirements. Regulators in Asia and Europe wanted the companies to implement changes, including asset sales, that the companies could not accept, Bloomberg News said. The regulators were worried that the deal would limit competition.

Regulators Probe 'Inherently Deceptive' Insurance Marketing

In three states, regulators have started or widened investigations into insurers after a judge described MetLIfe Inc%u2019s (MET) marketing of asset accounts as "inherently deceptive." On Sept. 10, U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks in Reno, Nevada said that MetLife gave customers the misimpression that its Total Control Account Money Market Option account for death benefits was protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Bloomberg News said.

Regulators to Take Aim at Bank 'Window Dressing'

Regulators may outline new rules to target so-called window dressing, a practice that some banks use to temporarily reduce their debt levels before reporting their finances. The SEC is scheduled to raise the matter at a meeting on Friday, then issue proposals for public comment, The Wall Street Journal said.

AIG Seeks Listing Committee Approval for AIA IPO

American International Group (AIG) is seeking Hong Kong listing committee approval on Sept. 21 for the IPO of its Asian life insurance unit, Reuters reported. The date is earlier than expected, which could mean that the IPO of the company%u2019s AIA unit will come in October, rather than November, Reuters reported without naming its sources.

Two Lehman Brothers Units Need Help to Avoid Failing

Lehman Brothers Holdings, the once great Wall Street firm that went bankrupt at the height of the financial crisis, says it will have to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into two struggling units to avoid failures that could cost the investment bank billions.

Avis Raises Bid for Dollar Thrifty, Attacks Hertz

Car rental company Avis Budget Group Inc (CAR) improved its offer for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG). Avis raised the cash portion of the offer to $40.75 a share, from $39.25, Avis said in a statement. The offer now stands at $40.75 in cash and 0.6543 shares of Avis Budget stock per share of Dollar Thrifty.

Risky Business: Derivatives Dwarf the World's GDP

One of the biggest risks to the world's financial health is the $1.2 quadrillion derivatives market. It's complex, it's unregulated, and it ought to be of concern to world leaders that its notional value is 20 times the size of the world economy.