So, if all your friends were jumping off a cliff, would you jump, too?
Maybe only a little:
- ‘Unforced errors’ cost M&T dearly over 3 years - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
M&T Bank Corp. saw its purchase of a $300 million stake in a small-dollar commercial real estate lender as a good move at the time, but its chief executive officer now calls its Bayview investment one of four “unforced errors” that ultimately cost the bank $845 million in losses over three years.
The Buffalo-based banking company, one of the nation’s largest, could have posted significantly better results last year had it not strayed from its conservative banking culture in prior years, Chairman Robert G. Wilmers said in his annual letter to shareholders.
“We were, unfortunately, not as consistently conservative as we should have been,” Wilmers wrote. “We, too, were lured, in some ways, by the siren song of higher earnings by taking greater risk.”
- Market investors remain leery - Chicago Tribune/Buffalo News
- Victims of Madoff, Stanford join forces in pressing for restitution - Bloomberg/Buffalo News
Some folks are still trying to put a catcher in the rye:
- Dodd's Proposed Wall Street Rules Would Toughen Scrutiny of Banks - The Wall Street Journal
The political battle over rewriting the rules of Wall Street will intensify Monday when Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is expected to introduce legislation tougher on financial companies than was expected just a few weeks ago.
The shift follows a push from the Obama administration, which sees a political advantage in pushing legislation taking aim at Wall Street.
- Sen. Dodd challenges Republicans on financial reforms - Reuters
Dodd said on Sunday that his bill, to be released at a press conference, will cover four major areas: ending the assumption that some financial firms are "too big to fail"; dealing with systemic financial risk in the economy; regulating over-the-counter derivatives and boosting protections for financial consumers.
- Dodd expected to offer more modest financial reform legislation - The Los Angeles Times
Legislation to be unveiled Monday by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd to overhaul the financial regulatory system is likely to be more modest than either the Obama administration's proposal last summer or a plan Dodd pushed last fall.
So, like most political reforms, this can be compared to the status quo, to what should have been done, to other ideas that are worse, and be made to sound good or bad, depending on how you choose to look at it. Viz:
- Financial Reform Endgame - Paul Krugman/The New York Times
So here’s the situation. We’ve been through the second-worst financial crisis in the history of the world, and we’ve barely begun to recover: 29 million Americans either can’t find jobs or can’t find full-time work. Yet all momentum for serious banking reform has been lost. The question now seems to be whether we’ll get a watered-down bill or no bill at all. And I hate to say this, but the second option is starting to look preferable.
-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News