Friday I thought the Bear rally ended with the early morning rally turning into a long fade into red.
But tonight I found new optimism by bulls? I am wondering if this too will just be another morning rally only leading to a long fade into the Red by days end on Monday.
Sparking a futures rally tonight is 2 items:
#1 Asian Stocks Advance on Japan Stimulus Optimism; BHP Climbs on Oil, Copper
#2 Obama to Outline Regulation Changes to Avoid Crisis (Update2)
By Hans Nichols and Alison Vekshin
March 22 (Bloomberg) -- The Obama administration will this week outline regulatory changes aimed at avoiding a repeat of the financial crisis that’s crippled the banking system and pushed the U.S. into the deepest recession since 1982.
The proposals will address the risks that remain in financial regulation, an administration official said, including the need for an agency to have the power to resolve a breakdown at a major financial institution. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke two weeks ago called for regulators to be given the authority to seize such firms, in the way the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. already has for deposit-taking institutions.
Officials, who will unveil tomorrow details of a plan to remove distressed assets from banks’ balance sheets, favor giving the Fed greater responsibility for managing risk across the financial system. That idea was proposed last year by former Treasury secretary Henry Paulson, though support for it is waning in Congress. President Barack Obama may also subject executive pay to greater scrutiny, the New York Times reported. An administration official denied that curbing compensation will be a major focus of the regulatory plan.
“There’s still a need for a systemic-risk regulator,” Representative Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said on March 20. “The argument for the Fed alone has lost a lot of political support. I think that’s now got to be re-looked at.”
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will testify before Frank’s committee on March 26 as Obama prepares to travel to London for a summit of the Group of 20 industrial and developing nations.
Obama has said that the international meeting must deal with how to prevent further crises like the current financial meltdown that began almost two years ago with the collapse of the market for subprime mortgages.
In dealing with the immediate crisis, the Treasury intends to create a government body called the Public Investment Corp., funded by as much as $100 billion, to finance the purchase of troubled bank loans and assets, the Washington Post reported today, citing unidentified people.
The entity would join with the Federal Reserve, FDIC and investors in buying up the assets, the newspaper said.
American banks have suffered more than $800 billion in writedowns and credit losses since then. The credit contraction that followed dragged first the U.S., and then Europe and Japan, into recession. A surge in unemployment and collapse in house prices has added to bad loans and further discouraged banks from lending.
The crisis also pushed the U.S. government into pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into financial institutions, including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and American International Group Inc.
Like the White House, Congress is trying to overhaul U.S. financial regulations and agencies that lawmakers have faulted for lax oversight. Frank, who is playing a lead role in the redesign, has been pushing to expand the Fed’s authority.
Legislators are considering setting up a regulator or giving power to an existing agency to monitor risk and detect problems across an array of financial-services firms to prevent shocks to the economy such as the one caused by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd and Richard Shelby, the panel’s top Republican, said two days earlier they are reluctant to expand the Fed’s role, faulting the central bank for lapses leading to the financial crisis.
Dodd and Shelby endorsed the idea of creating a systemic- risk regulator. “Whether or not those vast powers will reside at the Fed remains an open question,” Dodd said at a March 19 hearing on the issue.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, headed by Geithner between 2003 and January this year, has been in the lead in overseeing AIG since the company’s initial bailout in September. The Fed gave AIG “a massive infusion of cash” in September “and the many funds since then without any requirements or conditions,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on March 19.
Congress chastised AIG Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy over $165 million in retention pay after the New York-based insurer received $173 billion in taxpayer funds. Lawmakers advanced legislation that would tax bonuses at AIG and other companies that are getting federal aid.
The bonus controversy “throws open the question about how you do it,” Frank said. “It’s something we’re now all thinking about.”
The New York Times, citing unidentified officials, said the new oversight will apply to all financial institutions, including those not receiving federal assistance. The oversight also may be applied to publicly traded companies that report executive pay to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the newspaper said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Hans Nichols in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; Alison Vekshin in Washington at email@example.com
Last Updated: March 22, 2009 17:23 EDT