U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Two Financial Must-Reads
April 23, 2010

[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] First, if you missed this Wall Street Journal op-ed by CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler this week, you should really check it out. It's one of the most lucid cases for regulating derivatives that I've read this last year or so. (The CFTC is the primary federal regulator overseeing derivatives--at least, the minority of derivatives that are actually regulated today. Which is the whole problem...).

Head Lock
April 20, 2010

Some two dozen executives from large corporations will be descending on Capitol Hill today to make the case against over-regulating derivatives. The “fly-in” is being organized in part by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce through a group called the Coalition for Derivatives End-Users, according to the Chamber’s Ryan McKee. Many corporations use derivatives to hedge against fluctuations in the price of their inputs—for example, an airline might sign a contract to lock in future fuel prices, thereby passing the risk along to someone else.

Idiot Time
July 08, 2002

Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich by Kevin Phillips (Broadway Books, 432 pp., $29.95) Stupid White Men ... and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! by Michael Moore (ReganBooks, 304 pp., $24.95) I. As Lord Bryce noted in 1888 in The American Commonwealth, the American way of choosing presidents rarely produces politicians of quality. Subsequent events vindicated his point: in the half-century after his book appeared, Americans elected to the presidency such undistinguished men as William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G.