When Free Markets Fail: Saving the Market When It Can't Save Itself BY Scott McCleskey

When Free Markets Fail: Saving the Market When It Can't Save Itself BY Scott McCleskey
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When Free Markets Fail:

Saving the Market When It Can't Save Itself

BY Scott McCleskey


Adobe E-Book 256 pages July 2010

Authoritative guidance for navigating inevitable financial market regulation The reform of this country's financial regulation will be one of the most significant legislative programs in a generation. When Free Markets Fail: Saving the Market When It Can¡¯t Save Itself outlines everything you need to know to stay abreast of these changes.

Written by Scott McCleskey, a Managing Editor at Complinet, the leading provider of risk and compliance solutions for the global financial services industry

Looks at the intended result of these regulations so that institutions and individuals will have a greater understanding of the new regulatory environment Offers a realistic look at how these regulations will affect anyone who has a bank account, a car loan, a mortgage or a credit card

Covers the reforms that have been enacted and looks forward to future reforms

Both theoretical and practical in approach, When Free Markets Fail provides a strong overview of coming regulation laws with insightful analysis into various aspects not easily understood.


SCOTT McCLESKEY is a financial journalist and the New York Managing Editor for Complinet. Specializing in financial regulation and reform, he has two decades of industry experience including stints in New York, Washington, Brussels, and London. He has served as global chief compliance officer for a regulated firm, as director of public regulatory policy for a European securities exchange, and has worked closely with high-level regulatory officials throughout the world. His publications examine the financial markets with an eye to making complex regulatory issues understandable for everyone. His views have been published or quoted in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, and other major publications. He holds a master's degree in international relations from Cambridge and a master's degree in financial regulation and compliance management from London Guildhall University, as well as a bachelor's degree in government from the College of William & Mary.


Acknowledgments. About the Author.

Preface: In Defense of Regulation (¡­and of Free Markets).

In the Beginning, There Was Adam.

The Shift from Philosophy to Math.

Can Markets Regulate Themselves?

Regulation vs Justice.


Introduction: Why Regulatory Reform Matters to You.

The Structure of the Book.

Chapter 1: Meltdown in the Markets: Systemic Risk.

How Systemic Risk Works.

Day to Day Funding.

How a Problem Goes Systemic

¡°At the Mercy of Rumors¡±.

Collateral Damage.

The Case for Government Intervention

Money Market Funds ¨C From Safe Harbor to Live Wire.

Why Hasn't the System Collapsed Before?


Chapter 2: Can an Institution be Too Big to Fail?

Policy Options.


Chapter 3: Moral Hazard.

The Theory.

The Reality.

Decisions Are Not Made By Organizations, They're Made By People.


Chapter 4: Toxic Assets.

What Are Toxic Assets, and Why Are They Toxic?

Building Low-Risk Assets Out of High-Risk Ones.

Credit Rating Agencies and Structured Finance Products.

Credit Default Swaps.

Chapter 5: Should Regulation Stifle Innovation?

Policy Implications.


Chapter 6: Rewarding Success, Rewarding Failure: Incentives and Compensation.

Big Brother is Paying You.

Regulating the Level of Pay.

Performance Goals and Risk.

Methods of Aligning Reward with Risk.

Who Matters?

The 2009 Federal Reserve Guidance.

Was Adam Smith Right?

Chapter 7: Who Protects the Consumer?

Were existing regulations effective?

Is a Separate Consumer Regulator the Right Answer?

What powers would the agency have?

A Word About Consumer Protection and Systemic Risk.


Chapter 8: Transparency - Letting the Sun Shine In, or Sipping Water from a Firehose?

Transparency as Regulation.

Degrees of Transparency.

What to consider when transparency is the proposed remedy.

Chapter 9: Rebuilding the Regulatory Structure.

Why so many regulatory agencies?

The SEC and the Investment Banks.

The Federal Reserve.

Other proposed changes.

Consumer Protection.

Do We Need a Systemic Regulator?

To Concentrate or Not to Concentrate.

Chapter 10: Rating the Raters ¨C The Role of Credit Rating Agencies.

NRSRO Status.

How Ratings Are Made.

What Really Keeps the Rating Agencies Up at Night (And It's Not Your Mortgage).

The End of the NRSRO?

Conflicts in the Rating Agency Business Model.

Are Rating Agencies Utilities?


Chapter 11: The Politics of Regulation.

The Political Process.

Chapter 12: Nice Law, Now Go Do It: Regulators and Compliance Officers.

The SEC.

Examinations and Inspections.

Conduct of Examinations.


Compliance Departments.


Chapter 13: Cost-Benefit Analysis.

Basics of Cost-Benefit Analysis.

The Benefits of Cost-Benefit Analysis.

Government Use of Cost Benefit Analysis.

Cost-Benefit Analysis as a Negotiating Tactic.


Chapter 14: Where Do We Go From Here? Conclusions, Observations and Recommendations.

Modern Markets Are Too Complex to Regulate Themselves.

When the Next Crisis Comes, We Need a Plan B.

The Need for a Professionalized Regulatory Service.

Creating a Federal Regulatory Service.

¡­And to Elevate the Compliance Profession.

Decisions are Made by Individuals, Not Organizations.

Keep the Rating Agencies¡­But on a Short Leash.

Put Down the Pitchforks.

Chapter 15: Judging for Yourself.


Appendix Summaries of Regulatory Concepts and Issues.

Moral Hazard, Too Big to Fail, Systemic Risk.

Unlevel Playing Fields.

Unintended Consequences.


Regulatory Capture.

Information Asymmetries.

Conflicts of Interest.

¡°One Size Fits All¡±.