2010年2月3日水曜日

オバマ 反ウォール街政策

オバマの反ウォール街政策がエスカレートしているようだ。
 ボルカー議長は、金融機関の事業範囲や規模を制限する米政府の新規制
案について「海外各国と協議し、幅広い合意を得ることが不可欠だ」との
見解を明らかにした。

オバマが指示している「ボルカー・ルール」によると米大手金融では
おそらく4~5社程度、国際的に25~30社とのこと。
預金を預かる銀行にリスクの高い金融取引を制限したり、ファンドへの
投資を禁じる規制になるようだ。
取引制限とは別に商業銀行(傘下含む)で、一定以上の資産があるところは
投機部門切離しの案もあったが詳細は不明。
国際規制となれば、大蔵省の意向で合併を繰返した日本の三メガバンクや
民営化したばかりのゆうちょ銀行も対象となる可能性が高い。
日本政府とは違う方向を向いているようだ。
日本政府はどうするのつもりだろう。

ホーニグ 米大手金融解体は資本主義の基本


Obama Steps Up Campaign Against Wall Street


---ボルカー氏「新金融規制、国際協調を」 ファンド投資、禁止対象30社---
http://www.nikkei.co.jp/news/kaigai/20100201ATGM0100W01022010.html

 【ワシントン=大隅隆】米経済再生諮問会議のボルカー議長は31日、金融機関の事業範囲や規模を制限する米政府の新規制案について「海外各国と協議し、幅広い合意を得ることが不可欠だ」との見解を明らかにした。各国が歩調を合わせなければ金融機関の海外流出を招き、新規制の効力も薄れかねないため、国際協調を強く呼びかけた。金融規制を巡る議論は今週末にカナダで開く7カ国(G7)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議でも焦点になりそうだ。
 31日付のニューヨーク・タイムズ紙に寄稿した。米国の新金融規制案は預金を預かる銀行にリスクの高い金融取引を制限したり、ファンドへの投資を禁じたりする内容。元米連邦準備理事会(FRB)議長のボルカー氏らがかねて提唱していたもので、新規制案を発表したオバマ大統領自身も「ボルカー・ルール」と呼んでいる。
 ファンド投資の禁止についてボルカー氏は「(こうした事業を)活発に手掛けている大手銀行は米国ではおそらく4~5社程度」とし「国際的にも25~30社」との見方を示した。(11:47)


---金融規制強化 「米案支持」拡大…ダボス会議---
2010年2月1日 読売新聞
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/atmoney/mnews/20100201-OYT8T00559.htm

仏大統領も「正しい」
 【ダボス(スイス東部)=是枝智】世界の政財界のトップが集まる世界経済フォーラム年次総会(ダボス会議)で、オバマ米大統領が打ち出した大幅な金融規制強化案について、各国政府や金融当局者から支持する声が相次いでいる。
 サルコジ仏大統領は27日夜の演説で「銀行の役割は投機ではない。オバマ大統領が『銀行に投機や投機的なファンドへの資金供給をやめさせる』と言ったのは正しい」と明言。世界的な金融危機の一因となった銀行の暴走を「金融資本主義の失敗」と切り捨てると、会場を埋めた聴衆から大きな拍手がわき起こった。
 ダボス入りした欧州中央銀行のトリシェ総裁は米紙インタビューに「米国案は経済に資金が回るよう銀行に求めている我々の立場と同じ方向にある」と語った。メルケル独首相は国会で「金融機関の巨大化を防ぐルール作りが必要」と述べ、事業規模を制限する米提案を支持する声が欧州で広がってきた。中国の李克強副首相も28日のダボスでの演説で「国際的な金融規制強化が必要だ」と強調した。
 一方、銀行トップらは「世界貿易や経済に深刻な影響を及ぼす」(英銀バークレイズ)と新たな規制強化に神経をとがらせている。欧州を中心に「米国案支持」の動きが広がれば、日本を含めて世界的な金融規制の議論に影響を与える可能性があるだけに今後、米国が示す規制案の具体的な内容に注目が集まっている。


---Volcker to spell out future of banks---
By Martin Webber
Editor BBC World Service business news
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8486091.stm

Will an 82-year-old veteran central banker be the man who finally stops the music for the bankers of Wall Street?

A Congressional hearing in Washington on Tuesday may well provide the answer.

A week ago, US President Barack Obama, appeared to be telling America that the ideas of Economic Recovery Advisory Board chairman Paul Volcker would be the centrepiece of his plan to make the global financial system safer, announcing that the "Volcker rule" would determine the future of the world's banks.

But since then, there has been complete confusion as to exactly what the President and Mr Volcker have in mind.

Radical plan?

Since the start of the financial crisis, the consensus among the leading nations has been that in future regulators need to take a careful look at the risks banks take and make sure what they do is safe.

The problem with this proposal is that it is exactly the way the system was set up up in the run-up to the crisis.

Regulators in the UK and US convinced most people in the boom years that they were keeping a careful eye on all the risks.

When President Obama toughened his stance against the banks a week ago, he said the "Volcker rule" would mean banks could not operate hedge funds, private equity or get involved in proprietary trading "unrelated to client needs".

Proprietary trading is anything where the bank holds a financial asset with its own cash and therefore bears the risk of trading losses. The plan sounded pretty radical.

Core functions

The BBC has obtained a recent article by Mr Volcker for a specialist magazine, OMFIF (Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum).

In it, Mr Volcker made it clear that he wants a complete separation of commercial banks from the financial markets.

"We simply cannot afford further financial market breakdowns," said Mr Volcker's article.

"I favour a separation of commercial banking activities that are essential to the functioning of our financial system from more speculative trading-oriented capital markets activities that are not.

"To lower the risk and vulnerability of commercial banks, I favour prohibiting their ownership or sponsorship of hedge funds, private equity funds, and large-scale purely proprietary trading activities in securities, derivatives or commodity markets.

"These measures would directly eliminate potential areas of risk, reduce conflicts of interest and focus management attention on the core functions of banking."

Like oil and water

Mr Volker was seen as a hugely successful and independent chairman of the Federal Reserve under United States Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reaga, from August 1979 to August 1987.

His ideas are strongly supported by many people who follow retail banking, who feel the reckless property related-lending that led to the crisis was a result of the swashbuckling culture of Wall Street investment bankers that now control finance.

"The investment bankers had effectively achieved something extraordinary in a period of as little as 20 years - control over many of the largest retail deposit-taking institutions in the world," says Michael Lafferty, chairman of Lafferty Group, a global banking research house.

"My personal view is that retail banking and investment banking are like oil and water - and will never really mix.

"We have at last the opportunity to return banking to real bankers, concerned about customers and with a proper appreciation of risk, and to help markets break out of their extreme tendency for booms and busts of the past three decades."

Bank contributions

Mr Volcker's ideas appear to have won the backing of Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England.

"The most important thing is that we are prepared to countenance major reform," says Mr King.

"Unless we actually think about the deep structural issues that have led us to where we are, we'd be doomed to go through it again, but on a larger scale."

But for those who think that there are signs that something radical may actually come out of this crisis, there is one fairly major unresolved problem, namely Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner - the man in charge of President Obama's economic policies.

In an aside to his testimony to Congress on AIG, Mr Geithner went out of his way to praise the contribution to the US economy of Wall Street banks.

While Mr Geithner said he fully supported the "Volcker rule", he went on to outline what he thought it meant - and a clear separation of banking for ordinary people and Wall Street trading was not how he explained it.

For Mr Geithner, the "reform" model that he wanted pushed through Congress amounted simply to "limiting" banks from taking too much risk.

"You should be subjected to a set of constraints on capital, on leverage and how you are funded that limit the amount of risks you take," said Mr Geithner.

"If in addition to that you want to own a bank and operate a bank, then there are a set of other limits that we think are good and in the public interest so you cannot take advantage of that access to the safety net (government guarantees) to subsidise a set of activities that are not essential."

Goldman bank?

So will banks such as Citigroup in America and UK-based Barclays be broken up?

It seems likely on Mr Volcker's version of the Volcker rule, but not under Mr Geithner's vision, which seems to be all about regulation of the current structure, but with greater care.

The investment bankers are already warning that bank lending and future economic growth could fall unless the banks are protected from the huge uncertainty arising from the announcement of the "Volcker rule".

A large share of profits at Goldman Sachs come from proprietary trading.

They are the world's leaders in clever trades that take calculated bets on market movements.

One would therefore have thought that the "Volker rule" would imply that Goldman Sachs could no longer be a bank.

Yet Mr Geithner's testimony appeared to suggest that he did not want Goldman to cast off its recently won status as a bank holding company with direct access to government funds.

Markets simply do not know what to think. They hope they will be better informed after Tuesday.


---How to Reform Our Financial System---
By PAUL VOLCKER
Published: January 30, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/opinion/31volcker.html

PRESIDENT OBAMA 10 days ago set out one important element in the needed structural reform of the financial system. No one can reasonably contest the need for such reform, in the United States and in other countries as well. We have after all a system that broke down in the most serious crisis in 75 years. The cost has been enormous in terms of unemployment and lost production. The repercussions have been international.

Aggressive action by governments and central banks - really unprecedented in both magnitude and scope - has been necessary to revive and maintain market functions. Some of that support has continued to this day. Here in the United States as elsewhere, some of the largest and proudest financial institutions - including both investment and commercial banks - have been rescued or merged with the help of massive official funds. Those actions were taken out of well-justified concern that their outright failure would irreparably impair market functioning and further damage the real economy already in recession.

Now the economy is recovering, if at a still modest pace. Funds are flowing more readily in financial markets, but still far from normally. Discussion is underway here and abroad about specific reforms, many of which have been set out by the United States administration: appropriate capital and liquidity requirements for banks; better official supervision on the one hand and on the other improved risk management and board oversight for private institutions; a review of accounting approaches toward financial institutions; and others.

As President Obama has emphasized, some central structural issues have not yet been satisfactorily addressed.

A large concern is the residue of moral hazard from the extensive and successful efforts of central banks and governments to rescue large failing and potentially failing financial institutions. The long-established “safety net” undergirding the stability of commercial banks - deposit insurance and lender of last resort facilities - has been both reinforced and extended in a series of ad hoc decisions to support investment banks, mortgage providers and the world’s largest insurance company. In the process, managements, creditors and to some extent stockholders of these non-banks have been protected.

The phrase “too big to fail” has entered into our everyday vocabulary. It carries the implication that really large, complex and highly interconnected financial institutions can count on public support at critical times. The sense of public outrage over seemingly unfair treatment is palpable. Beyond the emotion, the result is to provide those institutions with a competitive advantage in their financing, in their size and in their ability to take and absorb risks.

As things stand, the consequence will be to enhance incentives to risk-taking and leverage, with the implication of an even more fragile financial system. We need to find more effective fail-safe arrangements.

In approaching that challenge, we need to recognize that the basic operations of commercial banks are integral to a well-functioning private financial system. It is those institutions, after all, that manage and protect the basic payments systems upon which we all depend. More broadly, they provide the essential intermediating function of matching the need for safe and readily available depositories for liquid funds with the need for reliable sources of credit for businesses, individuals and governments.

Combining those essential functions unavoidably entails risk, sometimes substantial risk. That is why Adam Smith more than 200 years ago advocated keeping banks small. Then an individual failure would not be so destructive for the economy. That approach does not really seem feasible in today’s world, not given the size of businesses, the substantial investment required in technology and the national and international reach required.

Instead, governments have long provided commercial banks with the public “safety net.” The implied moral hazard has been balanced by close regulation and supervision. Improved capital requirements and leverage restrictions are now also under consideration in international forums as a key element of reform.

The further proposal set out by the president recently to limit the proprietary activities of banks approaches the problem from a complementary direction. The point of departure is that adding further layers of risk to the inherent risks of essential commercial bank functions doesn’t make sense, not when those risks arise from more speculative activities far better suited for other areas of the financial markets.

The specific points at issue are ownership or sponsorship of hedge funds and private equity funds, and proprietary trading - that is, placing bank capital at risk in the search of speculative profit rather than in response to customer needs. Those activities are actively engaged in by only a handful of American mega-commercial banks, perhaps four or five. Only 25 or 30 may be significant internationally.

Apart from the risks inherent in these activities, they also present virtually insolvable conflicts of interest with customer relationships, conflicts that simply cannot be escaped by an elaboration of so-called Chinese walls between different divisions of an institution. The further point is that the three activities at issue - which in themselves are legitimate and useful parts of our capital markets - are in no way dependent on commercial banks’ ownership. These days there are literally thousands of independent hedge funds and equity funds of widely varying size perfectly capable of maintaining innovative competitive markets. Individually, such independent capital market institutions, typically financed privately, are heavily dependent like other businesses upon commercial bank services, including in their case prime brokerage. Commercial bank ownership only tilts a “level playing field” without clear value added.

Very few of those capital market institutions, both because of their typically more limited size and more stable sources of finance, could present a credible claim to be “too big” or “too interconnected” to fail. In fact, sizable numbers of such institutions fail or voluntarily cease business in troubled times with no adverse consequences for the viability of markets.

What we do need is protection against the outliers. There are a limited number of investment banks (or perhaps insurance companies or other firms) the failure of which would be so disturbing as to raise concern about a broader market disruption. In such cases, authority by a relevant supervisory agency to limit their capital and leverage would be important, as the president has proposed.

To meet the possibility that failure of such institutions may nonetheless threaten the system, the reform proposals of the Obama administration and other governments point to the need for a new “resolution authority.” Specifically, the appropriately designated agency should be authorized to intervene in the event that a systemically critical capital market institution is on the brink of failure. The agency would assume control for the sole purpose of arranging an orderly liquidation or merger. Limited funds would be made available to maintain continuity of operations while preparing for the demise of the organization.

To help facilitate that process, the concept of a “living will” has been set forth by a number of governments. Stockholders and management would not be protected. Creditors would be at risk, and would suffer to the extent that the ultimate liquidation value of the firm would fall short of its debts.

To put it simply, in no sense would these capital market institutions be deemed “too big to fail.” What they would be free to do is to innovate, to trade, to speculate, to manage private pools of capital - and as ordinary businesses in a capitalist economy, to fail.

I do not deal here with other key issues of structural reform. Surely, effective arrangements for clearing and settlement and other restrictions in the now enormous market for derivatives should be agreed to as part of the present reform program. So should the need for a designated agency - preferably the Federal Reserve - charged with reviewing and appraising market developments, identifying sources of weakness and recommending action to deal with the emerging problems. Those and other matters are part of the administration’s program and now under international consideration.

In this country, I believe regulation of large insurance companies operating over many states needs to be reviewed. We also face a large challenge in rebuilding an efficient, competitive private mortgage market, an area in which commercial bank participation is needed. Those are matters for another day.

What is essential now is that we work with other nations hosting large financial markets to reach a broad consensus on an outline for the needed structural reforms, certainly including those that the president has recently set out. My clear sense is that relevant international and foreign authorities are prepared to engage in that effort. In the process, significant points of operational detail will need to be resolved, including clarifying the range of trading activity appropriate for commercial banks in support of customer relationships.

I am well aware that there are interested parties that long to return to “business as usual,” even while retaining the comfort of remaining within the confines of the official safety net. They will argue that they themselves and intelligent regulators and supervisors, armed with recent experience, can maintain the needed surveillance, foresee the dangers and manage the risks.

In contrast, I tell you that is no substitute for structural change, the point the president himself has set out so strongly.

I’ve been there - as regulator, as central banker, as commercial bank official and director - for almost 60 years. I have observed how memories dim. Individuals change. Institutional and political pressures to “lay off” tough regulation will remain - most notably in the fair weather that inevitably precedes the storm.

The implication is clear. We need to face up to needed structural changes, and place them into law. To do less will simply mean ultimate failure - failure to accept responsibility for learning from the lessons of the past and anticipating the needs of the future.


---米金融規制強化 オバマ大統領「拒否権も辞さず」---
2010年1月29日1時27分
http://www.asahi.com/business/topics/economy/TKY201001280523.html

 オバマ米大統領の金融規制強化に向けた発言が続いている。議会の決定が不十分なら「拒否権発動」も辞さない構えだ。ただ、回復基調にある世界経済のお金の流れが細れば景気に水を差すとの指摘もある。日本の金融機関も影響を受ける可能性があり、議論の行方を注視している。
 オバマ大統領は27日の一般教書演説でも金融機関への規制強化に言及。「議会を通過してくる法案が、本物の金融改革ができる内容になっていなければ、送り返す」とまで述べた。
 オバマ氏が打ち出した案は、銀行には企業・個人への貸し出しや顧客への金融サービスの提供に徹することを求め、自己資金でリスクの高い金融商品に投資してもうけを狙うことを禁じる内容。実現すれば、この間の金融自由化の流れを抜本的に反転させる歴史的な変化になる。
 金融危機後の米政府は、日本の「失われた10年」を教訓に「金融システムを早期に修復しなければ、景気後退がより長引く」(ガイトナー財務長官)と判断。巨額の公的資金をつぎ込んで銀行を復調させた。実際、景気にも底打ち感がでた。
 だが、銀行が高額報酬を復活させる一方で、失業率は10%と26年ぶりの高水準が続き、一般市民が「復調」を実感できる状況にはほど遠い。金融危機前に、米国の大手金融機関は、もうけを追求してリスクの高い投資を積み重ね、いままた復活させつつある。危機を招いた「強欲」ぶりへの批判は米社会で共有され、一部の専門家も含め、規制強化への支持は多い。
 ただ、金融市場にとっては、少なくとも短期的には「売り」の材料になった。ニューヨーク市場の株価は大きく下落。大手金融機関の収益への不安が響いた。
 JPモルガン・チェースのアナリストの試算では、規制案が実現すると、米欧の投資銀行大手5社の2011年の収益が計130億ドル(約1兆1700億円)減る可能性がある。米ゴールドマン・サックスの営業収益は20%減、他4社も16%~11%の減収につながるという。米金融アナリストのディック・ボーブ氏は「米国の金融業界の規模縮小を促す規制は、世界経済における米国自身の力をも弱める」と主張している。(ワシントン=尾形聡彦、サンフランシスコ=丸石伸一)
■吉か凶か 日本勢はピリピリ
 米国の金融規制強化の動きに、日本の金融機関も神経をとがらせている。
 野村ホールディングスは08年に破綻(はたん)した米リーマン・ブラザーズの欧州・アジア部門を買収。昨年9月に公募増資で4300億円を調達し、手薄だった米国のテコ入れを始めたところに「オバマ・ショック」が襲った。幹部は「経済のグローバル化の大きな流れが反転した可能性がある。米国は管理型の資本主義への道を歩み始めたのかもしれない」と戸惑いを隠さない。
 今回の規制案は銀行の業務をしばる内容で、預金業務のない野村には当面、直接的な影響はなさそうだ。だが、金融機関の巨大化に制限をかける流れが強まれば、「ひとごと」では済まない。
 米政権は、金融危機対応に使った公的資金の穴埋めのため金融機関に「金融危機責任料」を課す方針も打ち出している。日本の金融機関も対象になる可能性があり、「支持が下がったオバマ氏が、世論受けを狙ってさらに規制を広げるのではないか」との疑心暗鬼も広がっている。
 一方で、欧米の規制強化が、アジア勢にはチャンスになるとの見方もある。大手銀行幹部は「欧米の投資銀行には、厳しい規制を嫌って人材をニューヨークやロンドンから、香港やシンガポールに移し始めるという動きも出てきた」と話す。国際金融の中心が、米英からアジアに移れば、日本も「地の利」を生かしやすくなるのでは、との期待が一部に出ているという。とはいえ、アジアでの日本勢の地位も盤石ではない。競争激化で結局埋没してしまう恐れもある。


---オバマ大統領、中流世帯支援策を発表--
2010.1.26 08:51
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/america/100126/amr1001260854002-n1.htm

 【ワシントン=渡辺浩生】オバマ米大統領は25日、育児費用の税控除拡大や高齢者介護の負担軽減策などを柱とする中流世帯支援策を発表した。マサチューセッツ州の上院議員補欠選挙での民主党候補の予想外の敗北を受けて、27日夜に行う一般教書演説の中でも、景気後退の影響を受けた中流層の支援や雇用対策を重視する姿勢を示す考えだ。
 中流世帯支援策は、バイデン副大統領を議長とする特別作業チームがまとめたもので、このほか教育ローン返済の負担軽減や退職世代の貯蓄促進策などを広範囲に盛り込んだ。大統領はこの日、「持続可能な雇用創出は中流層の再建に最重要の政策だ」と強調した。
 マサチューセッツ州補選での民主党候補の敗北は、10%の高失業率が続く中、医療保険改革の審議を優先させたオバマ政権の政策運営に対する有権者の不満を浮き彫りにした。ギブズ大統領報道官は25日の会見で、一般教書演説の重要課題として民間分野の雇用促進策や財政赤字の削減策に大統領が注力する方針を明らかにした。


---オバマ米大統領の「反ウォール街」エスカレート 金融市場が不安定化---
2010.1.25 19:25
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/america/100125/amr1001251927005-n1.htm

 【ワシントン=渡辺浩生】オバマ米大統領の「反ウォール街」姿勢が、金融市場の不安定要因になっている。金融機関への課税や新規制案を発表し、マサチューセッツ州上院議員補選で民主党が予想外の敗北となったのを契機に、有権者の不満を転嫁するかのような銀行たたきをエスカレートさせている。バーナンキ連邦準備制度理事会(FRB)議長の議会承認問題まで飛び火する形となり、市場を動揺させている。
 24日、ホワイトハウスの高官や議会指導部は、テレビ番組に相次いで出演し、週内にも開かれる上院本会議で、バーナンキ議長の再任が危ういという見通しを打ち消すのに躍起となった。「世界の株式市場に大きな影響を与える」(アナリスト)という市場関係者の懸念に配慮したものだ。
 ところが、オバマ大統領の金融界に対する敵意は、自らの支持率の低下と反比例して強まっている。
 「われわれはあなたたちのお金を取り戻す。わずか10セントでもだ」。挑発的な言葉で大手金融機関約50社を対象に、「金融危機責任税」を課す方針を発表したのは今月14日だった。
 19日にマサチューセッツ州補選で共和党候補に敗北すると、2日後の21日、商業銀行によるヘッジファンド投資の禁止や金融機関の肥大化を制限する1930年代の大恐慌時以来の大転換という新金融規制案を発表。「彼ら(金融界)が戦う気ならこちらも戦う用意がある」と再び挑発した。

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