Banks and hedge funds are fighting back against requirements that they turn over to federal regulators information on overseas trading that involves U.S. customers. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is in the process of finalizing the rule stemming from the 2010 Dodd-Frank overhaul of financial regulations.
Industry officials say the provision would produce conflicts with foreign regulators, and could eventually drive trading away from Wall Street banks to foreign firms. But CFTC chairman Gary Gensler notes that many of the disastrous trades—such as the $6 billion loss by JPMorgan Chase’s London Whale—occurred overseas, and should be monitored. - Read more at The New York Times
OBAMA TO TAP N.C. DEM TO LEAD HOUSING President Obama is expected to nominate Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C. to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The nomination could come as early as today. Watt would replace acting director Edward DeMarco who has faced controversy for resisting mortgage modfications while leading the agency charged with overseeing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since 2009. - Read more at Bloomberg
EXACTLY WHEN DID SCOTUS STRIKE DOWN OBAMACARE? A stunning 42 percent of Americans don’t know that Obamacare is the law of the land, meaning that the Obama administration might need to go into overdrive with its marketing efforts. According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 12 percent think Congress repealed it and 7 percent think the Supreme Court struck it down. - See the poll here
POLL: HALF OF AMERICANS FRET SEQUESTRATION A New York Times/CBS poll released today shows nearly half of Americans say the economy will be hurt by the spending cuts prompted by the sequestration. However, few of the respondents said they had personally been affected by the budget cuts. Roughly 69 percent said they had not been directly impacted, 19 percent said they had been somewhat impacted, and just 8 percent said they had been affected a great deal. - Read more at The New York Times
THE WORLD’S HAPPIEST CONSUMERS Live in Indonesia. According to a new survey by market research firm Nielsen, Indonesia is the world’s most optimistic country, with a consumer confidence index of 122 points in the first quarter of the year. According to Nielsen, seven of the 10 countries with the most confidence are in Asia. The rest of the top 10 includes Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Norway. - Read more at CNBC
THE PENTAGON’S PORK PROBLEM It’s no secret that lawmakers funnel money to their own districts by packing pet projects into the federal budget. One of the best examples of this is the Pentagon’s budget, which, according to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, had $6.9 billion for programs it didn’t need in 2009. - Read more at The Fiscal Times