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SEC tells investment banks: Come clean

Marketplace Staff May 8, 2008
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SEC tells investment banks: Come clean

Marketplace Staff May 8, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: When the Federal Reserve stepped in and helped bail out Bear Stearns, we said Wall Street might have to pay a price for it. This might be it: The Securities and Exchange Commission wants investment banks to come clean with how much debt and capital they have on their books. Amy Scott reports.


Amy Scott: In a speech yesterday, SEC chairman Christopher Cox said the banks will report their positions in “terms that the market can readily understand and digest.” Investment banks have been under more pressure since the near-failure of Bear Stearns almost two months ago. That’s when the Federal Reserve opened its discount window to the banks. The short-term financing was previously only available to the more heavily regulated commercial banks. Management consultant Peter Cohan:

Peter Cohan: The commercial banks have access to the Fed and they have to disclose more, and so it only seems fair to do the same thing for anybody else who borrows from that discount window.

The SEC is also requiring investment banks to have more capital on hand.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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