ICYMI: November 15 - SmartBrief

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ICYMI: November 15

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Modern Money

A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and the world of finance…

Lots of great insight from the speakers and panelists at the SIFMA Annual Meeting this past week in NYC:

Jeb is running in 2016, right?: Aside from some opening jabs at financial regulatory reform aimed at pleasing the Wall Street audience, Jeb Bush’s speech had all the trappings of a stump speech. Endless money and a jump start on Florida and Texas in the Electoral College would make Bush III an incredibly strong candidate. They say being an ex-president gains you admittance to the most exclusive club in the world. Obviously there are four such individuals in that club right now. If Jeb decides not to run, he’d join an even more exclusive club: Individuals who turned down the chance to embark on a seemingly easy path to the White House. Right now, that club has a membership of one: Colin Powell.

About those community bankers: Former President Bill Clinton raised a few eyebrows on press row when he recommended the Wall Street crowd combine their grassroots outreach and advocacy efforts with those of community bankers. Someone must have forgotten to tell Clinton that the two lobbies aren’t exactly best friends.

Did Brooksley Born hear that?: Clinton also seemed to imply that he wanted to do more to regulate over-the-counter derivatives while he was in office. “I couldn’t get it passed,” Clinton said. “But I should have raised more Cain about it.” That sentiment certainly doesn’t jibe with what Clinton and Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers did at the time to scuttle the efforts at regulating OTC swaps proffered by then-CFTC Chair Brooksley Born.

BlackRock’s Fink on CEO tenure and the economy: While everyone complains that the dysfunction in Washington is hurting business confidence and hampering a better economic recovery, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink wasn’t afraid to place some of the blame on management trends within the C-suite. The average CEO tenure of Fortune 500 companies is reportedly 4.6 years. Fink argues that such short-term stints at the helm place pressure on CEOs to favor near-term results and dividends instead of long-term strategies.

In other news …

California Dreamin’: The crisis-era bank bailout remains incredibly unpopular on Main Street. But that isn’t stopping the man who literally dispensed the money to banks from exploring a run for governor of California. Neel Kashkari, who oversaw the financial stabilization program during the crisis, would be a well-financed candidate. Kashkari is championing all the right issues, like jobs and education, but is the public ready to forgive ‘The $700 Billion Man?”

P.S. No word yet on whether former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will stump for his former staffer, but Kashkari’s website indicates his Newfoundland dogs may be Tweeting from the campaign trail (I seriously clicked on the Winslow & Newsome tab atop the site thinking it was info about some law firm or communications adviser).

Survey says there are too many surveys: As someone who also receives endless studies, white papers and surveys, I find this Bloomberg piece very entertaining … and accurate.

On the road again: SmartBrief is heading to Naples, Fla., next week to bring you coverage from the Global Financial Leadership Conference, hosted by CME Group. Lots of political and financial heavyweights on the agenda, so watch this space for some good stuff.