New Senate Dealings Prepare to Ease Banking Regulations Under the Dodd-Frank Act

New discussions in the U.S. Senate indicate a likely repeal of 2010’s controversial Dodd-Frank Act. Designed in response to the 2008 economic crisis, the Dodd-Frank Act implemented regulations on banks and lending agencies to provide greater financial stability and consumer protection. The fundamental purpose of Dodd-Frank was to increase oversight and transparency among financial institutions. However, the Dodd-Frank Act has been the target of much criticism, most notably that its imposed regulations stifle the growth of smaller institutions. As of March 2018, Senate discussions indicate an intent to lay the foundations to remove this regulation.

TAX TALK SERIES: IRS Clarifies Post-TCJA Confusion on Home Equity Interest

On December 20, 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“TCJA”) designed to decrease the taxable rate for corporations and individuals, and significantly limited allowable deductions. Since this change to the Tax Code was one of the largest since the Reagan era, the Internal Revenue Service will need to publish many regulations and advisories in the coming months to better clarify provisions of the TCJA. This multi-part series will explore prominent IRS regulations and advisories as they relate to the TCJA, and what these regulations and advisories mean for both individual and corporate taxpayers. 

Financing a Funeral: FTC Protection Against Providers

One of the most difficult things many of us will experience in our lifetime is the death of a loved one. Whether unexpected or a drawn out farewell, it is a situation no one can be full prepared to handle. In this moment of extreme vulnerability, most people begin the process of planning a funeral. Society has placed an incredible amount of faith in funeral directors to make sure the wishes of our loved ones are met and insure a memorable service for the living. However, this is not always the case.

The Volcker Rule: Where we stand and where we could go

The Volcker Rule: Where we stand and where we could go John Martin Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law J.D. 2018   On January 24, 2018, a coalition of 43 states’ community banking associations sent a letter to majority leader Senator Mitch McConnell and minority leader Senator Charles Schumer asking for bipartisan collaboration …
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Building a Compliance Framework from the Ground Up

Large companies generally have well established programs and systems in place to remain compliant with ever-changing regulations within their industry. But at a time when the percentage of job seekers starting their own businesses is at a recent high, young firms and start-ups are at a disadvantage when it comes to compliance, having to build a system from the ground up. In order to have an effective compliance program, an organization must “exercise due diligence to prevent and detect criminal conduct” and must establish and maintain an organizational culture that “encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance with the law.” Thus, management not only has to focus on structure, but also culture in building their compliance systems.

Deregulation of Uranium Mining or: How I Learned to Stop Regulating and Love the Bomb

Compliance professionals all over the country are paying close attention to the Trump administration’s deregulatory campaign. While deregulation in finance has received the most media attention, the uranium mining industry has been a quiet beneficiary of the President’s new regulatory scheme.

Bracket Busted: NCAA Compliance the Clear Loser of March Madness

For the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), March is supposed to be a showcase of the best about college sports, and the ideals the NCAA claims up uphold.  March is about student-athletes representing their schools, in a tournament full of upsets, uplifting stories, and some of the more dramatic moments in sports.  However, this March, the spectacle of March Madness is overshadowed by headlines of criminal conduct, corruption, rules violations, and plenty of criticism for the NCAA.  While many of these stories are just beginning to unfold, there are several ethical and compliance issues raised, which have application to all areas of compliance.

Waters of the United States

The Obama administration’s “Clean Water Rule” was designed to control pollution in approximately 60% of the country’s bodies of water. The Rule primarily extended current federal regulations to smaller bodies of water, requiring that pollution of rivers and wetlands be held to the same environmental penalties as larger bodies of water. However, the Trump administration has suspended enforcement of the regulation for two years. During that time, they will re-consider the definition of “waters of the United States.” The Trump administration intends to release a new version this year.

Delivering the Nuclear Promise . . . Revisited

I authored a post last year regarding the nuclear energy industry’s current initiative to reduce operational costs to compete with the ever-dropping cost of energy production. Coined “Delivering the Nuclear Promise,” the initiative aims to enlist cost-cutting initiatives such as reducing staffing and removing superfluous requirements that maintain large margin to regulatory thresholds. Companies have set hefty goals to bring the cost of nuclear energy production down to values that would make nuclear energy competitive against less expensive, highly backed, and not-as-clean, forms of energy. This all needs to be done without sacrificing safety.

In order to achieve these drastic measures, I will set forth the case for on-the-rise technologies, that while the nuclear energy industry does not currently have the infrastructure to support, will aide in this transition, and as I argue, ultimately be required in order to sustain this clean and necessary form of energy.

GUEST POST: Compliance as a Five-Way Conversation

David R. Jackson is a compliance manager, and has been for over twenty years. As a consequence, he knows better than anyone the delicate balancing act being a compliance professional requires.

Compliance leadership within a business requires maintaining five different conversations concurrently: (1) with the business, (2) with senior management, (3) with other teams that support the business, (4) with the government agencies and industry groups that provide external oversight, and (5) with the compliance staff. The challenge is not carrying out any one conversation, but juggling all conversations at the same time, and constantly shifting gears between conversations with different audiences.