Finance reform…reporting an exercise in courtesy? Or do we really want to know?

Text of President Obama’s speech to Wall Street in the New York Times is in the link. No pun intended…much. Mark Thoma carries the video. Few bloggers write extensive comments (Stiglitz an exception) except appear to be saying good bye to meaningful regulation. Barney Frank says regulation can happen by the end of November.

Let me point people to this link from Tradersmagazine on the European and British take on compensation aspect of financial stability reform Final Rules from the Financial Stability Reform program in Britain:

In mid-August, the Financial Services Authority in London released its final rules regarding compensation practices by the financial services firms it regulates. The rules must be implemented by Jan. 1, 2010.

The final rules followed a “consultation” on earlier proposals, much like the SEC’s “notice and comment” procedures, which were discussed in our earlier article published on March 17, entitled “Compensation in the New Regulatory Environment.” As expected, the proposal received extensive comments, including some strident criticism from financial services firms. As a result, the final rules were watered down a bit. The rules now exempt smaller firms, and the compensation rules generally apply only to senior executives and managers who are important to the firm’s business.

And the note from the Tradersmagazine’s author ends this way:

Critics of these regulatory changes have correctly pointed out that the financial services industry will have difficulty attracting the same caliber of employee that it did in the past. But, they haven’t done a very good job of explaining why this is a bad thing. Whether or not this is good or bad for the country as a whole, or for that matter the global economy, depends on where all of this creative energy ends up being employed.

Back to physics and math? Pays less, but has the correct context. Of course, now we should read the proposals from overseas…

I suppose the big question is… for market people: how does pay day reflect the time frames of risks taken, and/or more basic who defines risk, riskier, riskiest anymore? Is it still to be rating firms and sales pitches…will that remain as our basic source of information?