PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • April 19, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

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  • February 5, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

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  • January 11, 2018

    By Frank Vlossak

    Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have worked toward regulatory reform that includes the review, revision, and repeal of existing regulations, with a focus on rules promulgated by the Obama Administration. Congress has played a key role in this effort, through the use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal rules finalized in the waning months of the prior Administration, as well as one rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017.

    President Trump signed a series of executive orders in the early months of his presidency that are propelling the deregulatory efforts of federal agencies. These executive orders: set a cap limiting regulations in Fiscal Year 2017 to zero net cost; provide agencies with a framework for limiting new regulations and identifying existing rules to repeal or revise; direct review and revision or repeal of the “Waters of the United States” rule issued by the Obama Administration; and require review and reform of energy and climate-related regulations.

     

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In the News

Articles featuring Williams & Jensen and our team

Office of Alumni Relations

Two SUNY Buffalo Law School alumni with deep roots in the school and the legal community will be honored on April 17, at 6:00 p.m., at the annual Buffalo Law Review dinner, being held at the Buffalo Club, 388 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202.

Practitioners Jean C. Powers '79 and David E. Franasiak '78 will be the honorees at the dinner, the culmination of the publication year for the Law School's signature academic journal.

"It has been a great year for the Law Review," said third-year student Jonathan P. Cantil, managing editor of the journal, which publishes five issues a year. "We've published a number of really great articles, and we have a great team that's doing a lot of work."

Powers, a 1979 graduate of the Law School, is a partner with the Buffalo firm Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, where she practices commercial real estate law. She has represented developers, lenders and business entities in the acquisition, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial and industrial real property, and is the lead person in the Real Estate Department involved with bond-financed transactions.

Powers is an emeritus member of the Dean's Advisory Council, which advises Law School Dean Makau W. Mutua on matters of curriculum and professional practice, and is a past president of the SUNY Buffalo Law School Alumni Association. She also has received the alumni association's Distinguished Alumna Award.

Franasiak, who earned his SUNY Buffalo law degree in 1978, is a principal in the Washington, D.C., law firm Williams & Jensen PLLC, one of the nation's leading independently owned government affairs law firms. As vice president of finance and a member of the Executive Committee since 1993, he is responsible for the day-to-day financial management of the firm, pension plans and outside legal entities. Franasiak specializes in a legislative and administrative practice focused on tax, securities, financial institutions and natural resources.

He, too, has served on the Dean's Advisory Council, and he invests considerable time and resources in the Law School's New York City Program in Finance and Law, in which a select group of students spend a semester of their second or third year in Manhattan, learning from their professors and from cutting-edge practitioners in the high-stakes world of law and finance.

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Stephen A. Blumenthal, American Banker, February 22, 2012

Like the mast of a sailing ship coming over the horizon, the first sign that Congress may restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has appeared.

The common wisdom in Washington is that nothing of significance will happen on GSE reform during the year remaining in this Congress. House Republicans may pass one of their pending bills, all of which would eliminate Fannie and Freddie but some say do not adequately address needed transitions or possible GSE successors. Their free market faith that people will put up with higher mortgage costs and long periods when mortgage money may not be available at all is admirable. It is not, however, shared by many of their colleagues in the Senate in either party. There is no sign the Democrat-controlled Senate will be anything except a graveyard for any Republican House version of GSE reform.

Senate Republicans, who believe they will be in the majority after the next election, and perhaps have a Republican House and president as well, are not inclined to compromise with their Democrat colleagues to get a bill done. Why give the Obama administration an accomplishment to trumpet in its campaign? The bottom line, according to the Common Wisdom: gridlock and no action on GSE reform in any form. Accordingly, on February 21, 2012, FHFA Acting Director Ed DeMarco announced plans for the continued opertion of the conservatorship in light of inaction by Congress.

Events, however, may force Congress to move whether it wants to or not, this year or early next year.

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Corina Saceanu, Romania Insider

eric_stewartTen American companies launched the American – Romanian Business Council (AMRO), a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC, hoping to promote trade between the US and Romania and bridge the gap between the two countries. Chevron, Exxon, ADM, Smithfield, Raytheon, Pharma, Metlife, Amgen, Timken and Mega initiated the business council, with Chevron leading the group as chair and ADM as vice-chair.

Eric Stewart (in picture) will act as executive president of the organization. Stewart is also a partner with the Washington D.C. firm Williams & Jensen and serves as a Senior International Advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; as well as the Executive Director of the U.S.-Turkmenistan Business Council (USTBC) and as the President of the U.S.-Poland Business Council. Previously, Mr. Stewart served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe/Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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By Andrew Joseph

Breaux and Gephardt. Gerard and Maloney. Berman and Podesta. According to First Street, these were among the most powerful lobbyists in Washington this year.

Using the amount their firms were paid, the number and diversity of clients and the number of Fortune 100 clients they represented, First Street compiled lists of the top lobbyists in town, divided among former members of Congress, former staffers and professional lobbyists.

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James Ramage, Traders Magazine Online News, March 6, 2009

A recent House of Representatives' bill that many on Wall Street believe would destroy liquidity will never pass, according to industry experts.

The bill-H.R. 1068: Let Wall Street Pay for Wall Street's Bailout Act of 2009-is heavily flawed, lacks sufficient support on the Hill and has already failed in an earlier incarnation, they added. As written, the bill would tax each buy and sell transaction for equities, options and futures by up to 25 basis points.

"I can't believe [a transaction tax] will get any traction," Duncan Niederauer, chief executive of NYSE Euronext, told an audience on Tuesday at the Museum of American Finance. "I can't believe that would find its way to even a vote."

If it passes, the transaction tax would kill the thin-margin high-frequency trading business, which many say represents an estimated two-thirds of the daily volume in equities.

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  • Bair, Bernanke see damage to small banks, consumers
  • FDIC seeks change to Fed's proposed debit fee crackdown
  • Some lawmakers seek delay to Fed rule (Rewrites with comments from a lobbyist, lawmaker, and a banking expert)

By Dave Clarke and Clare Baldwin

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - U.S. bank regulators conceded some flaws in plans to force banks to cut billions of dollars in debit card processing fees, raising the prospect that the Federal Reserve might soften its stance.

The comments made on Thursday marked a small gain in the financial industry's fight to roll back parts of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, also a major priority for Republicans in the new Congress. [ID:nN17119262]

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PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • April 19, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • February 5, 2018

    By David E. Franasiak, Joel G. Oswald, Michael D. Kans, and Rebecca L. Konst

     This memorandum will provide a survey of federal action on cryptocurrencies (aka virtual currencies), including enforcement and guidance. At present, some federal regulators have begun asserting oversight and enforcement authority under their existing powers while other potential regulators have not yet indicated publicly what, if any, oversight they will exercise. Other federal stakeholders on cryptocurrencies have also begun to engage. However, the U.S. government’s approach to virtual currencies remains fluid.

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 11, 2018

    By Frank Vlossak

    Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have worked toward regulatory reform that includes the review, revision, and repeal of existing regulations, with a focus on rules promulgated by the Obama Administration. Congress has played a key role in this effort, through the use of the Congressional Review Act to repeal rules finalized in the waning months of the prior Administration, as well as one rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2017.

    President Trump signed a series of executive orders in the early months of his presidency that are propelling the deregulatory efforts of federal agencies. These executive orders: set a cap limiting regulations in Fiscal Year 2017 to zero net cost; provide agencies with a framework for limiting new regulations and identifying existing rules to repeal or revise; direct review and revision or repeal of the “Waters of the United States” rule issued by the Obama Administration; and require review and reform of energy and climate-related regulations.

     

    Read...

    Read More

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