While You Were Working - July 5

Who is running the Labor Department?

For reasons that seem to belie the political facts on the ground, the Labor Department is acting like it wants the fiduciary rule (or at least most of it) to remain in place. Once the White House was captured by a Republican, it seemed like that was a dead rule walking. And yet, the folks at the Labor Department are defending it in court. Don’t they know they aren’t supposed to be defending new regulations? Time will tell, but I have to imagine that back on November 9, 2016, opponents of the rule never thought it would still be alive today.

Money and Politics

This is a pretty interesting story about how the chairman of Nex is going to repay the company for political donations the firm made to Tory candidates. The donations really shouldn’t come as a surprise since Nex CEO Michael Spencer was the Treasurer of the Tory party for four years. Nex clearly outlined why it made the donations, but that didn’t stop a backlash from investors.

I guess kudos might be in order for shareholders holding the management to account. However, I have a tough time imagining any major firm in the US being taken to task in such a way.

Cable woes and forex markets

I guess I am having a tough time seeing the point of this story about how the submarine cables laid across the English Channel represent some kind of obstacle for moving euro currency trading from London to the Continent. All the data centers setup in and around London can be moved. It might be costly, but it is possible. And if that happens, doesn’t that mean the cables become unnecessary because … you know … the trading is happening in Frankfurt or Paris or wherever? And if the firms insist on keeping their data centers in the UK, I am pretty sure data can flow through the cables in either direction.

WYWW Appetizers

  • In general, it is never good when a CEO has to remind people that he has no intention of stepping down.
  • The Bundesbank looks at how prop traders at German banks reacted to the Lehman collapse and unconventional monetary policies.
  • For all the wine enthusiasts out there, this is pretty hilarious.