In an interview with CNBC this morning, Wells Fargo CFO Howard Atkins comments on the Dodd-Frank Act which President Obama signed into law this morning. Mr. Atkins focused on the consumer protection aspects of the law and was asked whether Wells Fargo should be considered “too big to fail”.
At a time when most government officials in the executive branch and at the Federal Reserve continue to support the “bail out” approach, Thomas M. Hoenig, President of the Kansas City Federal Reserve bank and a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, has put forward an alternative prescription to deal with the troubled financial system. The text of Mr. Hoenig’s recent testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress requires close attention. Read this article for more details.
The financial markets appear to be on edge this week ahead of the government’s release of the methodology for “stress testing” the top banks which is set to be issued on Friday, April 24. Much of the attention has centered on the levels of tangible common equity held by banks and the protection implied by Tier 1 capital ratios. In an interview today, Warren Buffett made a number of comments related to this topic that regulators should consider prior to finalizing the stress test methodology.
Warren Buffett has a long standing reputation for not making stock recommendations, particularly in cases where Berkshire holds positions. I believe that this long standing policy has been in place primarily for two reasons, each of which have been very important to his success and reputation over time. Did Buffett recently tip his hand with recommendations for Wells Fargo and American Express? Read this post for more on this.