Thelma and Louise, James Bond, Frodo Baggins and the Inception Cast Following the election, financial and non-financial presses alike gravitated rapidly to the topic of the fiscal cliff. At present, lead articles on the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNBC, Fox News, and CNN splash pages all give top billing to the fiscal crisis and its implications for Main Street. American citizens are no different – Google Trends analysis reveals that searches on the term “fiscal cliff” on November 7th were 12 times more frequent than at any other point in the previous ninety days. Clearly, it’s on our minds. There are many scenarios that could play themselves out over the next fifty days, as Congress and the President work to find compromise in order to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts that could further damage the frail economy.…

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President Obama this week issued an executive order that would, in his words, “[make] it our mission to root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.” He observed that “regulations do have costs” and that “we have to make tough decisions about whether those costs are necessary.” As we have now for months been engaged in the regulatory rulemaking process, we have a keen appreciation for this Presidential initiative. At the same time, however, we note that the President’s executive order has no force or effect on independent agencies such as the CFTC, SEC and Federal Reserve, who are hard at work writing hundreds of pages of rules delegated to them by Congress as part of financial legislation. Despite the limited reach of the order, we appreciate its sentiments and are…

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