Toomre Capital Markets LLC

Real-Time Capital Markets -- Analytics, Visualization, Event Processing, and Intelligence


Racial, Gender Quotas Coming via FinReg Bill?

Diana Furchtgott-Roth over at Real Clear Markets raises concerns about Section 342 of the pending Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill. This section has not been publicized much at all during the contentious reconciliation process.

Section 342 apparently "declares that race and gender employment ratios, if not quotas, must be observed by private financial institutions that do business with the government. In a major power grab, the new law inserts race and gender quotas into America's financial industry." Through the establishment of at least twenty Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion, this section aims to assure "to the maximum extent possible the fair inclusion" of women and minorities, individually and through businesses they own, in the activities of the agencies, including contracting.

Toomre Capital Markets LLC ("TCM") applauds the broad diversity goal that this section attempts to address. For far too long, the financial services industry and its service providers have been dominated by white males. It is reassuring to know that my teenage daughter, based solely on her capabilities, might have some possibility of obtaining employment in the investment banking sector should she desire so. In short, females and minorities will have a "fair" chance for opportunities and employment.

The devil is in the details of implementation, though: How does one define "fair"? As Ms. Furchtgott-Roth explains,