Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and head of the brokerage firm she established in 1967, urges Congress to put the money market fund problem first in tackling the bailout.
“The money market fund problem, that is people who got stuck with Lehman paper, has to be dealt with immediately,” she said,” or we will have people standing in lines at banks, and this situation could spread globally.”
Ms. Siebert, who also previously served as New York State Banking Supervisor, urged Congress to proceed deliberately and thoughtfully in handling the bailout as a whole.
She urged formation of a bi-partisan committee to work out problems of oversight, regulations and lack of transparency, the problems causing the financial melt down to begin with.
“In six weeks, we’ll have a new administration and all the key position will change including treasury secretary, and the head of the SEC.”
Siebert has called repeatedly for global financial regulations over the past several years.
“Without transparency,” she said, “we’re flying blind.”
"Margins," she said, "should be agreed on globally." Commodity traders who use options and futures derivatives in order to know the cost for their grain or oil products in the next year should continue to trade with the advantage of buying those derivatives at the current low margin of approximately 7.5%. "But traders using futures and options simply for speculation," she said, "should have to buy the derivatives at 50%, the margin charged for stocks."
Siebert contends that oil has been the greatest influence on the market for many months, when oil prices spike, the market goes down and vice versa. Managing oil speculation through increased margins for speculators, she said, would go far in countering both market volatility and the price of oil.