Most Clicked CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief Stories

1. Defective air bags trigger major consumer-product recall

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 20, 2015

The U.S. auto-safety regulator has ordered the recall of nearly 34 million vehicles equipped with defective air bags made by auto-supply giant Takata, in what is expected to be the biggest consumer-product recall in U.S. history. Officials say exposure to humidity and other factors cause the air bags to burn hotter than they are supposed to when activated, blasting metal shards toward drivers and passengers. The air bags have been blamed for six deaths and more than 100 injuries. Detroit Free Press (19 May.) The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (19 May.)

2. FX rigging leads to guilty pleas, fines for major banks

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 21, 2015

U.S. and European authorities have settled with five global banks regarding manipulation of foreign exchange rates. The banks have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay about $5.7 billion in fines. Reuters (20 May.) Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (20 May.) The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (20 May.)

3. Financial firms support efforts to prevent asset bubbles

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 19, 2015

Large financial companies are backing central bank policies to prevent overinflated asset prices. BlackRock, HSBC Holdings, Assicurazioni Generali and others say in a paper from the World Economic Forum that they support macroprudential policy. The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (18 May.) Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (18 May.) Reuters (18 May.)

4. Draghi influenced by fear of Germany, Greek official says

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 15, 2015

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is "filled with fear" at the thought of helping Greece because of the likely response from German hardliners, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said. The Governing Council is expected to impose additional restrictions on cash the ECB provides to keep the banking system alive. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (14 May.) Kathimerini (Greece) (14 May.)

5. Extra second on June 30 worries financial industry

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 19, 2015

It's only one second, but an adjustment right before 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on June 30 to account for a difference between clocks and Earth's rotation is setting exchanges, traders and regulators on edge. The risk with the so-called leap second is that trading desks won't know how to handle the addition, creating issues such as inaccurately recording the time of a trade. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (18 May.)

6. Analysis: Is Sen. Warren right on Pacific trade deal?

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 18, 2015

Experts agree with a warning by Sen. Elizabeth Warren that a bill giving President Barack Obama fast-track trade authority could undo the Dodd-Frank Act and other U.S. laws. A largely unnoticed provision in the bill would open the door for future presidents to weaken existing laws, even statutes that have little relationships with trade, they say. The Conversation (U.S.) (17 May.) Bloomberg for Enterprise (18 May.)

7. Fitch lowers ratings of 20-plus European banks

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 20, 2015

The governments of Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the U.K. are unlikely to help in a crisis, Fitch Ratings says, as it downgrades more than 20 banks. Regulatory, legislative and policy moves "have substantially reduced the likelihood of sovereign support" for banks in the EU, Switzerland and the U.S., Fitch says. Policymakers are looking to investors, not governments, to wind down failing banks. Bloomberg (19 May.)

8. Is your firm taking steps to promote diversity in its hiring and promotion decisions?

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 19, 2015

9. Bond volatility calls for investor patience

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 15, 2015

Recent bond-market action raises an obvious question for advisers and investors, Mark Miller writes: Should retirement investors "take steps to protect themselves in the event of a sharp spike in interest rates and accompanying fall in bond valuations?" Experts say no. Reuters (14 May.)

10. FHFA set to issue MBS that could lower borrowing costs

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 18, 2015

The U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency is poised to issue a type of mortgage-backed security that would replace what Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each issue. The single security is expected to have the greatest direct impact on bond traders and investors and reduce borrowing costs for homeowners, officials say. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (15 May.)