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. 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.)


4. Fed minutes suggest little chance of rate hike in June

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 21, 2015

Federal Reserve officials see an interest-rate increase as "unlikely" in June, according to minutes of the April meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. Many members said they doubted that data on the U.S. economy available next month will be favorable enough to justify raising the target range of the federal-funds rate, according to the minutes. Bloomberg (20 May.) The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (20 May.)


5. Moody's expects Greek action as banking sector crumbles

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 21, 2015

Extreme deterioration of Greece's banking sector makes freezing of bank deposits and implementation of capital controls "a high likelihood," according to Moody's Investors Service. "The outlook for the Greek banking system is negative, primarily reflecting the acute deterioration in Greek banks' funding and liquidity," the credit rating agency says in a report. "These pressures are unlikely to ease over the next 12-18 months." Market News International (20 May.)


6. Survey: Clients value adviser relationship more than performance

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 20, 2015

A personal touch is what clients want most from a financial adviser, according to a survey by Hartford Funds. Only 32% of clients find financial results more important than a good relationship with an adviser. InvestmentNews (free registration) (18 May.)


7. Poll: 40% of jobless in U.S. have given up work search

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 21, 2015

Of the 8.5 million Americans who don't have jobs, 40% have stopped trying to find work, a Harris poll found. The labor-force participation rate is still close to its lowest level in 37 years. "While the economy is indeed getting better for some, for others who have been unemployed long term, they are increasingly being left behind," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, which sponsored the poll. CNBC (20 May.)


8. NYSE establishes bitcoin index to value digital currency

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 20, 2015

The New York Stock Exchange has introduced a bitcoin-pricing index as a benchmark to value the digital currency. The index is available on the exchange's Global Index Feed and is free for a limited time on its website. Mashable (19 May.) FOW magazine online (subscription required) (19 May.)


9. Favorable Senate vote improves prospects for trade deal

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 22, 2015

The Senate voted 62-38 to approve a measure that would give President Barack Obama fast-track authority to seek ratification of a 12-country Pacific trade deal without congressional amendment. Moving the measure forward might be more difficult in the House, where the trade deal has many Democratic critics. Politico (21 May.) The Hill (21 May.) The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (21 May.)


10. Lawmaker threatens funding cutoff to stop fiduciary rule

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 22, 2015

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner says that if the Labor Department adopts a uniform fiduciary standard for financial professionals who offer retirement advice, she will push to take away funding for enforcement. "We are at war with the Department of Labor. ... If push comes to shove ... by God, we'll just defund them," she said. InvestmentNews (free registration) (20 May.)