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. 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.)


5. 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.)


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

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 19, 2015


7. Greece's Tsipras: Ready to compromise to get aid

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 19, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he is open to compromising with creditors to obtain aid that will provide Greece liquidity until it can return to debt markets. He pledged that public administration would undergo deep reforms and how ministries work would be completely reorganized. Greece and its creditors are close to an agreement that will head off default, Tsipras said. Market News International (18 May.)


8. 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.)


9. 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.)


10. 401(k)s must be monitored by employers, high court says

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 19, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that employers providing 401(k) plans have an ongoing duty to review investments offered. A plan's trustee must "monitor, and remove imprudent, trust investments," according to the ruling. A six-year statute of limitations on breach of fiduciary duty doesn't bar lawsuits against those who fail to carry out this responsibility, the court says. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (18 May.) Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (18 May.) InvestmentNews (free registration) (18 May.) Pensions & Investments (free access for SmartBrief readers) (18 May.)