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. Have technological changes in market practices (high-frequency trading, robo-advisers, Big Data analytics) led to increased amounts of ethical misconduct by investment professionals?

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 26, 2015

4. Time Warner Cable reportedly close to $55B takeover by Charter

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 26, 2015

Time Warner Cable is close to agreeing to a $55 billion cash-and-stock acquisition by Charter Communications, sources said. Time Warner Cable shares reportedly would be valued at $195 each, a 14% premium to their closing price Friday. Bloomberg (25 May.) The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (25 May.) Reuters (26 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. 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.)

7. 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.)

8. Study: Online advisers set for explosive growth

CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief | May 26, 2015

Assets managed by robo-advisers are on track to reach $255 billion within five years, up from $14 billion in 2014, according to a study by MyPrivateBanking. Online platforms are investing millions of dollars to develop behavior maps and mathematical formulas to enter areas traditionally closed to robo-advisers, such as estate planning, retirement planning and adjustment to major life events. InvestmentNews (free registration) (24 May.)

9. 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.)

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.)