Most Clicked SIFMA SmartBrief Stories

1. Fiduciary rule memo shows White House's attack on brokerage industry‎

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

Adam Antoniades, president of broker-dealer Cetera Financial Group, says he is shocked by ignorance shown in a White House memo supporting a Department of Labor fiduciary standard for financial advisors who guide retail investors on retirement. The memo "accuses all financial advisors of defrauding their clients," he said. "The ignorance displayed in the memo is quite shocking to me. It's frankly offensive." InvestmentNews (free registration) (01/27) ThinkAdvisor (01/27)

2. Markets to remain open despite New York blizzard

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Stock exchanges are unfazed by a blizzard burying much of the New York City area. The New York Stock Exchange and markets run by Nasdaq OMX Group and Bats Global Markets plan sessions today, and SIFMA has recommended that debt markets open, with CME Group's Nymex saying it plans to open. SIFMA's Emergency Command Center, which coordinates industry BCP efforts in the event of an emergency including snowstorms, is closely monitoring weather conditions in the Northeast. For updates throughout the storm, visit and @SIFMA. Bloomberg (01/26) Reuters (01/26)

3. Fed delay on Volcker rule is good for munis, Moody's says

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

The Federal Reserve's decision to delay for more than two years Dodd-Frank Act provisions intended to prevent banks from using federally insured money in risky funds is likely to be welcomed by municipal bond markets, Moody's Investors Service said. The Fed delay on the Volcker rule until July 2017 will put off large-scale liquidation of bonds in the $70 billion to $80 billion tender-option bond market, Moody's said, as muni closed-end funds may continue using existing tender-option bond structures for financing, and "avoid replacing that leverage, most likely at a higher cost." Bond Buyer (special access for readers of SIFMA SmartBrief), The (01/27)

4. FDIC issues bank guidelines on halting client accounts

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued guidelines Wednesday directing examiners to give formal written notice to banks when instructing the institutions to halt accounts for customers suspected of violating the law. "Financial institutions that can properly manage customer relationships and effectively mitigate risks are neither prohibited nor discouraged from providing services to any category of customer accounts," the FDIC said. Bloomberg (01/28) Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (01/28)

5. Debt warning spurs debate in Congress over taxes, spending

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

A Congressional Budget Office report warning that sharply higher debt is in store prompted a debate Tuesday in the House Budget Committee over how to cut the debt while also promoting economic growth. The CBO report said debt could reach the highest level since 1950 by the end of the year and recommended that Congress cut spending and raise taxes. Hill, The (01/27)

6. Senate banking head scrutinizes Obama's tax proposals

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

President Barack Obama's tax proposals are attacks on the middle class and will not advance in the Republican-led Congress, said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate banking committee. He specifically criticized proposals to raise the capital gains tax and putting a tax on college saving plans. Hill, The (01/25)

7. Winter storm forces DTCC to suspend some services

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

A strong winter storm in the Northeast forced Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. to suspend deposit, withdrawal and other certificate-based securities services Monday and today. DTCC, based in New York, ensures that trades are accounted for in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and derivatives. Reuters (01/26)

8. SEC ban on S&P rating certain CMBS seen as limited

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

A Securities and Exchange Commission ban on Standard & Poor's grading of certain commercial mortgage-backed securities applies only to rating of bonds backed by loans to multiple borrowers, for which S&P rated only 9% of all deals last year. “The ban is more of a reputational hit than an economic one. The impact will be relatively constrained to nonexistent,” said Christopher Sullivan, chief investment officer at United Nations Federal Credit Union. Bloomberg (01/23)

9. Obama drops plan ending college plan tax advantage

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

President Barack Obama has abandoned his proposal to end the tax advantage for college savings accounts known as 529s but will maintain an expanded tuition tax credit, White House officials said. Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and fellow Democrats urged Obama to drop the proposal that would have ended the popular savings plan. Learn more at SIFMA's 529 Savings Plans Resource Center. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (01/27) Hill, The (01/27)

10. EU official: Pact on EU, U.S. derivatives rules at hand

SIFMA SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

The U.S. and the EU are close to announcing a deal on rules for cross-border swaps, says Olivier Guersent, a financial-services official at the European Commission. Each side is willing to accept the other's derivatives-trading regulations to thwart market fragmentation, Guersent says. Reuters (01/27)

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