Groups question MSRB's time-of-trade proposal | Low-grade debt yield continues to decline | Obama gathers CEOs to discuss cybersecurity concerns
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March 14, 2013
SIFMA SmartBrief
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House panel will address FSOC transparency
The House Financial Services Committee's oversight and investigations panel will examine the Financial Stability Oversight Council's transparency practices, said Rep. Patrick McHenry R-N.C., chairman of the subcommittee. The council "must continue to find the appropriate balance between its responsibility to be transparent and its central mission to monitor emerging threats to the financial system," according to testimony prepared for the hearing by Amias Gerety of the Treasury Department. Bloomberg (3/13)
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Webinar: Tales From The Fraud Triangle.
"Case Studies: The Fraud Triangle" is a free webinar presented by the UNC Master of Accounting Program. Join us as we dive into the dark world of financial fraud, including an analysis of a scandal involving a former Navy SEAL trained in the art of interrogation tactics.
Industry News
Groups question MSRB's time-of-trade proposal
SIFMA and other groups are raising questions about a proposal from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board regarding dealers' time-of-trade disclosure requirements. "We are concerned that this particular proposal has significant gaps and will significantly expand the existing time-of-trade obligation -- something this proposal was not intended to do," said David Cohen, managing director and associate general counsel at SIFMA. Read SIFMA's comments to the MSRB. The Bond Buyer (special access for readers of SIFMA SmartBrief) (3/13)
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Low-grade debt yield continues to decline
Below-investment-grade debt yield dropped to 5.56%, a record low. Analysts say the drop is caused in part by more money being invested in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, which invest in below-investment-grade instruments, and reverses a trend that saw investors leaving those funds in February. The Wall Street Journal (3/13)
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Washington Roundup
Obama gathers CEOs to discuss cybersecurity concerns
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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Bank of America CEO Brian T. Moynihan were among corporate leaders who met with President Barack Obama to discuss issues related to cybersecurity. The meeting was part of the administration's efforts to raise alarms about threats posed by hackers. Dimon said the meeting was "very helpful, productive." Bloomberg (3/13)
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White hearing highlights SEC challenges
Mary Jo White's testimony before the Senate banking committee has focused on challenges she might face if she becomes head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. White has addressed issues of stricter enforcement, high-frequency trading and resolving her possible conflicts of interest. "The American public will be my client, and I will work as zealously as is possible on behalf of them," she said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/DealBook blog (3/13)
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SEC says big banks don't have to hold votes over breaking up
The Securities and Exchange Commission will not recommend any action if banks decide not to conduct shareholder votes to explore breaking up the companies, the regulatory agency said in letters to JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley. SEC lawyers determined that the measures proposed would not allow the banks to determine "with any reasonable certainty exactly what actions or measures" were required. Reuters (3/14), The Wall Street Journal/Deal Journal blog (3/13)
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SEC user-fee bill to be proposed again
Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says she will introduce a bill within days that would give the Securities and Exchange Commission authority to impose user fees to cover the cost of examining investment advisers. The legislation is identical to one Waters introduced last year; it failed to make it to a vote in the House Financial Services Committee before the congressional session ended in December. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/13)
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Federal spending cuts won't trigger SEC layoffs, official says
The automatic federal spending cuts that went into effect this month won't force the Securities and Exchange Commission to lay off workers, said SEC Inspector General Carl W. Hoecker. The cuts, however, will slow "the speed with which we can complete activities we are working on," said SEC spokesman John Nester. Bloomberg/Political Capital blog (3/12)
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Commentary: Fannie and Freddie still need to be addressed
George Melloan writes that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's new profitability should not lessen the government's urgency to clarify their current status. The government must address the degree to which Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Housing Administration insure home mortgages, Melloan writes. The Wall Street Journal (3/13)
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Program now available: SIFMA Tech 2013 -- June 18-19 -- NYC
Check out the program for Tech 2013! For 30 years, SIFMA Tech has brought together several thousand financial service firms, industry leaders, regulators and solution providers for critical updates and expert outlooks on every issue that faces the financial services technologist today. Harness technological solutions to achieve an infrastructure that keeps you and your firm on the cutting-edge and see how products from solution providers stack up against your in-house expertise.
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SIFMA Private Client Conference -- April 24-25 -- Chicago
The SIFMA Private Client Conference is North America's premier conference for wealth management professionals. This exceptional program will address tactical ways to enhance client service, advice and, perhaps most crucially, trust, to help investors achieve their financial goals. Join top industry leaders from across the wealth management spectrum -- including global, regional and small firms -- as they discuss innovative approaches to pressing challenges.
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Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
-- Bill Gates,
American businessman
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