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October 23, 2012
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News on the capital markets, securities and financial industry

  Morning Bell 
  • Commentary: Address issues with regulatory changes now
    Columnist Barbara A. Rehm argues that the time is right to address concerns about the Dodd-Frank Act, Basel III rules and other regulatory changes. Lawmakers, regulators, industry experts and other observers are increasingly questioning the changing regulatory landscape. Karen Shaw Petrou of Federal Financial Analytics recently completed an assessment of the changes. "Her stark conclusion: even if regulators did everything called for in Dodd-Frank, and did it perfectly, financial services supervision would still be a mess. Throw Basel III in the mix and it just gets worse," Rehm writes. Karen Shaw Petrou will discuss her assessment of the Basel III changes today at SIFMA's Annual Meeting. Learn more. (free registration) (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Industry News 
  • N.Y. regulator, SIFMA raise concerns about Basel III rules
    Benjamin Lawsky, who heads the New York State Department of Financial Services, called on federal regulators to reconsider tougher capital rules for community banks. "Most community and regional banks did not engage in the risky behaviors that led to the financial crisis, and yet ... they will be affected disproportionately by the increased complexity," Lawsky said. Meanwhile, SIFMA and other industry groups said banks should not have to comply with tougher capital rules for at least a year after they are finalized. Reuters (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • S&P expects Volcker rule to significantly cut bank profits
    Standard & Poor's said the proposed Volcker rule could reduce profit at the largest banks in the U.S. by more than twice as much as was previously estimated, depending on how regulators restrict proprietary trading. “We currently estimate that the Volcker rule could reduce combined pretax earnings for the eight largest U.S. banks by up to $10 billion annually, up from our initial $4 billion estimate two years ago,” S&P said. Bloomberg (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Investors are cheered by Fed's calm reaction to rising economy
    The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen from 8.1% to 7.8% since the Federal Open Market Committee last met, and the estimate for third-quarter growth has increased from an annual rate of 1.5% to 2%. Also improving are retail sales, housing starts and consumer confidence. This week's committee meeting will most likely entail not rocking the boat, observers say. The Washington Post (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Washington Roundup 
  • Regulators struggle to agree on details of Volcker rule
    The Securities and Exchange Commission is clashing with other regulators in crafting the Volcker rule, raising doubt that the rule will be finalized by year-end. The situation also raises concern that the agencies will issue conflicting standards. The dispute centers on how to define market making and banks' ability to invest in hedge funds and other investment vehicles, sources said. The Wall Street Journal (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SEC rules are designed to bolster clearing agencies' risk management
    The Securities and Exchange Commission is moving forward with measures mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act by adopting rules intended to improve clearing agencies' risk-management practices. "These new rules are designed to ensure that clearing agencies will be able to fulfill their responsibilities in the multitrillion-dollar derivatives market as well as more traditional securities markets," said Chairman Mary Schapiro. "They're part of a broader effort to put in place an entirely new regulatory regime intended to mitigate systemic risks that emerged during the financial crisis." Reuters (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
    Policymakers have let Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dominate the market while also letting them run on autopilot. What is left of Fannie and Freddie is an indefinite, U.S.-run conservatorship with $5 trillion in liabilities. "It's been in a holding pattern, and that's ultimately death to a business," said Jim Millstein, the official who oversaw the Treasury's recapitalization and sale of American International Group. The Wall Street Journal (10/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Asset/Wealth Management Report 
  • Financial advisers aren't getting many client referrals
    Financial advisers get 66% of clients through referrals, but most advisers are having little success persuading clients to recommend them to others. About 83% of clients say they have no reservations about recommending their adviser to family and friends, but only 4% follow through and make a referral, said Gabriel Garcia, a director at Pershing Advisor Solutions. InvestmentNews (free registration) (10/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
SIFMA Diversity Conference: Taking Inclusion to the Next Level in the Securities Industry. Join high profile speakers discussing in-depth knowledge relating to diversity practices within our industry — Oct. 25. Learn more.
  SIFMA News 
  • Joint SIFMA/ISDA/FIA member call: CFTC no-action letters, FAQs and Q-and-A's -- noon Eastern on Thursday
    As the compliance date for several of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Title VII rule makings approached Oct. 12, the CFTC released a flurry of no-action letters, frequently asked questions and question-and-answer sessions to provide much-needed relief to market participants. These releases covered several rule-making categories, including which swaps to include in de minimis threshold calculations for swaps dealers and major swaps participants, cross-border scope, securitizations, foreign exchange forwards and swaps, and commodity pools and eligible contract participants. SIFMA, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and the Futures Industry Association will hold a joint member briefing at noon Eastern on Thursday to discuss what relief was provided, whether it goes far enough and what more can be expected. Registration for this call is required. A dial-in number will be provided upon registration. This call is closed to the media and nonmembers. To check your firm's membership status, see these directories: SIFMA full members, SIFMA associate members, ISDA members and FIA members. Or contact SIFMA's Office of Member Engagement at (212) 313-1152 or LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sign-up now: Industry-Wide Business Continuity Test -- Saturday
    As part of the ongoing financial industry backup site testing initiative that began in 2003, SIFMA leads an annual industry-wide business continuity test every October. Registration is now open for the Oct. 27 test. This is a critical exercise that highlights our industry's ability to operate through a significant emergency using backup sites, recovery facilities and backup communications capabilities across the industry. SIFMA encourages all firms to participate in the critical industry-wide business continuity test every October. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Too often man handles life as he does the bad weather. He whiles away the time as he waits for it to stop."
--Alfred Polgar,
Austrian journalist

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