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March 5, 2013
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News on the capital markets, securities and financial industry

  Morning Bell 
  • Rep. Stivers' muni-advisor bill prompts praise and criticism
    Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, recently introduced legislation that would define "municipal advisor" for regulatory purposes. SIFMA supports the Municipal Advisor Oversight Improvement Act of 2013, but some groups are raising concerns about it. "[This] bill just clarifies the already-existing underwriter exclusion, but would also ensure that a dealer is engaged explicitly by a client to be an advisor ... would have a fiduciary duty," said Michael Decker, co-head of municipal securities at SIFMA. Read Decker's blog post on the legislation. The Bond Buyer (free content) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Webinar—The Time is Now: Mobilizing for Fixed Income & Options Reporting Requirements
Wed Mar 20, 2013 @ 4PM EDT—Join Deanna Flores of KPMG and Artie Wolk of SunGardWall Street Concepts for an interactive webinar hosted by Scivantage. This complimentary, one-hour session will offer critical insight into how to best prepare for the final Fixed Income and Options cost basis reporting requirements to ensure your firm is fully mobilized for a successful 2014 tax season. Register Now!
  Industry News 
  • Fannie-Freddie securitization company in the works, FHFA says
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will launch a joint company responsible for home-loan securitization, said Edward DeMarco, acting director of the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency. "The overarching goal is to create something of value that could either be sold or used by policymakers as a foundational element of the mortgage market of the future," DeMarco said. Reuters (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CMBS market struggled last month
    Commercial mortgage-backed securities struggled in February after increasing as much as 15% in January. JPMorgan Chase sold the lowest-grade investment securities for 390 basis points above benchmark rates. "The weakness can be attributed to the glut of primary supply, investor apathy and the enormity of January's rally," a Deutsche Bank report says. Bloomberg (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Washington Roundup 
  • Treasury wants single version of Volcker rule, Miller says
    Mary John Miller, Treasury undersecretary for domestic finance, said at an industry conference that the five regulators working on the Volcker rule should produce a single version. "We think a joint rule is optimal," she said. "To have a different rule developed by a banking regulator and a securities regulator would not be helpful to the market. ... That requires a significant amount of coordination and discussion to think about how they can all work together. And that process takes time -- it has taken time." Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker says progress on the rule has been hindered by a fragmented regulatory landscape and other obstacles. (subscription required) (3/4), Reuters (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. regulators prosecute financial crime worldwide
    In recent months, HSBC Holdings, Standard Chartered and Royal Bank of Scotland have admitted criminal wrongdoing in agreements with U.S. regulators, despite being European entities. Legal experts cite better resources and a system more conducive to prosecuting corporate criminal liability for the far reach of the U.S. justice system. "The U.S. will assert jurisdiction aggressively, even if there's only a minimal link," said Judith Seddon of law firm Clifford Chance. Financial News Online (U.K.) (subscription required) (3/5)
  • OMB and IRS detail extent of BAB sequester cuts
    Sequestration will reduce Build America Bond payments by more than $170 million, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance saying that BABs and other direct-pay bonds will have their payments reduced 8.7%. The cuts come from $3.351 billion in BAB payments that can be sequestered, and $914 million in other direct-pay bond payments that can be sequestered. The Bond Buyer (free content) (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SIFMA News 
  • More than 300 speakers and 65 panels: SIFMA C&L Society Annual Seminar -- March 17-20
    Preet Bharara, Richard Ketchum, and Scott O'Malia are just a few of the names on the program for SIFMA's Compliance & Legal Society Annual Seminar on March 17-20 in Phoenix. This year's program has more than 300 speakers and 65 sessions for financial industry legal and compliance professionals, creating the premier forum to discuss the issues and share expertise and insights into critical topics for varied interests. Don't miss your opportunity to engage with leading industry experts, discuss the latest regulatory developments and industry trends. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Speakers added -- SIFMA Ops: Marking 40 Years of Progress -- April 28-May 1 -- Boca Raton, Fla.
    Ops 2013 offers a comprehensive and substantive program, tailored specifically for financial services operations professionals in a unique, three-day forum to explore pressing industry developments and build important relationships. For 40 years, SIFMA Ops has been the go-to resource for trusted, expert, up-to-date information about the financial services operations industry. At SIFMA Ops, operations professionals identify and streamline redundant and manual processes in a quest to continually enhance firm efficiency and performance. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Alexander Graham Bell,
Scottish-born American inventor

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