Global banks boosted reserves during first half of 2012 | Libor concerns prompt Freddie Mac to sue major banks | UBS plans to withdraw from Euribor-setting panel
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March 20, 2013
SIFMA SmartBrief
News on the capital markets, securities and financial industry

Morning Bell
Senate panel recommends confirmation of White to head SEC
The Senate banking committee has voted 21-1 to recommend that the full Senate confirm President Barack Obama's nomination of Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. The sole dissenting vote was cast by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. If the Senate quickly confirms White's nomination, she will take over as soon as next month. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (3/19), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/DealBook blog (3/19), The Wall Street Journal (3/19)
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Industry NewsSponsored By
Global banks boosted reserves during first half of 2012
During the first six months of 2012, the largest 101 banks in the world raised their core reserves by about €166 billion, according to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Had Basel III been in force, the banks would have needed an additional €208.2 billion to meet capital rules. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, says the pace of Basel III implementation "has been adjusted intentionally to support banks on the mend." To learn more about capital standards, visit SIFMA's Basel III Resource Center. Bloomberg (3/19), Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (3/19), The Wall Street Journal (3/19)
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Libor concerns prompt Freddie Mac to sue major banks
A Freddie Mac lawsuit is targeting more than a dozen banks as well as the British Bankers' Association over alleged interest-rate manipulation. "We have an obligation to minimize losses to taxpayers so we felt like we needed to preserve our claim, and that was the purpose of filing this individual suit," a spokeswoman said. Bloomberg (3/20), The Wall Street Journal (3/19)
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UBS plans to withdraw from Euribor-setting panel
UBS says it will withdraw from the panel that sets the Euro Interbank Offered Rate. "We have decided to withdraw from the Euribor panel and to focus on our core funding markets, Swiss franc and U.S. dollar," a spokesman said. UBS previously pulled out of the Australian rate panel, while Rabobank announced in January that it would no longer participate on the Euribor panel. Reuters (3/19), Bloomberg (3/19), The Wall Street Journal (3/19)
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Derivatives groups want IOSCO to take lead in overhaul
Officials from major derivatives associations are calling on the International Organization of Securities Commissions to take a leading role in resolving concerns about cross-border application of certain rules. Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (3/19)
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Barclays examines responses to tighter U.S. regulations
Barclays is considering how to respond to a proposed Federal Reserve rule that might force foreign banks to erect corporate structures that comply with Dodd-Frank regulations to house their U.S. operations. "We expect further guidance in the course of this year and are analyzing a number of scenarios and preparing contingencies in anticipation," CEO Antony Jenkins said. The Wall Street Journal (3/19)
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What's missing from your clients' portfolios?
Click here for signature solutions. ClearBridge Investments
Washington Roundup
DeMarco says Congress must make a decision on Fannie, Freddie
Lawmakers need to take action and decide how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are to be wound down, says Edward DeMarco, acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. "While FHFA is doing what it can to encourage private capital back into the marketplace, so long as there are two government-supported firms occupying this space, full private sector competition will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve," DeMarco told the House Financial Services Committee. Reuters (3/19), The Wall Street Journal/Real Time Economics blog (3/19)
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Fund fees under SEC spotlight
The Securities and Exchange Commission is more closely scrutinizing the fees charged by hedge funds and other private investment advisers. Fees have "always been an area of interest for SEC examiners. As fiduciaries, hedge fund advisers need to develop policies and procedures that allocate their fees and expenses fairly," an SEC spokesman said. The Wall Street Journal (3/19)
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Operations Update
Commentary: HFT is a net benefit for markets
Columbia Business School professor Charles M. Jones writes that after analyzing about 30 papers on high-frequency trading, academic arguments support the idea that the strategy benefits the markets. Increased liquidity and decreased transaction costs are just two ways algorithmic trading improves efficiency, Jones writes. Join other industry leaders at this year's SIFMA Tech 2013 to hear about the latest technological developments in the industry. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (3/20)
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Asset/Wealth Management Report
Study: Pre-retirees are conducting own Social Security research
Individuals ages 50 to 65 are taking more interest in planning how they use Social Security benefits but are doing their own research, rather than turning to a financial adviser, according to a study by Securian Financial Group. As a source of Social Security information, financial advisers rank below the Social Security Administration's website, Social Security offices, retired family members and friends, and online tools such as benefit calculators, according to the study. InvestmentNews (free registration) (3/19)
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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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Women in Finance: The Role of Sponsorship -- Clifford Chance NYC Office -- May 7
SIFMA and Clifford Chance are teaming up to bring together some of the industry's most innovative and inspiring women to share insights on chartering a fulfilling and accomplished career. The seminar, Women in Finance: the Role of Sponsorship, will feature expert panel discussions on some of the most controversial topics facing women in finance today, and provide inspiration to navigate a successful career in financial services. Open to SIFMA members only; registration is complimentary.
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Quality is not an act, it is a habit."
-- Aristotle,
Greek philosopher
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