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December 17, 2012
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Twice-weekly summary of financial industry news
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  Top News 
  • Boehner gives ground on debt ceiling and tax-rate increases
    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sought to jump-start the deadlocked fiscal negotiations on Friday, offering a one-year truce over debt-ceiling increases as well as marginal tax-rate increases for those with income of more than $1 million. Democrats said the offer didn't go far enough, but they welcomed Boehner's openness to tax-rate increases. "Recognizing the importance of raising tax rates is a big, positive and important step," said former White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers. The Washington Post (12/16), Politico (Washington, D.C.) (12/16), The Hill/On The Money blog (12/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • FSOC considers Fed supervision of money funds
    The Financial Stability Oversight Council, led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, has discussed the possibility of placing money market mutual funds under Federal Reserve regulation. Treasury Department spokeswoman Suzanne Elio says the council discussed a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that would let it designate money funds "or their sponsors or advisers for Federal Reserve supervision and enhanced prudential standards." Bloomberg (12/13), Reuters (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Bonus disclosures could have a downside for Wall Street firms
    Requiring Wall Street brokerages to make bonuses public could backfire as workers use the information to negotiate for higher pay, recruiters and former brokers said. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is considering a proposal, intended to protect the investing public, to require brokerage firms to disclose incentives used to recruit financial advisers. Bloomberg (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Regulators press advisers to plan for death
    Financial advisers who fail to adopt a continuity plan to deal with clients' accounts in case the adviser dies or becomes disabled could be fined by regulators, compliance professionals say. Regulators often raise the issue in routine examination, they say. Reuters (12/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Building Your Business 
  Financial Products 
  • Advisers frustrated with money market funds
    Between low yields and uncertainty around regulations regarding a floating NAV and other proposals, advisers have grown frustrated with money market funds. Many advisers are reducing reliance on the vehicles and seeking out alternatives, mainly certificates of deposit and online savings accounts. The Wall Street Journal (12/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. college savings plans come up short on transparency
    The 529 plans many American families depend on for tax-free savings to be applied to higher education offer little transparency, something the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is trying to remedy by compiling a readily accessible performance database. "The MSRB wants to ensure that 529-plan investors have the information necessary to make informed decisions -- especially for something as vital as saving for a child's education. A comprehensive database of 529-plan information will help us achieve this goal," said MSRB Chairman Jay Goldstone. The Wall Street Journal (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Reverse-mortgage program drains taxpayers
    The Federal Housing Administration is on course to lose $2.8 billion this year and billions more at least through 2019 on reverse mortgages, according to an estimate by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The problem is FHA's guarantees, which reduce personal risk and amount to a subsidy for older Americans that allows them to spend down their savings. The agency now accounts for 90% of outstanding reverse mortgages. The Wall Street Journal (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology Update 
  • Points to ponder on Windows 8 for advisers
    Windows 8 has faced some criticism in reviews for its usability, but the operating system offers features that might appeal to advisers, Joel Bruckenstein writes, citing security enhancements, customization, integrated contact management and a better experience using Microsoft Office programs. (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  FSI Member News & Events 
  • Don't Miss OneVoice 2013!
    January 28 to 30 | San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina | San Diego

    OneVoice is FSI's annual in-person gathering for the independent financial services firm community. OneVoice 2013 will give you a first look at what to expect next year, with insights into the November election results, changing consumer behavior, technology trends in 2013, new regulatory and compliance developments, and much more! Visit here for more information and to register for OneVoice 2013 today! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Editor's Note 
  • Clarification
    The Dec. 13 edition of FSI Newsbrief included a summary detailing how financial advisers expect assets under advisement to increase 8.4% next year. The source article for that item has since been updated to clarify that financial advisers expect return on assets under advisement to increase 8.4% in 2013. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action."
--Frank Tibolt,
American author

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