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20 February 2012
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Global News Coverage for Investment Professionals

  Top Stories 
  • European officials appear poised to approve Greek rescue
    Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter indicated that her counterparts across the eurozone are set to approve today a rescue for Greece. Fekter was asked whether she thought an agreement would be struck today and whether Greece would remain in the bloc. "At the moment, it appears it will go exactly this way," she said. "I don't think there is a majority to go a different way because a different way is enormously arduous and costs lots and lots of money." CNBC/Reuters (19 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • S&P puts pressure on Japan with "negative" credit outlook
    Standard & Poor's maintained its "negative" outlook for Japan's sovereign-debt rating but kept the rating at AA-. "The sovereign ratings on Japan are supported by the country's ample net external asset position, relatively strong financial system, and diversified economy," according to the credit rating agency. "In addition, the yen is a key international reserve currency." The Wall Street Journal (20 Feb.), Bloomberg (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
  • Most Asian-Pacific markets advance as China eases policy
    Almost all major Asian-Pacific stock markets rose Monday after China's central bank said it will lower its reserve ratio for commercial banks to encourage short-term lending. Japan's Nikkei Stock Average surged 1.1%. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.3%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 moved up 1.4%. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1%. Taiwan's Taiex gained 0.8%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 0.3%. The Bombay Stock Exchange is closed for an official holiday. MarketWatch (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Funds' optimism on commodities is highest in 5 months
    Fund managers' bets on rising commodities prices are at their most bullish since Sept. 20. Government data shows that net-long positions across 18 U.S. futures and options increased 2.9% to 956,313 contracts in the week ended Feb. 14. Bloomberg (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Copper rallies after China relaxes monetary policy
    Copper futures advanced after traders concluded China's move to ease monetary policy stands a good chance of boosting demand. On the London Metal Exchange, three-month copper futures rose 1.65% to $8,310 per metric ton Monday after earlier hitting $8,396. Reuters (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • Automatic 2013 tax hikes could trigger recession, experts warn
    Economists and congressional staffers are warning about what could happen in the U.S. in 2013 when a long list of taxes is set to automatically increase, the marriage penalty for joint filers returns and the child credit is cut in half. Some experts say it could be enough of a shock to pull the U.S. economy back into a recession. The Washington Post (18 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: BOJ takes meaningful action to fight deflation
    The Bank of Japan has implemented several promising new measures to fight the nation's chronic deflation problem that mark progress, but they aren't particularly dramatic, according to The Economist. "So critics will again complain that the BOJ is doing too little," the magazine noted. "That charge will be less fair than it used to be." The Economist (18 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  • Groups urge global regulators to mutually recognize rules
    Several financial industry groups are calling on international regulators to consider mutual recognition of rules governing the sector to prevent protectionism, regulatory arbitrage and red tape. Regulators worldwide are implementing rules that affect domestic and foreign financial institutions. The trend of extraterritoriality comes despite the Group of 20's goal to eliminate regulatory protectionism. Financial News Online (U.K.) (subscription required) (20 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ESMA still needs more time on OTC derivatives rules, observers say
    The European Securities and Markets Authority published a discussion paper on rules governing clearing of over-the-counter derivatives days after agreeing to the text. However, some market insiders, including the head of ESMA, have voiced concerns about the regulator meeting its deadlines, even after a three-month extension. (subscription required) (17 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SRO for U.S. financial advisers is still an option
    The Securities and Exchange Commission could be getting a budget boost to hire hundreds of examiners, but legislation placing financial advisers under the supervision of a self-regulatory organization remains a possibility. The number of registered investment advisers is growing much faster than the ability of the SEC Office of Compliance Inspection and Examinations' resources to oversee them, according to the agency's budget request. InvestmentNews (free registration) (19 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Flaws in Dodd-Frank Act become more apparent
    Officials in the U.S. responded to the global financial crisis by passing the Dodd-Frank Act, which directed various regulatory agencies to implement rules intended to prevent a repeat. However, the law has become increasingly bloated, complex and confusing, according to The Economist. "[T]here is an ever-more-apparent risk that the harm done by the massive cost and complexity of its regulations, and the effects of its internal inconsistencies, will outweigh what good may yet come from it." The Economist (18 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Financial Products 
  • SSgA aims to introduce 2 corporate-bond ETFs
    State Street Global Advisors filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch two exchange-traded funds that would invest in corporate bonds. The SPDR BofA Merrill Lynch Crossover Corporate Bond ETF would buy BBB- and BB-rated dollar-denominated fixed-income securities. The SPDR BofA Merrill Lynch Emerging Markets Corporate Bond ETF would target dollar-denominated emerging-market debt traded in the U.S. and eurobond markets. (17 Feb.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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