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February 18, 2013
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News on the capital markets, securities and financial industry

  Morning Bell 
  • Rep. Stivers' bill strives to narrow SEC's MA definition
    Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, introduced legislation that would narrow the definition of municipal advisors by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bill is identical to one that the House passed last year but failed to gain traction in the Senate. The legislation would allow market participants to avoid "improper, duplicative, and onerous regulations under securities, banking, commodities, and other laws," according to a statement released by Stivers' office. SIFMA applauded the effort. "We urge Congress to quickly take up this legislation and pass it without delay." Read SIFMA's statement about the bill. The Bond Buyer (free content) (2/15), Reuters (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry News 
  • Commentary: Debt projections foreshadow trouble for U.S.
    Budget crises in Greece, Argentina and Ireland could foreshadow the fiscal trouble that the U.S. is headed for if it doesn't enact major changes to entitlement spending, writes Barron's columnist Gene Epstein. Citing Congressional Budget Office estimates, calculations by Barron's indicate that rising health care costs, an aging population and Social Security costs could increase the national debt to 153% of gross domestic product by 2035. These dire estimates require far more political will to meaningfully cut spending and raise taxes for the entire population over the long haul, Epstein writes. Barron's (special access for readers of SIFMA SmartBrief) (2/16), The Wall Street Journal (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Equities grow in popularity with top advisors, survey says
    Financial advisors are increasingly looking to equities as bond yields drop and the market for high-paying dividend stocks toughens, according to top advisors surveyed by Barron's. Some advisors are also looking into non-public assets for investment as pressure increases from clients anxious over economic uncertainty. Average assets for the top 1,000 advisors in the U.S. also climbed to $2.1 billion this year, up from $1.7 billion in 2012, the survey revealed. Barron's (special access for readers of SIFMA SmartBrief) (2/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Transaction tax splits EU, angers U.S. bankers, threatens jobs
    Europe's proposed tax on financial transactions is already dividing the EU, threatening jobs in financial hubs and frustrating U.S. bankers, experts say. EU Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta has defended the proposal, calling it "unquestionably fair and technically sound." Critics, however, warn that the levy would create a bureaucratic nightmare and hinder economic growth. United Press International (2/15), Bloomberg (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Foreign demand rises for U.S. stocks, bonds, other assets
    The U.S. Treasury Department says international purchases of U.S. financial assets, including stocks and bonds, increased from November to December. "The significant increase in December is a reflection of the heightened concern among global investors about the U.S. economy being pushed into a recession by the 'fiscal cliff,' " said Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities. "Investors who feared the adverse impact of a U.S. economic slowdown on global activity fled to the safe haven of Treasurys." Bloomberg (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Washington Roundup 
  • FSOC lacks authority to recommend MMF rules, groups say
    Industry groups have filed comment letters arguing that the Financial Stability Oversight Council does not have legal authority to recommend regulations governing money market funds. SIFMA raised concerns about the recommendations from FSOC and said regulations implemented in 2010 have improved the funds' resilience. The Bond Buyer (free content) (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Paredes reportedly hopes to exit SEC at end of term
    Republican Troy Paredes reportedly wants to leave the Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of his term in June, although sources say he would stay until the Senate confirmed a replacement. The Senate has yet to confirm Mary Jo White, President Barack Obama's most recent nominee to lead the SEC, but Paredes' expected exit may speed up the process. The Wall Street Journal (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EU's Barnier urges U.S. to stick with global rules
    U.S. regulators should adhere to international rules governing derivatives and bank stability, EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier says. "Expanding interpretation of homegrown rules to transactions that are already covered by equally solid foreign rules will only lead to legal conflicts," Barnier said in reference to derivatives rules. "It will create uncertainty, increase costs and push trade to less-well-regulated places. This is precisely what we want to avoid." Bloomberg (2/15), Reuters (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Operations Update 
  • SEC anti-fraud software is expected to debut this year
    Securities and Exchange Commission software that will seek out accounting anomalies and hedge fund performances that don't line up with investment strategies is expected to launch this year. The software will analyze real-time data streamed to the agency from exchanges and will use a model that the SEC has been developing since 2011. "It is a model that allows us to discern whether a registrant's financial statements stick out from the pack," Chief Economist Craig Lewis said. The Washington Post (2/15), Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (2/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by SIFMA SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  SIFMA News 
  • Check out the handy SIFMA Dashboard
    The weekly SIFMA Dashboard is your one-stop resource for global and national financial regulatory reform updates including news from SIFMA and more -- all the facts you need to stay apprised of market and regulatory events that affect your business.  LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration."
--James Allen,
British author

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