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16 January 2013
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  • U.S. stops pension contributions to preserve cash
    The Treasury Department suspended contributions to a government retirement savings plan in an effort to conserve cash while the U.S. government waits for Congress to raise the national debt limit. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a letter to congressional leaders that because of the statutory debt limit, he is "unable to invest fully" in the Federal Thrift Savings Plan's $158.52 billion Government Securities Investment Fund, commonly known as the G Fund. Pensions & Investments (free registration) (15 Jan.), The Washington Post (15 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. study says HFT is good for markets
    A study commissioned by the British government finds a whole host of benefits from high-frequency and algorithmic trading, including decreased transaction costs, improved liquidity and improved price delivery. The study does note that computer-based trading can worsen the speed and scope of feedback loops because it lacks common sense to slow them down. Risk.net (subscription required) (15 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 Morningstar Direct White Paper in CFA Institute Selections Newsletter
We are very pleased to have been included on this "recommended reading" list. The paper discusses ways to quantify the results from portfolio-level decisions such as asset allocations, manager selections, timing decisions, and more.
Click here to read our white paper.
 

  CFA Institute in the News 
  Market Activity 
  • Japan leads drop among most Asian-Pacific markets
    Most Asian-Pacific markets declined Wednesday, with Japan's Nikkei 225 taking the biggest fall at 2.6%. China's Shanghai Composite lost 0.7%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dropped 0.1%. South Korea's Kospi edged down 0.3%. Taiwan's Taiex gave up 0.8%. India's Sensex was down 0.8% at midafternoon. Bucking the trend, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 ended up 0.5%. MarketWatch (16 Jan.), Bloomberg (16 Jan.), The Economic Times (India) (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
A New Look at Currency Investing
by Momtchil Pojarliev, CFA, and Richard M. Levich
Research Foundation Publications (December 2012)

The authors of this book examine the rationale for investing in currency. They highlight several features of currency returns that make currency an attractive asset class for institutional investors.
  Economics 
  • December retail-sales growth surprises economists
    Retail sales in the U.S. increased more in December than many experts had expected as consumers set aside worries about higher taxes in January. Retail sales rose 0.5% from November, the Commerce Department said. Economists surveyed by Reuters had anticipated a 0.2% increase. Reuters (15 Jan.), Shopfloor blog (15 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Germany has budget surplus despite falling GDP
    The eurozone debt crisis was a setback for Germany's economy, but the government still managed to shift its budget to surplus in 2012 for the first time since 2007. Gross domestic product expanded 0.7% last year, the Federal Statistical Office said. The economy contracted 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Spiegel Online (Germany) (15 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Analysis: Lew would hold U.S. economy in his hands
    U.S. President Barack Obama's pick for Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, would have the formidable responsibility of keeping the nation out of financial and economic disaster, according to The Economist. "Firms and investors have come to trust Mr Obama and Congress to dodge disaster, usually at the very last minute," the magazine notes. "Whether Mr Lew can fulfill that trust will determine the fate of the economy this year, and with it his own reputation." The Economist (tiered subscription model) (12 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
The Gold Standard: A Fifty-Year History of the CFA Charter
An exclusive book offer from CFA Institute
Order yours now
  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • U.S. plans to negotiate international services deal
    The U.S. says it will discuss a services deal with Japan, the EU and other developed and emerging economies. The U.S., the EU and others have been considering starting talks on an international services agreement, but the idea has faced opposition from Brazil, Russia, India and China. Reuters (15 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Credit rating firms face European restrictions
    The European Parliament is set to pass a plan to make it more difficult for credit rating agencies to adjust sovereign-debt ratings. The proposal seeks to implement a specific calendar for when agencies can adjust sovereign-debt ratings and to prevent rules written after 2020 from referencing ratings. The Wall Street Journal (15 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Experts call for FATCA clarity
    When rules of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act are released this month, experts hope they will shine a light on murky administration issues. Although the regulations were drafted a year ago, the Internal Revenue Service has not made clear how they will be implemented or how they will interact with intergovernmental agreements. Risk magazine (subscription required) (15 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Juncker: Euro's strength threatens economic recovery
    Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker says the strength of the euro risks derailing recovery. Juncker is the latest European leader to express confidence that the eurozone crisis has been defeated and that attention should be turned to economic growth. Bloomberg (16 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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