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23 January 2013
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  • Leaders at WEF voice concerns about loose monetary policy
    The World Economic Forum's annual Global Risks survey of 1,000 business leaders and academics found continued fear of "systemic financial failure." With the U.S., Japan and perhaps the U.K. undertaking what the survey calls "essentially experimental" policies, the possibility of a currency war is a main talking point this week. Reuters (22 Jan.), The Wall Street Journal (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • BaFin official suggests replacing rate-setting process
    Elke Koenig, head of German financial regulator BaFin, has voiced concerns about whether reform of the way interbank-lending rates are set would be helpful. Koenig says the process might need to be replaced. "It has been shown that benchmarks, which are based on estimates submitted by market participants, are susceptible to manipulation," she said. "In my view, we need to work not on a reform of the existing system but on a replacement for it." Reuters (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activity 
  • Institutional investors are ready shift from debt to equities
    Strategists are increasingly looking to pension funds and insurers to rebalance investment portfolios out of fixed-income securities and into stocks. U.S. equity funds' net inflow in the first two weeks of 2013 totaled $11.3 billion, the most for a two-week period since April 2000, according to Lipper. Reuters (23 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EU lawmaker warns of imminent carbon-market collapse
    European Parliament member Bas Eickhout has called for an overhaul of the emissions-trading system. He says the target reduction must be increased 30% to save the system, which has been hit by a sharp decline in industrial output because of the economic crisis. Eickhout says this week's decline in prices "should redouble the resolve of decision-makers" to save a program pushed "to the brink." Bloomberg (22 Jan.), Bloomberg (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economics 
  • King argues against radical BoE changes
    Bank of England Governor Mervyn King defended a decision not to adopt radical policies, which his successor, Mark Carney, seems willing to consider. Speaking about a shift to targeting nominal gross domestic product at the expense of inflation concerns, King said, "A long-run target of 2% inflation should be an essential part of our macroeconomic framework. It would be irresponsible to lose that." He conceded that compared with other developed nations, "our recovery has been noticeably slower." The Wall Street Journal (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. home prices rose 5.9% in 2012
    House prices in the U.S. climbed almost as much in 2012 as they did at the peak of the housing bubble and are set to keep increasing at a slightly slower pace this year, according to Zillow. Prices gained 5.9% compared with 2011 and are forecast to rise an additional 3.3% this year, the firm said. The National Association of Realtors said existing homes sold in 2012 increased 9.2% compared with 2011, reaching their highest level in five years. MarketWatch (22 Jan.), USA Today (22 Jan.), Banker & Tradesman (Boston) (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Skilled workers seek greener grass as economy improves
    As the recovering economy gives the U.S. labor force greater confidence, highly skilled workers are leaving the safety of their jobs to search for better opportunities. In a 2012 survey, 40% of employers said they were having trouble keeping workers with critical skills, up from 36% in 2011 and 16% in 2009. The Washington Post (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Advisers' firm type influences retirement guidance
    Retirement-income recommendations vary based on financial advisers' type of firm, according to Cogent Research. Registered investment advisers lean toward mutual funds. Broker-dealer advisers often suggest insurer products. Advisers at national wire houses are divided, favoring either insurer products or brokerage investments, mostly dividend-paying stocks. Financial Advisor online (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  Financial Products 
  • Hancock aims to use derivatives in actively managed ETF
    John Hancock has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission for authorization to use derivatives in its first actively managed exchange-traded fund. The financial-services firm says the John Hancock Global Balanced ETF would use derivatives to increase the efficiency of market exposure and reduce risk. IndexUniverse.com (22 Jan.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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