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11 December 2012
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  Top Stories 
 
  • Watchdog: Auditors' tests of internal controls are inadequate
    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said it discovered that Big Four and second-tier audit firms are failing to adequately test companies' internal financial controls in some audits. The U.S. government's audit watchdog said it found the problem more often in 2011 than in 2010. Reuters (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Accounting's Big 4 is called into question in U.K., China
    Controversies in the U.K. and China raise troubling questions about the practice of mixing accounting, auditing and consulting by the Big Four accounting firms, according to The Economist. "The Big Four claim that their global scale and multidisciplinary scope are good things," the magazine notes. "...But the events of the past few weeks show there are perils, too, in trying to have the best of all worlds." The Economist (08 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. Treasury will sell its last shares of AIG
    The U.S. Treasury Department plans to sell its remaining 15.9% equity stake in American International Group. After selling 234 million shares, the government will still hold an undisclosed number of warrants but will cease to be an owner of the company. The transaction closes the books on one of the largest and most fiercely criticized bailouts of the financial crisis. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11 Dec.), Bloomberg (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Prosecutors reportedly expand insider-trading inquiry
    Prosecutors and securities regulators are broadening investigations into corporate executives' trading of their own companies' shares, a person familiar with the matter says. The Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office is looking into whether seven executives mentioned in a Wall Street Journal story engaged in improper trading. The Securities and Exchange Commission is reviewing trading by VeriFone Systems CEO Douglas Bergeron. The Wall Street Journal (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Reader Survey 
  • Of these global fixed-income markets, which is in bubble territory?
Sovereign
High-yield corporate
Investment-grade corporate
More than one
All of the above
None of the above

  Market Activity 
 
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  Economics 
  • U.K. and U.S. growth is picking up, OECD says
    Economic expansion is accelerating in the U.K. and the U.S., and growth might pick up in Italy and China, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD expects weak growth in Germany, France and the broader eurozone, as well as Canada, Japan and Russia. Reuters (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Chinese bank lending falls short of forecasts
    Yuan-denominated loan origination last month in China fell short of economists' expectations. The People's Bank of China says banks issued $84 billion in loans. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected $88 billion. Bloomberg (11 Dec.), Reuters (11 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Investment professionals are cautiously optimistic about the global economy in 2013, but ethical culture within financial firms needs to be addressed. Click here to view and download the full report.
  Geopolitical/Regulatory 
  • ECB bank-supervision plan is adjusted to address German objections
    In a proposed compromise to assuage German concerns, only eurozone banks with assets exceeding €30 billion would fall under daily supervision of the European Central Bank. The offer, from EU president Cyprus, aims to smooth the way for agreement by leaders meeting this week on an initial step toward a banking union. The proposal, however, would allow the ECB to intervene in smaller banks under some circumstances. Reuters (10 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Financial Products 
  • SSgA readies 2 low-volatility index ETFs
    State Street Global Advisers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch two exchange-traded funds linked to indexes of low-volatility stocks. The SPDR Russell 1000 Low Volatility ETF would be linked to an index about 200 low-volatility equities, and the SPDR Russell 2000 Low Volatility ETF would track an index of about 400 low-volatility stocks. IndexUniverse.com (07 Dec.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Ethics 
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