Goldman Sachs has laid out key market themes to watch in 2019, which it expects will not be as friendly to markets as this year has been. Important topics to watch include diminishing benefits from the Trump tax cuts, the Fed's interest rate policy, trade matters with China, Italy's budget issues and declining emerging markets.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Whistleblower received 5,282 reports in fiscal 2018, an 18% increase compared with fiscal 2017, according to an SEC report to Congress. The agency paid $168 million to 13 whistleblowers in fiscal 2018, up from almost $50 million to 12 individuals in fiscal 2017.
This year's EY Global Alternative Fund Survey shows that investors are balking at large allocations to hedge funds with just 7% planning to increase their exposure over the next three years, compared with 34% who plan to allocate more to private equity. The report also found that hedge funds are more likely than private equity to harness tech innovation, such as artificial intelligence, across their operations.
Libor is likely to be discontinued, and other benchmarks are available, but Libor alternatives aren't being written into financial contracts. Banks say there is too much uncertainty to reference alternative benchmarks, despite regulators' frustration the process is moving slowly.
After the US Labor Department proposed its fiduciary rule in 2015, brokers' sales of funds paying "unusually high excess loads" declined, according to a report from Morningstar. "This reduction in the distortionary effect of conflicted payments suggests that firms put in place effective policies and procedures to mitigate conflicts of interest in response to" the rule, the report said.
New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority has warned it needs additional sources of revenue or else will be forced to raise tolls and public transit fares and cut services. The organization has seen a decline in ridership and revenue, and congestion pricing is one avenue being discussed.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says the US is leading a global resurgence, and growth may continue as consumer balance sheets and corporations are in good health but added there is a possibility of recession in 2020 or 2021. He also outlined his views to an interviewer on issues including trade tariffs and the influence of blockchain technology, which he says is overblown.
An inflation adjustment written into last year's tax law will reduce the benefits of the Trump administration's tax cuts by allowing the IRS to gradually collect more from taxpayers. The standard deduction and tax brackets will rise in response to inflation more slowly, a change that will cost taxpayers $133.5 billion over 10 years, according to Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation.
BlackRock's iShares has brought to Nasdaq an exchange-traded fund that buys fixed-income securities used to finance projects that support environmental sustainability or fight climate change. The iShares Global Green Bond ETF is designed to replicate the performance of the Bloomberg Barclays MSCI Global Green Bond Select (USD Hedged) Index.
This year's Sustainable Investing Thought Leadership annual event will focus on the theme of long-termism. The full-day event will be structured around one to two keynote addresses focusing on the theme set out above and what that might mean for investing and performance, three to four panels discussions addressing the theme of long-termism through the prism of climate change and resilience, diversity, corporate stewardship, and ESG integration, and presentation of relevant research papers.