Pennsylvania + Wall


Pennsylvania + Wall provides commentary on a broad range of current financial, economic and regulatory reform topics. The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of SIFMA.

May 19, 2017

Future of Reg NMS is a top issue, experts say at SIFMA's Equity Market Structure Conference

By: T.R. Lazo  

218 tile  On Wednesday, April 26th, equity market structure professionals gathered in NYC for the Annual Equity Market Structure Conference, the one-stop resource for updates from the industry's leading experts on today's markets and the ever-evolving regulatory framework that guides them. 

The common subject across the six substantive sessions of the day was the future of Regulation National Market Structure (Reg NMS). Randy Snook, executive vice president at SIFMA, opened the conference telling participants that the future of Reg NMS is a top priority. "Equity markets have evolved considerably since Reg NMS was adopted. Now is a very appropriate time for the SEC to conduct a review," he said. "Ultimately, SIFMA's goal is to improve market resilience and ensure the equity market continues to benefit investors and play an essential role in capital formation. .... Read more...

May 17, 2017

America's Infrastructure: The Time to Build is Now

The case for making infrastructure a priority and the issues that may affect our ability to fix it.

By Michael Decker

Muni-Sewer-Water 218x218 This week marks the 5th annual Infrastructure Week - a clear reminder that strong, resilient infrastructure is critical to our country's economic growth and vitality; yet we continue to fall behind due to crumbling and outdated roads, bridges, rails, airports and seaports, water pipes and the power grid. This has not gone unnoticed.

A 2016 National Infrastructure Poll, conducted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, found that the majority of Americans recognize the declining state of our country's infrastructure and that it should be addressed. .... Read more...

February 28, 2017

Financial Literacy: A Way to Address the Problem of Financial Exploitation?

By S. Duke Han, PhD, ABPP-CN 

Adults over the age of 65 hold about a third of the nation's wealth, and this proportion will increase as our society continues to grow older. While many older adults will reap the benefits of funds painstakingly accumulated over a lifetime of hard work, some will fall victim to scam and fraud and suffer a disastrous loss of financial independence. Financial exploitation of older adults is a serious problem that can have far-reaching repercussions, negatively affecting not only the victim, but also family members, caregivers, and their communities. .... Read more...

February 09, 2017

The Hill: DOL Pending Fiduciary Rule Remains Flawed, Negatively Impacting the Marketplace

By Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. 

Ken BentsenThe following op-ed was published in The Hill February 9, 2017.

Over the last several days there has been a fair amount of chatter around the Department of Labor's pending fiduciary rule, which we believe could make retirement saving more difficult for many Americans.  I'd like to set the record straight. 

First, the industry has been working diligently over the past eighteen months to prepare to comply with the rule before it becomes applicable on April 10, 2017.  Our member firms have undertaken this effort not because we agree with the rule, either in whole or in part, but rather if it's the law, we comply. The industry will endeavor to undertake what its regulators task it to do, but that doesn't mean the rule is without flaws (it isn't), or that the implementation timeline wasn't realistic (it wasn't), or that the implementation timetable demanded by the rule won't have consequences (it will). Continue Reading....... Read more...

December 12, 2016

Podcast: SIFMA’s Economic Advisory Roundtable Forecasts 2.2% GDP in 2017

Stuart Hoffman, senior vice president and chief economist for The PNC Financial Services Group and the 2016 Chair of SIFMA's Economic Advisory Roundtable, discusses the Roundtable's U.S. End-Year 2016 Economic Outlook. 

The Roundtable forecasted that the U.S. economy will grow 1.6 percent in 2016, strengthening to 2.2 percent in 2017. The current outlook for 2016 and 2017 is slightly weaker than the Roundtable’s mid-year prediction, although the range of the 2017 forecast is wider and skewed more to the upside..... Read more...

November 30, 2016

Risk Factors for Fraud & Financial Exploitation

By Marguerite DeLiema, PhD, Stanford Center on Longevity

Fraud and financial exploitation are two crimes that target older adults. In 2010, a national study reported that over 5% of Americans ages 60 and older were financially exploited by a family member in the past year (Acierno et al., 2010), and in 2011, approximately 7% of adults ages 65-74, and 6.5% of adults age 75 and older were defrauded by strangers (Anderson, 2013). While these crimes share similar risk factors, elder financial exploitation is committed by people who occupy traditional positions of trust, such as friends and relatives, and fraud is typically perpetrated by strangers.

Researchers have recently identified several important risk factors for elder financial exploitation. For the older adult, these include poor physical health, cognitive impairment, and needing assistance with daily activities such as shopping, preparing meals, and managing money (Peterson et al, 2016). Lack of social support is another major risk factor. In fact, a 2014 study by Schafer and Koltai found that older people who are embedded in dense social networks have lower risk of elder mistreatment. These adults are well connected to those around them, and those around them are well connected with each other, often acting as a sort of watchdog over the actions of the others. This deters potential perpetrators from gaining too much influence over the elder..... Read more...

November 07, 2016

Who Can Be Trusted With Your Retirement?

By Casey Dowd and Lisa Bleier

Harder to Save for Retirement 294x218The following Q&A with Casey Dowd was originally published on on November 6, 2016. 

For senior investors, a financial advisor should be the key to detecting suspicious activity on money accounts, such as overly aggressive investments or unusual asset movements. Investment fraud targeting unsuspecting seniors can wreak havoc on a retirement nest egg.

SIFMA recently partnered with FINRA, hosting a Senior Investor Protection Conference that focused on strategies and solutions to help financial advisors strengthen their roles as the first line of defense against threats to their senior clients.

Lisa Bleier, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, SIFMA, discussed with what both advisors and investors should know when it comes to protecting retirement funds.

 Read the full article here at

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