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.

July 01, 2015

The US Private Label Mortgage-Backed Securities Market in 2015

By Christopher B. Killian and Joseph Cox

LEI - Financial Data This article originally appeared in The Securitisation & Structured Finance Handbook 2015/16.

The restoration of private-sector securitization – non-government guaranteed securities – is a necessary component of the broader reinvigoration of the housing system in the United States. Why has the market for Private-Label Mortgage-Backed Securities (PLS) remained largely stagnant while others have gained momentum since the financial crisis?.... Read more...

July 01, 2015

A Wall Street Experience: 2015 InvestWrite Winners Visit New York City

By Melanie Mortimer

On June 10, the SIFMA Foundation brought four middle-school and high-school students and their teachers to New York City for a Wall Street Experience.

The students earned their way to New York’s Financial District by winning national titles in the SIFMA Foundation’s fall and spring InvestWrite competitions. InvestWrite is a national essay competition that challenges students to analyze investment scenarios and turn out the best recommendations for long-term portfolio allocations.

Wowing the panel of judges—composed of thousands of teachers and industry professionals—with their advanced insight into the working of the capital markets and long-term investing strategies, the four were chosen from among 20,000 students who participated in InvestWrite this year. .... Read more...

May 27, 2015

Wealth Management: Why Banning Mandatory Securities Arbitration Would be a Mistake

By Kevin Carroll

Kevin Caroll

The following Op Ed was originally published in on May 27, 2015.

Arbitration in the securities industry – between broker-dealers and their customers – wasn’t always mandatory.

In 1972, the predecessor to FINRA created a rule that compelled broker-dealers to arbitrate if demanded by the customer. That rule continues today as FINRA Rule 12200.

The rule is based on the belief – true then and still true over four decades later – that many customers will want to arbitrate and will benefit from arbitration..... Read more...

May 26, 2015

The New York Times: Fighting Cyberattacks - A Financial Industry View

By: Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.

LEI EventTo the Editor:

Re “Shortcomings of Cybersecurity Bills” (editorial, May 14):

The “shortcomings” referred to in this editorial are in fact critically important legislative fixes that will empower businesses and government agencies with the best information to protect consumers and stay ahead of the rapidly evolving and increasingly malicious nature of cyberattacks.

Businesses and government need the ability to learn from each other regarding the nature and location of cyberattacks. This sharing of information will enable the public and private sectors to continually improve network security and protect Americans’ information from cybercriminals..... Read more...

April 08, 2015

Sneak Peek: OPS 2015 Kicks Off Monday in San Diego!

By Tom Price

OPs 2015 Sneak PeekFor 42 years, SIFMA's Annual Operations Conference & Exhibition has gathered broker-dealers and asset managers to discuss the evolution of operations and regulation in the industry.

As over 800 industry professionals convene in San Diego next week, a multitude of reforms and initiatives are either in progress, under review, or pending approval of a new rule. OPS 2015 will provide valuable information on what to expect in the year ahead, and the tools that are available to firms to prepare for the changing operational landscape and to manage operational risk.

This is a content-driven event with a packed program. I'll be hosting an in-depth breakout session on how the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) is fundamentally changing reporting requirements. Here's a sneak peek from my colleagues at SIFMA on some of the other topics that will be on the table for discussion:.... Read more...

March 19, 2015

SIFMA on the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

By Kevin Carroll

Kevin CarrollOn March 17, 2015, the New York Times reported on a bill last year, in the prior Congress, that would have amended the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to allow servicemembers to avoid the enforceability of arbitration clauses.  The Times article cites SIFMA as opposed to the bill on the basis that servicemembers are not being harmed by arbitration clauses.

Here’s the rest of the story:  The SCRA is generally limited to contracts for rent, installment contracts, mortgages, liens, assignments, leases, and the like.  The bill, however, as originally drafted, could be read to ban arbitration clauses in any and all contracts entered into by a servicemember, and not just those enumerated in the SCRA.  While we do not believe....... Read more...

March 19, 2015

Q&A with John Taft: How Enlightened Finance Can Restore Faith in Capitalism

John Taft In his new book, A Force for Good, John Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management-U.S., invited more than 20 respected financial minds - selected for their expertise and fresh perspectives - to provide insights on a path forward for the industry, moving past the crisis of 2008. The book addresses fundamental questions about the financial system and introduces readers to the concept of "enlightened finance."

John Taft - Book - A Force for Good

Q: Why did you write A Force for Good? 
A: I hope to kick start a more constructive dialogue about what the financial sector needs to do to consistently contribute to positive social goals. Much of the narrative since the financial crisis has focused on looking backwards, pointing fingers, assigning blame, identifying villains and meting out punishments. That was an appropriate and necessary phase in our recovery. But now we need to change the conversation by looking forward, developing a road map for what still needs to be done to help position finance for the future. .... Read more...

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