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.

August 11, 2015


By Dave Oxner

Cyber Vote CISA

Last week, Congress departed Washington for summer recess leaving critically important cybersecurity information-sharing legislation on their desks. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) of 2015, otherwise known as S. 754, is a bipartisan measure which would provide the private sector with laws that will enable the private sector to better protect American consumers and businesses by sharing critical information about cyber attacks with each other, the government, law enforcement and other institutions.

....

August 06, 2015

The Case Against State-Run Retirement Plans for Private Sector Workers

By Marin Gibson

Case against State-Run Retirement Plans for Private Sector Americans are not saving enough for retirement. As a country, we all agree that we can and should do more to encourage savings and increase education on opportunities to invest. Fortunately, there are many options readily available, which is why it is surprising that some states are exploring the creation of their own costly and burdensome retirement savings plans for private sector workers. 

These state-run plans are based on the misguided notion that private sector retirement plans are inaccessible to most Americans.  The reality is that over 75% of full-time American workers have access to retirement plans through their workplace. For those that do not have an employer-sponsored plan, IRAs and individual annuities - as well as the new federal MyRA program - are available to anyone who wants them, and can be opened for little to no money. .... Read more...

July 21, 2015

ICYMI: Ken Bentsen Discusses DOL Proposal Flaws on BloombergTV

By: Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.

Ken BentsenKenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., president and CEO of SIFMA, joined BloombergTV's Market Makers to discuss SIFMA's comments on the Department of Labor's proposed retirement regulation. The following are key excerpts from the interview, "Why 'Best Interest' Standard May Not Be the Best for All" and ""Why SIFMA Opposes Labor Dept. 'Best Interest' Rule."

Yesterday, SIFMA submitted comments to the Department of Labor (DOL) in response to its proposed retirement regulation, stressing concerns that the proposed rule will harm investors by limiting access to financial guidance, reducing choice and ultimately raising the cost of saving for retirement. I joined Stephanie Ruhle and Erik Schatzker on BloombergTV to discuss three key points:.... Read more...

July 13, 2015

The Hill: The Department of Labor best-interest proposal isn’t about best interest

By: Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.

DOL, Fiduciary, ERISA, RetirementMuch of the discussion around the Department of Labor’s recently proposed retirement regulation focuses on the question of a “best interest standard” for financial advisors providing guidance to IRA holders and employees who participate in 401k plans. But that’s not what the debate is really about.

The financial services industry has long advocated for such a best interest standard when providing personalized investment advice. Congress in the Dodd-Frank Act, with the industry’s support, authorized the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to develop such a standard. And FINRA, the congressional mandated self-regulatory organization that along with the SEC and the states regulates broker-dealers, has increasingly imposed such a standard through its rulemaking, guidance, examinations and arbitration policies.

In fact, the debate is not even about the language the DOL uses to define a best interest standard in its proposal. That in and of itself is something the industry and other regulators agree upon.

Rather, the debate is about the next several hundreds of pages of conditions and prescriptions the DOL proposes in addition to the best interest standard. These provisions both explicitly and implicitly limit the types of investments individuals may choose with their own money..... Read more...

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...

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