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 27, 2016

A Wall Street Experience: 2016 InvestWrite Winners Visit New York City

 A Wall Street Experience: 2016 InvestWrite Winners Visit New York City This June, the SIFMA Foundation hosted two middle-school and two high-school students, their families, and their teachers in the financial capital of the world: New York City. The students earned their tickets by placing first nationally in the fall and spring sessions of SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite essay competition. InvestWrite challenges students to think critically, and analyze various investment scenarios and generate long term recommendations. The four winners were selected from more than 20,000 participants. Meet the Winners  The fall 2015 winners are seventh grader, Abigail Teitelbaum from Pleasant Hill, Mo., and eleventh grader, Zachary Andrews, from Lancaster, Pa. Sixth grader, Dmitris Salas, from Roslyn, N.Y., and eleventh grader, Dylan Carey, from Ridgefield, Conn., claimed the top spots for the spring 2016 competition.  New York Stock Exchange The visit started with a trip to the New York Stock Exchange trading floor where the students had the opportunity to learn about the history of the stock exchange, speak with market makers and traders, and view the Closing Bell ceremony. Carey and Andrews spoke with market makers seeking to learn more about the exchange and their role in the greater market structure. But the trip to the New York Stock Exchange was not without frivolity. While waiting for the Closing Bell ceremony, a spirited discussion arose between Andrews and Carey as to how the supervillain, Bane, managed to break into the stock exchange in The Dark Knight Rises. Nasdaq Opening Bell Ceremony, Plus a Surprise! The next day the winners convened in Times Square, where the group watched Nasdaq’s Opening Bell ceremony. When the group was escorted outside for pictures in front of Nasdaq’s jumbo-screen, no one was expecting a major surprise. Believing that they were on the trip because of they were New York state champions, Salas and Carey were unaware they placed in the national competition. The group posed for a photo, then turned around to see the announcement that Carey and Salas were, in fact, national winners! After the surprise, the group returned to the Nasdaq offices where they had an opportunity to hear from Sam Stovall, U.S. Equity Strategist at S&P Capital IQ and Jeffrey LaRocque, Director of the Market Intelligence Desk at Nasdaq. Stovall shared his background and investment outlook for the upcoming year, imploring the students to be disciplined investors that think long-term when making decisions. After Stovall stepped off the stage, LaRocque spoke to the group about equity markets. LaRocque discussed the basics of how equity markets function and their enormous importance to the economy. Once LaRocque concluded his talk, the winners had an opportunity to present some of their InvestWrite insights and stock picks. Federal Reserve, Museum of American Finance and a Bull After traveling downtown to Wall Street for a tour of the Federal Reserve and a trip underground to the gold vaults, the group visited the Museum of American Finance and even made a special stop for a photo with iconic Charging Bull. BATS Closing Bell Ceremony  With the day almost complete, the students participated in the BATS Closing Bell ceremony. As a way to conclude the day, those not afraid of the height took a 1,250-foot elevator ride to the top of One World Observatory for a stunning, 360-degree view of New York City. From the opening to closing bell, the students got to experience what a day on Wall Street is really like. The SIFMA Foundation thanks all those involved who took time to make the experience so special for the winners. To learn more about InvestWrite and this year’s Wall Street Experience, visit the 2016 highlights page..... Read more...

July 26, 2016

The Cybersecurity Industry Today: A Conversation with Congress and the Financial Services Industry

By: Tom Wagner

At a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill, Members of Congress gathered with financial industry experts from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wunderlich Securities to discuss the state of the cybersecurity industry today and the role of America's capital markets in funding cybersecurity initiatives..... Read more...

July 15, 2016

Podcast: SIFMA's Economic Advisory Roundtable Revises 2016 GDP Growth Down to 1.8%

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

July 14, 2016

Social Impact Investing: A Conversation with Congress and the Financial Services Industry

By: Chris Killian

Social impact investing describes the direction of investment funds to opportunities or companies that have desirable environmental, governance or social factors, and is related to social finance, which involves the use financial assets or instruments to fund projects that have a positive social or environmental impact.

Through impact investing, America's capital markets enable programs to improve local outcomes and help communities combat the challenges of long-standing problems such as poverty, pollution, and other social needs. .... Read more...

June 28, 2016

OPS 2016: How Participants Are Solving Problems, Transforming the Industry into the New Reality

By Tom Price

Leaders in Financial Services operations and technology gathered on May 2-5, 2016, at the 43rd annual SIFMA Operations Conference & Exhibition to address industry challenges and share perspectives and strategies. SIFMA's Executive Vice President, Business Policies and Practices, Randy Snook, opened the conference by reflecting on the dynamic changes that are transforming the securities industry, "We are in the midst of several seismic shifts fundamentally changing financial services." Among the changes, three issues dominated discussions:

The Move to the T+2 Settlement Cycle - With detailed resources available, including the
T+2 Industry Implementation Playbook , experts generally believe that the transition to the shorter settlement cycle should proceed smoothly. However, for those firms not yet mobilized, the message was clear: work must start today. Coordination and collaboration among firms and agencies is the key to success..... Read more...

June 15, 2016

Cognitive Decline: Biological, Psychological and Environmental Factors Influencing the Aging Brain

By Chris Morrison, PhD, ABPP

1- Homepage Press Release News item - PR 101 learningIt might be easy to assume that financial exploitation and fraud are primarily perpetrated against cognitively compromised individuals - meaning individuals who suffer from conditions such as dementia or similar neurological disorders. However, this is not necessarily the case. The aging brain can be impacted by a variety of biological, psychological and environmental factors.  These factors can make even a healthy and apparently normal functioning individual compromised when it comes to financial decision-making. 

While there are some "super agers" in the population (individuals in their 80s and beyond who function at much younger intellectual levels), the vast majority of adults will experience at least some isolated cognitive decline associated with typical brain aging as they progress through their sixth, seventh, and eighth decades (or beyond). Cognitive change in older adults is uneven and dependent on many factors, including educational background, overall intellectual capacity, health conditions, and lifestyle habits.  The following describes some of the ways in which cognition changes with age and how health and demographic factors can influence the ability to process financial information.   .... Read more...

June 03, 2016

Innovation and Change in Fixed Income Markets: Building a Unique Market Structure Solution

By: Sean Davy and Rob Toomey

On May 24, SIFMA hosted the Fixed Income Market Structure Seminar, bringing together market participants to discuss the latest developments in fixed income markets including: new and future regulations; Treasury's RFI; liquidity and data transparency; and technology and electronic bond trading platforms.

U.S. capital markets are the deepest and most developed in the world; today, technological change and innovation has added to their complexity. Add to these developments, newspaper headlines on the "flash rally" of October 2014, and market structure and its regulation have become a hot topic. Market participants, policy makers, regulators and the public have a stake, and increasingly an opinion, on the ideal structure for our fixed income markets.  

Randy Snook, SIFMA's Executive Vice President for Business Policy and Practices, opened the Fixed Income Market Structure Seminar, noting the need for industry and regulators to work together to understand and adapt to technological changes in fixed income markets.

"One thing is very clear: there is change taking place in both infrastructure and in the profile of market participants. As is often the case, this change comes with a great deal  of innovation and experimentation, and that can be a healthy process as markets and participants adapt. The official sector plays a key role in overseeing our markets and by necessity seeks input from the industry to better understand how they can foster healthy markets."  

Snook further added that as new regulations are developed they must seek the right balance, calibrating policies that keep pace with an increasingly connected and technology driven financial marketplace..... Read more...

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