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.

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...

April 29, 2016

Making the Most of the New Balance Point

How the US and Canada can Work Together to Drive Economic Growth in the new Global Environment

  By David Strongin

On April 26, SIFMA and the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) jointly hosted the 4th annual Canada - US Securities Summit. The event convened experts from the US and Canada to discuss the most pressing economic issues in North American capital markets.

The United States and Canada share a common history and value system. Our two countries' bilateral cooperation reflects these common interests and a mutual commitment to address the most challenging bilateral and global issues including: international regulatory cooperation, free trade and developed well-functioning capital markets..... Read more...

April 19, 2016

Financing Infrastructure: Why Public-Private Partnerships Matter

By: Michael Decker

After decades of underinvestment, we face an extreme infrastructure deficit in the United States. In order to bring our infrastructure into the 21st century and support a growing economy, we need to invest more in essential projects including highways, water and sewer systems, bridges, airports and more.

The problem we face is not a lack of capital - it is the ability to identify reliable funding sources to support debt service, to support return on capital and to support maintenance costs. In the coming years, there will be an increasing convergence of the Public-Private Partnership (P3) and Municipal markets to accomplish big infrastructure projects. The key regulatory issue before us today has therefore become the same availability of tax-exemption for P3 projects as traditional tax-exempt municipal investments. Simultaneously, we are exploring how we can make existing investment dollars go further. Innovative approaches like design-build enable us to do just that..... Read more...

March 10, 2016

Flawed Report Overstates Advisor Misconduct

By Kevin Carroll 

In any profession, and especially in the financial services industry, misconduct regarding the treatment of clients is unacceptable. That’s why it’s important to correct the record with respect to a new report, “The Market for Financial Adviser Misconduct,” which makes overly broad and inflated claims regarding the level of misconduct among financial advisors.

SIFMA member firms and their regulators employ rigorous rules, supervision, exam and disciplinary programs and employ robust surveillance systems to protect investors from the small number of financial advisers who behave improperly.  As a result, the overwhelming majority of financial services professionals, be they brokers or investment advisers, operate in good faith, do not have any disciplinary record, and provide excellent service to and are trusted and valued by their clients. .... Read more...

January 04, 2016

Labor proposal limits choice: Opposing view

By Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.

Case against State-Run Retirement Plans for Private Sector The following Op Ed was originally published in USA Today on December 27, 2015.

 Saving for retirement should be easy, not hard. Unfortunately, a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposal could make saving for retirement more difficult and costly, particularly for smaller investors.

The financial services industry has long supported enhancing the already extensive regulation of financial advice through the establishment of a uniform, best-interest standard for brokers and advisers providing retail advice, including congressional action in 2010 to have the Securities and Exchange Commission take the lead. Congress made clear that the standard should both protect investors and investor choice. Unfortunately, the DOL’s proposal runs counter to what Congress intended, and if enacted, it will limit advice and restrict choice.

Read full article on www.usatoday.com..... Read more...

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