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.

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

December 23, 2015

The 2016 Economic Outlook: Slow but steady wins the race

By Kyle Brandon

SIFMA’s Economic Advisory Roundtable is composed of chief U.S. economists from 19 SIFMA member firms. Twice per year, the Roundtable publishes the results of a detailed survey on the U.S. economic outlook and rates forecasts.

This December, the Roundtable released its “US Economic Outlook End-Year 2015,” forecasting that the U.S. economy will grow at a solid 2.5% rate both this year and next. The following is a Q&A with Kyle Brandon, Managing Director and Director of Research for SIFMA and staff advisor to the Economic Advisory Roundtable.

 ....

December 17, 2015

Supporting the Pre-Eminence of American Capital Markets

SIFMA held its annual State of the Industry media briefing on December 3, 2015 in NYC. In this examination of the state of America’s capital markets, we discussed the need to achieve a regulatory balance that ensures our capital markets remain the most deep, liquid and well-functioning in the world. 

By John F. W. Rogers and Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.

The State of U.S. Capital Markets

The U.S. has actively promoted a free market system around the world through public policy and private sector expansion, asserting capitalism as a catalyst for innovation, opportunity and dynamism. Innovation coupled with the free flow of capital has been an integral component for promoting the good-and-welfare, supporting job creation, economic development and prosperity..... Read more...

November 18, 2015

The Investor of Tomorrow

By Randy Snook

Mary MackThere's little question that the forces of technology, interconnectedness and generational change have challenged the conventional wisdom about investors and financial advice. But how should institutions go about investing in new capabilities in a way that complements and supports their business's traditional strengths?

As participants at SIFMA's 2015 Annual Meeting, The Capital Markets Conference, were quick to point out, digital disruption has left no shortage of industries to look toward as case studies. "If you think about the way we behave in every other part of our lives: Amazon is the largest retailer in the world; Uber is the largest transportation company," said Wells Fargo Advisors president Mary Mack. "We behave differently now in terms of how we like to access information and advice.".... Read more...

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