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 18, 2017

Getting It Right: Calibrating Regulation for Growth

By Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.

Ken-BPC-Photo-150Nearly ten years since the financial crisis, the United States economy has recovered more quickly than other jurisdictions due in large part to our robust capital markets and diversified banking system. Our banks are far better capitalized and markets more resilient, having absorbed hundreds of new regulations on top of an already extensive regulatory structure established over the course of the last century..... Read more...

June 13, 2017

Business Spending and US Fiscal Policy Slightly Weaken GDP Outlook

By Kyle Brandon

On Monday, SIFMA’s Economic Advisory Roundtable announced it slightly weakened its GDP outlook for 2017 to 2.1%. The following is a Q&A with Kyle Brandon, Managing Director, Director of Research and staff advisor to the Roundtable.

SIFMA's Economic Advisory Roundtable lowered its GDP forecast from 2.2% to 2.1%. Was there a significant change in its view?

The Roundtable's outlook is slightly weaker numerically speaking, but is essentially the same as our estimate this past December. As it did then, the Roundtable considers business confidence to be the most important factor impacting U.S. economic growth, followed by U.S. fiscal policy (of note, the Roundtable's estimate for business capital investment strengthened considerably from 2.7% to 4.4%). This time around, Federal Reserve interest rate actions were noted as a distant third factor, whereas private credit market conditions made the list in December..... Read more...

June 06, 2017

FA Viewpoint: Preventing Exploitation of Our Senior Clients

By Amy Daniels, Edward Jones

Financial advisors face many challenges, most routine, but a few that can be disturbing. High on this list is the growing financial exploitation of senior investors. I have seen it up-close in my practice, more than once, and I fear we will witness it many more times - unless we act. 

The Threat

How big a problem is this? Estimates suggest that nearly $3 billion per year (The MetLife Mature Market Institute, 2011) is being taken from our seniors in cases reported by newspapers and other media outlets, often by family members or con artists who do not care for or about these seniors - and yet only 1 in 44 cases is reported to authorities (National Adult Protective Services Association, 2016). .... Read more...

June 05, 2017

Hiding in Plain Sight: Age-Associated Cognitive Decline

By Dr. Angela Gutchess, Ph.D. 

Think about the times when you've commented on the superior mental feats of an older relative.  Or perhaps you've heard another person describe a senior citizen as "just as sharp as ever."  How accurate are these observations? What can hide cognitive declines, putting older adults at risk of financial exploitation?

There is substantial research documenting age-related cognitive declines. Although there are differences in ability levels and the rates at which individuals decline, everyone is expected to show some losses compared to their younger selves in fluid cognitive abilities. Fluid cognition includes effortful, in-the-moment mental actions, including memory, computations and speeded decisions. Such changes are typical of aging, rather than being hallmarks of dementia or other disorders. .... Read more...

May 19, 2017

Future of Reg NMS is a top issue, experts say at SIFMA's Equity Market Structure Conference

By: T.R. Lazo  

218 tile  On Wednesday, April 26th, equity market structure professionals gathered in NYC for the Annual Equity Market Structure Conference, the one-stop resource for updates from the industry's leading experts on today's markets and the ever-evolving regulatory framework that guides them. 

The common subject across the six substantive sessions of the day was the future of Regulation National Market Structure (Reg NMS). Randy Snook, executive vice president at SIFMA, opened the conference telling participants that the future of Reg NMS is a top priority. "Equity markets have evolved considerably since Reg NMS was adopted. Now is a very appropriate time for the SEC to conduct a review," he said. "Ultimately, SIFMA's goal is to improve market resilience and ensure the equity market continues to benefit investors and play an essential role in capital formation. .... Read more...

May 17, 2017

America's Infrastructure: The Time to Build is Now

The case for making infrastructure a priority and the issues that may affect our ability to fix it.

By Michael Decker

Muni-Sewer-Water 218x218 This week marks the 5th annual Infrastructure Week - a clear reminder that strong, resilient infrastructure is critical to our country's economic growth and vitality; yet we continue to fall behind due to crumbling and outdated roads, bridges, rails, airports and seaports, water pipes and the power grid. This has not gone unnoticed.

A 2016 National Infrastructure Poll, conducted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, found that the majority of Americans recognize the declining state of our country's infrastructure and that it should be addressed. .... Read more...

February 28, 2017

Financial Literacy: A Way to Address the Problem of Financial Exploitation?

By S. Duke Han, PhD, ABPP-CN 

Adults over the age of 65 hold about a third of the nation's wealth, and this proportion will increase as our society continues to grow older. While many older adults will reap the benefits of funds painstakingly accumulated over a lifetime of hard work, some will fall victim to scam and fraud and suffer a disastrous loss of financial independence. Financial exploitation of older adults is a serious problem that can have far-reaching repercussions, negatively affecting not only the victim, but also family members, caregivers, and their communities. .... Read more...

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