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 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...

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...

November 07, 2016

Who Can Be Trusted With Your Retirement?

By Casey Dowd and Lisa Bleier

Harder to Save for Retirement 294x218The following Q&A with Casey Dowd was originally published on on November 6, 2016. 

For senior investors, a financial advisor should be the key to detecting suspicious activity on money accounts, such as overly aggressive investments or unusual asset movements. Investment fraud targeting unsuspecting seniors can wreak havoc on a retirement nest egg.

SIFMA recently partnered with FINRA, hosting a Senior Investor Protection Conference that focused on strategies and solutions to help financial advisors strengthen their roles as the first line of defense against threats to their senior clients.

Lisa Bleier, Managing Director and Associate General Counsel, SIFMA, discussed with what both advisors and investors should know when it comes to protecting retirement funds.

 Read the full article here at

October 13, 2016

The Intended and Unintended Consequences for End Users of Post-Crisis Financial Regulation

By Randy Snook

Regulations implemented in the wake of the financial crisis have had a number of consequences - both intended and unintended - on consumers, households, and venture capital firms, ranging from limited access to credit and mortgages to disrupting supply chains, according to analysts and end users who spoke at SIFMA's Annual Meeting, The Capital Markets Conference.

The verdict on the Dodd-Frank financial regulations is mixed, said Justin Schardin, director of the Financial Regulatory Reform Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "Our goal here is to find ways to improve regulation that's out there… But whenever you make change of this kind of magnitude, there's no way to escape unintended consequences," he argued.

Schardin, who recently coauthored a report analyzing the post-crisis financial regulatory structure, said there are a few common and opposing assessments of the reform..... Read more...

October 12, 2016

Pushing Harmonisation

This post was originally published in the print edition of IFLR on September 26, 2016.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) is the voice of the US securities industry while the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA) brings together three of the world's biggest financial trade associations to address the global regulatory agenda.

Unsurprisingly then, SIFMA's managing director of international policy & advocacy, Peter Matheson, and GFMA's executive director, David Strongin, are perfectly placed to tackle the regulatory initiatives affecting cross-border finance.

Here they discuss global regulatory coherence since 2009 and the challenges such cooperation faces, post-Brexit uncertainty and more. .... Read more...

October 03, 2016

Taking Stock: Regulatory Calibration in Today’s Complex Markets

By Ira D. Hammerman

Financial thought leaders gathered at SIFMA's 2016 Annual Meeting, The Capital Markets Conference, to discuss regulatory calibration. The moderator, Sandra O'Connor, Chief Regulatory Affairs Officer at JPMorgan Chase & Co., kicked off the discussion with a question: "Have we earned the right to take stock of where we are on global and local regulatory procedures?" All panelists answered in the affirmative.

The panelists discussed regulatory calibration, as well as how to achieve an efficient balance of regulation and risk.

"Banks make a substantial contribution to the vitality of the US economy. The relationship of regulation and capital to growth is subtle and complex," said Donald Kohn, Senior Fellow of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. "We can't let the current state of the economy interfere with stock-taking."

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