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.

November 30, 2016

Risk Factors for Fraud & Financial Exploitation

By Marguerite DeLiema, PhD, Stanford Center on Longevity

Fraud and financial exploitation are two crimes that target older adults. In 2010, a national study reported that over 5% of Americans ages 60 and older were financially exploited by a family member in the past year (Acierno et al., 2010), and in 2011, approximately 7% of adults ages 65-74, and 6.5% of adults age 75 and older were defrauded by strangers (Anderson, 2013). While these crimes share similar risk factors, elder financial exploitation is committed by people who occupy traditional positions of trust, such as friends and relatives, and fraud is typically perpetrated by strangers.

Researchers have recently identified several important risk factors for elder financial exploitation. For the older adult, these include poor physical health, cognitive impairment, and needing assistance with daily activities such as shopping, preparing meals, and managing money (Peterson et al, 2016). Lack of social support is another major risk factor. In fact, a 2014 study by Schafer and Koltai found that older people who are embedded in dense social networks have lower risk of elder mistreatment. These adults are well connected to those around them, and those around them are well connected with each other, often acting as a sort of watchdog over the actions of the others. This deters potential perpetrators from gaining too much influence over the elder..... 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. .... 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 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...

October 15, 2015

Senior Investor Q&A with Fox Business: DOL's Retirement Regulation and the Financial Fraud Epidemic

By Casey Dowd and Lisa Bleier

DOL - Don't Make It Harder to Save for RetirementThe following Q&A with Casey Dowd was originally published on on October 14, 2015.

The world of financial investments can be a very complex one especially when average investors are expected to decipher new regulation such as The Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed retirement regulation. This could have a great impact on people of all backgrounds investing in financial markets.

Lisa Bleier, Managing Director & Associate General Counsel at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which is the voice of the nation’s securities industries, sat down with me for to discuss why the organization is opposed to the DOL’s retirement regulation and the impact it could have on senior investors. Here is what you need to know.  

 ....

October 07, 2015

The Neurology of Financial Decision-Making

By Natalie L. Denburg, PhD

Senior Investor - 158x150Conventional wisdom holds that aging is more or less synonymous with memory loss. So, it may surprise you that this post, written by a neuropsychologist about financial decision-making in older adults, does not include the term “memory” in its title.

One in five Americans aged 65 or older have been victimized by financial fraud, and yet the segment of the population with memory-related impairments, known as dementia, is only a fraction of this. How does a seasoned, articulate and educated professional without a diagnosis of dementia become convinced they won a foreign lottery they never entered? Or that they’ve inherited millions from a mysterious relative? .... Read more...

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