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.

February 09, 2017

The Hill: DOL Pending Fiduciary Rule Remains Flawed, Negatively Impacting the Marketplace

By Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. 

Ken BentsenThe following op-ed was published in The Hill February 9, 2017.

Over the last several days there has been a fair amount of chatter around the Department of Labor's pending fiduciary rule, which we believe could make retirement saving more difficult for many Americans.  I'd like to set the record straight. 

First, the industry has been working diligently over the past eighteen months to prepare to comply with the rule before it becomes applicable on April 10, 2017.  Our member firms have undertaken this effort not because we agree with the rule, either in whole or in part, but rather if it's the law, we comply. The industry will endeavor to undertake what its regulators task it to do, but that doesn't mean the rule is without flaws (it isn't), or that the implementation timeline wasn't realistic (it wasn't), or that the implementation timetable demanded by the rule won't have consequences (it will). Continue Reading....... 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 13, 2016

Greening the Financial System: From Momentum to Transformation

By David Strongin

Green Finance

Momentum is building to align the financial system to support sustainable development and economic growth. In the last six months, a range of market and policy actions have been taken that support the growth of green finance such as:

  • The green bond market is booming, fueled by investor demand, new regulations and strategic investment needs, as well as China’s entry into the market.
  • National leadership continues to be a driving force, e.g. China adopting a ground-breaking plan to green its financial system; EU committing to a strategic review of sustainable finance.
  • UN Environment has identified over 200 innovative policy and regulatory measures that have been taken across 60 countries to link finance and sustainability.
  • G20 Leaders issued the first communiqué that includes green finance, and the Financial Stability Board is exploring climate risks across the financial system.
  • Sustainability is becoming a competitiveness factor for some of the world’s financial centers, including Hong Kong, Nairobi, London, and Paris.

Momentum is to be applauded, but is not enough to deliver financing to meet the climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, which can also lead to additional economic growth. Further policy and market reform is necessary to bring green finance into the mainstream of the financial infrastructure.
On Friday, October 7, 2016, organizations from around the globe met in Washington, DC before the IMF and World Bank annual meetings to discuss ways to meet this transformational challenge..... 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

Facts and Studies: Understanding the Impact of Regulation on Economic Growth

The United States capital markets are the deepest – most liquid markets in the world. They provide essential financing for new business development which leads to job creation and innovation and to infrastructure projects which are critical to future growth and productivity. 

The reports in this compendium underpin the importance of U.S. capital markets in the U.S. and global economies and analyze the current state and interaction of market structure, regulation and economic growth. There is broad consensus that recent regulatory reforms, undertaken both domestically and internationally, have made markets more resilient. However, these reforms have a real cost to end-users, economic growth, jobs and productivity..... Read more...

August 26, 2016

Basel Reforms Require Further Review

By Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.

The following commentary was originally published in Bloomberg Brief: Financial Regulation & Risk  on August 26, 2016.

Ken BentsenKenneth E. Bentsen, Jr., President and CEO of SIFMA, and CEO of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA), discusses the wide-reaching impact of Basel reforms on markets and the economy following the release of a report by Oliver Wyman, commissioned by the GFMA. GFMA is SIFMA's global affiliate.

"Following the financial crisis, G-20 Leaders agreed to take steps to enhance financial stability, which led to an unprecedented regulatory overhaul driven by the Financial Stability Board and Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. This resulted in significant increases in capital and liquidity and lower leverage, complemented by measures to improve market infrastructures and reduce risks from concentrated exposures and interconnectedness. While the standards developed greatly improved the resilience of the financial system, which has since proved itself in both real and simulated periods of stress, they were developed independently and their impacts were evaluated mainly in isolation. As a result, there has never been a comprehensive analysis of their aggregate impact on the structure and functioning of banks and financial markets, nor on economic costs, growth and job creation."

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