Top Reads in 2019

As we settle into a new decade, here are the most-read blogs and research in 2019 from Pennsylvania + Wall and SIFMA Insights.

1.  The SOFR Primer

The publication of LIBOR is not guaranteed beyond 2021. Much work lies ahead in order to implement a successful reference rate change and time is of the essence. In this primer, published as we gather for a LIBOR Transition Briefing with policymakers at the center of the transition, SIFMA Insights provides an overview of the LIBOR transition – as well as an actionable checklist – with a focus on the proposed U.S. alternative reference rate, Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR). Read more.

2. Podcast: What Just Happened in the Repo Markets?

In a two-part series SIFMA podcast, SIFMA President and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. walks through the basics of money market fund operations and explains how they relate to dislocation in repo markets. Listen now.

3. Leveraged Loans: A Small but Important Part of the US Financial System

Much has been written lately on the leveraged loan market. “The question for financial stability,” said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell late last year, “is whether elevated business bankruptcies and outsized losses would risk undermining the ability of the financial system to perform its critical functions on behalf of households and businesses.” We agree with him that such losses are unlikely to pose a threat to safety and soundness and wrote a Leveraged Lending FAQ & Fact Sheet to explain. Here’s a refresh on our main points. Read more.

4. The Facts Don’t Support the FTT

Imposing a financial transaction tax runs counter to many longstanding policies on savings and promoting economic growth. Not only would such a tax negatively impact all investors, it would also negatively impact the world’s most liquid equity market, to the further detriment of all investors. We have real-world examples of the negative impact of an FTT. A typical mutual fund investor will have to save an additional $600 per year (12% increase in savings) or work an additional two years to achieve his/her retirement goals. Read more.

5. Reg BI: Raising the Bar on Investor Protection While Preserving Choice

Ensuring investors are protected in their dealings with financial professionals is a universal goal. Regulation Best Interest, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s best-interest standard, goes a long way to accomplishing that goal by clearly raising the bar on investor protection, while preserving choice. Read more.

6. A Conversation with FCA’s Andrew Bailey and NYFRB’s John Williams

In this episode of SIFMA’s series of short videos, “The View from Washington,” Financial Conduct Authority CEO Andrew Bailey and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President and CEO John C. Williams sit down with SIFMA President and CEO Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. to discuss the transition from LIBOR to alternative reference rates. From the development of the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) to a path for tough legacy contracts, watch their discussion to understand the urgent need for the financial industry to engage with this issue now. Watch now.

7. LIBOR Transition Briefing: The Transition to Alternative Reference Rates

The transition from the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to alternative interest rate benchmarks is well underway, but much work lies ahead in order to implement a successful reference rate change by the end of 2021. While the end of 2021 may seem far away, it will arrive in less than 900 days: this is an initiative we must give our full attention to today. Read more.

8. A Conversation with SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce

In this episode of SIFMA’s series of short videos, “The View from Washington,” Commissioner Hester Peirce of the US Securities and Exchange Commission sat down with SIFMA’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Ira Hammerman, to discuss Regulation Best Interest. The new, nationwide best interest standard was finalized in June 2019 and imposes a materially heightened standard of conduct for broker-dealers when serving retail clients. Watch now.

9. Fostering a Diverse & Inclusive Financial Industry

How can we promote diversity, inclusion and parity to shape our workforce and serve our clients? In this blog series, SIFMA teams up with guest authors – including business executives, human resource professionals, diversity practitioners, industry advocates and more – to explore how we can promote a diverse and inclusive financial industry. Read more.

10. Who Owns Stocks in America? Individual Investors

U.S. capital markets are where investors, small and large, put capital to work to drive innovation, economic growth and job creation. Individual investors – and not just the 1% of earners – own stocks, as demonstrated in this Chart Book. Read more.