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Today's Industry News: May 22, 2013
- U.S. Money Market Funds Warm to Eurozone
- FINRA Chief Urges Brokers to Revisit Bond Risks with Clients
- SEC's Walter Suggests Agency May Move Forward on Hedge Fund Ad Rule
- Pensions Are Top Income Source for Wealthier U.S. Retirees
- Should the United States Pay Workers to Delay Social Security?
- Transforming Your 401(k) into Steady Income
- ICE Joins CME Warning of Splits in Global Derivatives Rules
- CFTC Said Preparing ISDAFIX Probe Talks in Weeks
- Comment Period for Automated Systems Rule Extended 45 Days
- VIDEO: The Market Breaking Records Without Retail Investors?
- ICI Citation: Returns to Be Found on Dividend Investments Web Link
- ICI Citation: Sales, Distribution Will Drive Next Round of ETF Growth: Report Web Link
Financial Times FTfm (05/21/13) Atkins, Ralph
The exposure of U.S. prime money market funds to eurozone banks was 14 percent higher in dollar terms at the end of April than a month earlier, according to a survey by Fitch Ratings. Exposure had been increasing steadily since the middle of last year, but March saw a steep fall. Over the past few months, about 20 percent of the funds’ exposure to European banks was accounted for by repo transactions, down from a peak of almost 40 percent in late last year and the lowest since September 2011.
Wall Street Journal (05/21/13) Nish, Caitlin
Now is the time for brokers to warn clients about what could happen to their portfolios if interest rates rise, FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum said in a speech at the regulator's annual conference. While not purporting to have a crystal ball, "it is clear that interest rates have far more room to go up than down and that history would tell us that, in this environment, the quality of non-investment-grade bonds and similar products able to be floated is likely to go down," Ketchum said. "It's a great time to have conversations with your clients about the risks and possible negative scenarios of concentrated holdings in longer-duration or more speculative fixed-income securities." Bloomberg reports that Ketchum also said FINRA is considering new rules to shine light on dark trading after the largest U.S. dark pool operator stopped sharing data on the volume of its trades. AdvisorOne reports that Ketchum called on the SEC to "act quickly" to finalize its rule to put brokers and advisers under a uniform fiduciary standard, but noted that in the absence of SEC action, FINRA would "look hard" at issuing “an additional disclosure rule with respect to broker-dealer firms."
MarketWatch (05/20/13) Orol, Ronald D.
On Monday SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter said she supports allowing hedge funds to publicly advertise, but she also raised concerns about how a proposal under consideration by the agency doesn’t seem to consider a number of investor protections. Speaking to reporters after participating in the event, Walter suggested that the agency could try to address some of the investor protection concerns in a separate effort. Walter declined to comment in response to a question about why flash-crash response rules didn’t kick in Friday when a $45 billion stock market capitalization company’s stock price was temporarily wiped out. She also said that an SEC review of a proposal to require disclosure of political spending is on the back burner. “There just isn’t the bandwidth to do it,” she said. “There are so many things we have to do.”
Gallup.com (05/21/13) Jones, Jeffrey M.
U.S. retirees with $50,000 or more in annual income are twice as likely as retirees below that threshold to say that a work-sponsored pension plan is a major source of retirement funds. Instead, these lower-income retirees overwhelmingly cite Social Security as a major source of their retirement income. The results are based on Gallup's annual Economy and Personal Finance survey, conducted April 4–14 with more than 2,000 U.S. adults, including 636 retirees.
Wall Street Journal (blog) (05/21/13) Madigan, Kathleen
Researchers have looked into the idea of offering workers lump-sum payments to retire later. Their results suggest this approach could push more people to delay retirement without raising costs or cutting benefits. According to the study, under actuarially fair calculations, “an individual who opted to work to age 66 instead of claiming benefits at age 65 would then receive a lump sum worth of about 1.2 times her age-65 benefit, plus the age-65 benefit stream for life.” The lump sum would be the expected present value of the delayed retirement payment and “would be cost-neutral to the system, on average.” At the same time, older workers would still pay taxes into the system.
Reuters (05/21/13) Miller, Mark
Increasingly, 401(k) plans are including insurance annuities or other products designed to spread funds over a lifetime. These programs aim to make 401(k)s more like traditional pensions. That's laudable if it helps retirees cope with longevity risk, but some worry that putting annuities in 401(k)s could prompt some workers to purchase them prematurely. Currently, only 16 percent of employers offer in-plan annuities, according to a MetLife survey. Employers say the reasons for the low uptake are the complexity of administering an annuity option and the fiduciary responsibility of picking an insurance company, since retirees would need to rely on that underwriter to make payments for decades to come.
Bloomberg (05/21/13) Brush, Silla
Top executives of the two largest U.S. derivatives exchanges say regulators must take further steps to align Dodd-Frank Act rules with those of foreign counterparts to avoid oversight splits that could harm markets. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and overseas agencies have a few months to improve coordination before differences hurt business, IntercontinentalExchange Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Sprecher said at a House Agriculture Committee hearing, where he testified alongside CME Group Executive Chairman Terry Duffy.
Bloomberg (05/21/13) Leising, Matthew
The CFTC is scouring emails and instant messages collected under subpoena for any evidence that the world’s largest banks and ICAP brokers rigged the ISDAFIX swaps rate, said an insider. The CFTC issued subpoenas to current and former ICAP brokers, as many as 15 Wall Street dealers, and to ISDA. Investigators are preparing to interview bankers and brokers in the coming weeks. The UK Financial Conduct Authority also started an inquiry into how the benchmark swaps prices are set in British pounds.
Traders Magazine (05/21/13) Steinert-Threlkeld, Tom
The SEC has extended the period for commenting on its proposed standard for the maintenance of automated systems used in securities trading by 45 days. The federal regulator pushed back the due date for all comments on its proposed Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity from May 24 to July 8. The extra month and a half is half the amount of additional time requested by the securities trading industry as well as a U.S. senator.
Fox Business (05/21/13)
Holland Balanced Fund President Mike Holland discusses the market’s rally despite the absence of many retail investors.