More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Where Are We Headed? The ultimate compliance goal is to help ensure that everyone associated with an advisory firm acts ethically at all times. Advisors and RIAs should do the right thing, even when regulators are not looking over their shoulders.
- RIAs and Customer Identification Just as RIAs owe a duty to diligently protect their clients privacy and guard against theft, firms also play a vital role in customer identification. Although RIAs are not subject to an anti-money laundering rule, securities regulators expect advisors to address these issues in their policies and procedures.
The United States government--both the Administration and the Congress--began moving over the weekend of Sep. 20-21 to "address the underlying problem" in the financial system, in the Sep. 19 words of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, by giving Treasury the ability to purchase up to $700 billion in troubled mortgage-related assets from financial institutions headquartered in the U.S. over the next two years.
Members of Congress from both parties voiced support for the proposed legislation necessary to conduct the massive bailout, though it appears that Democrats may require more oversight than the simple twice-yearly reports to Congress that the brief draft proposal released Sep. 20 requires, will call for protection for individual mortgage holders, and will want some limitation on the compensation for the executives that will run the massive Treasury operation.
Paulson himself suggested in a series of appearances Sep. 21 on the Sunday morning television talk shows that the purchases might also be made from non-U.S. banks.
Meanwhile, on the night of Sep. 21, the last remaining independent investment banks--Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs--applied to the Federal Reserve to become bank holding companies, and the Fed announced that it had agreed to the request
Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama voiced support for the proposal in general on Sep. 21, but argued that it should be "structured in a way that maximizes the ability of taxpayers to recoup their investment," and that "we cannot have a plan for Wall Street banks that does not help homeowners stay in their homes and help distressed communities."
Meanwhile, on Sep. 19, the Treasury announced it would temporarily guarantee publicly offered retail and institutional money market mutual funds for those funds that pay a fee to participate in the program.
Paulson said Sep. 19 that the government must implement a program to remove illiquid mortgage-related assets that are "clogging up our financial system and undermining the strength of these otherwise sound financial institutions."