Editor's Choice for the Week of November 9, 2009: Budgets, Bills, and Broker/Dealers

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Nothing but the Best Execution Along with the many other fiduciary obligations owed by RIAs, firms owe a duty to seek best execution of clients’ transactions.  If they fail to do, RIAs violate Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act.
  • Disaster Recovery Plans and Succession Planning RIAs owe a fiduciary duty to clients to prepare for disasters and other contingencies. If an RIA does not have a disaster recovery plan, clients’ financial well-being may be jeopardized.  RIAs should also engage in succession planning, ensuring a smooth transaction if an owner or principal leaves.   

The big market-moving news of last week came on November 4 from the Fed's Open Market Committee meeting, the minutes of which suggested that while there were clear signs of economic recovery, inflation remained subdued, and at week's end, with Friday's October jobs report told the sad story of a 26-year high in unemployment, with the jobless rate rising from 9.8% to 10.2%. (You might want to read a thoughtful New York Times piece on the jobless recovery and business cycles by Peter Goodman.)

Then over the weekend, the House passed the long-anticipated, highly controversial healthcare reform bill along party lines (well, there was one Republican Congressman who voted for the bill; 39 Democrats voted against it); that heated conversation now moves to the Senate. For an interesting take on physician compensation and incentives, read Cornell economist Robert Frank's article here.

In a week where the end of two wars--World War I and the Cold War--is remembered, the business week begins November 9 with earnings from Allianz and MBIA on November 10, and ING Group on November 11. After announcing its preliminary results October 26, ING said it would sell various holdings in the U.S., including three of the four firms in its network of independent broker/dealers to private equity firm Lightyear Capital.

On Tuesday, November 10, there are several Senate hearings; the Budget Committee holds a hearing on fiscal stability; and the Finance Committee holds hearings on climate change legislation. There is a pause on November 11 for the Veterans Day holiday (bond markets will be closed), President Obama begins a trip to the Far East on November 12, the same day the Treasury Department reports budget deficit numbers for September and international trade numbers. Finally on November 13, the University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index is released.

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