Editor's Choice for the Week of December 14, 2009: A Snub to FINRA, Mixed Economic Messages

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Conducting Due Diligence of Sub-Advisors and Third-Party Advisors Engaging in due-diligence of sub-advisors isn’t just a recommended best practice— it is part of the fiduciary obligation to a client. An RIA should be extremely reluctant to enter a relationship with a sub-advisor who claims the firm’s strategy is proprietary.
  • Agency and Principal Transactions In passing Section 206(3) of the Investment Advisers Act, Congress recognized that principal and agency transactions can be harmful to clients. Such transactions create the opportunity for RIAs to engage in self-dealing.
It's good to see our elected officials work full days and actually debate and pass legislation, which is what the full Congress did on December 13 with the omnibus spending bill that will keep the federal government operating, and by a big House vote last Friday the 11th: the financial services reform bill, which passed along party lines and did not give FINRA oversight of RIAs.

While many eyes were focused last week on Capitol Hill, consumers were reported as buying more last week (well, in November), though the University of Michigan/Reuters consumer sentiment index fell from October's level. Also, Ken Feinberg at Treasury got tough on compensation for TARP recipients.

The week begins December 14 with a White House meeting between banking leaders and President Obama, who in a 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft on Sunday night, December 13, said Wall Street "still doesn't get it," citing the large bonuses that TARP repayers are offering top executives. In the interview, which mostly focused on Afghanistan, the President also cited the CBO's estimate that healthcare reform would in fact reduce the federal budget deficit over time.

Also this week, both the House and Senate are in session, while on December 15th we hear about producer prices while on Wednesday, December 16th, reports are released on November housing starts and building permits, and on the CPI, along with the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets on December 15th and 16th. On the 17th, we hear about leading economic indicators.

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