December 14, 2009

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
  • Dealings With Qualified Clients and Accredited Investors Depending upon an RIAs business model and investment strategies, it may be important to identify “qualified clients” and “accredited investors.”  The Dodd-Frank Act authorized the SEC to change which clients are defined by those terms.
  • Risk-Based Oversight of Investment Advisors Even if the SEC had a larger budget and more resources, it is doubtful that the Commission would have the resources to regularly examine all RIAs. Therefore, the SEC is likely to continue relying on risk-based oversight to fulfill its mission of protecting investors.
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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