More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIAs failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisors fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients transactions.
- The Few and the Proud: Chief Compliance Officers CCOs make significant contributions to success of an RIA, designing and implementing compliance programs that prevent, detect and correct securities law violations. When major compliance problems occur at firms, CCOs will likely receive regulatory consequences.
Speaking of banks, it's not only Ariana Huffington of the Huffington Post and others who are encouraging people to "move your money" from the big banks at the root of the financial and markets crisis of 2008-2009 to smaller community banks and credit unions. A The Sunday New York Times, a map of the nation shows that some state and local governments are going local, too. Speaking of The Times, Yale's Paul Shiller provides some historical context in his column this week on how and why government subsidizes housing.
The battle over healthcare and financial services reform continues. The latest persuasive tool being used by the Obama Administration are findings by Goldman Sachs that two big health insurers should be considered buys because of rising insurance premiums and decreased competition. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, spoke on the issue during several Sunday morning TV talk shows. Fittingly during Oscars week, Hollywood got into the debate via a Ron Howard-directed, slightly off-color short film that features a host of Presidential impersonators from Saturday Night Live giving President Obama advice on healthcare.
On March 8, AIG announced the sale of another big, non-U.S. asset--American Life Insurance Company (ALICO)--to MetLife for $15.5 billion, including $6.8 billion in cash and the remainder in equity securities of MetLife. As with the announced sale last week of its Asian life insurance company, American International Assurance (AIA), AIG said it would use the cash proceeds from the ALICO deal to pay down its New York Fed debt.
This week, President Obama goes on the road to deliver his argument for healthcare reform, though he will be greeting Greek prime minister Papandreou in the White House to discuss its fiscal crisis and the austerity measures it is taking to mollify its likely fellow EU saviors.
The full Senate is scheduled to meet March 8 to consider the Tax Extender Act, while on March 11 the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises will hold a hearing entitled "Corporate Governance After Citizens United," referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling on corporate donations to candidates for public office.
The Treasury department will be busy this week conducting auctions of multiple bond issuances of various durations, while the week also brings reports on the trade deficit on March 11 and consumer sentiment and February retail sales on March 12.