Views on improving the integrity of global capital markets
Investor Liberation

One of the least-controversial parts of Dodd-Frank was its call for a new Office of Credit Ratings at the SEC. Among other things, this new office would implement D-F’s provisions for oversight of credit rating… READ MORE ›

Early Returns from “Say on Pay”

The philosophy behind the creation of the CFA Institute CD&A Template (PDF) was simple: a succinct, plain-English summary of a company’s executive compensation practices to give shareowners all the information they need to make an informed decision… READ MORE ›

Tipping Point

It was an especially late night at work for former portfolio manager Donald Longueuil — one that lasted into the wee hours of the morning of 20 November 2010, according to U.S. prosecutors…. READ MORE ›

Regulatory Atrophy — The SEC May be the Least of It

We can only grimace at the plight of regulators such as the U.S. SEC featured in Barron’s columnist Jim McTague’s recent article “Don’t Count on the SEC,” in which he laments Congress’ failure… READ MORE ›

Financial Services Pay Reform — Blunt Force Trauma

Previously in this space, we highlighted the fact that Wall Street and Bond Street — and any other street where finance fat cats live and work — may soon face new “rules of the road” when it comes to… READ MORE ›

The End to Misleading 105s

One of the most worrisome items to emerge from the 2008 financial market wreckage was the realization that Lehman Brothers had deliberately used accounting gimmicks to hide tens of billions of dollars of leverage from… READ MORE ›

The Future of Finance Industry Ethics

This week I am in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a couple of important reasons. First, this was the official inauguration of our new office serving Latin and South America. We enjoyed a wonderful evening with… READ MORE ›

Market Fragmentation: Even the Playing Field

Traditional exchange markets in Europe have been buffeted in recent years by regulatory changes and new advances in trading technology. Market fragmentation has been the result, in which trading concentrated on traditional exchanges has given way to a new… READ MORE ›

FCIC Blames Human Action and Inaction

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission released its 600-page-plus assessment of what caused the 2008 market debacle to little fanfare Thursday morning. The findings in the politically divided report range from the obvious to… READ MORE ›

Thanks to CFA Institute “CD&A Template,” Compensation Discussion and Analysis No Longer a Sleep Aid

Having trouble sleeping? Here’s a surefire cure: Crack open your average compensation discussion and analysis (CD&A) section from any U.S. company’s 2010 proxy statement, and begin trudging through the obtuse legalese that describes how that company decided to pay… READ MORE ›

With “Say on Pay” Imminent, Issuers Need Better Communication, Investors Better Guidance

According to a recent Towers Watson survey of 135 U.S. publicly traded companies, 51 percent expect to hold annual “say-on-pay” votes, while 39 percent prefer a vote every three years and 10 percent anticipate biennial votes.

Interestingly, nearly… READ MORE ›

A Higher Duty: SEC Concludes Study of Fiduciary Obligations

After months of anticipation, staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released their long-awaited study of the obligations of those who provide investment advice to retail investors, as mandated by the… READ MORE ›

Critics of Financial Reform Sing Same Tired Tune

Yale Law Professor Jonathan Macey’s tired lament in the Wall Street Journal about his perceived shortcomings of U.S. financial regulation is, well, tiresome.If you will recall, this was the mantra du jour… READ MORE ›

Restoring Trust

I had the privilege on Thursday of being in the audience in Toronto at the Canadian Club’s luncheon speaker presentation, in which Margaret Franklin, CFA, chair of the CFA Institute Board of Governors, gave a candid assessment of investor… READ MORE ›

A New Year’s Greeting from the Road

As I wrap up meetings with CFA Institute members here in India, many of my conversations have centered around investor trust and confidence in capital markets. This is especially apt given the local headlines about the fraud… READ MORE ›



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