Commentary

Monday, April 12, 2021

SEC's ESG Momentum Turns to Proxy Voting

Proxy Regulations Haven't Kept Pace with the New Landscape

Author: David Schwartz
Allison Herren Lee, the Securities and Exchange Commission's acting chair, called for more disclosure and transparency about proxy voting by mutual funds and institutional investors to ensure they line up with shareholder sentiment, particularly environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.   In her remarks before the Investment Company Institute's annual Mutual Fund and Investment Management Conference on March 17, 2021, Lee said that the SEC's...
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Saturday, April 3, 2021

The SEC Puts ESG Mutual Funds to the Test

SEC Unfolds a Larger Plan to Police Sustainable Finance

Author: David Schwartz
Interest in ESG investing and the broader area of sustainable finance has exploded over the past few years. Both institutional and retail investors are clamoring for ESG investment options. According to one recent Morgan Stanley survey, 95% of millennials and 85% of all investors are now interested in sustainable investing strategies. Consequently, the highly competitive mutual fund industry has gone into overdrive, creating ESG mutual funds to attract these investors. Given the high...
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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Reddit Trading and Resilience in U.S. Equity Finance

Part 3. Real-time in GameStop: Realistic, ask Operations Experts?

Author: Ed Blount
Pressure is growing on industry and government to respond to 2021’s extreme stock market volatility. Following on the controversy around the GameStop retail buy-side suspensions, one of the remedies being discussed is shortening of the settlement cycle and, perhaps, even a shift to real-time settlement in the US equity markets. Yet the practicality of the situation is that most of the banks and dealers in the securities financing sector just can’t operate real-time in...
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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Reddit Trading and Resilience in U.S. Equity Finance

Part 2. Heated Debates Begin about Trading Suspensions

Author: Ed Blount
On February 4th, 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission called for a “robust public discussion” about whether online brokers’ late January suspensions of retail trading should lead to changes in the market infrastructure. In the view of attorneys for the aggrieved retail traders, there will be a lot for the SEC to consider. More than 50 lawsuits have been filed as of today, creating another form of discussion. Our blog series on the potential infrastructure changes...
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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Reddit Trading and Resilience in U.S. Equity Finance

Part 1. Risk Mitigation Dynamics of the U.S. Clearing and Settlement Systems

Author: Ed Blount
The trading suspensions set by online brokers in late January 2021 reminded many industry veterans of the systemic circuit breakers that were first deployed during the Black Monday crash of October 1987. In both instances, a loose band of derivatives traders was prevented by the capital rules of the equity clearing and settlement system from continuing to crush exposed short sellers and risk a systemwide collapse. Then and now, changes to the infrastructure were front of mind for regulators...
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Journal Commentaries

 

Keep Regulation Functional (October 2008)

CSFME’s Executive Director Ed Blount interviews SEC Chairman Chris Cox.
American Banking Association Banking Journal
https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-187494664/keep-functional-regulation-how-financial-regulation

 

The Bear Market Posse, or Counterparty Risk Management during the Recent Turmoil (Sept.  2008)

by Ed Blount
The RMA Journal, v91n1, 28-32, 5 pages Sep 2008.

 

Searching for New Paradigms at BIS (July 2008)

by Ed Blount
Unexpected deficiencies in bank capital after recent market turmoil has regulators rethinking aspects of Basel II and “value at risk.”  
American Banking Association Banking Journal  
https://www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-181991450/searching-for-new-paradigms-at-bis-market-turmoil

 

Will Basel II Affect The Competitive Landscape? (September 2003)

By Ed Blount
Newly elected Basel Committee Chairman Caruana, Governor of the Bank of Spain, gives his views on the revised Basel capital accord, relative to its potential effects on competition and risk management in banking markets.
American Banking Association Banking Journal
https://www.questia.com/read/1G1-108008773/will-basel-ii-affect-the-competitive-landscape-the​