Monday, March 5, 2018

Fintech Plans Announced to Digitize Portfolios in the Capital Markets

Meeting in Bahamas Draws Disruptors from Cryptocurrency Markets

More than 1,200 dealmakers brought their ardor and business plans to sold-out Polycon18, a giant-sized version of television’s Shark Tank which convened at the Bahamas’ Bal Mar Grand Hyatt Hotel from February 28th to March 3rd, 2018. Attending investors were shown project offerings, as well as conference materials that cited U.S. Senate testimony by SEC chair, Jay Clayton, to the effect that initial coin offerings (ICOs) of securities tokens would indeed be considered securities:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Funds enlist Vendors to Hike the Stakes in $50 billion Class Action vs Dealers

First Impressions of amended complaint shows counsel got advice from data vendors.

A putative class action suit filed in August 2017 alleges that U.S. investment banks and broker-dealer units of global banks conspired to restrain competition in the domestic stock lending markets. (Read our review here.) The fact that a Connecticut hedge fund and Los Angeles County’s pension system have joined the suit is the development that has captured the media headlines. However, the risk to banks’ profits is the real story here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Treasury Plans Broad Industry Role in Regulatory Policy

Financial firms to be more involved in "America First" rule-making

Following up on the publication of its first banking policy report in June, the U.S. Treasury released two more reports on Capital Markets and Asset Management. From the tone of all the reports, it’s clear that Treasury intends to lead the regulatory agencies of the executive branch into a new era of consultative rule-making, with the industry taking a more active role than it has over the last several years. It’s also clear that the Treasury will move to reverse the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act, not only through an attempt at legislative repeal, but initially by unwinding the cocoon of new regulations that the Act imposed on financial firms.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Fed Chair Rejects Regulatory Roll-back

Financial Reforms Should be Refined, Not Repealed

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen strongly defended post-crisis financial reforms, saying that new regulations have strengthened the U.S. financial markets and wholesale roll-back would be unwise. In remarks delivered at a symposium sponsored by the Fed in Jackson Hole, Wyoming Yellen made the case for the success of these reforms, summarizing indicators and research that show the improved resilience of the U.S. financial system, due, she said,  "importantly to regulatory reform as well as actions taken by the private sector.” She also addressed "evidence regarding how financial regulatory reform has affected economic growth, credit availability, and market liquidity.”

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Pension Funds File Sweeping Securities Lending Class Action

Allege collusion by the largest prime brokers

Three U.S. pensions have filed a class action suit against the largest prime brokers alleging collusion to fix fees and stifle competing electronic platforms in securities finance. This suit follows the theme of other class actions involving allegations of collusion and manipulation amongst the biggest global banks in relation to LIBOR, municipal bonds, Forex, and interest rate swaps. The suit filed was filed August 16, 2017 in the US Southern District Court of New York as an anti-trust action by the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, Orange County Employees Retirement System, and Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association. The unusually detailed yet virtually unsourced complaint alleges that six major lending agent banks created a “working cartel” to capture 76 percent of securities lending business, force out competing platforms, and inflate fees.  

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