Commentary

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

EU Tips the Scales toward ESG-Friendly Financial Firms

SFDR is About to Set off a Competitive Frenzy

Author: David Schwartz
The European Union has embarked on an aggressive legislative push to make environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations as a focus of financial services industry regulation. The first salvo in the EU push, the Regulation on Sustainability-Related Disclosures in the Financial Services Sector (SFDR), was finalized in December of 2019, with an implementation deadline for key provisions (Level 1) on March 10, 2021. The new regulation is broadly applicable to almost any...
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Tags: EU, ESG

Monday, February 1, 2021

An Existential Moment for Securities Finance

Gamestop and the Storming of the Hedge Funds' Bastille

Author: Ed Blount

Feb 1, 2021: The social controversy over Gamestop’s (GME) battle of wills — r/wallstreetbets v 'The Shorts' — will harden the scrutiny of regulators and litigators toward the US$2.4 trillion global ecosystem that supports hedge fund strategies. This is a pivotal moment, not only for GME and The Shorts, but also for the Bastille-walled clearing markets that their lenders and agents use to secure the funds' trade settlements and financings. 

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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Compliance with the DOL's New Proxy Rules May Stump ERISA Fiduciaries

A counter-revolution in ESG Investing?

Author: David Schwartz
On Friday, December 11, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rules on proxy voting by ERISA fiduciaries. As proposed last August 30, the draft rules drew hundreds of responses by the ESG-directed investing community, many of which criticized as unworkable the DOL proposal. The final version of the rules eliminates the need for plan sponsors to weigh the economic vs. non-economic effects before casting their proxy votes. Yet that softer, principles-based approach may itself create...
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Monday, November 9, 2020

EU Tax Officials to Audit Securities Finance

Search for WHT Abusers Will Upend Regulatory Infrastructure

Author: Ed Blount
ESMA has recommended that the market regulators in EU Member States combine trade data generated from the Securities Finance Transaction Regulation (SFTR) with local surveillance data and empower tax authorities to catch and indict tax abusers. To the abusers, that is like saying that the Sheriff and Posse are closing in on their SFTR trails. (No kidding. What did they think? So if the abusers haven’t created defenses by this time, it’s already too late.) To the legitimate...
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Friday, October 30, 2020

Regulators Want ESG Funds to Justify their Strategies

Author: David Schwartz
Today the Department of Labor (DOL) issued final rules clarifying the regulatory guideposts for fiduciaries of private-sector retirement and other employee benefit plans in light of recent trends involving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. The DOL is not the only regulator with ESG funds in their cross-hairs. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has begun verifying asset managers’ and mutual funds’ ESG strategies through examination and is considering...
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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​