Posts from February 2016.

In a January 21, 2016 Report of Investigation, the Inspector General for the Securities Exchange Commission found no evidence to substantiate allegations of pro-agency bias among SEC administrative law judges. The allegations of bias by a retired SEC ALJ appeared in a May 2015 Wall St. Journal article; the article's statistical analysis also revealed the SEC won 90% of contested cases brought in its "home court" administrative forum. The SEC's administrative forum has been under fire ever since Dodd-Frank expanded its jurisdiction to include non-registered persons. Then ...

Posted in: SEC

The MSRB's Rule G-37 amendments applying pay-to-play prohibitions to Municipal Advisors and their third-party solicitors will become effective August 17, 2016. The proposed amendments extend Rule G-37 to municipal advisers and third-party solicitors:

  • Imposing a two-year ban on business with municipal entities after any contribution to an issuer official who can influence municipal-advisory business, subject to $250 de minimis exclusion to officials for whom a contributor can vote;
  • Prohibiting soliciting, coordinating ("bundling"), and contributions to state/local ...
Posted in: MSRB

White House officials this week said that President Obama's fiscal 2017 budget will seek major increases in funding for Wall Street regulators in the near term, and proposes to double their funding by 2021. The President's budget proposal would provide an 11% increase for the SEC (of $1.8 billion) and a 33% increase for the CFTC (of $330 million). The SEC reportedly plans to use the additional funding to hire 250 new staffers, about half devoted to investment-advisor examinations. The SEC also plans to add 52 new enforcement positions, and add a lawyer to its Municipal Securities staff ...

Posted in: SEC
Each year, FINRA and the SEC publish their priority letters explaining areas of focus for the upcoming year. The priorities reflect practices and/or products that are perceived to present either heightened risk to investors, a risk to the integrity of the U.S. capital markets, or are otherwise areas of potential concern inherent in the securities industry. One area that FINRA will be focusing on is incentive structures and conflicts of interest that may arise with registered representatives selling proprietary or affiliated products, or products for which the firm receives ...
Posted in: FINRA, SEC
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