New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo released a report today on the compensation practices of the banking industry. The title says it all: “No Rhyme or Reason: The ‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose’ Bank Bonus Culture.”
According to a Swiss wire report, the IRS has upped the ante in its fight to gather thousands of names of alleged tax-dodging American UBS clients: By sending IRS agents to tail the firm’s bankers and financial advisors as they visit clients.
The SEC yesterday charged Nashville-based broker/dealer Morgan Keegan for misleading thousands of investors about the risks of auction rate securities (ARS). Further, the SEC alleges that the firm pushed illiquid auction rate securities on thousands of clients long after it knew the market had frozen. The firm announced it had received a Wells Notice from the SEC last week.
Tension seems to be increasing between U.S. and Swiss officials who are trying to hammer out a settlement between the U.S. government and Swiss firm, UBS, regarding the names of 52,000 American clients of the firm.
A wave of sentiment surveys hit, as usual, at the close of the second quarter. While money managers are becoming more bullish on high-yield investments, consumers seem to have mixed feelings about the economy and the market. Of course, sentiment surveys of money managers and consumers have existed for many decades, and as long as they’ve been around their usefulness has been debated. Some say they can tell us where investors are inclined to put their money; others say they're great contrarian indicators; still others say that over the long-term they're moot.
More than nine months after one of the oldest and largest money market funds suffered such severe redemptions that the net asset value of its shares fell below $1, the SEC is proposing structural and regulatory changes for money markets so it doesn’t happen again.
Allen Stanford, the flamboyant 59-year-old billionaire CEO of the Stanford Group Companies was indicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to commit securities, mail and wire fraud. Six other individuals were also indicted, including the chief banking regulator of Antigua.
The Department of Labor and the SEC are holding a joint hearing today in Washington to explore “issues” related to target date/lifecycle funds. Many of these funds actually underperformed the S&P 500 last year. You can watch the hearing live until 5:30pm.
According to a story posted yesterday on Clusterstock.com, a financial blog run by Henry Blodget and John Carney, founding editor of Dealbreaker.com, Dan Sontag, head of Merrill Lynch’s global wealth and investment management unit, is about to be pink-slipped. What’s more, the story says the rapidly shrinking thundering herd of 16,000 brokers can expect soon to be salaried employees.