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Fed Considers Muni Bonds as HQLA

Bates Research  |  03-06-15

Fed Considers Muni Bonds as HQLA

2014 was a great year for municipal investors, who earned a return of 9.8%, their best since 2011. Municipal issuance was down from its long-term averages in 2014, and the market’s ample appetite quickly scooped them up.

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White House Backs Fiduciary Changes

Bates Research  |  02-27-15

White House Backs Fiduciary Changes

On Monday, the White House announced new plans to help avoid "conflicts of interest" in the market for retirement advice. Almost simultaneously, the President's Council of Economic Advisors produced a research report presenting findings on the impact of conflicts of interest on retirement account values.

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2015 Examination Priorities

Bates Research  |  02-20-15

2015 Examination Priorities

Both FINRA and the SEC have now released their examination priorities for 2015. There are a number of areas of overlap between the two agencies’ priorities for this year, as can be expected.

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FINRA Hires Quant Help

Bates Research  |  02-13-15

FINRA Hires Quant Help

On Wednesday, FINRA made an important hire. Erozan Kurtas, previously part of the analytics group at the SEC, will move to FINRA to become their head of Advanced Data Analytics.

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S&P Settles DOJ Claim

Bates Research  |  02-06-15

S&P Settles DOJ Claim

On Tuesday, S&P finally settled a long-standing matter with the DOJ and various other entities. The final settlement value was close to the one we put forward in our previous post about the settlement reached between S&P and the SEC: a total of $1.375 billion with $687.5 million going to both the DOJ and various state claimants.

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Solid U.S. Growth but Weakness Still Present

Bates Research  |  01-30-15

Solid U.S. Growth but Weakness Still Present

In the first reading of the U.S. economy’s performance for the last quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department released its “advance” estimate, showing that GDP increased at a 2.6% annual rate. This was below the WSJ consensus estimates of 3.2% and down from the strong 5% growth in the third quarter.

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S&P Settles with SEC

Bates Research  |  01-23-15

S&P Settles with SEC

On Wednesday, S&P reached a settlement with the SEC over allegations of fraudulent misconduct in its rating procedures.

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Swiss Franc Shocks Markets

Bates Research  |  01-16-15

Swiss Franc Shocks Markets

On Thursday, the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly announced that it would no longer seek to defend an exchange rate of 1.20 Swiss francs per euro. The surprise announcement caused the franc to appreciate against the euro in excess of 16% in a single trading day, a sizable move in currency markets.

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The Retirement Tsunami and Investment Suitability

Bates Research  |  01-09-15

The Retirement Tsunami and Investment Suitability

FINRA released its 2015 priorities on Tuesday, which included a focus on the unique issues impacting senior investors for this year. One of our experts provides his thoughts below.

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Markets React to Fed Statement

Bates Research  |  12-19-14

Markets React to Fed Statement

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke this past Wednesday, outlining the FOMC's monetary outlook after its latest meeting. Much of the outlook is the same as it was at the last Fed meeting in October: labor markets continue to improve, inflation continues to run below the 2% target, and the current policy rate of 0-1/4% will be maintained.

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