SIFMA Calls SEC's Proposed Market Data Order "Fatally Flawed"
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) commissioned SLCG to prepare an "Economic Study of Securities Market Data Pricing by the Exchanges." The study provides strong support for the assertion that the two dominant exchanges are exercising monopoly pricing power by charging fees for depth-of-book data that are significantly higher than the relevant costs associated with distributing the data.
The Securities and Exchange Commission Issues Equity-Indexed Annuities Rule Proposal
The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a new rule which would clarify the status of equity-indexed annuities and would extend the full protections of the federal securities laws - full and accurate disclosure of all material facts and fair dealing in sales practices - to purchasers of contracts whose payoffs were more likely than not to vary with the performance of a security or index of securities. The public is invited to submit a comment on this rule proposal by September 10, 2008. Submit a comment.
Dateline NBC Investigates Equity-Indexed Annuities
Dateline NBC conducted an investigation into the sales of equity-indexed annuities industry including hidden-camera footage of seminars targeting seniors, industry training programs in-house sales calls. The resulting documentary was broadcast on April 13, 2008 and is available in 7 clips at www.nbcnews.com.
Trust & Estates: Custom Bond Valuations
Dr. Michael Piwowar and co-author Barry A. Nelson published their article "Custom Bond Valuations Can Save Clients Money" in the May 2008 issue of Trusts & Estates, the monthly journal for estate planning and wealth management professionals. They explain why individuals who use standard bond valuations based on institutional prices are paying unnecessarily high estate taxes. They show how custom bond valuations for estates containing retail-sized bond positions can generate significant estate tax savings.
Dr. McCann presents to Cornell University School of Law
On March 7, 2008, Dr. McCann presented to the Securities Law Clinic at the Cornell University School of Law on a variety of investment products including variable annuities, equity-indexed annuities and debt- and equity-linked structured products.
31st Annual Southwestern Securities Enforcement Conference
Dr. McCann participated in a panel discussion on variable and equity-indexed annuities at the 31st Annual Southwestern Securities Enforcement conference presented by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Texas Securities Commission. Attendees included representatives from state and federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
Study: Mandatory Arbitration of Securities Disputes
Dr. O'Neal and attorney/author Dan Solin today released a statistical analysis of the results of the mandatory arbitration process during the 1995 - 2004 period. They assessed almost 14,000 NASD and NYSE arbitration cases and found that Claimant win rates and recovery amounts have declined significantly over time. Moreover, claimants fare more poorly in large cases and in cases against larger brokerage firms. Dr. O'Neal and Mr. Solin estimate that the expected recovery before legal fees and expenses in a large case against a top brokerage firm is only 12% of the amount claimed.
Press Release: Securities Arbitration Study
Investors Recovered Just 22 Cents on Dollar in 2004, Down From 38 Cents in 1998;
Wins Dropped From 59 Percent in 1999 to 44 Percent in 2004, Lowest at Big Brokerages. To view the study, download it from the article: Mandatory Arbitration of Securities Disputes
Minimizing Longevity Risk
Dr. McCann presented in the New York Society of Securities Analysts (NYSSA) panel discussion, Minimizing Longevity Risk on the soundness of using general investments rather than special purpose insurance to fund possible future long term care expenses. He also presented some of his research on variable annuities, equity-indexed annuities and structured products to an audience of securities industry professionals.
Equity-indexed annuities sound good, but...
Scott Burns' column "Equity-indexed annuities sound good, but ..." in the Dallas Morning News, Boston Globe and other national newspapers reviews SLCG's research into equity-indexed annuities.