March 30, 2010
And the first shelved reform is...
...the harmonization of the standards of care owed customers by, respectively, brokers and investment advisers. For although successive administrations called for the move (and the courts long ago abolished SEC attempts to distinguish the two), lobbyists simply couldn't let the notion proceed to debate.
As described in the March 26th speech by SEC Commissioner Luis Aquilar:
The Senate Bill, however,
has abandoned its strong position in the face of determined lobbying by
the insurance and brokerage industries. The revised version that was
voted out of the Senate Banking Committee on March 22nd has eliminated
the provision applying the fiduciary standard to brokers who provide
investment advice. It would, instead, require a one-year study by the
SEC concerning the effectiveness of existing standards for "providing
personalized investment advice and recommendations about securities to
As a result, the sizable number of brokers who in recent years registered as both brokers and investment advisers (in anticipation of the long overdue reconciliation) find themselves voluntarily subjected to regulations not required by law any time soon.
Talk about your reverse moral hazard. Funny, most of us thought the most exotic contribution of the Crisis would be a multi-tiered debt obligation securitized by means of a series of unrelated multi-tiered debt obligations...
March 30, 2010 | Permalink