Just wrapped up a week in sunny San Diego covering the SIFMA Ops conference. Hours and hours of great speakers and insights. A few observations:
SEC Commissioner Kara Stein is ambitious: As covered earlier this week on this site, Stein wants to revolutionize the way data is gathered and analyzed at the SEC. She sounds a lot like Scott O’Malia did during his days at the CFTC. O’Malia didn’t bring the CFTC up to speed before he left for ISDA. Given the budgetary and political landscape, the odds seem long that Stein will have any better luck at the SEC before she departs for her next gig.
If Richard Berner shouted in a forest and no one was around, would he make a sound?: Berner and the team at the Office of Financial Research are doing tremendous work. They produce great research and analysis, but I am just not sure how many people are reading it. In a very unscientific straw poll, I asked 14 people at the conference if they had ever read any content produced by the OFR. Two said they have. C’mon people … its not like the OFR hides its content in some obscure place on its website (the most recent work is listed on the home page).
Sometimes the industry has to listen to itself speak: Discussions about the development of a Consolidated Audit Trail often included a disclaimer that things must advance slowly because it is best to get things right the first time. When the topic is shortened settlement cycles and the push to T+2 in the U.S., speaker urge the same amount of patience … and then note that a move to T+1 is almost inevitable. Well … if the move to T+1 is going to happen, why not take things slow and go there now? You know… get it right the first time.
I am looking forward to heading back to southern California in a couple of weeks for the Milken Institute Global Conference. In the meantime…
Here is a collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and around the web…
Regulators worry about asset managers’ herd behavior: Global regulators are expressing concern in papers and reports about the tendency of asset managers to behave like a herd, investing in certain sectors or securities because other managers are doing so. The problem is that this behavior sends rising markets higher and falling markets lower. Bloomberg Professional/Asset Management blog
NVCA report finds VC investment strong in Q1 despite small decline: Venture capitalists invested $13.4 billion in this year’s first quarter, down 10% from $14.9 billion in the final quarter of 2014, according to the MoneyTree™ Report from the National Venture Capital Association and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The number of deals dropped from 1,103 to 1,020. Pensions & Investments
HKEx becomes top exchange operator with $44B valuation: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing’s share price has surged, with its value reaching $44 billion, as billions of investment dollars come from China, spurring a market rally. Financial Times
Financial risks have shifted, IMF official says: Global financial risks have shifted from solvency to liquidity, from banks to nonbanks and from advanced economies to emerging markets, says Jose Vinals, head of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department at the International Monetary Fund. “Risks have increased since October to parts of the system that are harder to assess and harder to address,” Vinals said. USA Today