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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

From Declining PMI and EGRPRA Outreach, to Muni Federal Charges and BHC Stress Tests

Monday is always busy for federal regulators. Here's a quick recap of events...
  • The SEC announced the settlement of fraud charges against Gary J. Burtka and Eric C. Waidelich, the mayor and city administrator of Allen Park, Michigan.  They are banned from participating in future muni offerings and must pay a $10,000 penalty. Allegedly Burtka issued $31 million in general obligation bonds for the City of Allen Park, Michigan in the building of a movie studio project. Instead of building the movie studio the city built a vocational school without notifying bondholders -- bondholders feel defrauded because they will not make the promised 10% return. This case marks the first time the SEC has charged a muni officer under a federal law. 

The Institute for Supply Management®
  • The Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) issued a March PMI® of 51.5 percent, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points from February’s reading. The New Orders Index decreased 0.7 percentage points and the Production Index was basically flat. The Employment Index was 1.4 percentage points below February and raw materials decreased 1 percentage point. The Prices Index increased 4 percentage points above February "indicating lower raw materials prices for the fifth consecutive month."

  • The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)  announced an order against RFF GP, LLC, KGW Capital Management, LLC, and Kevin G. White, of The Woodlands, Texas requiring them to pay $4,150,000 in civil monetary penalties and $3,365,888 in restitution. Allegedly the defendants tricked pool participants into investing in a $7.4 million commodity fund.
  • Several federal banking agencies announced an outreach meeting on Monday, May 4, 2015, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston as part of a regulatory review under the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA). The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will all be represented at the meeting. At the meeting, agencies will take public comment for all final publications and regulations expected to go through by the end of 2015. For a webcast or schedule of future EGRORA events click here.
  •  Liberty Street Economics, a department within the FRB of NY, published an article entitled Are BHC and Federal Reserve Stress Test Results Converging? What Do We Learn from 2015? The post looks at whether or not banks are learning to mimic the Fed in stress testing. Look for an analysis of this article coming soon.
  • A former executive with Amazon Marketplace (NASDAQ:AMZN) was charged by the Department of Justice for price fixing. David Topkins of San Franciso, CA pled guilty to the chares and agreed to pay $20,000 in criminal fines.  “Today’s announcement represents the division’s first criminal prosecution against a conspiracy specifically targeting e-commerce,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. The violation carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and a fine of $1 million for individuals.  
  • The SEC charged Team Resources, Inc. and Fossil Energy Corp. with running a $33 million oil and gas scheme. The scheme allegedly involved over 475 investors nationwide. Kevin Albert Boyles controlled both companies, and used his sales staff of Philip Adam Dressner, Michael James Eppy, Andrew Stitt, and John M. Olivia to contact potential investors.

Upcoming Events For The Week 


Thursday, April 8, 2015

William C. Dudley, President and CEO (Speaker)
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Time: 9:30 AM EDT
Event: A conversation with William Dudley and Steven Adler
Host: Thomson Reuters
Location: Thomson Reuters
3 Time Square
New York, NY 10036

Thursday, April 9, 2015

2:00 p.m.
Closed Meeting
Location: SEC Headquarters
Contact: Office of the Secretary, (202) 551-5400

9:30 a.m.
Investor Advisory Committee Quarterly Meeting
Location: SEC Headquarters, Multipurpose Room, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C.
Contact: Frankie White, Office of the Investor Advocate, 202-551-4310

9 a.m.
Paula Drake, Chief Counsel, Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, will participate in a Q&A at the Mutual Fund Directors Forum’s Annual Policy Conference..
Location: Loews Madison Hotel, 1177 15th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
Contact: Chris Sullivan, 212-473-4442

Friday, April 10, 2015

10 a.m.
David Grim, Acting Director, Division of Investment Management, will be a featured speaker at the Mutual Fund Directors Forum’s Annual Policy Conference..
Location: Loews Madison Hotel, 1177 15th St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
Contact: Chris Sullivan, 212-473-4442

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