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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More Regulation For Large Banks, Youth Savings, Piwowar's Speech, Flash Crash Culprit, the OFAC & FNRG Halted

A summary of government activity that impacts investors from Tuesday, April 21, 2015:
The FDIC seeks input on new recordkeeping standards for certain FDIC-insured institutions with a "large" number of deposit accounts. Large is defined as more than 2 million deposit accounts. The goal is to find a better way for the FDIC to know real-time account balances which is often difficult for larger banks. "If a bank with a large number of deposit accounts were to fail with little prior warning, additional measures may be needed to ensure the rapid application of deposit insurance limits to all deposit accounts." To read more click the link above.

The FDIC announced Phase II of the Youth Savings Pilot Program which seeks to "identify and highlight promising approaches to offering financial education tied to the opening of safe, low-cost savings accounts to school-aged children." Phase I included institutions currently working with schools or nonprofit organizations. Phase II, which was kicked off yesterday, will include institutions beginning or expanding youth savings account programs.

Commission Michael S. Piwowar gave a speech at the University of South Carolina and UNC - Charlotte 4th Annual Fixed Income Conference. He used the speech to discuss the need for continued research and regulation of the fixed income world, especially as it related to liquidity. "While the Commission to date has dedicated relatively limited resources and attention to fixed income markets," Piwowar says, "the same cannot be said about the academic community." He goes on to advocate for more research on liquidity and market transparency for the fixed income market.

In perhaps the biggest international story for the day, the CFTC charged and arrested U.K. Resident Navinder Singh Sarao and His Company Nav Sarao Futures Limited PLC with price manipulation and spoofing in connection with the May 6, 2010 market crash aka the "Flash Crash". The complaint alleges that Sarao manipulated the E-mini S&P 500 near month futures contract (E-mini S&P). To read the full order click on the link above or look on the cover of any major newspaper.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Acting Director John E. Smith testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee regarding the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the " implications for agricultural trade with Cuba". Smith discussed key regulatory amendments made by OFAC to implement the changes. "The recent changes are intended to create opportunities for increased agricultural exports to Cuba, among other benefits to U.S. businesses," Smith said. 

The SEC halted trading of ForceField Energy Inc (NASDAQ: FNRG) alleging inaccurate reporting. The suspension will be in effect until May 4. "Questions have also arisen," said the order, "concerning potential manipulative activity of FNRG’s stock, including transactions between February 25 and April 2, 2015 and the funding of those transactions." To read the full order click the link above. 

SeekingAlpha published one of our articles this morning titled Fed Funds Blueprint: The Engineering Of 2015's Rate Hike. The article discusses how the FOMC is going to use the IOER  and the O/N reverse repo rate to raise fed funds. 
Shows where fed funds is supposed to fall in relation to the IOER and ON Repo. Source: Author's calculations.

Events & Meetings
What: Free Webcast - Compliance Self-Assessment Tool for Government Entities
When: May 14, 2015; 2 p.m. (Eastern)

How: Register for this event. Attendees will learn about:
  • Awareness of potential compliance issues
  • Understanding the most common tax issues
  • Identifying legal requirements that apply to public employers
  • Recognizing unique federal income, social security and Medicare taxes and public retirement system obligation