What We Read Today 03 May 2014

May 3rd, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • Wisconsin’s GOP Secession Panic (David Freedlander, The Daily Beast) Wisconsin Republicans are set to vote on a measure this weekend that would affirm the state's right to secede from the union. Goodbye, U.S. of A., Hello U.S. of Cheese.

Follow up:

  • Unplugging employees helps productivity, morale (Michael Giardina, Employee Benefit News) A perpetual link to the workplace is common for most Americans, thanks to technology. Some employers allow for flexible work arrangements, but this permanent connectivity is being seen as damaging to morale and productivity. It is important that employees have corporate limits placed on their connection time, with certain hours specified as "offline". Separating "work time" from "personal time" can lead to better focus and efficiency, improving productivity.
  • SEC’s White Pleads for Advisor Exam Funds; Rep. Waters ‘Pushing Hard’ for User Fees Bill (Melanie Waddell, ThinkAdvisor) Today the SEC has 42% of the examiners for investment advisors (per $ 1 trillion of assets) compared to 2004. Last year only 9% of federally registered investment advisors were examined. What's happening here? Econintersect suggests those who want no regulation or supervision have succeeded in eliminating funding needed for those missions and then can argue that they should be eliminated because they are ineffective. See also next article.
  • Barbara Roper, Investor Watchdog: The 2014 IA 25 Profile (Savita Iyer-Ahrestani, ThinkAdvisor) A key aspect of degradation of the credibility of advisors has been the confusion between "advisors" and "brokers". This was addressed recently by top wealth advisor Rob Isbitts (GEI Investing): Are You Being Advised or Sold To? In this article Roper is quoted extensively. Here is some of what she had to say about a self-created hole that the SEC has to climb out of:
"We had a clear division between brokers and advisors, but the SEC chose to erase that line and now, going back and dealing with that is taking an unreasonably long time. The broad consensus is to apply a single fiduciary standard to all brokers and advisors alike, but [the regulators] still hesitate to act and bring this one to the table. Now, even a sophisticated investor does not know whether their financial planning professional is an advisor or a broker, and they won't know until the regulation is changed."

Today there are 12 articles discussed 'behind the wall'.

The first 5 articles are about China's housing market which is showing signs of increasing distress.

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