Posts Categorized ‘Financial Regulation’

Does High Frequency Trading Create Market Efficiency?
By Michael Schweibinz

High Frequency Trading (HFT) utilizes computer algorithms to move in and out of stock positions at extraordinarily high speeds. These algorithms identify market patterns and execute large volumes of security purchases and/or sales in milliseconds. Profits are generally counted in tenths of pennies per share; but it’s a volume business, and the pennies add up Read more »

Posted: May 28, 2014

Applause!!! Europe Requires Sustainable Reporting for Large Public Companies
By Michael Schweibinz

The European Parliament has passed a historic law that will require major businesses to include sustainability factors as part of their annual financial reports. By 2017, all publicly traded companies that employ over 500 workers will be required to abide by this new standard. No doubt, this new law will reverberate through smaller companies as well, as Read more »

Posted: April 30, 2014

Why I Dislike Quantitative Easing?
By Mel Miller

In a previous blog I explained the Federal Reserve’s traditional tool of reducing the Fed Funds rate to stimulate a weak economy.  The stimulation impact is the result of the relationship between the Fed Funds rate and the Prime borrowing rate charged by banks for business and consumer loans.  The Prime rate offered to a bank’s most credit worthy borrowers Read more »

Posted: April 21, 2014

Monetary Policy During the “Great Recession”
By Mel Miller

The U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the most severe economic decline since the Great Depression. The Great Recession, which started in 2007 and “ended” in 2009, was anything but typical as it relates to recessions of the past. Before we discuss one of the primary causes, let’s review the role of the Federal Reserve to reverse a recession. Read more »

Posted: April 7, 2014

Oil and Gas Producers Agree to Reduce Flaring
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Oil and gas producers in North Dakota have announced their commitment to reduce flaring in the Bakken field, thanks in part to an extensive campaign organized by Ceres that mobilized their institutional investor members, including First Affirmative, to demand action from companies to clean up their act. In the wake of mounting scrutiny and criticism Read more »

Posted: March 12, 2014

Major Banks Discontinue “Predatory” Loan Products
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Last April in this leadership blog, we discussed concerns surrounding the development of high interest, high fee loan products by several major banks as they made their entry into the lucrative payday lending market. Payday loans are generally small loans are marketed to consumers as a vehicle to meet short-term cash needs, but the steep 225% Read more »

Posted: February 24, 2014

Raising the Minimum Wage Makes Good Sense
By Mel Miller

Raising the minimum wage is a key political issue for 2014. There seems to be some hope that the two political parties can reach a compromise similar to one recently reached on the budget. The current Federal minimum wage is $7.25 ($15,080 per year for a full-time worker), with a minimum wage of only $2.13 Read more »

Posted: January 29, 2014

Virtually No Inflationary Pressure
By Mel Miller

Third in a series of economic updates focused on key economic indicators. The Federal Reserve has a dual mandate: To maximize employment while maintaining stable prices. This dual mandate often creates conflict. Historically, the Fed raises short-term rates to slow an overheated economy following a period of economic expansion. As the economy expands, inflationary pressures Read more »

Posted: December 5, 2013

Hydraulic Fracturing: The Call for Disclosure
By Michael Schweibinz

Over the past half-decade or so, institutional investors have begun to challenge the status quo. They are asking an unfamiliar question of oil and gas companies: Where is the disclosure? It’s a question that deserves an answer, in light of the reality that investors need quantifiable information in order to gauge business and operational risk. Read more »

Posted: November 20, 2013

A Bullish Future for ESG Disclosure on Global Stock Exchanges
By Michael Schweibinz

Stock exchanges around the world are beginning to respond to the demands of socially conscious investors and asset managers. ESG (environmental, social, governance) disclosure is still relatively new to stock exchanges, yet the future of ESG reporting looks promising. ESG analysis is integrated into investment strategies around the world and stock exchanges are beginning to Read more »

Posted: September 19, 2013