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    New Coalition Pushes For DOL Fiduciary Rule

    The Consumer Federation of America and Americans for Financial Reform have joined together with the nation’s largest employment unions and the AARP to mount a public campaign supporting of the Department of Labor’s proposed fiduciary rule for advisors overseeing retirement plans. The rule would require advisors to act under a fiduciary standard, putting client interests ahead of all other considerations when making investment recommendations on accounts covered under the Employee Retierment Income Security Act. The group launched a website, SaveOurRetirement.com, Thursday to educate investors on the issue and “mobilize” public support. More on WealthManagement.com here.

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    SEC Moves Closer on Swap Rules

    WASHINGTON—U.S. securities regulators are inching closer to completing postcrisis rules designed to bring more sunlight to the multitrillion-dollar swaps market. The Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to complete a package of rules establishing data hubs to collect and store information on swaps trades for the portion of the market overseen by the agency. The data hubs are seen as crucial for monitoring potential risks in the swaps market. The agency also voted 3-2 to approve a framework of standards for the public reporting of the swaps transactions. More in the Wall Street Journal here.

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    After 15 convictions, Madoff prosecutions appear to be over

    Jan 14 (Reuters) – After more than five years and 15 convictions, the U.S. government’s criminal investigation of Bernard Madoff’s colossal Ponzi scheme may finally be coming to an end. In court filings on Tuesday and Wednesday, prosecutors in New York asked judges to schedule sentencing dates for key witnesses who pleaded guilty and agreed to help investigators, including Madoff’s right-hand man, Frank DiPascali. More on Reuters here.

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    SEC Approves Rules Requiring Public Reporting of Swap Trades

    U.S. regulators are poised to approve rules today that will require most swaps trades to be reported to the public, a response to lax derivatives oversight in the run-up to the financial crisis. The rules up for a vote at the Securities and Exchange Commission will specify what information has to be reported publicly as well as data intended for regulators who surveil the market. The regulations are the latest step in efforts by the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission to increase transparency in the $691 trillion swaps market. The SEC’s rules come more than six years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and government rescue of American International Group Inc. (AIG) that was rooted in part in unregulated swaps. By creating a record of swaps trades, regulators aim to monitor for systemic risk while giving investors a better idea of fair prices. More on Bloomberg here.

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    Prosecutors challenge leniency for Madoff staffers

    NEW YORK – Federal prosecutors are challenging the unexpectedly light prison terms for five former Bernard Madoff employees who were found guilty of aiding the Ponzi scheme mastermind’s massive fraud. The challenge, docketed by a federal appeals court Monday, ups the legal ante following an unusually pointed courtroom exchange between a prosecutor and the sentencing judge as the penalties were imposed during hearings in December. The notices of appeal filed by prosecutors confirm the government will challenge sentences that ranged from 2 1/2 years to 10 years for the five former co-workers. They were convicted last March for participating in and profiting from the plot that stole as much as $20 billion from thousands of average investors, charities, celebrities and financial funds. More on USA Today here.

    SourcedFrom Sourced from: Network For Investor Action & Protection

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