The Securities and Exchange Commission has backed a proposal to require top executives to return performance-based bonuses and other incentives if financial results are restated because of errors. The clawback rule is subject to public comment and a second vote before taking effect. The plan aims to implement the Dodd-Frank Act's "objective to recover funds that should not have been paid out in the first place," SEC member Kara Stein said.
The EU has halted negotiations with Greece regarding financial aid. "There will be no talks in the coming days," Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said. "We will simply await now the outcome of the referendum on Sunday." Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called on voters to reject tough terms for aid and says EU leaders are trying to force the nation out of the eurozone. The Council of Europe has raised concerns about the referendum, including a short notice and the complexity of questions.
The U.S. and Venezuela are working behind the scenes to overcome conflict that has made relations stormy in recent years, a senior U.S. official said. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro initiated dialogue in March, when he asked for a "direct channel of communication" with the U.S. State Department and President Barack Obama, the official said.
Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt approved significant pay raises for Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos and Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton, who each have total annual target compensation of $4 million. Their salaries had been capped at $600,000 each. The White House and some in Congress criticized the raises.
Banks have become less vulnerable to a major bond sell-off, according to a report by Standard & Poor's. Funds and investors, however, still face uncertainty regarding bond-market liquidity.
Market participants were concerned an additional second Tuesday would cause havoc, but it passed relatively smoothly. Some exchanges avoided the leap second, set at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, by opening late or closing early. Others, including exchanges in Japan and Australia, traded through the extra second and saw few issues.
Insufficient government debt due to massive bond buying by the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan might hobble efforts by the Federal Reserve to raise long-term rates. The Fed could start raising short-term rates this year, with long-term Treasury yields also moving up.
A shift from defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement plans means clients increasingly need help from financial advisers to deal with annuities, rollovers and income generation in a low-interest-rate environment, according to a report from Cerulli Associates. Equity-market strength has investors increasing risk-taking to handle health care costs, long-term-care expenses and longevity risk, the report says.
The U.S. Export-Import Bank's charter has expired, and the bank should announce a plan for liquidating assets, seven Republican senators said in a letter to bank Chairman Fred Hochberg. The bank no longer accepts new business but has said it will remain open to manage $112 billion of obligations.
Issuance of high-yield bonds in Asia has jumped since 2013, with wealthy investors buying $17 billion worth, or nearly one-fourth of the inventory. Chinese property developers particularly have been interested in issuance, spurring recovery in the real estate market.