Investors are showing a lack of confidence in bond insurers, which back about $1 trillion in debt. Bond insurers cover interest and principle payments in the event of defaults, which have become more likely in light of the recent credit crunch.
Starting May 5, broker-dealers must follow Rule 2821, which deals with the sale of deferred variable annuities. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has provided guidance on the rule as well as the steps registered reps must go through when suggesting a deferred VA.
Big investment banks will write down between $60 billion and $70 billion in mortgage-linked assets over the next few months. Those estimates come from the banks own analysts and exceed previous bank acknowledgments by about $40 billion.
Writing for MarketWatch, David Weidner argues that the $8 billion disaster that is Merrill Lynch's third-quarter write-down shows that it's time for the bank to make a move in terms of its CEO Stan O'Neal. Weidner predicts O'Neal will be gone by the time second-quarter earnings are announced next year.
As the New York Stock Exchange becomes more automated, companies listed on the exchange are missing out on information and stabilization, writes David Weidner for MarketWatch. Some companies are rethinking going with the NYSE because they are disappointed with what they get from the trading floor, according to Patrick Healy, who heads a company that consults firms interested in listing on an exchange.