Latest Commentary

Morgan Stanley's change to financial advisor compensation

Last week a Reuters exclusive reported that Morgan Stanley has sharply adjusted compensation for financial advisers who make money "riding the calendar" of new stock and bond issuances. In other words, the firm is apparently cutting compensation for brokers when more than 70 percent of a client's business comes from sales of new issues.

Data analytics, the user experience and the traditional pillars of finance

A paper released earlier this month makes some interesting predictions about the future of financial services. The same technology eroding some of the traditional ways financial firms provide services and profit from risk might also be a key differentiator in a reconfigured market.

The SEC and the little guy

As the world is absorbed with the speed of high-frequency trading and how the structure of today's markets affect the capital formation process, a speech was being delivered at MIT's Sloan School of Management that looked at capital formation from another angle--starting small.

HFT technology may hold secret to reigning itself in

In today's fast moving markets, predatory traders drive Ferraris and regulators try to keep up on bicycles.

This week it's Michael Lewis's turn to shine the spotlight on HFT

Last week we profiled New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's efforts to crackdown on the millisecond time advantages that high-frequency traders are allegedly able to buy for themselves in the markets. Over the course of this past week, the glare cast on certain high-frequency trading predatory practices gained more wattage thanks to the release of Michael Lewis' new book "Flash Boys" and an accompanying 60 Minutes exposé.

 

A closer look at the fairer market model NY AG envisions

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been clamping down for months now on the ways that high frequency traders buy themselves millisecond time advantages in receiving market moving information. Last week, he implied that through co-location and other techniques, U.S. stock exchanges and marketplaces might be complicit in the problem.

The new cost of compliance

A recent survey found that the cost of compliance can increasingly be measured in a new way: personal liability. Fifty-three percent of compliance officers feel that their personal liability has increased according to a Thomson Reuters survey of 600 financial services compliance officers.

Painting a complete picture of a perpetrator

Just as the promise of good customer relationship management is the ability to paint a complete picture of the customer, a similar approach is developing in the area of fraud. It turns out, marrying big data and fraud prevention may involve applying some of the techniques associated with savvy target marketing toward identifying false identifies and other types of scams.

 

Proactively fighting fraud with data

A recent SAP survey found that 41 percent of financial services organization felt that predictive analytics is more about minimizing risk than exploiting opportunities. The way that statistic is phrased, it may sound like it the financial industry views predictive analytics as a passive tool rather than an active one. But when you consider the risks that the financial industry faces--market risk, credit risk, compliance risk, risk of fraud--minimizing risk in financial services is hardly a passive job.

Buffet's move to end Business Wire direct feeds highlights increasing HFT scrutiny

A few weeks ago, a Wall Street Journal article detailed the milliseconds-long advantage that high-frequency traders were getting from press release dissemination companies Business Wire and Marketwired. Through paying top prices for direct feeds, high frequency traders were getting press releases less than a second before they were released through traditional news outlets like Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and Dow Jones, but it was early enough for the tech-savvy firms to execute trades before the news was out.