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Big Board needs to get its house in order

April 18, 2005

Talk about a baptism by fire. Marshall N. Carter, the new chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, faces several critical issues before he even starts the job. He must put the Richard A. Grasso controversy behind him and immediately address...

Social Security reform needs honest debate

April 11, 2005

The securities industry shouldn't allow itself to be intimidated by union officials and others who oppose President Bush's proposal to allow individuals to set up private accounts within Social Security. All parties should be encouraging an...

The IRS needs to get tougher on tax cheats

April 4, 2005

The old saying goes that there are only two things in life that you can count on: death and taxes. However, an Internal Revenue Service study has revealed that there is a third: tax cheating. Tax cheating is on the rise along with other forms...

High time for point-of-sale-disclosure rules

March 28, 2005

It is time to put point-of-sale-disclosure rules into place. The latest Securities and Exchange Commission revision of the rules seems to have produced a good compromise. The evidence of that is that while some in the industry argue that the...

Congress should overhaul the AMT

March 21, 2005

The alternative minimum tax is a good idea gone bad. The AMT is a hot issue, and Congress has found reason to do little to change the law. The tax is a burden on taxpayers, and Congress needs to take action to revamp it. The tax law, which has...

Raising FICA level could create problems

March 14, 2005

President Bush and Congress should be extremely careful about raising the salary level on which the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax - the Social Security tax - is levied. Last month, he said that while he is opposed to raising the 6.2%...

SEC must update restricted stock plan rules

March 7, 2005

A great many executives in corporate America receive dividends on stock they don't actually own. These executives get large dividend payments as part of their company's restricted-share -award plan. Restricted shares refer to company stock used...

Roye successor will have big shoes to fill

February 28, 2005

There are some big shoes to fill at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Following a wave of mutual fund scandals, Paul Roye, director of the SEC's investment management division, spearheaded an overhaul of the industry. The mutual fund regulator...

Chief executives need to be made accountable

February 21, 2005

It's apparent that in the world of big-time chief executives, there is virtually no downside to any damage left behind after their departure. Carleton S. Fiorina was fired from her chief executive position at Hewlett-Packard Co. for failing...

SEC should set guidelines for 'rent-a-cops'

February 21, 2005

Small financial planning and investment advisory firms need help with regulatory compliance. Such small firms, unless run by sole practitioners, must appoint chief compliance officers. The problem is, small firms cannot afford to hire specialist...

SEC needs to move on investor education

February 14, 2005

The progress of the Securities and Exchange Commission's investor education program has been delayed amid disagreements over how it should be run. As its primary mission is to "protect investors and maintain the integrity of the securities markets,"...

Grasso was greedy, NYSE was oblivious

February 7, 2005

A recent development in the lawsuit against former New York Stock Exchange chairman Richard Grasso has to leave many questioning the business judgment at the Big Board. The NYSE long refused to release a confidential document known as the Webb...

SEC needs to give industry a timeout

January 31, 2005

It is time for a regulatory breather. As soon as the Securities and Exchange Commission clears a few morsels off its regulatory plate, it should back away from the table and take at least a short nap to allow the financial services industry...

Advisers must understand psychology

January 24, 2005

Advisers must understand psychology Financial advisers and planners will be more effective at helping clients if they get a strong handle on investor psychology. While there has been growing interest in the psychological component of the investment...

Persuading clients to save for retirement

January 17, 2005

President Bush is pushing for Social Security reform as a key part of his second-term agenda, but there is no certainty he will achieve it. Democrats in Congress and outside will strongly oppose his efforts to allow younger workers to divert...

Online roadshows: Net gain for investor

January 10, 2005

If approved this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed new rules for initial public offerings of stock would make it easier to use the Internet to disseminate information. The proposed rules would allow company officials to...

A financial services wish list for Santa

December 20, 2004

Dear Santa, We have been good, and we have tried to be nice. So here is our wish list of Christmas gifts we would like to receive, not necessarily on Christmas Day but sometime not too late in the new year: First, give us final SEC decisions...

Corporate sweetheart deals sour investors

December 13, 2004

The American corporate culture needs some serious improvement. There's growing investor concern in this country about excessive executive payouts and in general whether companies are being as transparent as they could be. One needs to look no...

Industry must take responsibility for lapses

December 6, 2004

Just when the mutual fund industry seemed to have put the market-timing and late-trading scandals behind it, word of another investigation has surfaced. This time, investigators reportedly are checking into whether brokers used lavish gifts...

SEC has it right about market governance

November 29, 2004

The Securities and Exchange Commission has taken a major step in the right direction in its effort to look at strengthening the governance of the nation's stock markets. Voting unanimously, the five SEC commissioners agreed to publish a so-called...

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