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Legal expenses piling up at Morgan Keegan

February 25, 2010

Facing intense pressure from securities regulators and plaintiffs' lawyers, Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc.'s legal costs have skyrocketed over the past few years, consuming a greater chunk of the firm's revenue. Legal expenses equaled 12% of the firm's...

Does Citizens United ruling spell the end for pay-to-play laws? Attorneys disagree

February 24, 2010

The recent Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case makes pay-to-play regulations unconstitutional. Or at least, that's the opinion of securities attorney Hardy Callcott, a partner at Bingham McCutchen LLP and former general counsel...

John Hancock Funds the latest to launch interest rate hedge

February 22, 2010

John Hancock Funds LLC today launched an international fixed-income fund to enable investors to hedge against rising interest rates. The Strategic Income Opportunities Fund invests 80% of its assets in foreign currencies and is designed to be...

Fund companies are prepping bond investors for rising rates

February 21, 2010

Fearing a backlash from investors who are still piling into bond funds, mutual fund companies are rolling out sales and marketing campaigns to encourage investors to shift assets into other products. Rising interest rates are likely to cause...

High-quality junk bonds aren't junk at all

February 21, 2010

Their name is an oxymoron, but high-quality junk bonds themselves make a lot of sense in the fixed-income space right now. This particular slice of the corporate-debt market, which is rated just below investment-grade, is becoming so attractive...

Bump-up in Fed discount rate boosts bond yields

February 19, 2010

Interest rates rose for a second day in the bond market after signals the economy is strengthening pushed traders into riskier assets. Yields on Treasurys extended their gains after the Federal Reserve raised its rate on emergency loans to banks....

MBIA asset manager to operate as separate unit

February 8, 2010

MBIA Inc. said on Monday that its asset management unit will function as a separate operating company, a move that sent shares of the bond insurer higher in midday trading. The unit, now known as Cutwater Asset Management, will operate under...

California muni investors trim holdings

January 31, 2010

Financial advisers with clients in California are increasingly recommending a cutback in exposure to the Golden State's tax-exempt bonds. Considering California's high income taxes, that is a tough recommendation to make, but many advisers say...

Bond ladders in a rising rate environment: Too hot to handle?

January 18, 2010

Legendary investor Benjamin Graham wrote in The Intelligent Investor that the proportion of an investor's portfolio held in bonds should never be less than 25% or more than 75%. If interest rates rise in 2010 and beyond, which bond strategies...

Build America Bonds look poised to extend their big 2009 run

January 17, 2010

Once you get past the uneasy concept of lending money to fiscally challenged state and local governments, there is plenty to like about Build America Bonds — and financial advisers should be taking notice. First issued in April as part of...

Gundlach's DoubleLine registers 3 bond mutual funds

January 13, 2010

DoubleLine Capital is launching three fixed-income mutual funds, according to the company's filing with the SEC. The three funds are the DoubleLine Total Return Bond, DoubleLine Core Fixed Income and DoubleLine Emerging Markets Income funds,...

Making the case against short-term bonds

January 10, 2010

In November 2008, many investors believed we were on the edge of financial disaster. Panic was sweeping Wall Street and Main Street. The global economy was in disarray. Now, a little more than a year later, stock market values have rebounded...

RS Investments launches three fixed-income funds

December 31, 2009

RS Investments, a San Francisco-based investment management firm, launched three new fixed-income funds today to offer retail investors and financial advisers more options in a shifting economic scene. The three funds are: the RS Strategic Income...

What's attractive now: Higher-quality junk bonds

December 15, 2009

Higher-quality high-yield corporate bonds are getting more attractive on a fundamental basis, according to Sabur Moini, manager of the $695 million Payden High Income Fund (PYHRX), offered by Payden & Rygel Investment Group. “This has been...

Defiant Gundlach: I'll take my team elsewhere

December 8, 2009

Jeffrey Gundlach said his “inappropriate termination” by TCW Asset Management will simply give him and his mortgage-backed securities team an opportunity to create an even stronger investment organization to serve investors. The chief investment...

Downbeat Bernanke boosts bond buying

December 8, 2009

Treasury prices rose Monday as investors jumped back into the market, seizing on attractive prices following big declines at the end of last week. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that an economic recovery is still likely to...

Swiss Re issues $150M cat bond for natural disasters

December 3, 2009

Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd. today issued a $150 million natural-catastrophe bond using the capital markets to protect itself from natural disasters. The bond, which matures in late 2010, focuses on North Atlantic hurricanes, European windstorms...

Swiss Re bond lets investors bet on pandemics

November 29, 2009

Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd. last week introduced a $75 million catastrophe bond that covers extreme mortality risks. The offering, which was sold through a private placement, guards against unexpectedly high mortality rates in the United States...

Ala. county sues JP Morgan over debt deals

November 13, 2009

Alabama's most populous county filed suit Friday blaming Wall Street powerhouse JPMorgan Chase and others for the financial disaster that brought it to the brink of what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. The suit, filed...

State insurance regulators approve new way to value residential-mortgage bonds

November 6, 2009

State insurance regulators yesterday voted in favor of using a new method to evaluate residential mortgage-backed securities that would allow them to reduce the capital requirements related to these investments. The proposal was pitched by the...

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