The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has been working to create a licensing examination for operations executives in the securities industry. FINRA's proposal would require operations executives to pass an examination and register before starting their job. Those already employed would need to meet the requirements within nine months of the regulation's implementation.
Interest rates on residential mortgages in the U.S. are closing in on an all-time low, thanks to financial turmoil in Europe and high volatility on the stock market. This week, the average interest charged on a 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to 4.78%, slightly more than a record 4.71% reached in December. Refinancing applications have also reached their highest level in seven months.
Gary Starr, a CPA and MBA, writes about his efforts to find a job in a CFO.com commentary. Starr, who most recently headed finance at a professional-service firm, said he knowingly worked on the transaction that helped put him out of a job, but was surprised that many still view unemployment as a stigma no matter how well he explains the circumstances. Starr said job hunting is about building his own brand, and requires as much organization and drive as any previous job he has held.
Collateralized debt obligations caused massive losses for financial institutions during the global financial crisis and became the scourge of the industry for many. Some industry insiders, however, remain fond of CDOs as they continue to make money on the complex bundled securities. Donald Puglisi, a retired finance professor and independent director on corporations behind hundreds of CDOs, is raking in the fees on the securities he services.
An official at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said the regulator is looking into broker-dealers' role as an underwriter of subprime-mortgage securities. Specifically, FINRA is investigating whether incorrect data, such as misstatement about default rates, were reported when the securities were created. FINRA is also looking into private deals for individual investors.