Women bosses come out on top in the annual Index of Leadership Trust survey, with workers saying they find female leaders both more competent and more empathetic than their male counterparts. The effect is likely due in part to the tough economic climate, writes Emma De Vita. "When times are tough, it helps to at least know that your chief executive understands your predicament, even if he or she can't do much about it," she writes.
JPMorgan Chase's sale of commercial mortgage-backed securities indicates that investors are willing to bear higher risks as they search for yield. The bonds are backed by debt of an Australian developer of shopping malls that recently said its debt load had become "unsustainable." JPMorgan offered an inflated interest rate to attract enough investors.
A recent survey found that bankers acknowledge that more transparency is needed on methodologies banks use to compensate star employees and how they determine the size of bonus pools. Respondents said changes to compensation policies are necessary so pay does not trigger excessive risk-taking, which has been blamed for contributing to the financial crisis.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has issued final rules that will prevent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from buying mortgage-backed securities to meet affordable-housing targets. Earlier this year, the regulator proposed an overhaul of the mortgage giants' affordable-housing mandates to give the companies more flexibility.
State insurance regulators have hired BlackRock to assess losses the industry could suffer from holding commercial mortgage-backed securities. BlackRock, the largest money manager in the world, will review thousands of securities to determine loss expectations for CMBS holdings. Those findings will determine how much capital insurers will need to set aside for potential declines.