International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has pulled out of Saudi Arabia's Future investment Initiative conference, along with executives from banks including Credit Suisse, HSBC and Standard Chartered. The withdrawals come amid backlash over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who Turkish officials say was killed by Saudi agents.
A cross-border proposal to extend an exemption for derivatives clearing organizations to US customers clearing swaps overseas could cause some US firms to lose protection under domestic bankruptcy law, Commodity Futures Trading Commission member Rostin Behnam says. "This is particularly concerning since the CFTC's regulatory framework is based, in part, on customer protection," he says.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has ruled the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq have failed to justify fee increases for market data and has sent back to the exchanges 400 contested increases. "This pragmatic ruling by the SEC indicates increasing recognition by policymakers that the fee structure for proprietary market data products is broken. ... Today's decision should prompt further examination of policy reforms to ensure the efficiency of public market data feeds and fairness of fees," SIFMA Managing Director and Associate General Counsel Melissa MacGregor says.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has informed Congress the US plans to end a "chronic" trade imbalance by negotiating trade agreements with the EU, the UK and Japan. "We are committed to concluding these negotiations with timely and substantive results for American workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses," he said.
European Banking Authority chair Andrea Enria is calling for the Single Resolution Board to list how much bail-in capital it projects banks will be required to hold and which banks would be bailed in rather than wound up if a failure occurs.
Searching continues in Florida for several hundreds of people reported to have lost contact with friends and family members after Hurricane Michael, according to volunteer organization CrowdSource Rescue, although state officials have provided no official total of missing people. The storm's death toll is at least 27 across four states, and medical examiners are deciding whether an additional four deaths were storm-related.
The past president of the Iowa County Attorneys Association says a surety bond requirement for contractors would help combat fraud, which is a common consumer complaint in the state. Currently, contractors have no bond requirement; they only have to register with the state's Workforce Development department.
The Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention has become a public charity to provide and disseminate information and resources for suicide prevention and mental health promotion in construction and recently held its first strategic planning meeting. NASBP is an Alliance member and participated in the strategic planning session.
Officials in Florida are likely to relax regulations to allow out-of-state contractors to do work in the wake of the damage left by Hurricane Michael, but they also are likely to do more random checks of licensing and insurance to protect against scams. Contractors doing work in the state should make sure their trade licenses are up to date, this author writes.
The World Economic Forum has ranked the US as the most competitive economy, ousting Switzerland from a nine-year run atop the ranking. The ranking system was overhauled this year to focus on technology-driven growth expected in the future.
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