• Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Single Security Initiative

    This ViewPoint explores the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Single Security Initiative. This initiative proposes to make the securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fungible, and thereby consolidate the liquid forward market in agency mortgages. We consider the benefits and challenges of the Single Security proposal and recommend steps to protect investors and facilitate market acceptance. We make a number of key observations and recommendations for a Single Security.

  • Modernization of US Asset Management Regulation

    The SEC has laid out an agenda for modernizing the regulation of US registered mutual funds and investment advisers, which includes initiatives for collecting additional data to enhance the SEC’s existing data analytics, finalizing rules for the use of derivatives in mutual funds, introducing liquidity risk management standards and stress testing for funds, and addressing the transition of client assets in the event of an asset manager winding down. BlackRock supports the modernization of rules governing mutual funds and their advisers, and we have commented on specific aspects of the rules proposed thus far. In this ViewPoint, we discuss each of the SEC's proposals and we lay out some guiding principles for considering the proposals as an integrated package.

  • Addressing Market Liquidity: A Broader Perspective on Today's Bond Markets

    To date, the dialogue on bond market liquidity has largely focused on a few key trends: (i) the decline in broker-dealer inventories, (ii) the decline in bond turnover (trading volume as currently measured divided by outstanding debt), (iii) the increase in corporate bond issuance, and (iv) the growth of bond mutual funds. While the data cited are factually accurate, these isolated data points do not present a complete picture of bond market participants or innovations that are supplementing traditional means of obtaining market liquidity. This ViewPoint is intended to inform discussions about bond market liquidity by integrating data we have known about for a long time (e.g., bond ownership by pensions and insurers) with newer data that highlights structural changes to bond market liquidity. Based on our synthesis of the new data with the old, we make a number of observations to provide a more comprehensive foundation for the dialogue on bond market liquidity.

  • Regulatory Developments in Europe - 2015 Update and Analysis

    This ViewPoint is the 2015 edition of our overview and analysis of key EU regulatory developments affecting the European financial markets and investors. Topics covered range from investment products, investor protection and distribution through to market structure and taxation.

  • Infrastructure Investment: Bridging the Gap Between Public and Investor Needs

    In this ViewPoint, we describe the current environment for infrastructure investing and propose a holistic policy framework that recognizes investors’ requirements for investing in infrastructure.  This policy framework is built on four key principles: (i) providing certainty to investors, (ii) focusing on transparency, (iii) determining funding structures that align the interests of investors and public authorities and (iv) developing a stable and consistent regulatory environment.  This paper also discusses some of the existing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment and provides suggestions to address them.

  • Expanding Access to Retirement Savings for Small Business

    This ViewPoint reviews key federal retirement initiatives and several state proposals in the US that aim to increase retirement savings. We offer suggestions on how the federal government can eliminate unnecessary obstacles small employers face in establishing and maintaining ERISA plans and we discuss state-based programs intended to increase coverage for private sector employees. We recommend moving forward with achievable changes to facilitate both public and private sector retirement solutions. All solutions should make it easier for employers to establish a plan or IRA program, encourage and facilitate continuous and increasing levels of retirement savings starting at an early age, and support well-designed investment programs.

  • US Equity Market Structure: Lessons from August 24

    This ViewPoint examines the events of August 24, 2015. We share recommendations to refine trading mechanisms and “guard rails” to enhance the resiliency of the US equity market, which we believe will promote fair and orderly markets and benefit the functioning of both ETPs and individual stocks. Proposed improvements must balance attempts to improve market resiliency with the preservation of the existing and well-functioning processes through which equity securities are traded today.

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