Week InReview

Fannie and Freddie.

Ah:

"The Trump administration plans to work with Congress to overhaul mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a White House spokeswoman said Tuesday - playing down the idea the administration will seek to unilaterally release the firms from government control."

Yes right all that it will take to re-privatize Fannie and Freddie will be finding a bipartisan compromise in a divided government when it takes a break from debates over immigration and government shutdowns and election interference. And Fannie and Freddie investors seem confident that this will happen any day now. It would be nice to have some of their optimism.

Friday | Feb 1, 2019
INVESTORS briefings
Each week, we publish three briefings:
Monday Week InAdvance
Tuesday  | Rules & Regs
FridayWeek InReview

In addition, we publish three  "upon request" briefings...
Wednesday
LIBOR 
Cyber Security
Thursday
ESG (environmental, social, and governance)

Please contact, with name of briefing(s) you would like to receive:
Matthew Jones, executive director
mjones@association.institutionalINVESTORS.org
(202) 712-9050
Fannie-Freddie regulator now welcomes lawmaker input on revamp
In an apparent about face, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's regulator - Joseph Otting, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency - told congressional Democrats Wednesday that he welcomes their input on coming up with a plan to free the mortgage giants from federal control. The backlash to Otting's comments was swift, with the White House issuing a Tuesday statement that said the administration would work with Congress on a plan for ending the government's decade-long control of Fannie and Freddie. (Bloomberg Law | Jan 31)

Reggae. Puppies. Whatever it takes, central banks want attention.
The fix? Puppies. And reggae songs, cartoons, dancing fishermen. The Federal Reserve and its global brethren, from the Bank of Jamaica to cod-fixated Norway, are turning to social media and finding new ways to explain themselves to even the most lay observers. (Bloomberg Economics | Jan 29)

IEX slams 'egregious' market data fees at other U.S. exchanges
IEX, which operates the Investors Exchange, released a paper on Tuesday detailing its own costs to provide proprietary market data and exchange connectivity to its clients. It compared them to an extensive list of fees charged by Nasdaq Inc, Cboe Global Markets and New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (Reuters | Jan 29)

Some investors blame the stock market's volatility on the Federal Reserve  shrinking its bond portfolio . But the critique puzzles Fed officials and some economists because there is little evidence of turmoil in the two markets where the central bank actively intervened: Treasurys and mortgage debt. (The Wall Street Journal | Jan 28)

Regulators renew focus on best execution
Best execution may not be a top-of-mind issue for investment advisers, but the Securities and Exchange Commission is working hard to change that, with help from FINRA. Advisers who direct trades to broker-dealers must pay close attention to how the B-Ds manage the costs, quality and conflicts associated with trading. (Investment News | Jan 28)
Binge reading disorder
Hand-curated, chosen with love
The cost of dirty money (w/interactive graphic)
Since the financial crisis, dozens of crackdowns have targeted money launderers who effectively rely on banks, shell companies, and other mechanisms to cover their tracks. Fines have surged into the billions of dollars, but it's unclear whether the enforcement efforts have made much of a dent. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, shady transactions continue to reach as much as $2 trillion a year.

Baseball and stocks: Games of failure
From 1926 to 2016, just 90 stocks of 26,000 account for half of all gains.
Remember that the best hitter in baseball this year will fail 65 percent of the time.  - George Will

Wall Street freaks out about 2020
Many of the nation's top bankers want Trump gone, but they're growing anxious about some Democratic presidential contenders.
Politico