The Irony Of Revenue Seeking Tax Rate Hikes

I normally avoid making predictions, but today I will make an exception.  I predict higher tax rates next year will produce a decline instead of an increase in U.S. income tax revenue for 2013 versus 2012.  When the data comes in it may prove me wrong, but here’s my rationale:  The mere thought... 

Class Action Suit Against ProShares Dismissed

According to Reuters reporter Jessica Toonkel, New York Judge John G. Koeltl has dismissed a class-action lawsuit against ProShares filed by ETF investors who claimed the risks associated with investing in leveraged ETFs were not fully disclosed. At the time of the filing in August 2009, I outlined the... 

Broken Product Alert: AMJ Converting To Closed-End Note

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) announced that one day soon it intends to halt new note creation for the JPMorgan Alerian MLP ETN (AMJ).  When that day arrives, AMJ will become a broken product.  Unfortunately, most shareholders, traders, and potential investors will not be made aware of this event when it... 

Open Letter to ETF Regulators

Dear ETF Regulators, It is time to step up to the challenge of your job’s main mandate - protecting investors.  Investor confidence in exchange traded funds (“ETFs”) and exchange traded notes (“ETNs”) is at a critical point.  The abuses of a very small number of individual products... 

OOK and TXF Noncompliant with NYSE Arca Listing Standards

The NYSE announced that effective today (September 15, 2010) OOK, Inc., and Texas Funds, Inc. (symbols OOK and TXF) (the “Funds”) were each noncompliant with NYSE Arca’s corporate governance listing standards.  Specifically, these funds have failed to maintain audit committees as required... 

ETF Liquidity Dealt a Setback

Market liquidity was tested on Thursday.  It failed.  The blame game now in full motion, with many analysts pointing to an NYSE circuit-breaker mechanism that seems to have backfired. The carnage was bad for stocks, but even worse for ETFs and ETNs.  Much is being made about the Accenture (ACN) trade... 

DailyFinance on Derivative ETFs

AOL Daily Finance has a good story about the ongoing regulatory drama involving leveraged, inverse and other derivative-based ETFs.  Writer Sheryl Nance-Nash goes into more depth about this complex subject than any other mainstream media report I’ve seen. As we reported last month, the Securities... 

SEC Reviews Derivative ETFs

The Securities & Exchange Commission announced last week it is conducting a “review” of ETFs and mutual funds that make heavy use of derivatives in their portfolios.  Pending the review, applications for new issues of such funds have been suspended.  Existing funds may continue to operate... 

SEC Tries To Get Efficient

Under criticism for letting Bernie Madoff’s scheme drag on for years, the Securities & Exchange Commission is trying to improve itself and rebuild its image.  This is an excellent idea, and good timing too, given that the people who ignored Madoff for so long have now moved on to bigger and... 

Deflation Means No COLA for Seniors

Sorry, senior citizens: there will be no cost-of-living adjustment in your Social Security payments this year.  You are victims of deflation. Today the Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in September and fell -1.3% in the last twelve months.  This was no great surprise,... 

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