Taishin Financial Holding Co., Ltd. : Taishin Financial Eyeing New York Life Taiwan Unit - Report - 4-traders (press release) Taishin Financial Holding Co., Ltd. : Taishin Financial Eyeing New York Life Taiwan Unit - Report - 4-traders (press release)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Taishin Financial Holding Co., Ltd. : Taishin Financial Eyeing New York Life Taiwan Unit - Report - 4-traders (press release)

Taishin Financial Holding Co., Ltd. : Taishin Financial Eyeing New York Life Taiwan Unit - Report - 4-traders (press release)
05/21/2012 | 08:29pm

Taishin Financial Holding Co. (2887.TW) is looking to acquire New York Life Taiwan for NT$300 million (US$10.14 million) and the deal is in its final stage, according to a report in the Commercial Times that quotes a unnamed source familiar with the matter.

Taishin, which doesn't have an insurance arm, is the biggest lender by value of loans in Taiwan's automobile-financing market.

Taishin said it couldn't comment on individual deals, the report added.

Newspaper website: http://ctee.com.tw

-By Taipei Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; 8862-2502-2557; djnews.taipei@dowjones.com

LPL Financial Awarded Advisory Solutions Field Sales Team of the Year By Money Management Institute - Yahoo Finance

BOSTON, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- LPL Financial LLC, the nation's largest independent broker-dealer* and a wholly-owned subsidiary of LPL Investment Holdings Inc. (LPLA), today announced that its Advisory and Brokerage Consulting team has been awarded Field Sales Team of the Year by the Money Management Institute (MMI), the leading national organization for the advisory solutions industry.

This prestigious industry award was given in recognition of the Advisory and Brokerage Consulting team's outstanding support to financial advisors in providing their clients with the right platforms, strategies and advice to meet their financial goals.

John Moninger, LPL Financial Executive Vice President of Advisory and Brokerage Consulting Services, said, "We are honored to receive this prominent industry recognition from the Money Management Institute.  This award is a testament to our focus on partnering with our financial advisors in order to align the best strategies and product platforms with their practices so they can most effectively support their end clients to achieve their life goals.  Importantly, this recognition is the outcome of an extraordinary, integrated effort across our entire team, and I am grateful to MMI for the opportunity to acknowledge our firm-wide dedication to our advisors and their end clients."

Christopher L. Davis, President of the Money Management Institute, said, "We congratulate LPL Financial for this well-deserved award. They have continued to demonstrate industry leadership in breaking new ground in aligning exceptional services and solutions for financial advisors to provide to investors, and we look forward to their continued innovation and excellence."

Prior to this industry recognition, the LPL Financial Advisory and Brokerage Consulting team has proven exceptionally effective in supporting advisors through such innovative platforms as the company's Model Wealth Portfolios (MWP) platform, one of three centrally managed fee-based platforms enabling advisors to provide client-centric theme-based investment portfolios for a broad range of investor preferences.  In 2010, MWP was awarded Advisory Solutions Product of the Year by MMI.  Since its launch in early 2008, the MWP platform grew to $7.4 billion in assets in just over three and a half years, as of December 31, 2011.

About LPL Financial

LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Investment Holdings Inc. (LPLA), is the nation's largest independent broker-dealer (based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2011), a top RIA custodian, and a leading independent consultant to retirement plans.  LPL Financial offers proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to over 12,900 financial advisors and approximately 680 financial institutions. In addition, LPL Financial supports over 4,400 financial advisors licensed with insurance companies by providing customized clearing, advisory platforms and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have approximately 2,700 employees with headquarters in Boston, Charlotte, and San Diego.  For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.

Securities offered through LPL Financial.  Member FINRA/SIPC

*Based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2011

About the Money Management Institute (MMI)

Since 1997 MMI has been the leading voice for the global financial services organizations that provide advice and professionally-managed solutions to individual and institutional investors. Through industry advocacy, educational initiatives, regulatory affairs, data reporting and professional networking, MMI supports and advances the growth of advisory solutions. MMI members' advice-driven investment solutions serve an evolving worldwide financial landscape and their organizations are committed to the highest standards of fiduciary responsibility and ethical conduct. For more information, visit www.moneyinstitute.com.



LPL Financial Media Contacts
Joseph Kuo / Chris Clemens
Haven Tower Group LLC
(206) 420-3851 or (206) 420-1525
jkuo@haventower.com or cclemens@haventower.com


Financial Regulation: How to Find the Right Balance - Huffington Post

The scales of financial justice are tilted by avarice and the power the investment bankers continue to assert. JP Morgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon pleads mea culpa for his part in the US$ 2 billion (and counting) derivative trading loss. Dimon and his staff were not hedging, they were speculating and came unstuck. What we have is another warning of the "too big to fail" syndrome. In this case size does matter because when leviathan banks are exposed and need propping up, the taxpayer foots the bill and public services are cut.

JP Morgan's multi-billion punt is the latest evidence that the financial sector remains a minefield five years on from the initial crisis. Despite the efforts of regulators there is a vacuum at the heart of financial global governance. We have global financial markets and global electronic trading with enormous flows of capital across borders but the supervisory mechanism is flawed. The Financial Stability Board does not have the necessary powers of enforcement -- it is a policeman without a baton. The European Union now has the European Banking Authority and surely the time has come for a Global Banking Authority which is independent and has real teeth, able to identify emerging risks. We do not just need a cop on Wall St or a bobby on the London Square Mile beat. What is required is a new financial global policeman or an Interpol for financial supervision to catch the financial jaywalkers and serial offenders.

The necessity of regulation and structural change to the world's banking system has been recognized by a raft of new legislation and proposals, the foremost being the Dodd-Frank legislation in the United States, Sir John Vickers' Independent Commission on Banking in the United Kingdom and the European Commission which has launched a high level consultation on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector. A move in the right direction but one which will not succeed without a change in banking culture and the bank bosses have made it abundantly clear that they will fight to maintain the status quo. Those working for sensible regulatory change should prepare for a renewed lobbying onslaught by bankers determined to influence the process to keep "business as usual".

A recent report by UNI Global Union ("Coining it in," Andrew Bibby) sets out how a section of investment bankers are already waging a cynical and effective campaign to influence the public and parliamentary decision-making institutions to prevent adequate regulation of the financial markets. The G20 has abrogated its responsibility to the Financial Stability Board which is trapped between the rock and the hard place of the financial community and the national financial ministries. The result has been an inability to deliver prudent banking rules. Government reforms are too modest and are barely laying a glove on the financiers who still regard themselves as the Untouchables. Fraudulent and criminally negligent investment bankers who bear a significant responsibility for the crisis have not been brought to justice. The bonus culture has remained unchanged and indeed a recent report published by Johnson Associates predicts bigger bonuses this year than last.

Let's be clear we are not criticizing bank workers of whom more than 750,000 have lost their jobs since the crisis began while only a handful of banking CEOs have been dismissed. UNI's finance sector represents more that 200 unions and three million workers and we are aware that this is not a zero sum game between bankers and the public. A balance has to be struck and what is essential is to regulate between the essential and positive banking services and their shadows. We have a long way to go to ensure that the regulatory framework in place will avoid another financial catastrophe. We must signal to the world's decision-makers that they have to deliver on improving financial regulation and that significantly not enough has been done to change banking behavior and culture.

Firstly, we need a clear distinction between core banking services indispensable to a market economy and other more exotic activities. We have a situation where all kinds of behavior are underscored or protected by the public purse. This is generosity bordering on madness and leads to a distorted and vulnerable market. A regulatory net has to be thrown over shadow banking to ensure that certain financial instruments, that only a handful of mathematicians profess to understand, do not continue to proliferate and endanger the market.

Secondly, the distinction between risk and fraud must be clearly defined and the courts given greater punitive powers to punish those who cross the line.

And thirdly, a bank's board of directors should be robust and independent and not made up entirely of the bankers it should itself be policing. Such a balanced board would be capable of seeing beyond the sort of profit maximization that has led to a high risk game and fraudulent activity.

These basic measures coupled with some of the regulatory reforms and structural reforms in the banking sector already on the table would help redress the balance of financial regulation in favor of a more just society.

Philip Jennings is General Secretary of UNI Global Union and a speaker on the OECD Forum panel, "FINANCIAL REGULATION: HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE"

Heist of the century: university corruption and the financial crisis - The Guardian

Many people who saw my documentary Inside Job found that the most disturbing portion of the film was its revelation of widespread conflicts of interest in universities, at thinktanks, and among academic experts. Viewers who watched my interviews with eminent professors were stunned at what came out of their mouths.

Yet we should not be surprised. Over the past couple of decades medical professionals have amply demonstrated the influence money can have in a supposedly objective, scientific field. In general, medical schools and journals have responded well, adopting disclosure requirements. The economics discipline, business schools, law schools and political science schools have reacted very differently.

Over the past 30 years, significant portions of American academia have deteriorated into "pay to play" activities. These days, if you see a famous economics professor testify in Congress, or write an article, there is a good chance he or she is being paid by someone with a big stake in what's being debated. Most of the time, these professors do not disclose these conflicts of interest, and most of the time their universities look the other way.

Half a dozen consulting firms, several speakers' bureaus and various industry lobbying groups maintain large networks of academics for hire for the purpose of advocating industry interests in policy and regulatory debates. The principal industries involved are energy, telecommunications, healthcare, agribusiness – and, most definitely, financial services.

Some examples. Glenn Hubbard became dean of Columbia Business School in 2004, shortly after leaving the George W Bush administration. Much of his academic work has been focused on tax policy. A fair summary is that he has never seen a tax he would like. In November 2004 Hubbard co-authored an astonishing article, jointly with William C Dudley, then chief economist at Goldman Sachs. The article, How Capital Markets Enhance Economic Performance and Facilitate Job Creation, warrants quotation. Remember, this is November 2004, with the bubble well under way: "The capital markets have helped make the housing market less volatile ... 'Credit crunches' of the sort that periodically shut off the supply of funds to home buyers … are a thing of the past."

Hubbard refused to say whether he was paid to write the article. He also refused to provide me with his most recent government financial disclosure form, which we could not obtain otherwise because the White House had destroyed it. Hubbard was paid $100,000 (£63,000) to testify for the criminal defence of two Bear Stearns hedge fund managers prosecuted in connection with the bubble, who were acquitted. Last year, Hubbard became a senior economic adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign.

Larry Summers has held almost every important government position in economics. Treasury secretary under President Clinton, in 2009 he became director of the National Economic Council in the Obama administration.

Although sensible about many issues, Summers has made a succession of well-documented mistakes and compromises. And his views on the financial sector would be hard to distinguish from those of, say, [Goldman Sachs chief] Lloyd Blankfein or [JP Morgan boss] Jamie Dimon.

Most of our information about Summers comes from his mandatory government disclosure form. Summers' 2009 disclosure form stated his net worth to be $17m-$39m. His total earnings in the year prior to joining the government were almost $8m. Goldman Sachs paid him $135,000 for one speech.

Summers is a compromised man who owes most of his fortune and much of his political success to the financial services industry, and who was involved in some of the most disastrous economic policy decisions of the past half century. In the Obama administration, Summers opposed strong measures to sanction bankers or curtail their income.

Harvard still does not require Summers to disclose his financial-sector involvements. Both Harvard and Summers declined my requests for information.

The problem of academic corruption is now so deeply entrenched that these disciplines, and leading universities, are severely compromised, and anyone considering bucking the trend would rationally be very scared. Consider this situation: you're a PhD student, or a junior faculty member, considering doing some research on, say, compensation structures on risk-taking in financial services, or the potential impact of public disclosure requirements on the market for credit default swaps. The president of your university is … Larry Summers.

The chairman of your department is …Glenn Hubbard. Or you're at MIT, and you want to examine the decline in corporate tax payments. The president of MIT is Susan Hockfield, on the board of GE, a company that has managed to avoid paying hardly any corporate taxes for several years.

How much do these forces actually affect academic research and policymaking? The available evidence suggests that the effect is large.

Academic commentary on the financial crisis by economists has been remarkably muted. There are, to be sure, some notable exceptions. But for the most part, the silence has been deafening. How can an entire industry come to be structured such that employees are encouraged to loot and destroy their own firms? Why did deregulation and economic theory fail so spectacularly?

The release of the film Inside Job clearly touched a nerve with regard to these questions. I was contacted by a large number of students and faculty, and there has been a great deal of debate. Departments including the Columbia Business School have adopted disclosure requirements for the first time. But most universities still have no such requirements, and few if any have any limitations on the existence of conflicts of interest. The same is true of most academic publications. Newspaper reporters are strictly prohibited from accepting money from any industry or organisation they write about.

Not so in academia.

There has been one significant positive development. Earlier this year, the American Economics Association adopted a disclosure requirement for the seven journals it publishes. But most institutions continue to oppose further disclosure and, when I was making my film, refused even to discuss the subject.

This is an edited extract from Inside Job: the Financiers Who Pulled Off the Heist of the Century by Charles Ferguson, published by Oneworld at £12.99. Order a copy for £10.39 with free UK p&p here or call 0330 333 6846. Charles Ferguson will appear at the Edinburgh international book festival on Sunday 12 August.

India presents white paper to check illegal money - BBC News

India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee has proposed the setting up of fast-track courts to deal with the issue of illegal money and tax evaders.

Mr Mukerjee said the government had already brought five bills in the parliament to deal with the problem.

The minister presented a "white paper" on illegal money in the lower house.

It did not name any offenders or give any estimates for illegal money but earlier reports have said $500bn was deposited in overseas tax havens.

Outlining the various proposals to deal with the problem of black money, the minister suggested that anti-corruption ombudsmen be appointed at the central and state levels.

"While these measures will set the tone for an equitable, transparent and a more efficient economy, there is much that we could do, both individually and collectively, to strengthen the moral fibre of our society," Mr Mukerjee said.

In the past, officials have said that illegal funds were often sent to tax havens such as Mauritius, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and the British Virgin Islands among others.

Analysts say this flight of capital has helped widen inequality in India.

According to one estimate, India's underground economy accounts for 50% of the country's gross domestic product.

In recent months, India's Congress party-led government has been on the back foot on the issue of black money and corruption.

The Supreme Court has also chided the government for not doing enough to unearth illicit money.

Big business silent on NC gay marriage amendment - Yahoo Finance

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- As a gay man who believes America's strength comes from its diversity, Stephen Dull is opposed to North Carolina carving the existing ban on gay marriage into the state constitution.

Dull is one of a handful of corporate executives who have publicly voiced an opinion on the amendment voters will decide May 8. The corporations have been silent.

Dull is the vice president for strategy and innovation at Greensboro-based VF Corp., the parent company of clothing brands including The North Face, Nautica and Lee jeans. His corporation and others in North Carolina's influential business establishment haven't taken a public stand on the amendment, a contrast to Starbucks and Microsoft, whose support helped sway lawmakers in Washington state before gay marriage was approved there in February.

North Carolina's chamber of commerce hasn't heard much from its members on the amendment and is staying neutral, CEO Lew Ebert said. Corporate neutrality is the aim of the National Organization for Marriage, a Washington, D.C., group fighting against gay marriage as North Carolina, Minnesota, Maryland and Maine head toward ballot measures this year. Washington state's gay marriage law could be put on hold by a referendum effort that would leave the decision to voters.

The statewide organization leading support of the amendment sent letters to the state and local chamber chapters. "We were requesting neutrality," said Tami Fitzgerald, chairwoman of Vote FOR Marriage NC.

Business leaders who support the amendment have stayed silent for fear of becoming targets of boycotts and public attacks, Fitzgerald and other supporters said.

"It's not a business issue and the problem of a business leader speaking out in favor of it is that they get a boatload of hate mail and harassment. That also happens to politicians, but we're paid to do that," said House Majority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, one of the amendment's key legislative backers.

Stam and Fitzgerald dispute that passing the amendment and solidifying the prohibitions against gay marriage would lead some companies to rethink their North Carolina presence.

"It's certainly not hurting business development for South Carolina and Virginia. We're constantly competing with those two states for business development," Fitzgerald said.

It's clear even companies that place a high priority on diversity don't really have other options if they want to be in the growing, union-limited Sun Belt.

Nearly 30 states have constitutional provisions defining marriage as between a man and a woman, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. North Carolina is the only state south of Washington, D.C., and across most of the country's interior now without a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Dull — like executives at Bank of America and Duke Energy who have spoken out — believes the amendment's passage would signal North Carolina is less welcoming to some at a time when recruiting the best talent is global. Southern states have largely overcome their legacy of racial discrimination, Dull said, but the memories of those days linger.

"Everyone has their own images of the South and often they're not going to be positive. It's because if you haven't lived here you don't know how great it can be or how great the people are and you've gotten your impression from movies. We already have to battle that," Dull said.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes said in a letter to legislators last fall he got the feeling growing up in a conservative North Carolina community that he wasn't welcome.

He believes the "amendment is bad for business, bad for the perception of my home state on the national stage," said Hughes, who is gay.

The sharpest comments on the amendment have come from Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who compared the amendment to the South's segregationist Jim Crow laws.

"If this amendment passes, we're going to look back 20 years from now, or 10 years from now, and we're going to think about that amendment the same way we think about the Jim Crow laws that were passed in this state many, many years ago," Rogers said in response to a question during remarks to a Charlotte business group. "We shouldn't have special rules for some and not for others. We have to recognize differences in people and celebrate those differences."

While Duke Energy provides benefits to the domestic partners of unwed employees, the utility has taken no public stand on the amendment because it has employees on both sides of the issue, Rogers said.

Dull said that's why Fortune 500 companies like VF avoid the heat of political or social issues that don't clearly translate to the bottom line.

"If you can't justify this from a shareholder point of view, it's probably not something you should be spending corporate resources on," he said.


Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio

Three Financial ETFs That Avoid Big Bank Stocks - Zacks.com

The past month has been pretty unkind to the big banks for a variety of reasons. Speculation continues to build regarding a broad European default centered around Greece which could trigger a number of issues for many banking stocks in the near term.

Beyond this, the focus has been on JP Morgan (JPM - Analyst Report), often considered the best run big bank on Wall Street after the crisis of 2008. However, the firm has been under fire as of late thanks to a massive $2 billion trading loss at the company’s London desk (see more on ETFs at the Zacks ETF Center).

Although the loss was relatively small given that the trade was over $100 billion, the move is causing many to question the ability of large banks to police their own offices and properly manage their own trading desks without more government supervision. In fact, many regulators are already reviewing the situation while Fitch Ratings has lowered the firm’s credit rating by one notch to ‘A+’.

The big dollar amount of the loss has also renewed political calls for more banking oversight, a trend that has only been exacerbated by the upcoming elections. Now, thanks to the perception that if this can happen to JPM it can happen to anyone, along with the political softball that this situation has provided many in Congress, many are forecasting that more regulation could be on the way for the sector (also see The Complete Guide to Preferred Stock ETF Investing).

Overall, the focus has been on the return of the Glass-Stegall Act, tougher draft rules on the Dodd-Frank bill or the so-called ‘Volcker Rule’. With these potentially stiffer rules, the profitability of banks could suffer across the board while their future activities could be limited as well.

In addition to this, there are also worries that JPM could see even greater losses stemming from the unwinding of its trade which could push the $2 billion loss far higher. With JP Morgan facing this issue there are also concerns that similar problems could be underneath the surface of many other large banks causing many investors to head for the exits in the space.

In fact, over the past month, XLF has fallen by about 4.7%, while more focused products such as IYG and RKH have fallen by even greater amounts; 6.7% and 9.3%, respectively, in the time period (read Three Financial ETFs Outperforming XLF).

Fortunately, the weakness hasn’t permeated all segments of the financial sector and there are some good choices left in the space. In particular, a focus on smaller banks or more obscure segments of the financial ETF world could be the best way to go in this heightened risk environment.

Furthermore, looking at more U.S. focused securities could help to insulate investors from the worst of the European debacle, a situation which could impact many large banks even if further regulations are not realized. For investors looking to apply this approach, any of the following three financial ETFs could be great picks that stay in the sector but avoid big bank exposure:

PowerShares S&P SmallCap Financials Portfolio (PSCF)

If investors are looking to avoid both big banks and other large financial institutions, the broadly focused PSCF could be a good pick. The product also has ample interest from investors although the volume is a little light at about 10,000 shares a day.

Still, the product does represent a decent value as the expense ratio is just 29 basis points a year while the yield is approaching 2%. In total, the ETF holds just over 100 securities, all of which are based in the U.S.

In terms of sectors, REITs take up 40% of the fund, followed by a 35% allocation to banks, and 14% to insurance. The ETF also does a great job in eliminating big financial institution exposure as just 3% of the fund is classified as mid cap or greater while it also has a value tilt; nearly two-thirds of the fund can be described as value securities.

UBS E-TRACS Wells Fargo Business Development Company ETN (BDCS)

For a high yield approach in the segment, investors have this ETN as a decent choice. The product is still somewhat unpopular from a market cap and volume perspective but it does pay out a robust yield of 7.6%, more than enough to cover the hefty 85 basis point fee.

Securities that are represented in this ETN tend to lend out capital to small and midsized companies at relatively high rates. Often times, BDCs make loans and take equity stakes, meaning that if things go right investors can benefit from both cash flows and capital appreciation (see Top Three High Yield Financial ETFs).

However, it should be noted that the space is often quite volatile and large losses can be had in a short period of time.  Still, it represents a great way to avoid big banking institutions while still maintaining exposure to the traditional lending activities of the space.

Currently, the product has a heavy value tilt as only 1% of the product is in blend securities with the vast majority in value (77%) and pure value (22%). From a market cap perspective, micro cap securities dominate with nearly 70% of assets, although mid caps (20%), and small caps (11%) do account for decent chunks as well, giving the fund a decided focus away from the biggest lenders in the financial world.

First Trust NASDAQ ABA Community Bank Index (QABA)

For a focus on small cap banks, QABA presents an interesting choice. However, the fund is still somewhat unpopular with investors as it has just $11 million in AUM and trades about 7,000 shares a day.

Nevertheless, the product, which charges investors 60 basis points a year, holds over 100 positions in small banks from across the country. Furthermore, the product promises to exclude all of the 50 largest banks or thrifts based on assets size while also excluding firms that have an international or credit card specialization (read Beware These Three Volatile Financial ETFs).

This process produces an ETF that has just 19% of its assets in securities defined as mid cap or greater and instead puts 46% in small caps, and 35% in micro caps. From a style perspective, value securities dominate; just 14% of the portfolio can be defined as either blend or growth stocks.

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