Securities Arbitration Is Flawed, Investor Group Claims

Investors who bring disputes involving suspected broker misconduct, unsuitable investment advice and other complaints to arbitration may not be getting a fair resolution because the pool of arbitrators lacks diversity, according to a report released Tuesday by a group that represents claimants. Most of the arbitrators who serve the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the self-regulator for the brokerage industry, are men who have a “socioeconomic status that put them out of touch with the average investor,” said the report …

Money Market Funds Just Got Safer … Or Did They?

After years of debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week finally adopted new rules designed to shore up the stability of the $2.6 trillion money market  industry. The question now is, will it help? While the changes largely affect institutional investors, one provision also applies to small investors by temporarily restricting their access to their money if a fund has liquidity problems. For decades money market funds were seen as reliably boring, investing in government securities or high-grade corporate debt. Though the funds’ …

In These States, Hospitals and Patients Could Be in for a Rough Ride

Hospitals and health-care systems in the 21 states that aren’t expanding Medicaid, the health program for low-income Americans, may be in for an especially rough financial ride. With hospitals in those states facing the prospect of providing even more uncompensated care, Bloomberg.com says, the municipal bonds they put up for sale may very well have diminished appeal. As Bloomberg’s Brian Chappatta explains: “Health-care related bonds are already posting the biggest losses among revenue debt in the $3.7 trillion municipal market, …