Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, discussed Sec. 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, which deals with carbon emission reductions, at a webinar hosted by the American Sustainable Business Council on Sept. 4.

McCarthy said the rules proposed in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan. “Climate change is a risk to health, business and economic growth,” she said, adding that small business owners overwhelming want action taken on the issue. And she’s proud of what the EPA is doing by developing standards to control air pollution, much of which comes from plants that generate power by coal, natural gas and petroleum.

McCarthy explained that the rule-making process took into account views from industry, unions, state officials and others. The EPA’s goal, in addition to cutting carbon emission was to make sure that the rules “can change climate economic risks into opportunities,” she said. (read more…)

Social media has become a necessity for financial advisers to stay “top of mind” with clients and prospects, but they need to be able to “put the time and dedication into it” in order to make their efforts successful, said Amy McIlwain, president of Financial Social Media.

LinkedIn is a popular choice for financial-services firms because its users are there for business purposes, making it the “trade show” of social media platforms, McIlwain said Saturday during NAIFA’s Career Conference and Annual Meeting in San Diego. On LinkedIn, “your booth is going to be your profile,” which should be complete and tell your story effectively, she said.

Advisers who use Twitter should “listen first [and] talk second,” she said. As they become acquainted with the platform, they should follow others and take note of trending topics, which are designated with hashtags, she recommended. Once comfortable, they should join in the conversation and tell interesting, relevant stories to build their brand, she said. (read more…)

CFTC regulations on trade reconstruction are changing the way firms need to think about compliance. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get started.

The Dodd-Frank Act unleashed an avalanche of new rules affecting the financial industry, chief among them the trade reconstruction requirement, which mandates that swap dealers are able to produce a complete reconstruction of a trade within 72 hours of a request by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). To solve for this complex challenge, swap dealers/firms must develop capabilities for correlating a broad range of structured and unstructured pre-trade, trade and post-trade data.

Bloomberg Vault recently hosted a webinar “Trade Reconstruction for Compliance Officers,” presented by Harald Collet, Global Head of Bloomberg Vault, and moderated by Mitch Avnet, Managing Partner, Compliance Risk Concepts, to help compliance officers understand the challenges and think strategically about the process.

“The endpoints of the reconstructed trade is to tie together the different elements: The structured data, including execution and post-execution confirmation and ledger data; unstructured data, such as sales and marketing; and finally communications data, the most complex data,” says Collet. (read more…)

The Milken Institute is working to give policymakers, media, and the academic community a deeper base of knowledge when it comes to global banking issues. The Institute’s recent launch of GlobalBanking.org offers users a new and unique way of accessing information on banking systems worldwide and their regulatory environment. The site aggregates World Bank data from 180 countries in addition to its own independent research and analysis on an open platform that is accessible to anyone.

“Never before has this kind of information been collected and presented in such an easy-to-use way,” said Staci Warden, executive director of the Milken Institute’s Center for Financial Markets. “We are confident that it will be a tremendous resource for anyone working in this area.”

The aim of GlobalBanking.org is to build a database of international banking facts and figures, increasing transparency regarding the worldwide banking environment. Key features include ease of use and the ability to incorporate data into independent research by users; interactive charts and maps; up-to-date news and expert commentary, and global banking reports. (read more…)

In the past three decades the income inequality gap has exploded across the United States. We typically view rising inequality through the lens of class; focusing on the growing disparity between the top 5% or 1% of the population and the bottom 10% or quartile. But looking at income inequality from this vantage point misses a critical dimension: there are serious gaps between economic sectors and in particular, the financial sector of the economy has grown disproportionately wealthy compared to other sectors. This gap not only has profound consequences for the distribution of income but also has negative effects on the overall growth and development of the U.S. economy.

Beginning in 1980, financial sector deregulation began in earnest, encouraging investment in financial sector expansion and attracting a greater percentage of college and high-school graduates. This shift to the financial services sector has contributed both to the growing inequality of wages between workers in the “real” economy – which produces goods and non-financial services and drives most of the employment growth — and the “financial” economy – which has higher wages and is siphoning off talent from the real economy. (read more…)