Securities Attorney Briefing for 20 June 2016

Securities Attorney Tom Krebs


Brexit Could End London’s Reign as Europe’s Financial Hub

The year is only half over, and already it has been so eventful, and even traumatic. The next obvious challenge heading our way is the question of Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, which will be voted on next week. The departure of any nation from the European Union would be significant – as we saw with Greece a few years back, even opening the door to departure would be disruptive. Yet the British case is special. London, after all, is the financial capital of Europe, and along with New York, a major center of global finance in general. From the debt side of things, Britain is of particular importance because most debt instruments are either governed by New York law or English law. This is true of traditional debt, as well as debtlike things like swaps, where the International Swaps and Derivatives master agreement calls for a binary choice between these two jurisdictions when picking the applicable law that will govern. On the restructuring side, London is the obvious competitor with New York and Delaware as the forum of choice for restructuring global businesses. As I have written elsewhere, because Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code contains few barriers to filing by a foreign corporation, and its results are binding on any financial institution that does business in the United States, it provides a useful tool to restructure global enterprises. In Britain, the insolvency law is not so much the attraction as the reliable “scheme of arrangement” process under English corporate law, which can be used to impose the terms of a workout on dissenting creditors. This avoids the holdout problem that so often plagues out-of-court restructurings, and the English courts have been quite willing to bless plans involving companies that have but the slightest connection with Britain. Would Brexit change any of this? In the short term, I doubt it would. London would remain an attractive locale for restructuring European companies, even if it were outside the European Union. It is nearby and offers a reliable process. In the longer term, however, that could change. If London lost its status as the financial hub of Europe, there presumably would be less of a concentration of banks and lawyers in the City. As a result, the reasons to negotiate a workout in London and present it to a British court would decline. It is one more consideration as we move toward the vote.

The Riddle of the Ex-Credit Suisse Banker’s $14 Million Paycheck

The last place you’d expect to find one of Credit Suisse Group AG’s highest-paid executives in 2015 is Brazil, given all the political and economic challenges facing the country. But Sergio Machado’s 48.4 million reais ($14 million) paycheck ranks above that of every member of Credit Suisse’s executive board listed in the lender’s annual report. The income tax statement of Machado, 38, the former head of Credit Suisse’s Brazil fixed-income business, is all local bankers are talking about after it was leaked along with a package of court documents. For long-time Brazil watchers, that name should sound awfully familiar. It was Machado’s father, a politician-turned-oil executive who goes by the same name and is testifying against top lawmakers in Brazil’s sweeping corruption scandal, who was on the front page of every major newspaper last week. The younger Machado said in a court statement that he had no knowledge of his father’s financial dealings, and portrayed a distanced relationship with his family. Yet the attention drawn to his bank pay, including deferred bonuses from previous years, represents collateral damage in a national drama that’s already helped derail a presidency and tip Brazil into its worst recession in a century. How, market insiders want to know, could an investment banker have possibly earned so much in a year in which Dealogic data shows fees tumbled 42 percent to the lowest level in a decade, as Brazil’s stock and bond markets collapsed? Globally, the bank, whose market value has lost half its value in the past year, announced a fresh round of job cuts in March, bringing its total headcount reduction to 6,000. Credit Suisse declined to comment, saying it doesn’t discuss employee earnings. Flavia Lofti, the younger Machado’s lawyer, also declined to talk about what she said was an “inappropriate release” of his income statement. More:


SEC Approves IEX Proposal to Launch National Exchange, Issues Interpretation on Automated Securities Prices

Washington D.C., June 17, 2016 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today approved Investors’ Exchange LLC’s (IEX) application to register as a national securities exchange.  At the same time, the Commission issued an updated interpretation that will require trading centers to honor automated securities prices that are subject to a small delay or “speed” bump when being accessed. “Today’s actions promote competition and innovation, which our equity markets depend on to continue to deliver robust, efficient service to both retail and institutional investors,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “A critical role of the Commission’s regulatory framework is to facilitate the ability of market participants to craft appropriate market-based initiatives, consistent with our mission to protect investors, maintain market integrity, and promote capital formation.” IEX must satisfy certain standard conditions specified in the Commission’s order before it is able to begin the process of transitioning its operation to a national securities exchange, including participating in a variety of national market system plans and joining the Intermarket Surveillance Group. The Commission’s interpretation applies to the Order Protection Rule under Regulation NMS, which protects the best priced automated quotations of certain trading centers by generally obligating other trading centers to honor those protected quotations and not execute trades at inferior prices.  Under Regulation NMS, an automated quotation is one that, among other things, can be executed immediately and automatically against an incoming immediate-or-cancel order. The Commission’s updated interpretation determined that a small delay will not prevent investors from accessing stock prices in a fair and efficient manner consistent with the goals of the Order Protection Rule.  In doing so, the Commission interprets the term “immediate” under Rule 600(b)(3) of Regulation NMS as precluding any coding of automated systems or other type of intentional action that would delay access to a security price beyond a de minimis amount of time. Additionally, Commission staff issued guidance concerning the duration of the de minimisintentional access delays. The staff guidance states that delays of less than one millisecond are at a de minimis level. Within two years of the Commission’s interpretation, staff will conduct a study regarding the effects of any intentional access delays on market quality, including asset pricing and report back to the Commission with the results of any recommendations.  Based on the results of that study, or earlier as it determines, the Commission will reassess whether further action is appropriate.

After 147 Years, Goldman Sachs Hangs a Shingle on Main Street

You used to need $10 million to become a customer of Goldman Sachs. Now you can get in with a dollar.

At a time when many storied firms on Wall Street are asking themselves profound questions — such as, What does it mean to be a Wall Street firm in this day and age? — one of the most elite institutions in the business is opening an old-fashioned, deposit-taking bank catering to the little saver. And while new accounts do not come with free toasters, GS Bank, started in April, does promise “peace-of-mind savings” and “no transaction fees.” In short, it is aimed squarely at ordinary Americans — a clientele the company scrupulously avoided during the first 147 years of its history, favoring instead tycoons and plutocrats.

It is the crystallization of an extraordinary moment in the halls of American finance. Goldman, like other marquee banking companies, is hunting for new business as its traditional ones falter. Regulations rolled out since the 2008 financial crisis have put a crimp in deal-making, Wall Street’s traditional expertise. The high-powered bond trading desks that generated most of Goldman’s precrisis profits now make only a fraction of what they did before. Over the last year, Goldman executives have been preparing to introduce 401(k) accounts, loans for people saddled with credit card debt and new investment funds that can be purchased by anyone with an E-Trade account. It will all be online only. In fact, Goldman thinks one of its advantages will be that it does not have the historical baggage — read, expense — of traditional branches and tellers. All of this has prompted some head-scratching in the industry, given that Goldman has so little experience in the hotly competitive field of retail banking. Not least among the challenges: Getting Americans to warm to a bank that has been maligned as a symbol of Wall Street greed during the 2008 crisis. At least one new customer dismissed that worry. “Of course they get blamed for stuff,” said Daniel Sigal, a 24-year-old college student in the Los Angeles area who calls himself a Wall Street hopeful. But “Goldman Sachs is the Nike of finance,” he said — a brand everyone knows. Its foray into banking is “very, very positive,” he said. He also liked the 1.05 percent interest rate on savings accounts that Goldman offered, which dwarfed the 0.01 percent he was getting from Wells Fargo. The average is 0.54 percent, according to, More:


Who’s Behind the Campaign Attacking CFPB Chief Cordray?

Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is the target of a new TV ad campaign that alleges he is courting potential donors for a run as governor of Ohio by enacting a plan that would benefit trial lawyers. The ads appear to be the work of Lincoln Strategy Group, a political strategy firm based in Phoenix, which has been tied to allegations of voter fraud and accused of sending its operatives to public events featuring Cordray. In one TV ad, Cordray’s face is superimposed on a cartoon body surrounded by bags of money while a narrator states: “Running for office is extremely expensive, so Richard is using his immense power at the CFPB to make a new regulation that will massively benefit Richard’s biggest potential donors.” The ad is referring to the CFPB’s May proposal to restrict the use of arbitration clauses. Some firms have portrayed the plan, which would allow consumers to bring class-action lawsuits against banks, credit card companies and other financial firms, as a giveaway to plaintiff’s attorneys. The ads generally seek to undermine the credibility of the agency and portray Cordray as using his role to further his political ambitions. Cordray’s five-year term ends in mid-2018 and he is barred from campaigning for office while he serves as the CFPB’s director. Cordray, 57, has never said that he plans to run for governor of Ohio when current Gov. John Kasich’s term expires in 2018. But there has been speculation that Cordray is considered a possible Democratic candidate. “Director Cordray is solely focused on his work leading the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” said CFPB spokesman Sam Gilford. The ads are ostensibly the work of a group calling itself Protect America’s Consumers and are running this month in Indiana, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The group says on its website that the “advertising blitz will expose the rotten activities of the CFPB.” Yet digging deeper into the group yields connections to another Republican political organization.

A search of the domain names found its website is owned by Dan Centinello, an executive vice president at Lincoln Strategy Group, a political strategy firm in Phoenix. Centinello worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, among others, according to his bio on the firm’s website. Nathan Sproul, the founder of Lincoln Strategy Group, was accused in 2012 of submitting possible fraudulent voter registration forms in Florida when he worked for Romney’s presidential campaign (the group was then known as Strategic Allied Consulting). More:



Alabama Billionaire Battles Murder Suits as Prices Ebb

 Gustavo Soler knew he was in trouble. It was 2001, and Soler was union president at a coal mine in Colombia owned by Drummond Co., which is controlled by the wealthiest family in Alabama. Soler’s predecessor, Valmore Locarno, and Locarno’s deputy, Victor Orcasita, had been killed seven months earlier, and now Soler was getting threats, says his widow, Nubia, in an interview in Bogota. He told his family to pack up. They would leave the area as soon as he got home from the union office in Valledupar, a city in the country’s coal belt. He never made it. Armed men stopped his bus, asked for him by name and abducted him. He was found under a pile of banana leaves with two bullet holes in his head, Bloomberg Markets magazine will report in its August issue. After the killing, Nubia says, Garry Neil Drummond, chief executive officer of Drummond Co., sent a taxi to bring her to the Drummond offices near the coastal town of Santa Marta, where, in a meeting, he promised to put her children, Sergio and Karina, then 14 and 9, through school. Nubia describes a tender moment for a tough man. Drummond, now 75, started working in his family’s coal mines around Jasper, Alabama, at 15. As an executive in 1969, he negotiated an export deal with a Japanese trading company and fulfilled the commitment by strip mining Alabama’s hills with colossal shovels and trucks. When those reserves dwindled, Drummond Co. opened its first mine in Colombia in 1995. It came under attack from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a group that had been at war with the government since the 1960s. Nubia says Garry Neil, as he’s known, didn’t make good on his tuition promise. “He never paid for a pencil,” she says. Drummond declined to comment on the matter. Nor did he answer a list of questions sent to spokesman Steve Bradley of Stephen Bradley & Associates LLC. Drummond and his company face a barge load of challenges, starting with a possible strike by its Colombian workers after more than a month of wage talks ended July 7 with management and union leaders failing to reach an agreement. Then there is the price of thermal coal, which is burned to produce electricity and which Drummond mines in Colombia. Its price has fallen 29 percent since Jan. 1, 2011, closing yesterday at $56.46 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Electric utilities have cut their use of coal to fire power plants, switching to cheaper natural gas. Just 37 percent of U.S. electricity came from coal last year, down from 50 percent in 2005. On July 9, Drummond told the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs that it planned to cut up to 425 workers at its Shoal Creek mine starting in September because declining coal prices. More:

Jury: Former Birmingham Health Care CEO guilty in fraud case

A federal jury on Friday found former Birmingham Health Care CEO Jonathan Dunning guilty on 98 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. The 12 jurors began deliberating Tuesday afternoon. Dunning was acquitted on another 14 counts. The trial began May 24 with jury selection before Washington D.C.-based U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein, who was specially appointed to hear the case. More than 50 witnesses appeared. Dunning did not testify. Rothstein left to go back to Washington D.C. after the jurors began their deliberations. U.S. District Court Judge David Proctor was assigned to take juror questions, in consultation with Rothstein, and take the verdict. Prosecutors alleged that Dunning, the former nonprofit CEO of both BHC and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health Inc. (CACH) in Tuskegee, diverted to his own companies’ millions of dollars in federal grant money meant for treating the poor and homeless at BHC and CACH. The prosecutors say Dunning continued to profit from the two agencies, even after he stepped down as CEO in 2008, by setting up companies to contract with BHC for services, including billing, management consulting, and for lease agreements with BHC on buildings. BHC and CACH were among 1,400 federally-funded community health centers nationwide. BHC in January changed its name to Alabama Regional Medical Services. Problems were first reported by and the Birmingham News in 2012 when it was revealed that CACH and BHC paid more than $2 million to Dunning’s private companies for contracting service, including while Dunning was CEO of the companies. More:


Morning Money

WALL STREET TO HILLARY: DON’T PICK WARREN — POLITICO’s Ben White: “Big Wall Street donors have a message for Hillary Clinton: Keep Elizabeth Warren off the ticket or risk losing millions of dollars in contributions. In a dozen interviews, major Democratic donors in the financial services industry said they saw little chance that Clinton would pick the liberal firebrand as her vice presidential nominee. These donors despise Warren’s attacks on the financial industry. But they also think her selection would be damaging to the economy.

And they warned that if Clinton surprises them and taps Warren, big donations from the industry could vanish. ‘If Clinton picked Warren, her whole base on Wall Street would leave her,’ said one top Democratic donor who has helped raise millions for Clinton. ‘They would literally just say, ‘We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you’ve had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can’t trust you, you’ve killed it.’”

WORRIED ABOUT FIRST 100 DAYS — “Most big donors don’t want Warren on the ticket because she is the most accomplished anti-Wall Street populist in the Democratic Party. But many also think her presence would drive a potential Clinton administration too far to the left, poison relations with the private sector from the start and ultimately be damaging to the economy.

“A constant theme that emerged in the interviews is that executives in the financial industry believe the first 100 days of a Clinton administration could feature potential deal making with Republicans, who are likely to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives. The dream deal for Wall Street would be a combination of targeted infrastructure spending that appeals mostly to Democrats and corporate and international tax reform that could bring Republicans along. The fear is that Warren would make such a deal more difficult.”

BREXIT PREP: EU ON A KNIFE’S EDGE — Pantheon UK’s Samuel Tombs on Thursday’s vote: “The latest polls suggest that the result is finely balanced. There will not be an official exit poll, so the picture will emerge gradually during the night as 382 local counting centres declare results. Each centre will announce the number of ballot papers received, before counting votes for each side.

“If all goes to plan, about half of the counting centres will announce the verified number of ballot papers by 01:45 on June 24, giving an early indication of turnout. A high turnout should be good for remain. Meanwhile, half the counting areas are expected to declare results by 03:45. Urban areas will declare earlier than rural ones, so early results might overstate national support for remain. An official declaration of the U.K. result is expected ‘at breakfast time’, and the Prime Minister will talk from Downing Street shortly after.”

THE DAY AFTER — Mohamed A. El-Erian on Bloomberg View: “Here’s what the world could look like on June 24 if the ‘Leave’ camp were to win … The foreign exchange markets are in turmoil, with the pound falling 7 percent to 10 percent and the euro down about 3 percent to 5 percent. Stocks also are under considerable pressure as investors try to price in greater institutional uncertainties and the coming hit to economic growth. Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation, leaving his Conservative Party in disarray as it tries to figure out how to unite behind a new leader after a divisive debate in the months leading up to the referendum.

“Scotland is looking to resurrect its bid for independence. The Irish are wondering what will happen to the free transfer of goods and people between the republic and the north. The rest of Europe is stunned, and worried about a domino effect. Meanwhile, those who backed the U.K.’s exit from the European Union are trying to make sure their victory doesn’t turn into defeat, especially as some parliamentarians look into procedural ways to bypass the Leave vote”

ASIA RISES AS BREXIT FEAR EASES A BIT — Reuters: “Asian stocks gained as some fears that Britain would vote to leave the European Union abated on Monday, boosting a recovery in both sterling and investors’ taste for risk assets. … Three British opinion polls ahead of the EU membership referendum on June 23 showed the ‘Remain’ camp recovering some momentum, although the overall picture remained one of an evenly split electorate. …

“Global markets, buffeted this month by Brexit woes, had a breather at end of last week from a three-day suspension in British campaigning following the fatal attack on lawmaker Jo Cox, a strong supporter of Britain staying in the EU”

CLINTON TO ATTACK TRUMP’S BUSINESS RECORD — WSJ’s Colleen McCain Nelson and Laura Meckler: “Democrat Hillary Clinton will target Donald Trump’s business record on Tuesday, casting the presumptive Republican nominee as self-interested and shady in an effort to undercut one of the central arguments of his campaign. … The former senator and secretary of state plans to deliver a pointed critique of her Republican rival’s economic policies and his work in the private sector, broadening her argument that Mr. Trump is temperamentally unfit for the White House, Clinton campaign advisers said.

“Tuesday’s address in Columbus, Ohio, will build on Mrs. Clinton’s recent foreign-policy speech in which she used a compilation of Mr. Trump’s own words to suggest that he is uninformed and even dangerous. ‘It really comes down to being able to show that every time Trump had an opportunity to get something for himself at the expense of someone else, he took it, in spades,’ said Jake Sullivan, the Clinton campaign’s policy chief.”

DRIVING THE WEEK — U.K. votes Thursday on whether to say in the EU. A win for the Leave side could send markets reeling and throw an unexpected wild card into to the presidential race … President Obama on Monday delivers remarks at the SelectUSA Investment Summit at the Washington Hilton … Fed Chair Janet Yellen testifies before Senate Banking at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday and before House Financial Services at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday … Senate Banking has its bank capital hearing Thursday at 10:00 a.m. … House Financial Services has a terrorism financing hearing at 10:00 a.m. Thursday …

TIME TO RETHINK TRADE DEALS? — Paul Blustein in POLITICO Magazine: “It is time for what the Japanese call hansei (reflection over one’s mistakes) among the Davos crowd — the corporate chieftains, business lobbyists, policy wonks and journalists who sold Washington and other world capitals on the glories of free-trade deals … Of all the messages emanating from the American electorate in the 2016 campaign, popular hostility toward trade agreements is one of the most resounding. It is also perhaps the only grievance that unites left and right. …

“Paradoxically, the upshot could be a blessing in disguise for international trade — if trade negotiators adjust accordingly and focus on what’s important, which is preserving the overall system. That means strengthening rules at the global level that keep the world safe from rampant protectionism, rather than constantly seeking to eliminate more impediments to the movement of goods and services across borders”

EUROPE TO PUNISH U.K. IF IT LEAVES — NYT’s Steven Erlanger: “The rest of the European Union nations are looking at the possibility of a British departure from the bloc with disbelief, trepidation and anguish. But they are also preparing to retaliate. If Britons do vote in a referendum on Thursday to leave the European Union, they can expect a tough and unforgiving response, with capitals across the Continent intent on deterring other countries from following the British example, European officials and analysts said. In other words, Britain will be made to suffer for its choice. With other issues pressing, including Greek debt, the migrant crisis and terrorism, the largest and most powerful European nations will want clarity, and are not likely to tolerate a long period of post-referendum confusion. …

“Preparing for a British vote to withdraw, France and Germany are debating the immediate announcement of a joint initiative on European security, perhaps an operational command headquarters, to show, at least symbolically, that the European Union remains solid and will continue to progress without Britain. … Suggestions by British politicians favoring a departure that the rest of the European Union will give Britain more favorable terms in a new trading arrangement will be rejected out of hand by European leaders”

VENEZUELA IN CRISIS — FT’s Lucy Hornby in Beijing and Andres Schipani in Medellín: “China is renegotiating billions of dollars of loans to Venezuela and has met with the country’s political opposition, marking a shift in its approach to a nation it once viewed as a US counterweight in the Americas. … Venezuela is facing one of the worst crises of its 200-year history, with a collapsing economy and political deadlock stoked by the oil price slump. China, which is Caracas’s biggest creditor and has loaned the country $65bn since 2005, has already extended the repayment schedules for debts backed by oil sales.

“Beijing has also sent unofficial envoys to hold talks with Venezuela’s opposition, in the hope that if President Nicolás Maduro falls his successors will honour Chinese debts … Its recognition of Mr Maduro’s fragile position and the rising clout of the opposition, led by Henrique Capriles, is another sign that the diplomatic noose is tightening around Caracas’s socialist government”

FOOD RIOTS — NYT’s Nicholas Casey: “With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food. … Venezuela is convulsing from hunger.

“Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves. And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food.”

WHY BRITS WANT TO LEAVE — WP’s Griff Witte: “[I]f the pro-E.U. forces are able to stop Brexit, as the U.K. departure is popularly known, it will not be for any love of Europe among the people of Britain. To Britons, Europe remains a place apart — a landmass off in the hazy distance where invasions are hatched, crises are brewing and bureaucracy is born. Even here in Dover, where France is visible on a clear day and the shops accept euros from the day-tripping tourists, there’s no sense of shared identity with the continentals. …

“That lack of emotional attachment to Europe — and indeed the hostility that some feel — helps explain why the country’s citizens might be eager to leave even amid the overwhelming consensus of experts that a departure could be economically, politically and strategically disastrous. It also underscores why the campaign to keep Britain in the E.U. has been so relentlessly negative.”

TRUMP WANTS TO TAKE KEYSTONE PROFITS — POLITICO’s Elana Schor: “Donald Trump’s vow to resuscitate the Keystone XL oil pipeline in exchange for a share of its profits has a glaring problem: It risks running afoul of laws against government takings of private property. And even supporters of the project warn that it risks hurting relations with Canada, the nation’s No. 1 oil supplier.

“That proposal may mesh with Trump’s famous fondness for the “art of the deal,” but it’s not what GOP lawmakers called for in their multiple attempts to approve Keystone over President Barack Obama’s resistance. They simply wanted to grant developer TransCanada’s permit request, without making any cash grabs, just as regulators routinely do for countless other energy projects”

JUSTICE EYES ANTHEM DEAL — WSJ’s Liz Hoffman, Brent Kendall and Anna Wilde Mathews: “U.S. antitrust regulators have privately expressed concerns about Anthem Inc.’s $48 billion proposed acquisition of Cigna Corp., and are skeptical that the health insurers can offer concessions that would fully preserve competition in the industry … Company representatives met June 10 in Washington with Justice Department staffers and representatives of more than a dozen state attorneys general …

“At the meeting, government officials outlined their worries about combining two of the nation’s top health insurers … Merging companies sometimes can win government approval by offering to sell assets or agreeing to other restrictions on their operations, but government staffers told the companies they weren’t optimistic Anthem and Cigna could offer satisfactory fixes … [T]he department hasn’t yet made a decision on whether to sue to block the deal”


FDI REPORT — The Organization for International Investment (OFII) is putting out a report Monday ahead of the Commerce Dept.’s SelectUSA Summit. Per release: “As this new data show, global investment supports more than 24 million U.S. workers. While there is certainly growth generated in economic hot-spots like Silicon Valley, the locations where global investment is having the biggest impact on U.S. workers are in states like North Carolina, Indiana, New Jersey, Michigan and Kansas.”

NEW THIS A.M.: ECON POLL — Per a USA Today/Wells Fargo poll out overnight: “One third of Americans feel positive about real economy conditions in their local communities, and believe their local economies are doing better than the overall US economy. About 43 percent of respondents rate their local economic conditions as good and many also perceive the economy as stable. A majority of Americans feel very good/good (46 percent) about their current personal financial situation, and 43 percent expect their personal financial situation to get better over the course of the next year”

Tom Krebs is a securities attorney.