By Staff | May 2, 2008 | Last updated on May 2, 2008
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(May 2, 2008) The European Central Bank, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Swiss National Bank have announced an expansion of their liquidity measures, as a continuing effort to mitigate the credit crunch.

The Federal Reserve announced today an increase in the amounts auctioned to eligible depository institutions under its biweekly Term Auction Facility (TAF) from $50 billion to $75 billion, beginning with the auction on May 5. This increase will bring the amounts outstanding under the TAF to $150 billion.

In conjunction with the increase in the size of the TAF, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has authorized further increases in its existing temporary reciprocal currency arrangements with the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB).

These arrangements will now provide money in amounts of up to $50 billion and $12 billion to the ECB and the SNB, respectively, representing increases of $20 billion and $6 billion. The FOMC extended the term of these reciprocal currency arrangements through January 30, 2009.

In addition, the Federal Open Market Committee authorized an expansion of the collateral that can be pledged in the Federal Reserve’s Schedule 2 Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF) auctions. Primary dealers may now pledge AAA/Aaa-rated asset-backed securities, in addition to already eligible residential- and commercial-mortgage-backed securities and agency-collateralized mortgage obligations.

The wider pool of collateral should promote improved financing conditions in a broader range of financial markets. Treasury securities, agency securities and agency mortgage-backed securities continue to be eligible as collateral in future auctions.

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ING ups ante in U.S. pension business

(May 2, 2008) ING Group announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire CitiStreet LLC, one of the top retirement plan and benefit service and administration firms in the U.S. defined-contribution marketplace.

CitiStreet is jointly owned by Citigroup and State Street. The combined operations will make ING the third-largest defined-contribution business in the U.S., based on assets under management (AUM) and assets under administration (AUA) with €224 billion in AUM and AUA ($351 billion U.S.), and the second largest based on plan participants, with more than 14 million.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2008.

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McCarthy Tétrault wins award

(May 2, 2008) World Finance Magazine, the “bible” for international economic summits, has named law firm McCarthy Tétrault the Best Banking and Finance Team in Canada.

In an article announcing the 2008 awards, World Finance said of the winners, “Their range of expertise is not just about making sure your business stays on the right side of the law. Their counsel and range of services will also save your business money and time, protecting and upholding the value of your business.”

World Finance is a widely read and well-respected UK-based global publication. To select the 2008 award winners, its panel of judges looked for a demonstration of successful implementation of strategic goals — for example, the development of new practice areas, expansion into international or domestic markets, new client wins, or the completion of a strategic merger or acquisition.

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Strategy book deals with climate change

(May 2, 2008) In Climate Change: What’s Your Business Strategy? Andrew Hoffman and John Woody fold their comprehensive analysis of the intersection of business strategy and environmental issues into a succinct memo designed to help executives prepare for, manage and capitalize on this market transition.

“If you’re a business, this is a business issue,” asserts Andrew Hoffman, a noted scholar on environmental issues and an expert on sustainable businesses.

The frameworks and glossary in the book provide executives with the understanding and literacy necessary to deal effectively with the climate change market issue and be conversant in the myriad issues that surround it. Climate Change is the playbook for strategically addressing a complex problem that no company can afford to ignore.

(05/02/08) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.