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It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Russ Fraser. Russ passed away on November 21st at his home in Littleton, CO. Although he was unable to attend FIASI meeting or functions in recent days, he remembered FIASI with fondness. The family requests donations to National Jewish Health, Denver in lieu of flowers.


 

H. Russell Fraser, 71, passed away Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at his home in Littleton, Colorado.

Russ was a leader in the municipal bond insurance and credit rating industries for more than 40 years. He created and built new and innovative financial service businesses, never compromising his core principles. In many circles, he is considered the father of the municipal bond insurance industry having been instrumental in building the American Municipal Bond Assurance Corporation (AMBAC) into a multi-billion dollar enterprise before selling it to Citibank in 1985.

Important new regulatory changes are going into effect that will influence the business practices of many Fixed Income Researchers. The CFTC has announced final rules for research that involves derivatives. These are likely to go into effect in the middle of 2012 (please click the link for details).

In addition, FINRA has recently posted its second draft of comprehensive new rules for sell-side fixed income researchers. This version changed in substantial ways from the draft last fall. Its comment period ends in early April, so interested parties must speak up shortly.

Regardless of your side of the business, changes of this magnitude for the dealer community are destined to have profound ripple effects on the buy-side, rating agencies, independent research providers and others.

Members may find the following links and resources useful. 

 

  • www.altmanzscoreclassic.com

    FIASI members receive a 15% discount for Altman Z-Score Classic App purchased from altmanzscoreclassic.com web site. Use coupon code FIASI (15% discount) while purchasing the app.

     

As you may have seen recently in the letter from our President, David Munves, the Board is pursuing several initiatives to make membership in FIASI more valuable.

FIASI is expanding our LinkedIn group to provide members with more educational and networking opportunities between Speaker Series events. Please submit industry-related news articles and details about upcoming events directly to the group or to . If you have any questions or need help joining please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you for all who participated in FIASI's recent survey. We will be sharing key takeaways with members in the coming weeks.

When the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was first passed the original definition of a financial expert was a CPA, later broadened to include other accountants. Our long time member, Leo McSherry, thought that not including CFAs was an oversight that should be corrected, so he took it upon himself and wrote the SEC. Mr. McSherry's letter to the Chairman of the SEC and his personal response are shown below:

1) pdf Letter to William H Donaldson, SEC Chairman from long standing FIASI Member Leo McSherry (pdf)
2) image Response from SEC personal letter from William H. Donaldson dated December 2003 (jpg)

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Moody's Credit Outlook report is available here. Published Monday and Thursday mornings, Moody's Credit Outlook provides you with the credit implications of current events.