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As 2014 comes to a close, CFA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of the CFA Society Chicago Newsbrief a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6.


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1. Expect a blow-out year
Yahoo!
From Jan. 14: It was the best year for the markets since 1997. The past year's 29.11 percent in the benchmark S&P 500 index certainly exceeded even some of the more optimistic expectations for the year. What can we expect for 2014? David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff, is one of the most widely-followed and respected economists today. He offers his three predictions on the economy in general and on the markets specifically to Talking Numbers.
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2. Here's who's winning Chicago's bank battle
Crain's Chicago Business
From July 22: What a difference a financial crisis makes. In the seven years since the U.S. banking system teetered on collapse, Chicago's commercial banking industry has gone from a virtual duopoly to something of a free-for-all. For much of the 1990s and well into the first decade of the 2000s, LaSalle Bank and what is now JPMorgan Chase & Co. dominated the local market for serving midsized businesses -- the bread and butter of Chicago business lending.
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3. Emanuel skeptical of teachers' union pension plan
WBEZ-FM
From May 13: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration is swatting down key aspects of the Chicago Teachers Union’s proposal to shore up the ailing pension fund for city teachers. Emanuel suggested a proposed tax on financial transactions would hurt the big Chicago-based financial exchanges like the Chicago Board Options exchange and CME Group, which owns the Chicago Board of Trade and other exchanges. The Chicago Teachers union is pushing what it calls a “LaSalle Street tax” on futures and derivatives trades. CTU estimates it could reap $10 billion to $12 billion a year.
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4. Chicago tech IPOs are aging well — except you-know-who
Crain's Chicago Business
From Dec. 2: A flurry of initial public offerings by local tech companies has been widely regarded as evidence that Chicago has arrived as a player in the digital economy. After all, an IPO seems like a crowning achievement, a long-sought dream come true. They're celebrated with Champagne toasts, bell-ringing and congratulatory speeches. But it's a mistake to regard the IPO as the ultimate corporate accomplishment.
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5. BlackRock shifts pay formula for US sales force
Reuters
From June 24: BlackRock Inc., the world's biggest money manager, has made a radical shift in the way it pays its retail mutual fund salespeople in the United States, a top executive said. Rather than pay a percentage of the gross sales made through scores of brokerage firms, independent financial advisers, banks and insurance firms, BlackRock is using a "net" number that better reflects the profitability of the sale, Frank Porcelli, head of the fund company's U.S. retail business, said at the Reuters Global Wealth Management Summit in New York.
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6. 5 TED talks that will change the way you live, love and work
CFA Institute's Enterprising Investor
From May 13: From time to time, we publish book lists on everything from what to read to become a better finance professional to ways to improve your career prospects. But Lauren Foster figured: Who has time to read a pile of books? Not everyone. An 18-minute TED talk, on the other hand, is something most of us can squeeze into our work days and/or commutes. With that in mind, here are five TED and/or TEDx talks that Lauren found compelling — for the simple reason that they all inspired or challenged her to think about an aspect of my life in a new way.
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7. SEC examining 'alternative' mutual funds
The Associated Press via Chicago Sun-Times
From Aug. 19: Federal regulators are scrutinizing a type of mutual fund that’s potentially riskier than conventional funds and is growing in popularity, prompting concerns over possible harm to ordinary investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission has disclosed that it’s conducting a “national sweep exam” of so-called alternative mutual funds, focusing in a first phase on 15 to 20 groups of funds.
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8. City Hall better explain risky financial deal
Chicago Sun-Times
From July 1: The City of Chicago’s significant exposure to interest-rate swaps liabilities, as detailed by Sun-Times reporter Dan Mihalopoulos “Rahm’s $200 Mil Time Bomb” June 18), highlights a need for additional transparency on the specifics of such deals and the city’s rationale for entering into them. According to the accounting in Mihalopoulos’ story, many of the derivative contracts in the city’s swaps portfolio have termination clauses if Moody’s lowers its rating below Chicago’s current level.
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9. Sales of Chicago companies trigger some uncomfortable flashbacks
Crain's Chicago Business
From Feb. 18: A recent string of buyouts of metro Chicago companies has triggered unsettling flashbacks to the 1990s. Those of us who were following Chicago business in those days remember it as a time of loss, when outsiders took possession of some premier corporate headquarters. Names like Inland Steel, Amoco and Ameritech succumbed to buyouts, stinging civic pride and eroding confidence in Chicago's future as a corporate center.
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10. Rosenberg: Accelerating GDP growth could quickly turn into a big problem
Business Insider
From Feb. 11: This report contains the opening remarks of the testimony David Rosenberg delivered Feb. 4 before the United States Senate Budget Committee. Rosenberg had the pleasure to share the panel with Dr. Mark Zandi and Robert Greenstein. The topic the three were asked to address was "The 2014 Outlook: Moving from Constant Crises to Broad-Based Growth."
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CFA Society Chicago NewsBrief

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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