Sunlight Foundation

Buried Treasure What we don't know about money in America

Investment Data Sets

  • Broker-dealer disciplinary records

    Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a self regulating organization (SRO), provides this database for searching for broker-dealers' disciplinary records and other information.

  • consolidated financial statements by bank holding companies

    Consolidated "call" reports filed by banks on their financial health. These reports include an item that shows how much they make from "service charges" on their accounts, but does not separate out how much they earn from overdraft or other specific fees.

  • Dodd-Frank Meeting logs

    In the spirit of transparency, the major federal financial agencies have been posting records of their meetings with outside representatives to discuss implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial law. However, each agency posts this information at different times and in varying formats. The Dodd-Frank meeting log tracker provides a way to search all of these records in one place.

  • Failed banks bid information

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) maintains this database of failed banks. While the agency is supposed to supply information on bids for these banks, as of December 2010 it had only provided such information on 41 percent of the banks that failed that year. What information it does provide is more limited than before.

  • Investment adviser disciplinary records

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) maintains this database where consumers can search for investment advisers and their disciplinary records, as well as other information.

Reporting on Investment

  1. Meetings missing from CFTC website

    A week before Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioners unanimously approved new rules restricting how brokerage firms may invest customer funds, executives from Newedge, which had pushed against the rules along with the now bankrupt firm MF Global, attended several meetings with high ranking CFTC officials.

    Read all about it
  2. MF Global pushed regulators to use client funds

    Late last year MF Global—the failed investment firm headed by Democratic heavyweight Jon S. Corzine that can't account for as much as $900 million of its clients' money--urged a federal agency to allow futures firms to invest funds from their customer segregated accounts in foreign sovereign debt. 

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  3. Bank executives plead case to administration officials over Volcker rule

    Top executives with major banks met regularly with federal agency officials who were writing a draft rule meant to curtail risky Wall Street trading — known popularly as the Volcker rule, named for the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker — federal agency meeting records show.

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  4. Comments on Dodd-Frank's position limits rule came from petroleum marketing, airline industries

    A handful of groups--including some backed by petroleum marketing firms, airlines and unions--were responsible for the great majority of some 13,000 comment letters sent to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission about a single proposed regulation mandated by Dodd-Frank, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation.

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  5. Dodd-Frank: How investment banks contributed to the financial crisis

    The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in response to the financial crisis of 2008, added new regulations and new regulators for some—but not all—of the institutions whose actions led to the crisis. Over the next several days, we’ll be taking a look at each of the major groups of contributors to the economic crisis, who the major players were, what political influence they brought to bear on Congress and regulators, how Dodd-Frank intends to regulate them, and, using our new Dodd-Frank Meeting Logs tool, what rules these groups are trying to influence as agencies implement the legislation.

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  6. Goldman Sachs, financial firms flood agencies to influence financial law, new Dodd-Frank tracker shows

    Investment bank Goldman Sachs, one of the major players in the crisis that led to the economic meltdown of 2008, has had more meetings with government officials about the implementation of the law intended to reform the financial system than any other company or organization, an analysis of nearly a year’s worth of financial agency meeting logs shows.

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  7. Dodd-Frank: Will the bill overturn decades of industry influence?

    The financial crisis had several authors--federal policies that opened the door to predatory mortgage lending, unregulated financial products, integrated firms that borrowed heavily from one another to invest in the "sure bet" of mortgage-backed securities, and hedge funds and insurers that sought to profit by mitigating risk through complex financial instruments. In the aftermath of the crisis, Congress passed and President Obama signed on July 21, 2010, the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to set new safeguards for the public, to rein in financial firms, to ensure oversight of new types of financial instruments, and to give regulators more tools to prevent another crisis.

    Read all about it
  8. Agencies slow to provide new data required by Dodd-Frank

    One year after passing Dodd Frank Financial reform, much of the work of reforming America’s financial system still lies ahead. This is not too surprising considering the sheer size of the legislation. The law created 243 rules and requires agencies to produce 67 studies, according to Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation. One-hundred-twenty-two deadlines are due between July 16 and July 21. 

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  9. One out of ten investment advisers disciplined

    Throughout his career as a broker-dealer, Anthony Gerard Manaia has been fired twice. He’s been the subject of 18 complaints by disgruntled investors, most of whom accused him of putting their money in risky investments without their knowledge.  He’s currently under investigation for his role in a scandal around offerings by a medical financing company that a federal agency has accused of misappropriating investor funds.

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  10. Good investor data are hard to find

    In a recent report to Congress, mandated by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law, the SEC maintained that "because selecting a broker-dealer or investment adviser is one of the most important decisions that investors face, information to help them make this choice should be easy to find, easy to use, and easy to understand."

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  11. Investment adviser contributions remain secret

    Starting in March 2011, investment advisers who have government clients must keep records of campaign contributions made to elected officials or candidates. But these records are kept secret--buried in internal files, out of the public eye, and available for perusal only by certain government officials.

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  12. Poised to make decision on regulating foreign swaps, Geithner meets with banks wanting exemption

    In February, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met with the CEO and two top-level executives from the London-based bank HSBC to discuss the issue of foreign exchange swaps.

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  13. Data lacking on overdraft fees

    More than six months after new federal rules went into effect that prohibit banks from charging consumers overdraft fees unless they “opt in” to such an arrangement, government data are lacking on how this has changed banks’ bottom lines.

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  14. Top financial regulators meets with industry leaders, lobbyists

    Elizabeth Warren, who has been charged with setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reported more meetings with individuals outside the government in December than any other Treasury official working on implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial law.

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  15. Overlooked part of Dodd-Frank law could keep information from the public

    Buried in the massive Dodd-Frank financial law is a section that could prevent the public from obtaining records the government collects as part of its new oversight of hedge funds and other private funds managed by investment advisers.

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