On September 30, 2013, the SEC opened a page on its website to allow the public to comment on a study entitled “Asset Management and Financial Stability” by November 1, 2013.
The study was published by the Office of Financial Research of the Treasury Department at the request of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and describes how activities in the asset management industry might 'create, amplify, or transmit stress' through the financial system and thereby pose risks to the financial stability of the country.
According to the report, the U.S. asset management industry oversees the allocation of approximately $53 trillion in financial assets. The activities performed by the asset management firms and the funds they manage range from managing assets on behalf of clients as their agents, to activities similar to those provided by commercial banks and other financial institutions, such as providing liquidity. These diverse activities across the financial system raise questions regarding their possible effects on our financial stability. In addition, the report mentions the limitations on the data currently available to analyze the asset management industry and certain of its activities, and the resulting limited visibility into market practices.
A copy of the report can be found here.