In what should have been a three-month red carpet rollout to an 80th birthday party, the mutual fund industry is not even thinking of a gala. Instead, it is pondering mistakes of the recent past and reforms for the near future.
But it might be helpful to look at the scandal not just by the rules that have been broken namely market timing and late trading but, rather, by taking a hard look at the powerful people who betrayed middle-class investors in favor of satisfying larger and wealthier clients, like hedge funds.
"I was outraged," Charles R. Schwab said to The New York Times. "I just couldn't quite believe that a fund company would be in cahoots with hedge funds to allow them to use portfolio information to game their funds."
Instead of changing the on-the-books rules and regulations of the industry, some experts said the only way to fix the industry is to re-inject it with proper morals.
Former Investment Company Institute President David Silver told The Times: "When youre managing money for your mother, you dont go around looking for opinions from lawyers on legal ways to skim. Thats what it means to be fiduciary."
But this March, when the 80 th anniversary of the first mutual fund rolls up, all the talk will be of alternative definitions of fiduciary and the ways some in the industry ruined the party.