The Blog Of The Securities Industry Professional Association









Lessons from George Costanza


Long ago I learned that literally all lessons in life can somehow be related to either the “Godfather” or in some strange way “Seinfeld”.  Over the past year small firms have been flooded with hate spewing e-mails that seem to obsess about the SIPA and do little or nothing for the members.  Lately they have given themselves the moniker “Champion of the Membership” which would be fitting if other people gave you that nick name but you can’t really give yourself a nick name as George Costanza found out in Seinfeld years ago.  He wanted to be known as “T-Bone” because he thought it would make him a cool dude.  In some ways that’s what these “Champions” have done.  Generally if you are going to give yourself the nickname, it should have some bearing on your accomplishments. AIR Jordan because of his soaring dunks, IRON Mike Tyson because of his fist knocking out everybody.  The last two runs at the Board have ended with embarrassing lopsided losses for the Champions.  I’m not sure that’s quite Muhammad Ali taking out Liston or LeBron James and the Miami Heat winning the NBA crown this year.  Claiming you are the Champion because you created the ombudsman office is another baffling claim. The ombudsman has little or no authority.  When you have an issue you can go to the ombudsman and he will review and if he decides it’s warranted he will bring it to the board.  However the board is under no obligation to act on anything.  This is similar to the Simpson-Bowles debt cutting commission ordered by President Obama.  They got together; created dozens of ways to cut our debt and after several months presented it to our President who said “thanks but no thanks”.  Week after week, nasty e-mails by the “champion” keep filling up inboxes yet not a thing has changed.  Our guess is that by having this self proclaimed nickname they are hoping that members might be more impressed and will send that $100 donation they beg for at the end of every e-mail.  The last e-mail the  Champion sent to members told them that they could sell their firms and use a particular vendors service.  In fact the Champion went so far as to boldly claim that:


This affiliation amounts to an endorsement of his services to assist broker/dealers in their buy, sell, and merge agendas”.


…..and about 24 hours later the Champion apparently received calls and e-mails from firms who actually did due diligence that the Champion neglected or was too lazy to do and told members NOT to use this vendor’s services because he was getting calls and retracted the endorsement.  At least he didn’t ask for $100.00 in the retraction as well.  Perhaps instead of just attacking the SIPA and its founder this Champion should actually work with other trade groups and attempt to find real solutions to real problems.  We have been critical of their antics in the past but now that we know their true motivation we will cut them a break and from now on refer to them as “T-Bone”.  It’s a cool nickname and probably more effectively reflects their purpose. The next time you receive a Champion e-mail blast just think of George “T-bone” Costanza and have pity.  For those of you who have never seen the short skit here it is off of you tube. Enjoy!


Click here to watch T-Bone!

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August 14th, 2012



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