The Blog Of The Securities Industry Professional Association



FINRA members are shaking their heads at America.

As a long time member of the Financial Industry with over 25 years of battle scars under my belt, it never ceases to amaze me how clueless the majority of the people are in this country to what is actually occurring.  I often talk to my fellow financial comrades over the phone or at conventions and we laugh out loud at how oblivious 90% of American’s are about what is and has been actually going on for over a decade.  The mass media and press and on television are as oblivious as the politicians elected to enact laws in this country.  While the country argues about Russian interference in elections, wire taps, illegal surveillance and leaks to the press and a ban on certain countries, we in the financial industry are openly mocking your stupidity.   Let’s take a look at some of the fire rod subjects created by President Trump and compare it to being a FINRA member.

Accusation: ‘Trump has banned several Muslim countries”

Facts:             This has been the case by and large since September 11th 2001.  Where has everyone been?   The Patriot Act wasn’t aimed at getting the bad guys in Portugal and Iceland.  It was mainly directed at Muslim countries due to their sponsorship of terrorism. FINRA members must use the Treasury Department OFAC system prior to opening an account and receiving money from dozens of countries around the globe.  Most notably places like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia and the Congo to name just a few.  The reason given for being on this list is usually terrorism or WMDS.   If a broker took an account from a Doctor living in any of these countries, FINRA and the SEC would most likely throw him out of the industry.  This sort of ban has already been taking place for years but the mass media is screaming that “ Trump wants to ban muslins from these countries” while at the same time not recognizing our government bans money from going in or out of these countries already for risk of terror?  America banned wires to/from these countries over risk of terror but people are crying in the street that unknown people from these countries can just come unfettered to our country.  It may be time for FINRA, the SEC and Treasury to just suspend this whole program as a waste of time.  The hypocrisy is sometimes maddening.

Accusation: The Government was wire tapping or using surveillance against people illegally”

Facts:             The Government has been doing this for decades via the SEC and FBI against Broker Dealers and Brokers.  Why is everybody so bent out of shape by this idea?  All you have to do is run to a judge and tell them you suspect an illegal financial act is being conducted and you can tap or seek records and data all day until your order expires.  Many FINRA member firms are forced to record all their conversations and FINRA can come in at any time and request up to six (6) years of recordings and you have to turn it over.  I personally know of one firm that was recorded and when FINRA was listening to the tapes due to one particular investigation, they heard a representative from another firm directing orders to specific trading destinations.  They investigated her and her company, determined she didn’t have proper licensing to direct orders and promptly fined and barred her from the industry, even though she wasn’t the scope of the original investigation.  In another instance, a broker was required to submit his wife’s cell phone records to FINRA even though she wasn’t in the industry. He was threatened with expulsion if he didn’t comply.

Accusation: “There have been leaks of confidential information”

Facts:             This has been going on for years with both the SEC and FINRA in many cases.  FINRA members know when the proverbial crap hits the fan because they will announce in a press conference the pending charges against a broker dealer whose head they want to scalp.  In addition, as most in the industry know, the clearing house is your life blood and if by chance the SEC or FINRA places a friendly call and tells you there is a major investigation occurring, what do you think happens?  The clearing firm sends you a 90 termination notice and quite coincidentally, no other clearing firm wants your business even though the case has not been adjudicated or in some cases charges filed!

In conclusion, it’s obvious that 95% of American could never handle the stress, hypocrisy and challenges of being in the financial industry.  They live in a cozy little world, in which courts actually protect your constitutional rights to freedom, privacy, unlawful searches and the right to pursue happiness.  Welcome to the financial world America and for the hard working men and women in the financial world with thick skin, WE THANK YOU!!!!


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March 29th, 2017



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