The Blog Of The Securities Industry Professional Association


FBI and FINRA suffer from the same problem


Former FBI director James Comey has spent the last year making conflicting if not hypocritical statements about everything from Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server to Trump’s alleged Russian collusion.  He literally has become a pathetic looking sap of the political parties and the press as he flips back and forth in his words and actions.  However, if you listen to his statements that he makes on talk shows you will notice that he has a two tiered way of applying justice and in many ways this is the same issue that FINRA and the SEC have been grappling with for decades now: How to apply justice to all.

Comey admits that his Deputy director Andrew McCabe lied and leaked information to the press.  He even claims he started the investigation into his lies and leaks that led to his termination last month.  On the other hand Gen Flynn in the Trump administration also lied to the FBI about his dealings and for his ‘crimes against humanity” he was forced to resign, sell his home and was prosecuted until he paid a fine and had his name destroyed.  In the case of Hillary and her e-mails, Mr. Comey admits he did not prosecute because he basically did not believe there was sufficient public sentiment to bring the case, even though he said flat out she was not being truthful!   Is this not securities regulation at its worst?  This is exactly what has been happening for the last decade and it is creating complete doubt in our justice system.

Every day we read the latest enforcement action in which a small firm is barred from the industry and its principals are fined and barred for misleading and or not being truthful.  Every month firms are slammed with heavy fines for not backing up their e-mails in the proper format and for not producing documents when requested.  Interestingly, when the larger firms do this same thing there is a small fine and no mention of a bar or suspension and no individuals are ever named.  When a small firm is found to be under net capital, they are suspended, must pay a fine and the FINOP is named as a respondent.  However, when Merrill Lynch was 80 Billion dollars under capital in 2009, not a single mark can be found on their form B/D relating to being about 25 BILLION UNDER NET CAPITAL.  A small $5,000 net capital firm gets named in a costly action because they fell to $3,000 in capital but a major firm is under water by billions of dollars and nobody is named?

There is a growing distrust among Americans over our Government and its agencies and these are the reasons why.  Some people have to follow rules or else they are severely punished, while others can blatantly break rules and laugh all the way to the bank. Charges against some people are subject to public perception and polls, while others have no choice but to pay the piper.

Post Metadata

April 19th, 2018



Comments are closed.