Archive for the ‘Blogs By Author’
Brokers Beware With each passing year retired Americans have felt the squeeze of the artificially lowered interest rates that have been crippling this country without so much as a whimper from AARP and its lobbyist friends. Years ago, many Americans would work their whole life and save up a couple hundred thousand and [...]
John Thomas case could set precedent FINRA recently came out with a scathing and lengthy complaint against John Thomas Financial and its principals, including its owner Tommy Belesis. While most of the charges were ugly to say the least however the part of the complaint that really caught my eye was the fact that JTF [...]
New series brings long overdue exposure to Wall Street problems Noted securities attorney, blogger, SIPA friend and Forbes contributor Bill Singer has recently launched a new interview series in conjunction with Reuters news that is tackling problems often swept under the rug or never mentioned by todays media.. Over the years Bill has been a [...]
Last month, FINRA reported two unrelated settlements of disciplinary actions against member firms noting its imposition of lower fines after taking into consideration, among other things, each firm’s limited revenues and financial resources. Indeed, FINRA reported 13 similar settlements in 2012. Back in 2006, NASD modified the General Principles Applicable to All Sanction Determinations portion [...]
The numbers below came directly from the FINRA web site and quite frankly, its a depressing snap shot of the state of the brokerage industry. There are many reasons why so many firms are out of business and this is not intended to just blame regulation. We have endured one of the worst economies in decades and the [...]
By Dock Treece With 2013 barely underway, Finra has wasted no time in proposing onerous new rules and regulations for member firms. One such rule was recently released for comment with Regulatory Notice 30-32, the so-called “broker compensation rule.” Essentially the firm introduces a new requirement for registered representatives who are recruited away from one [...]
Your voice does count but only if you use it. FINRA recently proposed the following rule to members: Regulatory Notice 13-02 FINRA Requests Comment on a Proposed Rule to Require Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest Relating to Recruitment Compensation Practices Comment Period Expires: March 5, 2013 Executive Summary Many member firms offer significant [...]
Its time to protect the reps from theft On a monthly basis it seems we read another story about how the owner of a B/D shut his doors, filed a BD withdrawal and then decided to keep last month’s entire production and not pay out their brokers. In a recent case a Firm owner from [...]
How FINRA and Merrill Lynch now define theft Every month I peruse the monthly disciplinary actions for two reasons. First to see what the trend of actions currently is and secondly to see if I know any of the firms or people who are being named. This month was no different but one case in [...]
Wall Street continues to control Washington As the press reports on this fairy tale called a fiscal cliff, I can’t help but be reminded of the famous children’s tale about an Emperor who ordered the greatest coat in the history of mankind to be made for him. As the emperor proudly marched down the streets [...]
A walk to remember I recently was coaxed (told) by my wife to take part in a 5k walk for Breast Cancer Awareness in downtown Orlando. October is breast cancer awareness month and if you are a fan of the NFL you notice players wearing pink wristbands, shoes and ribbons all over their body. For [...]
Small firms being squeezed out In 2006 the NASD announced they were going to merge with the NYSE and eliminate the one firm one vote rights of over 5000 brokerage firms in the United States. While some ushered in the idea of a public dominated board, others cautioned that without one firm one vote, [...]
FINRA Fines Merrill one day of interest for five years of violations Today FINRA announced that they have fined Merrill Lynch $500, 000 for five years worth of violations related to their failure to timely update broker and firm records to reflect customer complaints and arbitrations. In the Merrill Lynch case, FINRA found that: From 2007 [...]
T-BONE 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 [...]
Market cap losses now exceed over 50 billion A little less then two months ago we wrote a story known as “ FACEBOOK FOLLIES” and openly criticized the impending public offering and wondered why this huge scam was being allowed to be perpetuated on the American public. Here we are two months later and the [...]
Silver lining not seen by all Recently some groups and supposed champions of the membership were shocked by the various fees that were increased by FINRA as a result of a large loss. I’m not sure why you would be shocked by this when the CEO of FINRA, Rick Ketchum announced in April that there [...]
Candidates bring solutions to the table The Financial Services Exchange (FSX) once again was the only small firm advocate that was willing to hold an open and candid debate of the candidates for FINRA’s small firm position and just like past years, they asked members of the SIPA to help out. When Judy Ensweiler of [...]
This is a great question and an even more haunting song by Kate Bush. It’s been a few weeks since my friend and mentor Melodie Winters passed and I have had time to reflect on her life, love and passion. I have resisted reaching out to her husband Fred because I know he is still [...]
IPO could become one of the greatest scams Today is the day we all have all been told we are waiting for: The Facebook IPO! Investors around the world will line up to get shares of the social media giant in the aftermarket and will no doubt see dollar signs in their eyes. The [...]
A Significant loss stirs the membership Recently FINRA announced to members a proposal for increased fees as well as a ‘significant loss’ for fiscal year 2011. For many years FINRA has largely operated behind the wizard of Oz curtains and has told members what they felt they needed to hear rather then open the curtains [...]
A FINRA approach could do wonders for America I recently had the obligatory Easter phone call with my mother in New York. In between questions about the kids and my wife and some occasional Obama bashing we got on the subject of the warm weather the entire country experienced this past winter. Mom lives [...]
What the Supreme Court decision might mean for you The recent ruling by the Supreme Court not to hear the appeal of the Standard Chartered is not a shocking surprise to many due to the sheer mass of appeals the Supreme Court is inundated with each year. Our guess is that about ten minutes of [...]
Follow the money Recently the acclaimed “Oracle of Omaha” Warren Buffet continued his calls for Americans to pay more to the federal government by way of taxes. Warren has been telling everyone who will listen that he should pay more in taxes and so should other Americans. The rhetoric by this buffoon is being hailed [...]
Happy New Year from all of us at the SIPA. Before we start pondering the future for the Securities Industry we thought we would take a look back on 2011 and review the lessons we learned in the past year. Lesson #1: The more things change the more they stay the same. Whether it was [...]
Mortgage crisis hits home As the country’s mortgage crisis spirals out of control and thousands upon thousands of homeowners walk away from their under water home, I can’t help but wonder if secretly the 600,000 stockbrokers are quietly smiling inside as the rest of America gets a taste of what its like to be a [...]
The SIPA has been fighting for year to try and get owners of Broker Dealers what was rightfully theirs from the merger of NASD and NYSE regulation into the newly formed FINRA. Despite many obstacles and setbacks the case has now been sent to the Supreme Court of the United States to basically decide once [...]
I’ve had it with Washington! Enough already with your games, policies, deals, budgets, summits, partisan plans, jobs bills, debt deals, ENOUGH! You are all morons who have absolutely no idea how to create a job or wipe your ass without appropriating a sub committee to review the environmental effects of the toilet paper while appropriating funds for after wiping counseling for those who get diaper rash or a hemorrhoid.
Another reason we are supporting Sobel is that he is a man of his word and so are we. In 2009 Stephen Kohn and David Sobel were locked in a battle to contest the FINRA nominee for the open NAC seat and we decided to intervene so as to not split the contested dissident vote. After many conversations, David decided it was best for the small firm movement to step aside, support Stephen Kohn and not dilute the small firm vote and Kohn won in a landslide.
just in case things couldn’t get any worse, our President made sure to come out and sooth markets by telling them that “ It doesn’t mater what our credit rating is by some institution, we are the United States of America and will always be Triple A rated”. Oy Vey. This is real life Mr. President, not a Hollywood West Wing version in which they create some false moment
Honey, I think we may have a problem..we have over $50,000 in credit card debt and our home equity loan is maxed out and our bank account only has a couple hundred bucks in it until I get paid again next month. I don’t think we can do that Disney cruise we planned for later this year with Tom and Nancy. Not sure we can get Marcia that nose job either and Bobby may have to just keep wearing hand me downs
Bernie Madoff is in jail for taking money from investors and then using that money to pay off early investors yet our leaders are saying unless we can write 2 trillion dollars worth of bonds we will default. Maybe they should have done this with Madoff and asked for permission to sell 50 billion in bonds to pay off all the victims?
This election is very important and we need the Members to show a unified front. If you surround yourself with positive people, you will achieve positive results....believe it! Enclosed is my resume and other important information about this election and my history.
Our project, is to help rebuild homes and lives in the St. Bernard Parish. We are asking you to give a day to make a difference. No skills required. Simply register to attend the conference, and indicate you are interested in volunteering to help rebuild homes and lives. There will be a reception for volunteers Tuesday evening, in addition, FSX will pay for Tuesday evening hotel accommodations.
A veteran of severla Financial Industry Association election battles, Ashley will be using her experience In her new role with The SIPA. She plans on implementing membership dues and organizing the long term goal of becoming a new SRO. In addition member benefits unlike any other trade organization will be unrolled later this fall. This will include health benefits, legal defense teams for members experiencing FINRA problems and more prominent voice with Congress. Membership in The SIPA will still be open to all persons associated with the financially regulated firms.
Busacca, who aired his grievances to me in a phone interview, complains that Finra won't take legal action against large firms but has become extremely picky when dealing with small Broker/dealers.Representatives of the small firms who sit on Finra's 22-member board are outgunned by those that represent big- and medium-sized operations as well as the 11 appointed public members. Just a couple of years ago there were more than 6,000 small independents in the brokerage industry, providing thousands of jobs. That number is now down to around 4,100 and there's been a big drop-off in just the last few months.
If you recall, In January we released a story tracking Berkshire Hathaway to Goldman Sachs and other powerful Wall Street names Click here to read and suggested that the Wizard of Omaha may not be as clairvoyant to market and economic trends as he has indicated. I even received some scathing e-mails from readers who were aghast that I would even suggest that Berkshire would trade on inside information. A few short weeks later we learned that the CEO of Berkshire was trading on inside information:
When choosing a candidate take into account this staggering number we just quoted. Ask them what they intend to do to help stop the slaughter of small firms through excessive regulation and costly rule implementation that does little or nothing to protect the public. Ask them what rules they would change and keep the same and ask them if they know what it costs to implement the various trade reporting, AML and PCAOB audits
When I talked to several fellow committee members privately I was surprised to learn how much we had in common in our views and perceptions of regulation. The only problem was that several expressed concerns to me about raising their voices or offering their opinion for fear of alienating their FINRA examiners.
The real worry is if oil is no longer priced in U.S. dollars and instead switches to the Euro or Yen or Cheech and Chong. Quite frankly, once oil is no longer priced in U.S. dollars our prices will double overnight from their current levels. Washington doesn’t want to address this however and instead is focusing on Oil companies and price gouging.
President Obama's strange way of calculating everything from unemployment rates to budget cuts could be the key to showing economic growth in other areas. Unemployed people are being dropped off the unemployed list so why can't unsold homes be dropped from the unsold inventory list? read the full story for our ideas.
FINRA’s recent proposal to require more back office personnel to be registered is the latest in a series of head scratchers for the regulatory giant that is under fire by Congress for not protecting investors. The timing and the need for the proposal is in direct contrast to the needs being laid out by their big brother at the SEC
Some where along the way the unions went from protecting workers to intimidating them as well as our Government. I never really understood this phenomenon. GM, Ford and Chrysler have had strong unions for years and years and it afforded workers solidarity and negotiating power. That was until a guy with a high school education started making $80,000 per year to run a bolt through some sheet metal.
Given the fact that our highly regulated brokerage industry caused the collapse of the free markets and our economy, I don’t think we are in a position to ask that others fall under our regulation. I’m not sure we should be worrying about more Madoff scams when in fact FINRA dropped the ball on both Madoff and Sanford as well as a dozen others.
We hope that FINRA's attempt in all this is to allow a truly fair and open system rather then trying to dilute the vote among small firm candidates while counting on their pet trade organizations to support a single candidate of their choosing. Even if that's the case it will still be the voice of the small firm and this is what we have been fighting years for The SIPA intends to sit this election out and allow the members to decide for themselves who should speak for them.
The decision by the Trustee is puzzling on so many levels I almost do not know where to begin so In keeping with my theme from my speech last week to Broker Dealers at the Financial Services Exchange meeting in Atlanta: Follow the money!
AS WELL AS AN INCREASE IN COMMISSIONS Houston we have a problem. Perhaps no phrase has ever spoken more about a problem than these famous words from Apollo 13 years ago. One little problem turned into thousands of people working day and night to try and solve a ‘problem’ that eventually led to the safe [...]
I could not understand what sort of Business savvy former and current regulators would bring to a board. They obviously do not know marketing nor food coloring techniques that appeal to 5 year olds eating macaroni and cheese so why the mutual attraction ? As always just ask one simple question: How is Goldman Sachs involved in this?
There are so many people that I would like to thank for being a part of my life but it would be impossible to list them all here wouldn’t it? On second thought, maybe its time to live for NOW and not worry about time so in no particular order I just want to thank the following people for being an important part of my life in 2010 and hopefully in the years to come…
Mark Madoff, the troubled son of Ponzi master Bernie Madoff was found dead over the weekend from an apparent suicide. In other news, Frank Pantangeli slit his wrists while in prison just hours before he was scheduled to testify against Michael Corleone, apparently he was distressed that his brother was flying back to Sicily. In Brooklyn, Frankie Carbone accidentally locked himself in a frozen compartment of a meat truck and froze to death and Jimmy “Two Times” was the victim of a robbery on a deserted street.
The economy has been in the toilet since 2007 and although everyone keeps saying “the 2nd half of next year we should see a rebound” the stark truth is that there is no rebound in site and anyone saying differently is either a shill for the government or an absolute moron. The Financial Reform Act which was thrust down the throats of Financial Institutions and taxpayers will be the “Grinch that Stole Christmas”.