The Blog Of The Securities Industry Professional Association

Archive for the ‘Regulatory Opinion’

Demand for Firms Could Increase

Puzzling SEC enforcement action The Securities and Exchange Commission recently brought an action against John Fierro and his company JDF Capital(JDF) for violations of…..rule 144?  We have read the release, we have consulted with known securities lawyers and I can safely say we are not alone in trying to figure out why this action was […]
Comments Off on Demand for Firms Could Increase

Are commissions really the problem?

For a long time the SIPA has wondered why there is an obsession with the amount of money a broker earns on any transaction.  The 5%  “Guideline” that is the holy grail of rules even though it is considered a guideline is outdated and not reasonable in this day and age of compliance and regulatory […]
Comments Off on Are commissions really the problem?

The Communist Revolution Coming to Wall Street?

Brokers better beware of the drum beat The past two years has seen a return to somewhat normal regulations on Wall Street as Donald Trump has lifted and or modified many of the burdensome regulations strangling capital formation for much of the last 10 years. The market has responded with robust earnings, record unemployment and […]
Comments Off on The Communist Revolution Coming to Wall Street?

Government proves AML and SAR’s are worthless

Why burden brokerage firms? For years we have questioned why the federal government relies on brokerage firms to do a laundry list of cartwheels and hoop jumping to fight potential terrorism. September 11th 2001 was 17 years ago and every month FINRA and the SEC take dramatic and draconian action against firms for not seeing […]
Comments Off on Government proves AML and SAR’s are worthless

NIBA and SIPA join forces!

National Investment Banking Association (NIBA) and The Securities Industry Professional Association (SIPA) have agreed to join forces to work on behalf of small broker dealers and Registered Representatives to advance more thoughtful regulation that advances business and capital formation while protecting investors in a more efficient manner. Recently SIPA and NIBA were proud to support […]
Comments Off on NIBA and SIPA join forces!

The Establishment and Trump

FINRA and the Small Firm Advisory Board Recently Chip Jones of FINRA made a podcast with Wendy Lanton who is head of the Small Firm Advisory Committee. Please click here to watch this interview For years now mass media, political pundits and people on the left and right scratch their head and cannot figure out […]
Comments Off on The Establishment and Trump

A call for action.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support during the most recent election for the Small Firm seat on the FINRA Board of Governors. I was thrilled and extremely honored to receive the phone call this week from Robert Cook/FINRA telling me that I won. I look forward to working […]
Comments Off on A call for action.

How many board members does it take to screw in a light bulb?

24 caret board members get’s expensive The recent election of Paige Pierce to the FINRA board had us doing some head scratching. While we acknowledge the small firm representation and large firm representation on the board of governors, is it too much for members to ask for a scale back on the sheer number? Currently, […]
Comments Off on How many board members does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Facebook vs. FINRA

Social Media is the fall guy for all the other spy games On a near weekly basis we are subjected to the endless cries from Congress about the invasion of rights on American citizens by the social media and search engine giants of silicon valley. Millions have recently begun closing their Twitter and Facebook accounts […]
Comments Off on Facebook vs. FINRA

FINRA Double Dipping

FINRA has a curious punishment policy With a heat wave covering much of the country, I am reminded of the Ice cream shops and trucks that all the neighborhood kids ran to in order to get the coldest and best ice cream. We had one shop that had the specialty of doing a double dip […]
Comments Off on FINRA Double Dipping

Papa John Mob Hit

Where is the SEC? As the fallout from Papa John’s founder and former CEO continue to reverberate, we think it’s time to take a closer look at what exactly has happened. As most of you know, John Schnatter aka “Papa John”, was recently booted from the company in a highly publicized dismissal that basically was […]
Comments Off on Papa John Mob Hit


Let Paige Pierce finish the job! To my Small Firm colleagues, I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that I have thrown my hat into the ring for the FINRA Board and I would really appreciate your support in getting my name on the ballot. To earn my spot on the […]

Supreme Court Tackles Constitutional Limits of SEC

FINRA could be next if SCOTUS rules as expected The SCOTUS is hearing a case right now that may change the way the SEC and possibly FINRA have been conducting business for many years now. The SEC has used Administrative Law Judges  (ALJ’s) for some time to hear cases and appeals regarding SEC enforcement.  These […]
Comments Off on Supreme Court Tackles Constitutional Limits of SEC

Justice Is Truly Blind

We have been outspoken about the FINRA Arbitration and Hearing system for many years now.  However, despite our constant chirping in this matter we continue to wonder if FINRA is upholding Justice or are they just plain blind?   Case and point: FINRA Hearing Panel Bars Broker for Defrauding Elderly, Blind Customer WASHINGTON — The Financial […]
Comments Off on Justice Is Truly Blind

Will Trump Change Regulation on Wall Street?

A chance for regulatory reform in the future Now that the Trump hysteria has settled down and the ‘snowflakes’ have stopped protesting in the streets and the mass media has finally lifted their collective jaws off the carpet, it’s time to look at some of the proposals that Trump has made that could impact our […]
Comments Off on Will Trump Change Regulation on Wall Street?


Sanders might be guilty of a Pump and Dump  The recent announcement that the Democratic National Convention was a rigged race from the moment it started comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed the Clinton’s over the last three decades.  Wiki Leaks released over 20,000 emails in which the head of the DNC […]

Know when to hold ‘em, Know when to fold “em

Risk vs Reward when dealing with FINRA   We have seen yet another increase in the ‘Death Penalty” being issued by FINRA to firms across the county for a variety of reasons ranging from failure to supervise to failure to do anything.  How did we get to this point whereby almost all actions appear to […]
Comments Off on Know when to hold ‘em, Know when to fold “em

Securities and Exchange Commission’s Cyber Security Guidance

Securities and Exchange Commission’s Cyber Security Guidance By Doug Kamin, Senior Compliance Consultant Regulatory Compliance On April 28, 2015 The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Investment Management released Cybersecurity Guidance IM 2015-02 for registered investment companies (“Funds”) and registered investment advisers (“Advisers”). Earlier this year the SEC announced that cybersecurity would be an […]
Comments Off on Securities and Exchange Commission’s Cyber Security Guidance

Under the recent SEC No-Action Letter, What exactly can an “Un-Licensed” M&A Person Do?

    Part 1 – The Rules.  (Coming Next Week – An M&A Engagement Template)   M&A Brokers facilitate mergers, acquisitions, business sales, and business combinations (together, “M&A Transactions”) between sellers and buyers of privately-held companies, without regard to the size of the privately-held companies  Definition: An “M&A Broker” is a person engaged in the […]
Comments Off on Under the recent SEC No-Action Letter, What exactly can an “Un-Licensed” M&A Person Do?

8210 Legal Defense Team on the horizon

The SIPA was recently contacted by a prominent legal firm in New York regarding our willingness to sign a non binding letter of intent regarding services offered by the firm.  Since I have known the lead attorney for years and have actually used him (with success!) in the past I decided to tame my attention […]
Comments Off on 8210 Legal Defense Team on the horizon

SIDE BAR with Bill Singer

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 […]
Comments Off on SIDE BAR with Bill Singer

A Reminder for Small BDs Facing FINRA Fines: Size Matters

 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 […]
Tags: , , , , , Comments Off on A Reminder for Small BDs Facing FINRA Fines: Size Matters

Broker Protection Reform Needed

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 […]
Tags: , , , Comments Off on Broker Protection Reform Needed

A New Way to Steal Client Money

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 […]
Tags: , , Comments Off on A New Way to Steal Client Money


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 […]


A small firm seat on FINRA’s Board of Governors will be up for election soon and the petition process has begun.  The nominating committee chose to nominate W. Dennis Ferguon for the mid sized seat and some guy named Seth Waugh of Deustche Bank.  We have no idea who Seth is but we have known […]


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 […]

Welcome to a broker’s world

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 […]
Tags: , Comments Off on Welcome to a broker’s world

Ken Norensberg’s Petition

I wanted to thank you for the support that you have shown the team of Ken, Joel and Jed. What the Members did was unprecedented! Please sign the attached petition so that the team can continue to be informed voices on the Board of Governors. Ken’s Petition for the Board of Governors United we stand! All the best, […]
Comments Off on Ken Norensberg’s Petition


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.

Sweeping Change in Washington

The Republicans swooped into office and now everyone is expecting huge change in Washington yet your first evidence of more of the same was the speech by minority leader John Boehner on election night. Lets be realistic, this race was fueled by the phenomenal success of the Tea Party and they are the ones who energized the campaign, yet once victory was secured in comes a 21 year congressmen with a nice suit, overly tanned and full or pats on his back when in fact he offered little or no support to tea party candidates who were running under the Republican ticket.
Comments Off on Sweeping Change in Washington

One Firm One Vote

We can only do so much here and we think its important to let the candidates know how you feel instead of just beating us up. We are here to help the small firms and brokers out there and unlike other group sout there we believe in accountability and if our guys aren't living up to their word then we will find others that will.
Tags: , Comments Off on One Firm One Vote

FINRA Board Elects to Operate in Shadows

On the surface this seems reasonable to an untrained ear, however when the top ten employees are making over a million a year in base salary without any limits on their capacity to earn more, doesn’t this affect their ability to regulate as well?
Comments Off on FINRA Board Elects to Operate in Shadows

“SNOOKIE” Proves our Financial Regulatory System is Broke

The message sent to Wall Streets elite firms is that if you commit securities fraud you may have to use your debit card to pay the fine and do not worry about jail time as long as you sing like a canary after your caught. Poor ‘Snooki” apparently takes her Italian heritage seriously and decided not to betray her family on Jersey Shore. Too bad she didn’t have info on Joey taking steroids to get better abs. The best part is the judge in the case lambasting Snookie.
Comments Off on “SNOOKIE” Proves our Financial Regulatory System is Broke

SIPA Members Sweep FINRA Elections!

The recent FINRA Board election was nothing less then astounding considering the fact that the SIPA members faced not only strong challenges by well known FINRA nominees but by habitual board candidates that appeared to try and dilute the dissident vote as a favor for FINRA. Much to our surprise though, the members and supporters came out in droves and quite frankly the margin of victory was nothing short of astonishing.
Tags: , , Comments Off on SIPA Members Sweep FINRA Elections!

FINRA ELECTION: A Matter of Trust

Do you trust FINRA? It’s a simple yes or no answer that is at the heart of this election. Do you believe FINRA has YOUR best interests in mind or do they cater to a certain segment of Firms? If you believe that FINRA has shown itself to be completely trust worthy, then by all means vote for their handpicked candidates.
Comments Off on FINRA ELECTION: A Matter of Trust

Lacking Trust in FINRA?

Over 100 Million dollars of YOUR money was paid out to the top executives of FINRA over the last four years, yet this organization told you that the IRS would only allow a payment of $35,000 to you. While you are fighting for survival, the compensation paid to these people at FINRA has swelled to proportions that would make John Thain of Merrill Lynch fame blush.
Tags: , Comments Off on Lacking Trust in FINRA?

A Tale of Two Trades

Let’s take a look at 2 brokers in 2 different offices both looking at British Petroleum for their customers for two different reasons. The first broker believes the spill is overblown and that with 64 billion in net profits the previous year and a dividend yield now approaching 9% it’s certainly worth a 10,000 share investment. The second broker believes the worst is yet to come and thinks BP could go bankrupt from this massive oil spill so he decides to take advantage for his customer who favors aggressive investing and he wants to go short 10,000 shares of BP.
Tags: , , Comments Off on A Tale of Two Trades

Goldman takes one for the Team

As I read the SEC press release on Friday charging Goldman with fraud I couldn’t help but laugh and wonder if they contacted Mario Puzo and asked for advice on how to get the swirling controversy around them to subside. The fraud charges are comical at best due to the fact that one person from Goldman was named in the SEC indictment.
Tags: , , , , , Comments Off on Goldman takes one for the Team

Gunn Allen And Investor Protections

This is either the biggest farce or the most ingenious way to bilk and abuse investors and then obtain help from FINRA in making it impossible to get redemption. It is our humble opinion that investors who were out 50 million would give anything to get a $25 million settlement right now, yet that chance has come and gone.
Tags: , , , , Comments Off on Gunn Allen And Investor Protections

The return on sanity?

A judge who finally gets it right NEW YORK – A federal judge on Monday rejected a $33 million settlement between the Securities and Exchange Commission and Bank of America Corp. over bonuses paid by Merrill Lynch. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff called the proposed consent judgment "inadequate." Rakoff wrote in an opinion that the $33 million settlement was a "trivial penalty for a false statement that materially infected a multi-billion-dollar merger."
Tags: Comments Off on The return on sanity?


Previously, we here at The SIPA have questioned the investment losses of FINRA and wondered out loud if they may have invested in Madoff….well we could be about to find out.  A lawsuit has been filed against FINRA by a member firm that alleges conflict of interest as well as demands the books of FINRA […]

Regulatory Overhaul?

Wasting Away Again In Regulatorville… Another day, another new Regulator or Czar appointed by the government.  The latest creation is the new and improved super regulator that will over see the SEC and FINRA as well as the institutions themselves.  Before we get into this latest and greatest Regulatory overhaul, I think is important to […]
Comments Off on Regulatory Overhaul?

The Swine Flu And The Economy

How to tell when the real Bottom has occurred Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, AIG, Washington Mutual and Wachovia Failing, TARP programs, 4500 point Dow Drop, Housing Crash, Credit Crunch, Layoffs, Foreclosures, more Layoffs, Credit Crunch, More TARP money, Bankrupt Automakers, Government Takeovers, Pick a Ponzi, Bernie Madoff, Sanford, Harbor private funds, Wall Street Bonuses, 3 […]
Comments Off on The Swine Flu And The Economy

Regulatory Overhaul??

Today the Treasury Secretary began outlining his vision of a new Regulatory structure to replace the old one. This new system will save us all from another catastrophic meltdown in our financial system and make sure corruption and greed is caught early on. The SIPA response? Yadee Yadee Yadee… With all due respect, why create […]
Comments Off on Regulatory Overhaul??

Brokers Beware!

CYA In These Crazy Times As one of the leading voices of Registered Reps and their rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of higher returns, The SIPA has had an out pouring of e-mails and phone calls from Individual registered Representatives who are now being made the brunt of this cruel Bail-out Blarney.  As […]
Comments Off on Brokers Beware!

“Nothing To See Here, Folks”

Sweeping The Scene Clean of Madoff’s Victim’s Blood Bernie Madoff plead guilty to 11 counts of fraud yesterday in Manhattan. While acknowledging that we are not Crime Scene investigators in New York, Vegas or Miami, the SIPA is shocked at the apparent cover up in the whole Madoff mess.  Although I’m no genius, I do consider myself […]
Tags: , , , , , , Comments Off on “Nothing To See Here, Folks”

“Failed” Regulation??

How To Insult The American Public With A Smile On Your Face Today the SEC Chairman Christopher proclaimed that “ The SEC Failed to Investigate and Probe Madoff”.  (Click here to read story). While this might sound to some of you as a small act of contrition and public acknowledgement of his agency’s failings, this […]

Hedge Fund Mess Just Beginning To Come Home To Roost

Why Madoff will not be an isolated case Over a year ago we questioned whether there was sufficient regulation of the Hedge Fund industry (click here to read).  In light of the Madoff Meltdown the important question brokers must be asking themselves now is not IF more regulation is necessary, but should one remove one’s clients’ […]
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , Comments Off on Hedge Fund Mess Just Beginning To Come Home To Roost

The End Of FINRA: Dec 5, 2008

In several articles earlier this year, we broached the unthinkable: that the End Of FINRA was potentially at hand. Since then, we have seen much in the way of de-facto re-organization, with the Bulge Bracket firms – such as they still exist – coming under direct control of the Treasury. Ironically, what this means is […]