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FINRA Finally Listening to the SIPA

  FINRA board to discuss an arbitration fund for investors  For many years the SIPA has analyzed the actions and rules of FINRA and we have always been left puzzled as to how they cannot see the answer staring them in the face.  In some instances, they have taken a simple problem and made it […]
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WiKi Leaks and FINRA/SEC

Will the inevitable happen sooner or later?  Wiki Leaks and its founder Julian Assange have spent the better part of three years tormenting the most powerful country and people in the world.  From Hillary Clinton to the NSA, they have been brazen in their attack and release of previously classified emails on a variety of […]
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FEELING THE BERN OR GETTING BURNED?

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 […]
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The Insanity Must End!

Time to Stop Attacking Brokerage Firms Americans have witnessed firsthand the acts of terror here in our homeland and abroad in Europe. We are constantly reminded to stay vigilant and to make sure we report everything we see that we deem suspicious. Despite this constant reminder from government officials, we have seen time and again […]
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FINRA Model May Not Be Sustainable

FINRA has recently released its annual audited financials and as an organization, it’s not a pretty trend and one has to wonder if big changes need to be contemplated now rather than later.  While the Accountants at FINRA have tried desperately to squeeze out some sort of profit for FINRA for many years now, it’s […]
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BREXIT OR SAXSIT?

  For those of you who are loyal readers of the SIPA, you already know that basically all roads lead back to the Wall Street cartel that basically controls the American way of life. From Congress to the White house, nothing gets done, passed or enacted unless a blessing from the real Godfather is granted.   […]
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Anti Money Laundering Follies

Is it time to stop the charade?  The recent horrific attacks in my hometown of Orlando served as a reminder of how vulnerable we really are.  Whether it’s flying on a plane, going to a theme park or taking mass transit, we are all vulnerable to Islamic terrorist attacks.  Sure, there are things we can […]

The City Beautiful

ORLANDO STRONG!  As a longtime resident of Orlando, I have grown to love the place they call “The City Beautiful”. For many years I too labored under the false idea that Orlando was the city of Mickey Mouse and that the only thing to do was go to amusement parks.  In 2000 I took a […]
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World Banks on Fire!

Why regulators keep looking the other way as banks continue to set fires The world banking system continues to be a series of near misses and impending disasters time and time again despite multiple close calls.  In “Man on Fire” we chronicled a young fool who continually played with fire and it almost cost him […]
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Man on Fire

  Mistakes of the past tend to get repeated   (Part I of a  II Part story)  I was recently chirping back and forth with former classmates on Facebook and even in that sentence I reveal how out of touch I am with today’s digital world.  Chirping is for Twitter and Facing is for Booking, […]
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Silence of the Lambs

The Fed’s Wall Street Obsession is Killing American Capitalism  For nearly 20 years now, we have all sat idly by, watching the Federal Reserve obsess over the stock market like  Clarice in Silence of the Lambs obsessed over Hannibal.  It is high time the Congress of this United States got together and limited the Fed […]
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WHAT IF FINRA REGULATED WASHINGTON?

Disciplinary and other FINRA actions January 2016  Hillary Rodham Clinton (Crd # 098765)   was fined $100,000 and prohibited from associating in any capacity for a period of 2 years for not complying with e-mail archiving rules.  Ms. Clinton failed to properly store, maintain and archive her emails in a non editable format that is on […]

The Wizard of Fed Oz

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain  As we watch yet again the confusing signals of the stock market and the actions of the Fed Reserve, I can’t help but think of the classic movie the Wizard of Oz.   The last 8 years have certainly been the most bizarre and confounding mix of […]
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FINRA firing expensive bullets into Zombies

  Time for a FINRA reevaluation of importance  Each month I can’t wait to study the monthly disciplinary actions on FINRA’s web site for two reasons: First, what sort of idiotic thing did somebody try to pull and Secondly and more importantly, who do I know on the list?  After 20 plus years in the […]
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The Year that was 2015

Happy New Year?  It never ceases to amaze me how we become so sentimental on December 31st each year but by January 2nd we are back to our grind of running around, shopping , working, stressing and losing our patience with each other. All day today and tomorrow we will greet everybody we encounter with […]
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DONALD TRUMP vs. PETER PAN AND THE LOST BOYS

Why the Donald is upsetting Wall Street and Washington  In the famous novel/movie ‘Peter Pan”, Peter leads a group of miscreant orphans that live in “Never Never Land” and they never grow up and they never change.  On a daily basis they have staged fights with the local Native Indians on the island and some […]
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Accredited or not?

THE APPLICABILITY OF THE “ACCREDITED INVESTOR” DEFINITION AS AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE   Because there appears to be some confusion in the broker community about the applicability of the “accredited investor” definition to the defense of customer securities arbitration proceedings, I offer this perspective. The accredited investor definition is well-known, but for the reader’s convenience I […]
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Who is the real criminal here?

Short Sale Rules being ignored On December 17th 2015 the SEC announced formal charges against Martin Shkreli and his Lawyer for committing Securities fraud, embezzling money from his hedge fund and a variety of other charges.   The SEC also said he made misrepresentations to his ‘Executing Broker Dealer” regarding the location of stock he was […]

What is Attorney-Client Privilege?

You’ve hired a lawyer to help you with the legal matter you’ve been grappling with, but as you prepare for that first meeting with your new lawyer, you may have concerns about how much information you should provide him or her. After all, you’re pretty sure your lawyer is subject to attorney confidentiality—that is, he or she is required […]
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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 […]
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The end of Low Priced Stocks?

Caution: Low Priced Securities! For the last decade or so we have advised firms repeatedly that it’s no longer a matter of WILL Clearing firms and FINRA eliminate low priced physical stock certificates being deposited but a matter of WHEN they will end it. In the last five to seven years it seems that one […]
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY “POPS”

So my Dad would have been 76 today.  I wish I could say its been getting better since he left us a few years ago, But that’s just not the case. Its tough to be a father and you really can’t take the proper time to grieve because you have to take care of your […]
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David Banerjee For the NAC

Greetings from the Securities Industry Professional Association.  It is with great privilege that we ask all SIPA members to seriously consider signing the enclosed petition for Mr. David Banerjee to be on the ballot for the National Adjudicatory Council.   I have personally known David for nearly 15 years and consider him uniquely qualified to represent […]
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What is a Broker Dealer Worth?

The answer is that you may NEVER find out….We continue to lose Members on a regular basis who simply can’t make it and either just sell their Broker Dealer for a tiny amount of money as a shell or file for withdrawal and just give up.   We need a real Member who understands the […]
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Did Tim Cook Just Do That?

APPLE CEO IN SOME RISKY TERRITORY   Yesterday was a tense day on Wall Street.  The Asian stock markets had just collapsed and US exchanges were poised for some of the biggest declines in years.  The futures market indicated that a collapse of at least 600 points for the dow jones industrial average.  As I […]
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A Head Scratching FINRA Verdict

  Recently the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC)has been raising eyebrows with a variety of new rules, sanction guidelines and some decisions that are quite confusing to say the least.  Recently we wrote ‘Broker Beware” in which the NAC will now be recommending a lifetime bar for unsuitable trading and other infractions.  Last month the NAC issued a decision […]
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Capital for Keeps

Recently SIPA member and former SEC attorney Russel Weigel took some time out of his life to write a book that should be on the desk of every broker trying to navigate the complex world of capital raising. We have specials on the book just for SIPA members.   Click on the link below to […]
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6 billion settlement but no failure to supervise?

Today a major announcement was made regarding some of the largest banks in the world: YORK/LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) – Four major banks pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates and six banks were fined a total of nearly $6 billion in a settlement that substantially ends a global probe into misconduct in […]
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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 […]
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FINRA needs to get out of FRAUD business

Recently we discussed in ‘Broker Beware” the new NAC guidelines that call for a lifetime bar for unsuitability and for cases involving fraud.  While we think this can lead to an influx of trial lawyers attacking small firms with over blown claims of unsuitability in order to get them to settle quickly, we believe that […]

Broker Beware !

New Enforcement Sanctions from NAC  Last week the FINRA’s National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) released a statement that increases dramatically the sanctions on individuals found guilty of fraud and unsuitability.   In the statement NAC said:   The revised Sanction Guidelines now advise FINRA adjudicators to strongly consider barring an individual respondent, or expelling a firm, for cases involving fraud. […]
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ACTUAL PHONE CALLS TO FINRA RELEASED

  FINRA recently launched with much fanfare its toll free senior hot line. WASHINGTON—The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has launched the toll-free FINRA Securities Helpline for SeniorsTM to provide older investors with a supportive place to get assistance from knowledgeable FINRA staff related to concerns they have with their brokerage accounts and investments. Senior […]
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Republican “To Do” List

Victory last night offers promise and potholes, especially to Broker Dealers  As I watched the results from the election pour in last night from across the country, I had this sudden wave of Déjà vu  sweep over me.  For some reason I have experienced this same euphoria and reaction to a political landslide before but […]
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Steven Thornton for NAC

The SIPA ia proud to support Steven Thornton for the NAC.   He is a small firm owner and SIPA member who has been a supporter of your causes for years.  Please print and fax his petition as soon as possible so he can be added to the ballot.  This petition is only to have […]
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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 […]
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Expungement and Amnesty

    Expungement of records being curtailed The SEC recently approved FINRA rule 2081 which severely limits the expungement of broker records in making settlements with customers.   The new rule will no longer allow an expungement of the customer complaint from the broker’s record as a condition for settlement.  On the surface this would appear […]
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FINRA Election For Small Firms

Now more then ever, make your voice heard! As we have in the past, the SIPA is urging all members to have your voice heard loud and strong and to use your vote wisely.  We have been approached by Paige Peirce and Carrie Wisniewski regarding their quest to be placed on the ballot.  Remember, this […]
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FINRA Launches Retrospective Rule Review

 FINRA recently announced that they will begin conducting a “look back” at their current rules to determine if the rules are meeting their intended objectives. “FINRA believes it is important to look back at its significant rule makings to determine whether those rules and rule sets are meeting their intended investor-protection objectives by reasonably efficient means,” said Robert […]
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A World Governed by FINRA

How would other industries would handle playing in a brokers’ world ? Over the years at conferences and cocktail parties I often hear Brokers and BD owners lament about the restrictions placed on them compared to other industries.  Indeed it is a very regulated world in the securities industry and the amount of rules, regulations, reports, […]
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The Lost Boys

  Is soccer mom or Washington to blame for a lost generation? The stock market roared approval of the fed decision to reduce fiscal stimulus from a whopping 85 Billion per month to a still whopping 75 billion per month.  Wall Street loves low interest rates and borrowing money for free so they can play […]
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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 […]
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SIPA Member Robert Keenan Wins Board Seat!

FINRA announced yesterday that Robert Keenan, owner of St. Bernard Financial and a long time SIPA member has won the small firm seat on the Board of Governors.  Keenan defeated fellow SIPA member and current board member Jed Bandes in a close election. We are proud of the efforts put into this important election and […]
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Wall Streets Fed Addiction

Its time for rehab  There has been a cat and mouse game being played for the last several months between Ben Bernanke and the Seven Sisters on Wall Street.  Basically the game is played out over a few days each week in which big Ben announces it time to stop giving away free money to […]
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SMALL FIRM RACE PRESENTS OPPORTUNITY

Make your voice heard!  The race for the small firm seat is underway and all three candidates are busy asking members for your vote.  Sitting governor Jed Bandes is locked in what appears to be a tight race with David Sobel , the head of the Small Firms Advisory Board and newcomer Robert Keenan of […]
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Getting Fired or Quitting Wall Street?

This is a must see episode of Side Bar with Bill Singer if you are a broker.   Bill talks candidly with Attorney Robert Herskovits about the perils of just quitting your job and taking a new one.  We have chronicled the broker plight before and Bill and Robert give some excellent advice on how […]
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RETIRED AMERICANS FEELING SQUEEZE

  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 […]
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FINRA Finally Protecting Brokers

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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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VANISHING BROKER DEALERS

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 […]
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