The SIPA

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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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Comp Rule Puts FinraBetween Broker and Client

 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 […]
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SEC DISMISSES GOBLE CASE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA before the SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION  SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 Release No. 68651 / January 14, 2013 Admin. Proc. File No. 3-14390   In the Matter of RICHARD L. GOBLE  ORDER DISMISSING PROCEEDING   I.   Richard L. Goble, the founder of North American Clearing, Inc., formerly a broker-dealer registered […]
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Comment needed for latest FINRA proposal

 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 […]
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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 […]
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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 […]

Fiscal Cliff or Emperors New Coat?

 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 Lesson in Pink

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 […]
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Clearing Firms Replacing FINRA

  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, […]
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Merrill Lynch Rules

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 […]
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T-BONE!

            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 […]
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FACEBOOK FIASCO NOW BIGGER THEN MADOFF

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 […]
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FINRA RATE HIKES MAY HELP YOUR FIRM

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 […]
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FINRA CANDIDATES DEBATE FOR YOUR VOTE

 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 […]
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ELECTION TIME AGAIN

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 […]
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FACEBOOK FOLLIES

  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 […]
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FINRA TRANSPARENCY COMES AT A PRICE

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 […]
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Should we all be regulated the same way?

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 […]
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REGULATORY IMMUNITY?

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 […]
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WARREN BUFFOONERY AND GOLDMAN

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 […]
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Lessons learned in 2011

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 […]
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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 […]
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SIPA Files Supreme Court Brief of Amicus on Flawed NASD Merger

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 […]
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The China Riddle Solved

Brokers may soon hit Beijing As we watch randomly organized protestershit the street complaining about corporate greed, pollution and student loans, I can only picture the leaders of China smiling and thinking about how much money they will make. For the last two decades China has reaped the rewards of increasing its manufacturing capacity and […]
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Kimmel: We need more people like Howard Schultz

  Justin Sullivan | Getty Images Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at the Commonwelth Club of California on April 4, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  Schultz discussed his tenure as Starbucks CEO and promoted his new book “Onward. – How Starbucks Fought For Its Life Without Losing its Soul” I recently asked a colleague about […]
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Building the Case for Building Trust

  I recently came across a powerful blog post written by Jason Tapp called Building the case for Building Trust. With Jason’s permission, the article is reposted below, followed by some further research performed by Trust Across America that supports Jason’s case. – Barbara Kimmel Trust is thought of as a form of social capital, […]
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ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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.
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SIPA supports David Sobel for NAC

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.
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The Shocker

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
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Ken Norensberg Elected

The Sipa has learned that Ken Norensberg has been elected to a second term on the Finra Board of Governors by a relatively large vote. Although not official, we believe Ken received 836 votes while Alan Davidson received 525 votes
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Tackling Washington from a Brady Bunch Perspective

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
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FREE BERNIE MADOFF!

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?
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FSX and SIPA give back to New Orleans

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.
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Is Gold The Next Bubble to Burst?

After living through various bubbles over the last 20 years I have become an expert in predicting the next bubble to implode. I use a highly scientific procedure and analysis that very few people in this world have access to. This astonishing discovery method is tried and true and I’m about to share it with you, my loyal readers, right now for free. I go to parties, conferences, neighborhood Barbeques and I watch the talking bobble heads on T.V. and then when I notice that everyone is talking about a certain investment, its time to get out as soon as possible.
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