The Week in Review from BrokeAndBroker and RRBDLAW

April 9, 2011


The SEC thinks that we're all stupid -- that we can't comprehend how information flows from a tipper to tippees.  In order to help us understand how a conversation flows from , say, someone making a telephone call to, say, someone receiving that call, the SEC provides us with a comic strip.  In response, Bill Singer provides the SEC with a comic strip of his own.  You've got to see this to believe it!

A heartbreaking story of a seemingly incredible young man who founded Hoops For Africa and, if the Department of Justice is to be believed, set about to defraud Bank of America in a matching-donations scam. 

The say that timing in life is everything. Imagine planning to leave Smith Barney for Morgan Stanley only to learn that just when you're set to jump ship, the two firms announce their merger. Then, according to the stockbroker caught between hence and thence, they try to keep him from working and plot to steal his book.

As close to a man bites dog story as there is. A broker sues a former complaining customer to get her CRD record expunged. Only thing is, it took about 8 years to get the gears in motion.

He set up shot in Turks and Caicos Islands -- a little bit of Caribbean paradise. Unfortunately, according to the Feds, he was scaming folks as part of a Forex Ponzi scheme.

Yeah, sure, right -- everybody on television was an expert for a day about David Sokol's stock dealings with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.  Forget about the fact that, well, you know, we still don't have all the facts, but it seems that some pundits didn't much care for the law of the land.  Read Bill Singer's thoughtful examination of a recent US Supreme Court case's handling of the definition of 10b-5 fraud.

You wouldn't think that an FDA employee would be trying to parlay his inside information about drug testing into stock market profits but that's what's alleged here. You also wouldn't think that the FDA would be sharp enough to load the employee's computer with surveillance software to detect just such misconduct. Fascinating glimpse into online cat and mouse games.

On top of all the regulatory laws, rules, and regulations there is a Big Brother aspect to working on Wall Street. Even when you think it's downtime and your time to do what you wish, the regulators and the member firms may think otherwise. Unfortunately, guessing wrong can be a very costly mistake. Read Bill Singer's analysis of a recent FINRA regulatory case involving a registered rep's outside business activities and online conduct.  What you don't know may cost you in fines and suspensions.