Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

June 13, 2015

Carole King and James Taylor sang about having a friend. It was a classic song. On the other hand, FINRA isn't necessarily a big fan of friendship. See what happened when one stockbroker did some remodeling work for an old pal. FINRA certainly called out his name and came running with a fine and suspension. READ

Few things in life are more dangerous than so-called false assurances. You embark upon a course of conduct based upon a belief that what you're going to do is okay. You think you got it all covered with prior permission and the like. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out the way you thought it would. You offer explanations. They say they're nothing but excuses. Consider the recent regulatory settlement in which a stockbroker thought he had the go-ahead to impersonate his customers during telephone calls. READ

It's a slugfest. No way about it. FINRA finds itself in a legal tussle in federal court as it responds to a Complaint about its conduct of an examination and/or investigation. As reported in "Lawsuit Says FINRA Guilty of Deliberate, Retaliatory, and Malicious Conduct" ( Blog, February 2, 2015). 

Plaintiffs' allegations in Hurry raise questions about heavy-handed regulatory practices, press leaks, and an allegedly thinly disguised coordination between FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission. In response, FINRA will have none of it and gives back as good as it gets.  As the punches fly, the blows land, and the blood splatters, underneath it all is some truly superb lawyering and the presentation of a number of excellent arguments about the limits on and the nature of Wall Street self regulation. Recently, Plaintiff's responded to FINRA's Motion to Dismiss.  You may need to take a shower after you read this latest document. A MUST READ

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They say that there is a difference between doing the right thing and having the right to do something. Then there's the further issue of whether the thing you've done is right and who gets to make that call. In today's Blog, we have two, count 'em: two!, FINRA regulatory settlements involving three annuities transactions and the seemingly generous offer of one registered representative to "give up" the transactions to an apparently struggling colleague. Of course, there are two more sayings that seem to come into play here:
  1. No good deed goes unpunished; and
  2. The road to Hell is paved with good deeds