Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

July 25, 2015

30 Year Veteran RR Sues Former Brokerage Firm In Compensation Dispute

It's a hot Friday in July. Everyone has their eye on the clock. Those who are physically in the office are dreaming about being at the beach. Those who are physically at the beach aren't thinking about being in the office. In consideration that we would all rather be somewhere else today, here's a short Blog involving a disgruntled employee suing a former employer in a FINRA arbitration and obtaining an award. Don't miss the fun musical interlude! READ

Software Glitch Overwhelms Firm's Email Review

Embedded in the fabric of our laws is the old Latin maxim: Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium -- which means that for every wrong the law provides a remedy. That's a nice and very ambitious goal. The problem is, it's both unrealistic and misleading. In fact, the law does not have remedies for every wrong. Too often, what the law offers is an arbitrary system of fines and imprisonment that proves unsatisfactory to victims as well as perpetrators. In the realm of regulation, we frequently see gross acts of misconduct being sanctioned by slaps on the wrist; and, similarly, we often see so-called "speed traps," where minor miscues seem to be the excuse to impose fines for the apparent purpose of raising revenue. Ultimately, there is a sense that those with wealth and influence not only have an inordinate influence in the drafting of laws and regulations but also gain an unfair advantage when it comes to paying for their crimes and civil infractions.

In a recent regulatory case, we have the interesting situation of a large company engaging in what appears to have been a somewhat modest violation largely prompted by the conduct of a third-party provider. For veteran regulatory lawyer Bill Singer, the issue is not whether a wrong occurred -- he concedes as much; and it's not whether the firm should have been censured and fined -- he concedes that the modest sanctions are not excessive. What Singer asks, provocatively, is whether this penny-ante approach to regulating Wall Street is calculated to achieve any meaningful change or whether, inadvertently, it may be prompting even worse behavior.  The edgy aspect of today's blog is that it's not a small firm or individual registered person who is the respondent; to the contrary, it's a fairly substantial company. READ

Major Fine Slams FINRA Firm For Supervisory Violations

When FINRA imposes a $500,000 fine for failed supervision, it is worth reading the regulatory settlement for guidance. In this Blog, veteran regulatory lawyer Bill Singer presents the various outside business activity, private securities transaction, advertising, seminar, U4, website, and email issues that got one FINRA member firm tangled up in a costly mess.  READ


Stockbroker, Compliance, Legal, And Regulatory Jobs

Searchable By Title, Skills, Job, City, State, Zip, And Company

@BrokeAndBroker #BillSinger

NOTICE TO offers the perfect Wall Street demographic of industry professionals: stockbrokers, advisors, lawyers, regulators, compliance officers, and 
back-office staff.

Click POST A JOB and your position will be promptly listed.  
Only $50 for 30 days!

So . . . yesterday I was getting ready to watch what I would call a combination science and documentary film about ichthyology, genetics, and animal husbandry. I explained to my wife that the movie was something that she often watches on the National Geographic channel. She's an animal lover.

Imagine my shock and surprise when the film started on the acclaimed SyFy channel and my spouse not only asked if I was an idiot but also demanded the television remote control and admonished that I had lost my television show selection privileges for a month. I mean, c'mon, what's so low-brow about "Sharktopus vs. Whalewolf" ?

In defending my viewing choice, I explained that there was substantial artistic merit and cinema verite in the unfolding drama about a scientist (okay, one of those "mad" scientists) who spliced the genes of a killer whale with that of a wolf to create a Whalewolf. She seemed to have forgotten the power of my explanations in 2010 about how Sharktopus was genetically engineered from a shark and octopus by the US Navy as part of of project to develop a combat-ready killing machine. You see what I mean about how credible these characters are? In any event, it turns out that the only thing between the Whalewolf and its human being smorgasbord is Sharktopus, which I thought had been blown apart in its first on-screen role. WATCH Trailers for Sharktopus and Sharknado.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA) recently announced a regulatory settlement involving a member firm that sort of got it right. It's the "sort of" aspect of the matter that should serve as a warning to all compliance departments and compliance officers. As is often the case, the broker-dealer had a lot of policies and procedures memorialized in its written supervisory procedures and, most critically, had delegated in that document critical oversight to its Chief Compliance Officers and other supervisors. Unfortunately, when it came to following the protocols for advertising, websites, social media, away accounts, and personal email accounts, the ball got dropped . . . over and over again.  You only get so many double-dribbles before Wall Street's regulators call a foul. READ