Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

June 4, 2016

Today's Blog is about entering vaults. We start with the consideration of a top-secret FBI plan to embed agents into the not-yet State of Alaska should the Soviets have invaded that frozen land. Next, we delve into the very annals of the Blog and uncover two folks singing about smokin' dope on the Lawrence Welk Show. Two seemingly unconnected stories. But are they? READ

BREAKING NEWS: 2nd Circuit Delivers Blow To Tilton Appeal

On June 1, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announced its decision on the appeal by Plaintiffs in the high-profile Tilton v. SEC, which has been covered extensively in the press of over a year.  In light of the prior coverage, the Blog's commentary today will be relatively short and to the point, and readers will be directed via links to key online documents. READ

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap On Wall Street

George Bernard Shaw observed that "The love of fairplay is a spectator's virtue, not a principal's." For a socialist playwright, Shaw certainly got some things right!

Watch a professional soccer game: Players writhing on the ground and seemingly crippled for life by a phantom trip miraculously recover when a penalty is called.

Watch a professional baseball game: Pitchers with seemingly ageless arms test positive for performance enhancing drugs.

Watch a professional football game: Defensive players grab a breakaway receiver's jersey or deliver a late hit to the quarterback's helmet -- and then sheepishly grin when caught.

Watch a professional basketball game:  While rebounding, one player "accidentally" kicks another in the groin.

Watch a professional track or bicycling event: Which athlete is blood-doping this year?

To some extent, Wall Street is just another sports venue where professionals will do whatever it takes to win.  The truth, the sad truth, folks, is that there is little integrity in the markets and the only thing on the level on Wall Street is the water in the toilet bowls.

Which is not to say that an honest trader can't make money in a rigged market.  Which is not to say that everyone on Wall Street is a cheat.  But it is to say that those who know better should stop pretending that Wall Street is afflicted with only a handful of crooks and that our markets are paragons of virtue. It's a game played dirty and for keeps -- and, at times, the dirty deeds are done dirt cheap. 

When you step onto the playing field that's Wall Street, watch your back, put your mouthpiece in, and don't expect the refs to protect you. READ

UBS Reversed $5 Million Unauthorized Order

BrokeAndBroker Blog's Bill Singer made a mistake. Not my first. Not my last. By way of full disclosure, I misread the FINRA regulatory settlement about which today's blog is based. The fault was all mine and the self-regulatory organization is totally blameless. Oddly, I was prepared to publish virtually the same commentary premised upon my mistaken understanding that there was a $5,000 unauthorized trade. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the sum was $5 million ! READ

I really, really thought that with the whole teleconference and passcode thing that we had finally come to the end of this sordid saga involving inmate Daniel Christian Stanley Powell. I mean, you know, Powell's fraud dates back some six years to 2009 and he was charged in a 2011 SEC Complaint and, thereafter, indicted by the Department of Justice in 2013, and convicted in 2014, and sentenced in 2015. Here we are, half way through 2016 and Powell is in federal prison and the SEC is still investing its time and energy in doing what exactly? Oh, sure, I understand that the federal securities regulator has a mandate to conduct a hearing in the public interest to determine whether Powell should be barred from the industry. I understand that -- and with that understanding comes compassion for the men and women at the SEC who have to go through this Kabuki theater of regulation.

Notwithstanding my recognition of the hands'-tied aspect of setting up and conducting a public-interest hearing, also comes a sense of exasperation with what passes for modern-day Wall Street regulation. As if we needed more examples of the absurdity of the process, on May 27, 2016, we were offered yet another unsavory morsel. READ