Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

August 20, 2016

Did You Hear The One About The Solicited Order That Got Marked Unsolicited ?

Ah yes, the old short-cut. Sure, you could go by the book and dot all your "i's" and cross all your "t's" but, you know, isn't it just easier to take the quick detour around all that nonsense? For example, once an order ticket is market "Solicited" there's a whole mess of nonsense that my brokerage firm puts into play. I gotta explain this. I gotta file that. I gotta get permission from some jerk who's always on the phone or in a meeting. If I just add "Un-" to the "Solicited," that would make my life a whole lot easier. You think so? READ

SEC Fines Company For Financial Disincentive Provision For Whistleblowers

On July 21, 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted and among its provisions were those providing for "Whistleblower Incentives and Protection." The age of whistleblowing had dawned and Congress saw fit to ensure that those men and women who stepped forward were not harassed or retaliated against by their employers or former employers. Then again, the best laid plans of mice and men . . . and Congress and the SEC often go astray. Consider the recent settlement in which a public company's severance agreement went astray.  READ

Stockbroker Fined And Suspended For Unpaid Oral Customer Loan

Few transactions cause more regulatory problems than loans from customers to their servicing stockbrokers. If circumstances compel a stockbroker to seek a loan from a customer, the industry has specific rules and regulations governing when and how such borrowing may occur. Frankly, many brokerage firms simply say "NO." Notwithstanding a specific FINRA Borrowing Rule and notwithstanding in-house policies, however, stockbrokers persist in trying to circumvent the prohibitions. If you don't get caught, maybe the detours make sense, but the Blog keeps publishing articles about all the clever folks who got caught. Consider yet another FINRA regulatory settlement involving borrowing by a stockbroker. READ

Bill Singer has been left speechless by what he calls one of the most devastating FINRA arbitration victories won by a former employee. Bill has been in the securities industry since 1982 and admitted to the Bar since 1985, so, this is one hell of a noteworthy moment. The Claimant not only got compensatory damages but the arbitrators added awards for loss of reputation; early retirement; emotional suffering, anxiety, and depression; and, for good measure, a healthy dollop of punitive damages.  In addition to delivering a powerful punch of an Award, the FINRA Arbitration Decision is an articulate document replete with content and context. READ

In recent times, the lines of political demarcation have become trenches from which war is waged. Compromise has become a dirty word. We live in an age of ultimatum with brinkmanship resulting in an unending stream of bodies falling from the brink. Since its inception in the 1930s, the Securities and Exchange Commission had been a relatively collegial body, but, to its detractors, the federal regulator was also seen as a tad too much of a revolving door between the public and private sectors -- and a tad too deferential of Wall Street's big fish. Recent years, however, have the emergence of far more active SEC Commissioners for whom making a point is more important than getting along and going along. Sometimes the discord is bad; sometimes it's good. Consider the splits among the SEC's Chair and Commissioners in some recent cases imposing Bars upon respondents.READ