Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

October 8, 2016

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards," says existentialist philosopher and lesser-known Wall Street regulator Soren Kierkegaard. Today's Blog time travels from a September 2016 FINRA regulatory settlement back in time to a 2001 customer complaint. Upon arriving at our final destination, we turn around, look back to the future, and wonder whether industry regulators and compliance staff should have seen trouble coming. READ

Veteran Wall Street regulators ZZ Top sang "I Gotsta Get Paid." That's a common gripe among many folks in the industry believe that they're underpaid or didn't get a fair shake when it came to handing out last year's bonus checks. For some, the option is to tell your boss to drop dead and go work elsewhere for more bucks. For others, the option is to find a way to skim some of the cream off the top without anyone noticing. One way or another, you gotsta get paid! Which choice you make is the difference between crossing over the line from compliant to non-compliant behavior. Read about a recent FINRA regulatory settlement involving a senior trader who opted to step over the line rather than walk out the door.

Lo and behold, Wells Fargo sued a former Private Client Group manager for repayment of an advanced performance award.  Sort of looks like a clawback to me. Whatever it is, Wells Fargo comes out the victor in this settled FINRA arbitration. Funny thing about victories, however, you gloat today, you may bloat tomorrow. See how the Blog puts its own ironic twist on this case. READ 

One thing leads to another. Today's Blog is living proof of the wisdom of that observation. We start off with false impressions. A simple FINRA employment arbitration dispute. A generic disagreement over unpaid commissions. A somewhat laughable counterclaim over a computer and a cellphone. All of which ends in a fairly modest financial award. Then Bill Singer, the publisher of Blog, starts poking around. It's fascinating what he uncovers. READ

I like a challenge - actually, I love a challenge. With that in mind, I was more than a bit excited about cracking FINRA's seemingly impenetrable code, which hid the names of "RS" and "CK." How could I hack into FINRA's many, many layers of digital encryption and penetrate into the very inner sanctum of this Wall Street overseer? I feared that I lacked the resources. Clearly, I would need to gain access to top secret super computers with the abilities to perform billions of code-breaking functions in a second. I would need to pay mega-bucks to former CIA, NSA, and KGB operatives to help me make sense of the massive amounts of data that would be placed before my eyes. Undaunted, I took a deep breath, brewed gallons of coffee, and sat down to the impossible task before me. READ

For BrokeAndBroker.Com Blog Guest Contributors

If you would like to pitch a Guest Blog for the Blog, please send a brief outline of the proposed article to

I don't open attached files from unknown senders, so make sure that your pitch is in the text portion of the email. I welcome all views and perspectives, even when they erroneously conflict mine. Please do not send me puff or marketing pieces. I am looking for serious regulatory/legal/compliance commentary on important cases and developing issues. Also, I am seeking thoughtful observations about investing and market trends. Customer advocates and unrepentant industry apologists are all welcome. 

There is no compensation; however, I am happy to include in any article your direct contact information and professional biography. See these recent GUEST BLOGS:

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