Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

March 25, 2017

Ya got yer speed of sound. Ya got yer speed of light. And then, for all you Trekkies, ya got yer warp speed. In a recent FINRA public customer arbitration, the three arbitrators moved about as fast as possible to toss the case and recommend expungement. Once you read the facts, it's not that difficult to understand the motivation behind that rush to judgment. READ

Was a time when marijuana was the thing of folded five-dollar bills, scared kids, and ripped-open boxes of Oreo cookies. Times have changed. Now it's big business. Public companies. Wall Street is rolling in the green. Alas, FINRA just harshed the mellow a stockbroker who was stoking the fires, so to speak, of a pot biz. His career hasn't completely gone up in smoke but he's going to have to chill on the sidelines for a few months. READ

Today's Blog publishes a commentary about a recent FINRA intra-industry arbitration pitting an associated person against her former firm, Invesco Distributors, Inc.,  as a result of her allegedly wrongful termination. A centerpiece of this dispute is the Family and Medical Leave Act. READ

Bureaucracies love to promulgate rules. Rules that you must comply with. Rules that the bureaucrats enforce. Rules that will cost you big bucks in terms of fines. The thing is that those who draft the rules have a penchant for overly complicating simple propositions through the use of paragraphs, subparagraphs, parts, subparts, footnotes, and supplementary commentary. Such artifice renders it virtually impossible for anyone to ever quite understand what a given rule says and what it means. Not that I'm suggesting that there is an intelligence behind all this obfuscation but, you know, the more confused folks are about rules, the more violations occur, and, gee, go figure, the more gotcha fines the bureaucrats get to collect. Quite the cottage industry, no? In the end, you have to wonder whether it's all about regulation or building a toll road. READ

Let's imagine that a traffic agent wrote a parking ticket but transposed two numbers on the license. Lucky you: You open your mail and find out that you were mistakenly issued a $100 parking ticket at a time when you knew that you were actually driving your car to work. The ticket says that you double parked a lightning-blue Ford F-150 truck but you own a carmine-red Porsche 718 Boxster. How the hell could anyone confuse those two? In order to appeal the ticket, you're forced to cough up a $1,575 court filing fee. After you prove that the ticket was wrongly issued and the judge rules in your favor, the court not only refuses to refund your filing fee but also charges you $2,275 for conducting the hearing by which you were exonerated! Okay, sure, they rip up the $100 parking ticket.

In a recent Financial Industry Regulatory Authority expungement arbitration, the victorious claimant proved that his industry record was tarnished by inappropriate regulatory disclosures. Notwithstanding, FINRA kept his filing fees and also charged him for the time three arbitrators spent hearing his case and then exonerating him. Talk about adding insult to injury. Blog publisher Bill Singer thinks that FINRA should refund and forgive those charges. READ