Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

May 6, 2017

At the heart of its arbitration case, Wells Fargo Advisors alleged that its former employee sent an inappropriate letter to its clients in violation of the Protocol for Broker Recruiting. Solely going by the allegations in its claim, it looked like a major six-figure payday for Wells Fargo. But litigation doesn't get decided based solely upon allegations. You need proof. Then there's that whole inconvenience of the other side's version of events. 

Time after time I wonder if anybody really knows what time it is. A FINRA arbitrator seems to have wondered the same thing when deliberating over a case that seemed a tad long in the tooth. In the end, the Claimant had not only filed an untimely complaint but, alas, had also run out of time. READ 

Next time you walk by a courthouse, take a look at the statue of Justice that likely stands somewhere outside the building or atop it. Note that Justice is typically depicted as blind, as holding a set of scales, and as gripping a sword. Too often, we fail to take inventory of that sword. It's there for a purpose. When the blind weighing is done, we tend to forget that the balancing act is a preamble to wielding that executioner's sword. No . . . Justice isn't leaning on her blade as an ornamental prop; it's there to render a swift and effective sentence. Perhaps Justice also needs a mop and bucket? A recent Securities and Exchange Commission ALJ's Initial Decision offers a fascinating glimpse into how all the weighing and the resort to the long blade come into play when deciding what sanctions to impose against two respondents. READ 

Today's Blog features a $1.8 million FINRA Arbitration Award to a former PNC employee, who alleged that she had been defamed and wrongfully terminated. The FINRA arbitrators found that the PNC employee's termination was "pre-textual, arbitrary, and unreasonable." If you read the decision slowly, you can almost hear the ka-ching, ka-ching, and ka-ching of the old litigation cash register as each of those conclusions were entered into the document. READ 

The SEC settled allegations that Barclays had failed to reasonably supervise two traders in connection with aspects of the firm's secondary market purchases and sales of residential mortgage-backed securities trading during 2009 through 2012. READ

Before you read today's Blog, our publisher Bill Singer wants you to understand that he is NOT blaming the public customer for asking questions, lots of questions. Similarly, Bill sees nothing wrong with anything that the stockbroker did. What Bill sees in today's expungement case is enough not being enough. Reduced to its basics, we have a failure of expectations. Distilled even further, the dispute boils down to enough just not being enough. READ