Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

January 13, 2018

A Hard Rainmaker Gonna Fall At FINRA ( Blog)
Paperwork. On Wall Street when it comes to compliance and regulation, it often comes down to paperwork -- or whatever passes for that now-quaint term in this digital age. You got to collect information. You got to review information. You got to store information. You got to produce information when a regulator wants to see that you collected, reviewed, and stored. Sometimes you just never got around to writing stuff down; and sometimes, well, just between us, you figured it was a waste of time and who the hell is ever going to need to see this crap anyway -- which, as such logic goes, doesn't quite help you out of the fix you're now in because someone from FINRA or the SEC is sitting in the conference room going through boxes of paperwork and that one damn thing that you didn't collect, review, and store is what those regulators are now asking to see. READ

FINRA Arbitrators Award $140,000 In Employee Defamation Case ( Blog)

An industry veteran takes on her former FINRA member firm in an effort to clear her name. She put on quite the battle and is not only to be complimented for waging the good fight but also for coming away from the fray with a nice chunk of change. For those who say that you can't beat your former employer, consider today's featured FINRA intra-industry arbitration. READ

I Can't See Clearly (And Convincing) Now In Morgan Stanley FINRA Arbitration ( Blog)
Umm . . . someone . . . anyone . . . puhlease . . . I'm not askin' for much . . . not a whole lot . . . but, you know, like tell me just what the hell this FINRA public customer arbitration is about? I'm not blaming the parties but I'm sorta wonderin' if FINRA couldn't have, you know, read through a draft of the proposed FINRA Arbitration Decision and, well, okay, like maybe asked for a tad more content and context as in, well, like, how should I put it, like, just what the hell is it that the Claimants alleged had happened at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney concerning, lemme see, oh yeah, concerning their "purchase of call options in Apple, Inc. stock." Maybe it's all that expensive law school training that I paid for or maybe it's that I'm a demanding pain in the ass who's never satisfied but, whatever, is it asking all that much to simply get the facts? Who purchased the Apple calls and why did the customers complain about the purchase and how did that purchase result in something shy of $3 million in losses? How's that Johnny Nash song go?

I can't see clearly now, the rain is here,

I can't see all the obstacles in my way

Here are the dark clouds that have me blind

It's gonna be a dark (dark), dark (dark)

FINRA Arbitration day.

Rep Emails Self 1,300 Account Numbers And FINRA Comes A Knockin' ( Blog)
We are nearing that time of year when folks get happy feet and consider moving on to another employer. Some of that is prompted by disappointment with the size of a holiday bonus or the failure to win the promised promotion. Other motivations are a growing unhappiness with an organization's loss of direction and the sense that another year went by without improvement. Whatever has lit a fire under you, please keep in mind that you can't simply do a data dump from your employer's platform to your email or thumb drive. There's whatever is left of the Broker Protocol that may govern some of your freedom of choice; and then there's Reg S-P. READ

Who Owns The Customer? Open Letter To FINRA Board From Bill Singer Esq ( Blog)

The Broker Protocol is a self-serving agreement negotiated among  employers/management and imposed without benefit of bargaining upon employees/labor and foisted upon equally disenfranchised public investors. There is no place for such fiat within self-regulation --- except, you know, the FINRA Board of Governors sat in silence as its large member firms sliced and diced control of public customers among themselves and then forced the convention upon their employees, smaller firms, and customers. Now, as that private agreement dissolves, the Board again gives silent assent. In resolving "who owns the customer," FINRA's role is not that of a combatant but as the protector of the public investor and the industry. As members of the Board of Governors, your role is to act when your intervention is necessary, and this is such a moment in time. For once, assert your independence and protect the public and the industry. No one is asking you take sides. Embrace the task of corporate governance and do your job. READ