Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

September 14, 2019
It's not an uncommon tale of woe. You owe taxes. You can't pay the taxes. The tax authority doesn't care. They get a tax lien. It's embarrassing for you. On top of everything, you really don't want to tell your broker-dealer because, well, you know, if you can't manage your own financial affairs, they're going to say, we're not comfortable having you manage our customers'. So . . . you figure it's best to just keep your mouth shut and do your best to pay off the debt.  The years roll by. No one is any the wiser. Everything eventually works out. Until it doesn't.
No one has yet explained why bitcoin should ever be owned in a fund, especially if, as with Bitwise and Van Eck, that's all the fund owns. It is easier and cheaper to buy and hold bitcoin through a coin exchange. After all, that's what the bitcoin funds would do. Creating a fund to hold a single asset that is more liquid in its native form than the fund would be seems ludicrous.
Messy fact patterns tend to make for headaches in FINRA arbitrations. In today's featured case, we clearly have a mess! We got shares in a TD Ameritrade account with old CUSIP numbers. We got shares trading in the market with new CUSIP numbers. We got an online customer trying to sell his old shares but mistakenly buying new ones without selling the old ones. The customer winds up with a modest loss, which mushrooms into a larger one. The customer sues TD Ameritrade. The customer represents himself. Take two aspirin and call me tomorrow.
At times, the relationship between the stockbroker and the company frays -- or someone cherry-picks the top producers with a better offer. When it comes time to movin' on, not every former employer is thrilled about the departure of every former employee. In today's blog we consider a recent split between employee and employer, and we see how the machinery ramps up during the ensuing lawsuit. A frequent question asked of industry lawyers is "What can my former firm do to me after I've left?" Today's featured case provides some answers.
You got your suspension of disbelief. You got your FINRA suspension. For the FINRA suspension to have meaning and for it to actually work, the subject registered representative has to really, really believe that when Wall Street's self-regulatory-organization says that you're suspended, well, you know, the regulator means it. For that to work, the rep has to suspend his disbelief that FINRA is actually monitoring his daily activities during the term of suspension, and, further, that the regulator will do anything about any misconduct during said period of suspension.  Sadly, some folks don't quite buy into the suspension of disbelief as a working component of the whole Wall Street regulatory scheme of suspensions.