December 21, 2019
Imagine that you win an $11 million award in a FINRA arbitration against a humongous firm like Citigroup. Life's good, right? The angels are singing happily in heaven, no? Then, you wake up one day, and it's all gone. Well, not "all" gone. You're left with $800,000. Not that $800,000 is garbage but, you know, it's not like $11 million. How the hell did that happen? Ah . . . now that's today's featured case.
Gerald Cotten, the founder and CEO of the Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX, died of Crohn's disease while trekking through India without leaving the passwords needed to access some $14 million worth of ether that Quadriga held for customers. Now we're not sure that Cotten is still dead. He is, you could say, in a state of superposition.
"Chicken Insider" appears to be a restaurant under construction. I say "appears" because I'm just not sure -- there's nothing on the sign to indicate exactly what the hell this establishment will be. I can't quite figure it out. Maybe it's going to be a restaurant. Maybe not. Maybe it's a storefront legal clinic for poultry? Maybe it's a newfangled Securities and Exchange Commission franchise attempting to monetize tips about insider trading?
In a fair and trenchant observation, SEC Commissioner Hester M. Peirce recently stated that:
The temptation to collect more data only grows with the sophistication of our analytical techniques and tools. Collecting data, however, is not free-not for us, not for the industry from which we collect it, and not for investors. Registrants that provide the data often incur very large direct costs to produce the data in the timeframe and at the frequency we require. They also may experience other kinds of costs if the data fall into the wrong hands. . .
It's about time that we discern between the "value" of various regulatory initiatives versus the "cost" of same. Hopefully, such concerns will spur Peirce and her colleagues to finalize the roll-out of the beleaguered CAT and to overhaul the SEC's dysfunctional Whistleblower program.