Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

March 21, 2020
We are right to be afraid of the coronavirus. The malady spreading across the planet is frightening. Still, as William Faulkner so eloquently noted, after that last dingdong of doom clangs and fades and the coronavirus has exhausted itself, what will remain of us is more than a mere head-count.
Guest Blogger Aegis Frumento, Esq. laments that not even the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 caused the markets to quaver like they are now acting. Frumento believes that unlike in 1918, much of today's economy is built on sand -- on unessential goods and services. The hospitality industry, for example, may lay off 4 million workers in the next few days. That's 2.5% of the US labor force. The ripple effect of those job losses could easily result in an increase in unemployment of over 8%. That will put us almost back where we were during the Great Recession a dozen years ago.
What do you think falls under the term "writing instruments." A pen? A pencil? Is there something else -- something electronic that's a writing instrument. Our publisher Bill Singer is frequently fascinated but such word puzzles. That being said, today's blog considers the case of someone who FINRA fined and suspended for using a writing instrument at a test center.
A stockbroker invests his own money in a real estate deal. His money. No customers involved whatsoever. How does that get him in trouble with his employer? How does that rise to the level of a FINRA fine and suspension? Great questions. Read today's blog for the answers.
Among the more common questions asked of me by my law firm's clients is what can I do (or not do) after I've quit my current brokerage firm and join a new one. Pointedly, employees on the move are concerned about violating various non-solicit, non-compete, and confidentiality agreements. At what point does a mere communication to clients become a solicitation? At what point am I going to be deemed to be in competition with my former firm. If I get too cute and run afoul of something, exactly what should I expect will be my former firm's response. In a recent federal matter, we get to see how some of those concerns play out, even if only on a temporary basis.