Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

May 9, 2020
A federal civil Complaint alleges that TD Ameritrade failed to adequately investigate unauthorized transactions in a customer's account, and that the firm had deceptively asserted it had adequately investigated the fraud. It's all quite bizarre because the transactions at issue seem unauthorized but TDA concluded that "an error did not occur."
With the inevitable pick-up in economic activity attendant to the Great Re-Opening, Aegis Frumento knows that increased human interaction will lead to more infections and more dead. Such is the trade-off between life and livelihood. We want both, but when push comes to shove, I will be quicker to sacrifice your life to my livelihood, and you will be quicker to sacrifice mine for yours, -- and there's no compromising between us. If you believe the economy must remain closed to protect your life, then you must be able to imagine what it is like to be stone broke with no financial lifeline. And if you want to reopen so you can make money, you should imagine what it's like to die alone in a quarantined ICU.
The "suitability" of a recommended investment bedevils Wall Street. Not only is the industry locked in a struggle between those who support the retention of the so-called Suitability Standard and those who advocate an enhanced Fiduciary Standard, but now it's implementing something involving investors' Best Interest. In a recent FINRA regulatory settlement, we come across a member firm that can't get its supervisory act together. The firm acknowledges that it must create, implement, and maintain supervisory reviews of the suitability of the various investments recommended to its customers -- so, you know, the spirit is willing. Unfortunately, when it comes to assembling all the moving parts, keeping the machine oiled, and performing necessary maintenance, well, sadly, that's where the gears come to a grinding halt.
In a fairly common version of  Wall Street hardball, a veteran rep finds himself on the ropes. The firm seems to think it's time for the old boy to go out to pasture. First they ask for his resignation. Then, you know, there's a bit of pressure. Then the young stud enters the picture. Then the pressure is less subtle. At some point, it's either you leave or we'll fire you. In today's featured variation on the theme, we're largely at the "He Said" stage of things, so it might be best to sort of suspend judgment, for now. At issue in today's case is Investacorp's termination of a rep who was the subject of two FINRA investigations. Perhaps the rep invited the firm to throw high and tight? Be that as it may, after hitting the dirt and dusting himself off, the broker filed a TRO against his former firm. That doesn't usually pan out. This time, however, it did!
There's Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. There's Raymond James & Associates, Inc. You even got the Raymond James Stadium. That's a lot of Raymond Jameses -- or, as we in the biz would say: That's a lot of Ray Jay. Sometimes having a number of subsidiaries and affiliates share a name in a big organization is a good thing. It's called branding. On the other hand, sometimes re-using a brand can cause confusion. As today's featured lawsuit shows, confusion ain't always a good thing.