Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

November 28, 2020

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Who knew that JPMorgan "maintained a weak management and control framework?" How unfortunate. How sad. And how nice that all that weakness is so fully addressed, remediated, and put to bed by OCC for that nice round figure of $250 million. Sure, that's the ticket! That's going to fully reverse those years of "unsafe or unsound practices." Yeah, sure it will. As my unremitting sarcasm reveals, I am not impressed with OCC's JPM settlement. Similarly, I'm fed up with checkbook regulation, which always affords the big boys the opportunity to simply pay for their misconduct out of the pockets of their public shareholders, whereas the small fry get prosecuted, incarcerated, barred, and otherwise driven out of business in order to send the proverbial "message." There are two sets of rules on Wall Street. There are two sets of regulatory playbooks.
Guest blogger Aegis Frumento reminds us about the old joke goes that you bang your head against a wall because it feels so good when you stop. As Aegis sees it, this Thanksgiving has that feel to it.
There are now three highly effective vaccines against the coronavirus in production. But we shouldn't have been so hard-hit by the pandemic to begin with. And maybe it's great that the stock market just hit a new high, but all that does is prove yet again that what is down must go up -- until it comes down again. Ah yes, another cheerful holiday message from Wall Street's ever ambivalent cynic!
Sometimes, the regulation of Wall Street takes on the appearance of a car crash on the highway -- we should just drive by and avert our eyes, but, for whatever, reasons, we're often compelled to slow down and view the gruesome carnage. Be that as it may, a FINRA Decision rendered in 2017 and the attendant SEC Opinion rendered in 2020, present us with what seems a burning wreck of a career. The rep and his family had their personal struggles, which makes the outcome even more poignant; however, it's hard to argue against FINRA's imposition of a Bar and the SEC's ratification of same.
How uncanny that OCIE published a Statement about complex financial products on the same day when SEC Chair Clayton announced his resignation. Fascinating timing, no? Then there's the breathless admonition in the very opening lines of the OCIE Statement announcing its "critically important" directive. Not really. Sort of like how every major regulatory settlement is the biggest, largest, most fantabulous in the history of the world, until next week, when, go figure, another settlement is trumpeted as bigger, larger, and more fantabulous.