Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

February 27, 2021
Prominent Wall Street recruiter Michael King knows that COVID has changed the way the industry works. In today's Guest Blog, King warns that, more than ever, advisors on the move will rely upon their firm's technology infrastructure when servicing clients. In this new age of virtual meetings and remote workforces, it is critical to understand how a potential, new employer meets the online demands of the ongoing pandemic and how such a firm is preparing for the post-pandemic landscape.
Someone lost about $100 from a Bank of America drive-up ATM. Someone found it. That first finder wasn't a keeper. That first finder gave the $100 to a BOA employee, who apparently misplaced the cash in his jacket for a week. At some point, having "found" the "lost" cash in his jacket, the BOA employee decided that finders keepers, losers weepers was the way things would go down, and he kept the cash. FINRA was not amused. Not by a long shot.
As I have long noted in my blogs and pubic comments, I am a fervent supporter of whistleblowers and an ardent advocate for enhancing Wall Street reform via tips to the industry's regulators. Unfortunately, the SEC's whistleblower program takes on the trappings of a public relations ploy rather than an effective regulatory mechanism. For too long, we have heard mounting complaints about delayed processing of whistleblower claims and the untimely processing of the payments of previously rendered Awards. In response, the SEC continues to dawdle and delay and deflect. When it comes to issuing press releases, however, there's always enough staffing and budget. Without question, the SEC's Whistleblower Program is worthwhile and incredibly promising. As with far too many matters involving government bureaucracies, the good gets chewed up in make-work, endless layers of management, and a frustrating refusal to engage in substantive, timely communication.
When I first starting working in-house at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Company in 1982, folks in the biz thought that the industry's regulators were, by and large, idiots. Similarly, when I started working as a regulator in 1985 at the old American Stock Exchange and then NASD, a lot of my regulatory colleagues thought that those in the biz were con artists, cheats, liars, and fraudsters. Some 40 years later, not much has changed in terms of how the regulated and the regulators view each other. After all my years on Wall Street, however, I've realized that those who are regulated are not quite as smart or as clever as they think they are when it comes to getting away with something that they were certain that they would get away with. All of which brings us to today's blog in which we come upon some folks trying to get away with something and we come upon FINRA imposing fines and suspensions.