Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

June 18, 2022
When virtual reality collides with real-world reality, the real world always wins. It's a lesson everyone learns sooner or later, and the crypto bros are learning it now. That's not to say there's no place for crypto-technology in the financial markets. A host of inefficiencies can be eliminated by representing corporate equities as cryptosecurities maintained on some form of blockchain, rather than analogs of paper certificates on ledgers controlled by transfer agents, clearinghouses, and brokerage firms. But then cryptosecurities would be real securities, and not mere avatars like mAssets.
In 2007, NASD Regulation and the New York Stock Exchange combined and morphed into the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"). Rather than continue as an "association" from the progenitor National Association of Securities Dealers ("NASD"), the progeny called itself an "Authority," as if it is somewhat quasi-governmental and is thus eligible for certain special privileges. As a practical matter, FINRA members are effectively not members of the Authority, nor are they members of a national securities association. In some respects, the members are being relegated to the dustbin of history.
Way back in 2019, former J. P. Morgan Securities customers filed a FINRA Arbitration Statement of Claim against the brokerage firm seeking about half a million dollars in damages. You remember 2019, that was just before the Covid pandemic. Of course, once the pandemic got under way, the customers found their case in limbo and, go figure, but, gee JPMS just didn't seem in all that much of a rush to expedite things by videoconferenced hearings.