Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

June 10, 2023
As a marriage dissolves, the wife instructs Wells Fargo to liquidate the joint account and forward 50% of the proceeds to her. Seems fair, no? Pursuant to the divorce proceedings, however, there were court orders that prevented the wife from withdrawing funds from the joint account. Now what? Well, Wells Fargo opted to refuse to follow the wife's instructions. In response, she sued.
A former UBS financial advisor (a top producer) was fired for allegedly violating compliance policies. The advisor tells a markedly different story. He says that he was terminated in retaliation for blowing the whistle on what appeared to be the financial exploitation of an elderly widow. All of which brings us to a 2018 federal district court opinion. Which brings us to a 2021 FINRA Arbitration Award. Which brings us to a 2022 federal district court opinion. Which brings us to a 2023 federal circuit court opinion. Which brings us to someplace, somewhere -- but I'm not exactly sure where we have arrived other than at the point of confusion.
In a recent FINRA regulatory settlement, a former supervisor was charged with having been aware of red flags of potentially unsuitable sales of liquid limited partnerships to senior customers. Indeed, those red flags were waving in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Given all the years during which all those red pennants were wavin', I understand why an in-house supervisor would be called to task for not supervising. On the other hand, why isn't Wall Street's self-regulatory-organization also called to task when its examination staff didn't take note of those same warning signs for some five years? You got failure to supervise. You got failure to regulate.
Recently, the CFTC published both a Staff Advisory and a Press Release that articulated its observations and disclosed its placement of emphasis on the potential risks involved with the physical delivery of digital assets. Okay, sure . . . and, y'know, like what's next? A CFTC Advisory and Release on how many digital angels can dance on the head of a physical pin?