FINRA Board to Address Allegations of Schapiro Misconduct
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 4, 2010 11:40 AM |
Are the wagons circling around Mary Schapiro and her former FINRA colleagues?
Regular readers of Sense on Cents are familiar with the issues and concerns I have raised repeatedly with Wall Street’s self-regulator, FINRA. I continue to believe the issues embedded within this self-regulatory organization lie near the heart of what I deem the Wall Street-Washington nexus.
Perhaps America will learn more about these issues soon. Why? Next week, FINRA’s Board of Directors will address alleged wrongdoings by Ms. Schapiro et al. What are the issues? Please review this release put out this morning highlighting a number of questions I have been asking for the last year.
Will the Board realize it ultimately needs to be accountable to ALL its member firms and, by extension, to the American public at large? Will the Obama administration compel the Board to provide the transparency America so badly wants?
FINRA MUST OPEN ITS BOOKS and RECORDS and ANSWER to AMERICA!!
FINRA BOARD TO CONSIDER ALLEGED WRONGDOING BY FORMER CHAIR MARY SCHAPIRO AND HER COLLEAGUES
Feb. 10 Closed Door Board Meeting to Consider Broker-Dealer’s Allegations
WASHINGTON, DC, February 4 — On February 10, 2010, the Board of Governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) will consider allegations of gross mismanagement set forth in a December 4, 2009 letter to the Board on behalf of Amerivet Securities, Inc. (“Amerivet”), a member of FINRA.
The letter demands that FINRA take action against Mary Schapiro and other senior FINRA executives to recover excessive compensation and unprecedented portfolio losses stemming from FINRA’s dismal 2008 regulatory and investment performance. In 2008, Ms. Schapiro’s last year as FINRA chair, that organization:
Failed to act against Bernard Madoff and Robert Allen Stanford, who perpetrated two of the largest Ponzi schemes in history;
Failed to act against large FINRA members Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch in connection with their roles in the subprime mortgage securities scandals;
Failed to warn investors about Auction Rate Securities (ARS) problems, after FINRA had liquidated its own ARS holdings in mid-2007, but before the ARS market “froze” and there were any public disclosures about the risks inherent in such “investments”;
Suffered nearly $700 million in loses;
PAID ITS SENIOR EXECUTIVES NEARLY $30 MILLION.
Broker-Dealer: “Schapiro and Colleagues Bilked FINRA of Millions”
Amerivet principal, Lt. Col. Elton Johnson (U.S. Army Reserve), an Iraq War combat veteran, stated:
“Despite President Obama’s call for accountability for wrongdoing, past and present, Mary Schapiro and her colleagues have thus far gotten away with bilking FINRA of tens of millions of dollars in 2008, even as that self-regulatory organization failed in its fundamental responsibility to protect investors, and FINRA sustained nearly $700 million in financial loses. It is ironic that Mary Schapiro received a salary more than 15 times that of a four star general, while FINRA was, by any measure, failing miserably.”
Whistleblower: FINRA “Definitely In Bed With Industry”
During his 2009 testimony, Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos told Congress that FINRA is “definitely in bed with the industry” and “[gets] an A+ for corruption.” Separately, a report from SEC Inspector General David Kotz quotes Bernard Madoff as referring to Ms. Schapiro as a “dear friend.”
Attorney Richard Greenfield added:
“The excessive compensation packages for the FINRA self-regulatory executives who failed to regulate represent cynical and hypocritical examples of the incestuous Wall Street-Washington relationships that have incensed voters across the United States.”
Amerivet is a small broker-dealer located in Moreno Valley, California and a member in good standing of FINRA. Lt. Col. Johnson has been an officer in the United States Army Reserve for 24 years. He has completed two tours of duty in Iraq, he is currently on active military duty at Fort Irwin, CA, and he will soon begin preparations for deployment to Afghanistan later this year.
What will the Board do? For whom are they working?
High time we received real truth, transparency, and integrity.
To reference all my stories over the last year regarding Mary Schapiro and FINRA, go here.