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Calling All Auction-Rate Securities Holders

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 10, 2010 6:42 AM |

Without information there can be no real truth. Without truth there can be no real justice. Without justice, what is the quality of our nation and ultimately our civilization?

Why do so many Americans remain enraged at the economic travesty of the last few years? For the very simple reason that those regulators who were charged to protect American investors not only failed in their initial charge but to a large extent have continued to fail investors by not aggressively pursuing justice where financial improprieties–if not outright fraud–transpired.

To this end, why am I not surprised that many auction-rate securities holders have quickly directed their attention and focus to the state of Colorado where securities commissioner Fred Joseph has filed a complaint against E*Trade for improperly marketing and distributing auction-rate securities. Other ARS holders are hoping Commissioner Joseph will take a similar tact on their behalf against other firms for the same reason.

In order for the Colorado state securities commissioner to pursue the truth, he needs the information.

On that note, I am happy to provide a link to a form ARS holders need to submit to the Colorado Securities Commissioner’s Office in order for the office to even consider pursuing a complaint. I would not believe the Colorado securities commissioner is looking to chase down every financial planner or broker who may have improperly marketed or distributed ARS. I am of the belief and opinion that to the extent that there are firms, much like E*Trade, which the commissioner deems were involved in the improper marketing and distribution of auction-rate securities in the state of Colorado, he obviously has serious interest in pursuing them. 

On that note and for that sole reason, I am happy that Sense on Cents can be a conduit to facilitating the pursuit of the truth.

I am not a lawyer nor do I care to be one. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have NO vested interest in any individual or entity with any connection to the auction-rate securities market. I do not now own nor have I ever owned an auction-rate security. I have no vested interests on either side of the ARS debacle. My only interest is that the truth will out so that real justice can be served.

I firmly believe our markets, our economy, and ultimately our nation will be better for it.

Comments, color, questions, constructive criticism always encouraged and appreciated.  


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  • phil trupp

    Publication of the Colorado ARS filing form is a great service to thousands of ARS victims. The only way to settle this fraud is persistence–and insistence–on justice. ARS remains an open wound; it has distorted and ruined lives, and holdouts such as E*Trade, Oppenheimer and Schwab go on their merry way skirting their responsibility to redeem bonds they sold deceptively as 100% liquid investments. As long as these holdouts–and there are many others–are allowed to get away with this scam, others in the financial services industry will take it as a signal that nothing has changed in the “New Normal,” that it’s OK to defraud investors; that so-called financial re-regulation is a spoof, which to a large extent it is.

    As the author of RUTHLESS, which I wrote to chronicle the arrogance and inhumanity of the ARS scam, I want to sincerely thank you for publishing the Colorado filing form. It was the right thing to do. Persistent searching and constant pressure is the only means by which we’ll wrap up this scandal once and for all. I applaud your continued quest for justice.

    • Mark

      I have ARS tied up with Raymond James. Can we talk about the unbelievable stance they have taken with these. Mine are ARS backed by Jefferson County Alabama. I have what may be an unusual case in that my advisor is backing me 100% and actually left Raymond James over the ARS problems. He will work with us and provide any information we may need. Please contact me.

  • LD


    Thank you and you’re welcome. I commend you for the same.

  • Tony T.

    What Oppenheimer & Co. has done to its auction rate clients is a crime and a travesty. First the hard sell; then, the cover up; then the veiled thereats; the taunting; and, the lying and hiding of assets to fool gullible regulators into beliieving Oppenheimer & Co. is broke.

    It’s not true. According to news reports in the 2nd quarter Oppenheimer earned $250 million in revenue. The dividend greatly exceeded what analysts had projected. OPPENHEIMER IS FLUSH WITH CASH. Wake up, regulators!

    And now, the ultimate insult – N.Y. regulators failing to follow up and conduct a 6-month review as REQUIRED BY LAW with the “settlement” made with Oppenheimer.

    I agree with everything noted author Phil Trupp said above, with the exception that “many” firms are hold outs. Of the major firms, by far, most have done the right thing and paid clients back. Only a handful, led by Oppenheimer & Co., have failed their clients so miserably. And as Larry pointed out, the regulators and the federal government have completely, utterly let us down. They have ruined and destroyed Amercians. And worse – they don’t care.

    • phil trupp

      Thanks for your kind words. I agree, most firms have made good and redeemed their auction rate clients. What I have found since writing the book are scatterings of small outfits that continue to dodge bullets. They’re not a in league with OPY and the others in size; its the obscurity of these small, often private brokerages that keeps them under the regulatory radar.

      • John W


        How can we send complimentary signed copies of your book
        <>> to the CEO’s of some of these crimminal brokers.

        I want to buy one and send to E*Trade CEO for his library.

        • Marc

          JW, Not much mention of ET in Ruthless.
          Any new updates? Things have been quiet.

  • gerry W

    It does raise the question, Why would anybody ever invest again with Oppenheimer, when they have shown that they will put their own needs ahead of their clients’?

  • LaDonna M.

    Shame on Oppenheimer, the regulators and the Feds for not helping the investors receive back their hard earned cash. These investors were conned into purchasing the ARS.

    I find it disgusting that the regulators and the Feds have completely let the investors down. Wake up regulators- if it was your money on the line – you would be all over Oppenheimer.

    Why would anyone ever invest with Oppenheimer, they have proven for the past two years they only care about their own needs. Thieves and liars, not a firm I would trust.

  • raccoon

    NEVER “INVEST” WITH E*TRADE EITHER! It ( your money )would be better spent by going to Las Vegas, at least you get free food, and a floor show, and maybe get to leave with a portion of your money. ADDITIONALLY, it is appalling that the brokerages and individual brokers who fostered this fraud ARE STILL SOLICITING more “customers” to put in the trick bag!

    FINRA just continues to look the other way.. gotta be getting hot for FINRA at this point too, as she can only cover up her little pups ( ie Schwab, E*Trade, Oppenslime )messes on the floor for so long. Mama bear can’t be happy.

  • Mike Barry

    Oppenheimer strung its clients along, saying it was working toward a “solution” and then, when the statute oflimitations for filing arbitration expired, they stopped trying to fix it.

    It does not get any more corrupt.

  • Mikaele

    I don’t know how to get through to the powers that be. I will keep writing and pushing for justice but I have to wonder, how many other scams have they puled that I was not aware of? And so on. and so on! Is the whole thing like this? New plankton ( Bill Gross) and we gain more wealth? Mahalo to all who have helped bring this to light!

  • John W


    And they wonder where the anger is coming from…

  • Mark

    Anyone wanting to share information on Raymond James and auction rate securities that were sold to them by RJ please post a comment and I will email you. I am stuck in ARS backed by Jefferson County sold to me by RJ. I would like to share my info and see if it may help others and the same from anyone else stuck with this position.

    • Marsha

      I too am stuck with ARS backed by Jefferson County Al too. I am presently with RJ but bought the ARS from Morgan Keegan. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. RJ has been telling me that i should get my $$ by the end of the year, and I haven’t heard from Morgan Keegan since my broker there “quit” suddenly and I closed my accounts there. I just get the run around at Morgan Keegan. Any suggestions? I have seen the websites of many law firms who want to take your money and I have even talked to several of them. RJ advises to just sit tight. Any thoughts, advice?
      And by the way, I wish you luck too.

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