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Auction Rate Comments Reflect Real Pain

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 21, 2011 8:05 AM |

Today’s commentary is a little lengthy but is very personal. I hope you will take the few extra minutes to read it and share it with friends, family, and colleagues. Thanks. LD

Each and every day I think of what I can write that will truly help people further understand the dynamics at work in our global economy. In the course of my writing I am often drawn to specifically help those who have been defrauded or abused by the system that operates on Wall Street and in Washington.

I derive tremendous personal satisfaction in providing an outlet and a sympathetic ear to those who feel that few if any people are in their corner. No group of investors and individuals deserves greater sympathy and a stronger voice than our fellow American citizens so badly mistreated in the entanglement of auction-rate securities.

While many within our nation and the markets today may care to focus on recent earnings reports, a rebounding equity market, or the upcoming long weekend, let us remember that there are thousands in this country who still experience real pain from the ARS scandal. Is it easier to forget about them? If you care.

I choose to reach out to them again and spread their stories of real pain and anguish. Why?

Two reasons. First and foremost, I hope that this commentary incorporating individual comments of those stuck with ARS will attract the attention of others who can make a difference in rectifying this massive injustice. Secondly, I hope this commentary will cause all who read it to stop and reflect on how we as a nation can allow innocent and unsuspecting citizens to experience such heinous treatment from those who distributed the ARS and regulators as well.

What does this say about our country? I implore anybody reading my work to take an extra minute or two and appreciate that the individuals who wrote the attached comments continue to suffer. They have extensive company. How do they suffer? THEIR money which continues to be frozen was intended for retirement, college education, and so much more.

I stand with these individuals. I hope you will also stand with us and spread this story so their pain can be ended and their money returned. These comments are a mere cross section of the multitudes I have received over the last two plus years.

Marsha
April 20, 2011 at 10:52 PM
(Edit)
I too have been burned by the ARS mess. I own Jefferson County, Al. water & sewer ARS sold by Morgan Keegan. I moved my account to Raymond James when the @#$# hit the fan. I have had good service in other areas at RJ but I am repeatedly advised to hold tight, that I will be made whole when the water/sewer board is able to refinance the debt. Mine was a 35 day commitment and the broker lied to me, and without permission, put all of my ARS cash in the same Jefferson County instrument. My business is struggling because of this mess. Does anyone else own Jefferson County ARS and do you have any advise as to what to do now?

John C
March 7, 2011 at 5:30 PM
(Edit)
I am right there with you; stuck and feeling powerless. I called my Raymond James FA on Friday and he insulted and embarrassed me in front of my employee. I reported the incident to his boss and got better treatment but of course no results or any promise of recovery. They continue to maintain there arrogant position. I am seriously considering arbitration but will start by filing complaints with every regulatory agency I can. I am so emotionally drained from this ordeal that I turned the file over to my part time Admin Assistant for help. I am truly at my wits end.

Nik
October 28, 2010 at 11:15 AM
(Edit)
My sentiments and comments are similar to Susie. I have Nicholas Applegate ARS through
Raymond James and have been powerless. They have now also started to discount the value on the statments. When questioned, they say it is third party valuation as there is not market for these securities.

I am lost.
Nik

Kathy
April 20, 2011 at 8:26 PM
(Edit)

Seemingly according to Alvarez and the Federal Reserve the banks needed the cash more than the individuals and institutions to whom it belonged.

After 3 years of fury at having been defrauded, I am more furious than ever.

I was one of the people who filed a complaint with the SEC. I followed it up. I called them, and got “investigators” to return my calls. They seemed so sincere. They were patsys at best.

I have wondered for three years how a $330 BILLION fraud so central to the collapse of our economy could go virtually undiscussed. I wondered why Congress held a hearing, and then essentially talked about something else.

I have my answer, after three years. The fix was in. They had the money, and they decided to keep it, because they could.

Now someone tell me what I’m supposed to believe in when I hear “United States Of America.” I have lost my trust.

JoanZ
April 16, 2011 at 11:49 PM
(Edit)
Been reading you and following your concern for all of us who own ARS….it’s been 3 years and my husband is 81 and I can’t wait for ARPS to be redeemed any longer….I started arbitration against the financial advisor who sold them to me and I am finding it will be a very expensive as I have to get a lawyer since he has one.. The ARPS he sold us are Blackrock and MFS two very active financial rich companies….My question who is responsible to get my money returned…The financial advisor who advised us to purchase them ??? and why can’t Blackrock and MFS give back our funds after 3 years…I have since left the advisor as of course I lost faith in him…it seems I have no choice but to go to arbitration but of course I could lose and it will cost a lot of money as well. What to do??? Thanks for being there and keeping this terrible injustice alive….

Eddie D
April 15, 2011 at 7:38 AM
(Edit)
Hi Larry, On behalf of all Ars victims thanks for keeping the fight alive. I have been stuck in Ars for over 3 yrs and have not seen one penny back from Oppenheimer &co. I have learned a few things about where I stand in the financial world. Nowhere. Only after you have been lied to, manipulated out of your money, and robbed do you find out there is no recorse or protection for you out there. If you happen to get your money back after you were the victim of some scheme it’s only because it served some other purpose or you got lucky. The SEC, FINRA, almost all AG, put NY at the top of the list, and the rest of the governmental agencies exist to protect the financial industry from real damage. They are not there to watch over you and your money. The guise of investor protection allows you to sleep at night believing your money is safe. When you realize that you have been done wrong and turn to one of the angecies mentioned above for help and get treated like your the criminal it hits you how screwed you really are. Anyone still stuck in Ars that attempted to get their money back can attest to that.

Susie
July 21, 2010 at 3:19 PM
(Edit)
Raymond James sold me Nuveen muni ARPS instead of treasuries (which I suggested) and has stonewalled for 2 1/2 years. My broker keeps telling me Nuveen will redeem them… What do you think? Are regulators going after RJ? My kids’ college money is locked up – legal fees will eat up too much of it, secondary market is a huge hit.

JMan
July 1, 2010 at 9:11 AM
(Edit)
I too have waited for over two years to get my money, my story has the added pressure of having to borrow money against these illiquid bonds to cover money earmarked for taxes. OPCO was informed that some of the money they were “protecting” for me had to be sent to the IRS by April 2008.
Every month I lose money by having to sell stocks/bonds at a loss to cover the interest payment.

Wink
July 1, 2010 at 12:05 PM
(Edit)
I’ll add to the above the rude, hostile treatment I’ve received at the hands of Oppenheimer. They’re just mean, bitter people who have no regard for clients. Why would anyone ever invest a nickel with Oppenheimer when here on this page you have a list of firms who do the right thing for their clients?

For the uninformed, the Massachusetts complaint vs. Oppenheimer asserted that senior management sold their own prive ARS holdings upon hearing that the auction rate market was tanking, and neglected to notify their clients. Is this who you want managing your money? Since the meltdown I moved money to 3 of the brokerages listed above and all have been above board and ethical. AVOID OPPENHEIMER LIKE THE PLAGUE.

Anthony
September 29, 2009 at 4:53 PM
(Edit)
Larry,

I have worked hard and saved my whole life while I watched my friends by bigger houses, boats, jet skis, nice cars and everything else they don’t need. I saved and saved and one day my broker says why do you have all that money just sitting in a money market account? You could get three times the interest and still have it liquid. Better yet, the interest is TAX FREE. I moved my money and now it’s like I don’t have it. I can’t touch it even though it is mine! A lifetime of savings has been robbed from me and no one seems to care. This is the first new article I have seen about ARS in over a year. How this isn’t more of a story is beyond me.

When I stated that I need my money the firm’s lawyer said that I should have thought of that before investing. When I said that I stated that I needed the money to be safe and liquid she said I should have read the prospectus (that I never received). That’s what is great about this country. We will screw anyone in the name of business. This story needs to be FRONT PAGE NEWS!!!

This is America? A nation that waves its flag touting ‘liberty and justice for all’ allows the pain and injustice embedded in these comments to go unheeded.

Something is seriously wrong. This is not the country that I want to leave to my children. I want real justice and real liberty for all our citizens, especially those abused by financial frauds, such as ARS. I plan on continuing to voice that opinion loudly. God Bless our America and all those who cherish real liberty and real justice.

Perhaps somebody with a conscience inside the industry may care to share some insights. Your anonymity is TOTALLY protected. How about it? Do you recognize some of the pain expressed above from some of your clients? Got a conscience? Did your management run you over just as you ran over your clients? What kind of country do you want to leave your children? Did you just get a pit in your stomach? That’s right. I’m talking to you. Go ahead, talk back!!

I love this blog.

Larry Doyle

Please subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook.

I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • http://www.beruthless.net phil trupp

    As many of you know, I wrote the book on this subject and it is filled with stories of suffering by those caught in the auction-rate scam. I was one of those people and as a writer I used words to fight back.

    In my original book proposal I included a large sampling of victim stories; my editors, however, naturally cringing in the presence of so much pain, suggested that I cut back on the misery and bring the narrative closer to home–my personal battle, which was waged with the help of others, in particular Larry Doyle, Harry Newton, and Kathy Kane. Others could be named here but they were (and are) insistent on confidentiality. You may wonder why so many victims refused to be named. The answer is simple: the banks and brokers who betrayed their clients with fraudulent sales of auction-rate bonds later stooped to threats, claiming that if the victims named names they would be sued and perhaps never have their money returned. These threats unfortunately characterize much of the duplicity rampant in financial services community.

    My brokers refused to even discuss the matter. With sometimes tremulous voices, and at other times voices of arrogant disdain, they pinned their helplessness on “orders from higher up.” Thus a cone of antagonistic silence was created. This, in my opinion, was a quintessential act of cowardice. But then I was sufficiently familiar with the industry and knew in advance that it was largely peopled by yes-men and unaccountable pretenders. Let’s face it: Your average used car salesman knows more about what’s under the hood of that clunky old Ford than most brokers know about the complex products they peddle. It is an industry with an intellectual depth 10 miles wide and a half-inch deep. But it is a shrewd industry, shrewd enough to swindle even the most sophisticated investors. Not long ago, for example, I discovered that Michael Lewis, author of THE BIG SHORT and a former Citigroup bond trader, took his licks in the auction-rate market. Large institutional investors still are on the hook for about $100 billion, thanks to a decision by the Fed and other regulators to keep the institutions twisting in the wind until bank reserves are more stable.

    Which brings me to the next group of cowards: Washington’s regulatory elite. Wall Street has captured these regulators much the same way zoologists capture wild animals for public display. The term of art now in use on Wall Street is “regulatory capture”–the outright buying and subversion of the political and regulatory process. No political party is exempt from this form of entrapment, and those regulators who speak out against this practice are quickly retired or placed in opaque non-public positions.

    If you read my book, RUTHLESS, you will learn that George W. Bush was made aware of the auction-rate hoax but neither understood it nor cared to pursue it. Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson likewise was aware of the scandal but ignored it in favor of bailing out the very banks which created the ARS fraud. Rep. Barney Frank held hearings on the scandal, but when I asked him why no action was taken he shrugged and said congress was concerned with the “larger financial meltdown.” Well, I replied, $300 billion in auction paper is enough to fund 20 percent of the U.S. government and that it should not be ignored out of hand. Mr. Frank didn’t argue; he merely walked away.

    I have been made whole on my auction-rate investment, and I confess in retrospect that trusting my brokers was the dumbest mistake of my career. Buying ARS was the very first time in more than 30 years of day-trading that I exercised foolish trust. Always in the past I had done my own homework and used discount brokers to exercise my picks. Yet my one stumbling act of trust threatened to undue years of sweat equity. As I say in my book: TRUST ONLY YOURSELF. Yes, there are a few honest and highly sophisticated people in the financial services industry, but in my world they may be counted on one hand.

    All of us, victims and those made whole, must stay in the fight. If we fail to act we are part of the larger betrayal.

    The financial services industry has a long way to go before it reaches a level of maturity beyond portfolio-churning and reckless, humiliating greed. In the meantime, in hopes that these institutions eventually reach maturity and grasp the concept of common decency, we are on our own. I know this isn’t a terribly encouraging message, but it is one that cannot be muffled. And this is more than can be said for the street-level mentality of an industry that would make Tony Soprano blush. As for the Washington enablers who feed at the trough of Wall Street’s rapacious subculture, we know where to find you in the voting booth.

  • Lily

    It still makes me sick to my stomach to realize how devastating this must be for the ones still stuck in ARS.

    I recently bought Ruthess and am encouraging friends and family to read it and to care. Just to be aware of how crooked the financial service industry really is.

    When I am encouraged to put my cash into stocks or invest (specific mid-tier brokerage houses) I cringe! I will not support or trust any financial bank as long as I live, thaks to my ruthless FA.

    For all of the fellow friends I care and I will continue to spread the word about the ARS and stay in the fight.

  • LH

    Aloha Larry,

    I just read Ruthless! Fantastic book and commentary here.

  • JoanZ

    Thank you Larry, thank you Phil and to all the people who comment….It is sad so many of us were affected by this sham …I too just purchased Ruthless and if I could write like Phil, it was like what happened to me and to so many innocent and trusting people. Please keep this up so just maybe someone besides all of us is listening and paying attention….Joan

  • http://www.AuctionRatePreferreds.org Harry Newton

    For a full history, the latest news and good advice on Auction Rate Preferreds, please my website, http://www.AuctionRatePreferreds.org. Visiting the site is free — I write it as a public service. You might actually find the nugget of information which may help you get your money back. All the various financial writers on this subject — including myself and Phil Trupp — managed to get 100% of our money out of the ARPs we were dumped into by our brokers. I’m sure you should be able to, also.

  • EB

    Hi Larry,

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your work and helping to continue to inform and fight towards real liberty and justice.

    Things HAVE to change in this country, or our ship of state will surely crash on the rocks of this ongoing fraud and abuse.

    I am simply amazed that we haven’t had a “Million Person March” on Wall Street yet. So many people, myself included, have been severely damaged in this mess.

    Be well and please continue to ring the alarm bell and fight the good fight.

  • http://www.marianfs.com Rick Johnson

    When I was a Branch Manager for Charles Schwab, there were two things that I was very leery of recommending.

    1) Auction Rate Securities; and
    2) The Schwab Yield Plus Fund

    After I left Schwab, I ran across a guy who had approximately $425,000 in Auction Rate Securities with Morgan Stanley. I advised this client to get out of them. He refused, repeating to me the typical spill you would hear from a full commission broker…”It’s just like a money market. It’s safe. Don’t worry about it.”

    I felt so strongly about trying to get this client out of the ARS’s that I wrote him a letter with a strong warning to get out. He still ignored my advice and I did not take him on as a client, because of his stance.

    Wouldn’t you know it, 2008 happened and he called me up telling me how much he wished he took my advice. This guy was 78 years old at the time. He had no opportunity to earn that money back.

    With regard to the Schwab Yield Plus, this was another one of those investments sold as…”the same thing as a money market.” We all know that this was not the case. It is amazing that yield conscious investors flock to these risky investments.

    I met with a yield hungry investor recently. He wanted a better yield than the 1.5% he was getting at his bank. I told him the truth. I could not help him do any better. He thanked me for my honesty. A Wall Street broker would have tried to sell him something “safe.”

    My advice is do not do business with banks, Wall Street firms or insurance companies. All of the registered representatives at these firms are bound by their contracts to produce revenue for the firm as their first loyalty, or they risk losing their jobs. If that is the starting point, then why would you do business with them?

    • Kathy

      All of the registered representatives at these firms are bound by their contracts to produce revenue for the firm as their first loyalty, or they risk losing their jobs.

      Rick, I think you’ve made a key statement here. Most of us who got stuck with ARS thought we were dealing with people who wouldn’t sell us out, but that was the big con.

  • Nora

    Hi Larry,

    I was just reading the comments in regards to the ARS investment fraud and understanding how much pain these people are going through,my heart is going out to all of them and I am glad that they are fighting back. What I don’t understand, however, is the lack of protection, discipline and control from our government and agencies put in place to regulate the financial industries.

    It seems like we are living in a world of total mafia ruled organizations, where if you can come up with a smart enough scam you can get away with it. the fact that the very same organizations that we trust with our finances and lively hood are the very same criminals that rob us is unfathomable, but it is our reality today in this great country of ours.

    My main concern and I am sure many others like me feel that way, is not just the fraud by banks, wall Street, or the many Madoffs out there with their ponzi schemes, is that there’s no one out there wants to prosecute theses criminals. Unless the crimes become public on a major scale that the government officials tries to look into the crime and may be if there’s enough outcry from the public that any crime gets to be addressed.

    Our system is so much into wasting time and efforts and tax payers money in fighting small criminals and rubbers on the streets then getting to the big crimes because those big criminals have bought our government officials with their dirty money, no I mean our good money that they made dirty once their hands got on it.

    Is this some kind of a setup, or has it always been that way? How can all of this kind of scamming and scheming just become so rampant in our society during the last few years? And where on earth is all that money that has been stolen from all of us in all the different scams that were created, who has gotten it when supposedly our country is broke and banks are not making it!

    I say that there’s more going on than we know, if the banks planned the greatest financial heist of the Mortgage and Securities elaborate fraud and that they are backed by the Feds, and are allowed by the justice system to get away with it in our court rooms it makes me wonder about THE BIG PICTURE!

    What’s the big picture Larry, and what are we heading for in the near future? Did you ever see that kind of human destruction on this kind of a scale all around the world all at once? But then again what do I know, I am just one person, who was taken advantage of by a small time Madoff who rendered me broke, while the stock market demolished the rest of my assets then the banks got money to help me out but refused and tried to take away my home instead.

    • LD : PLS READ

      Nora,

      I know it is easy to lose heart but I encourage you not to do so.

      What is “The BIG PICTURE”? Regrettably Nora, I believe the issues you raise have been occurring for a lot longer than the last few years. The fact is these issues of
      1. regulators being exposed as incompetent or worse,
      2. government officials and agencies showing that they are aligned with industries and organizations which do not protect consumer and investor interests, and
      3. an overall system which does not cherish and pursue real transparency and unquestioned integrity

      have only been brought to light by the economic crisis we are experiencing. These problems developed over many decades. Why and how did they develop? Greed. At each and every point in the process, the groups highlighted above had their hands out believing they could profit directly or indirectly. That system DOES NOT WORK. NOW WE PAY!!

      What are we heading for in the near future? An economy that continues to underperform because a lot of the underlying debts and costs have not been addressed and reconciled. There will be many years and many dollars spent paying off these debts and costs. Those years and dollars are effectively being stolen from our children’s future.

      SHAME ON WASHINGTON AND EACH AND EVERY ORGANIZATION THAT HAS HAD THEIR HAND IN THESE ISSUES WHICH YOU SO ELOQUENTLY DESCRIBE. I BELIEVE YOUR FEELINGS ARE SHARED BY MANY. I THINK WE WILL ONCE AGAIN SEE AN ENORMOUS ANTI-INCUMBENT ‘THROW THE BUMS OUT’ MENTALITY PLAY OUT IN 2012.

      Thanks again for writing and sharing your thoughts and feelings. What do you and others think of my response?

      Reply

      • Nora

        Larry, I enjoy reading your posts and I appreciate the fact that you respond to our comments and answer our questions. It’s comforting to know that someone who has knowledge about what’s going on cares enough to start a discussion and to engage with the those who need and seek answers.

        It’s true what you said so far, but Larry I have a feeling that there’s more that we don’t know and I hate the fact that us, the people, are not given enough credit to think for ourselves. They don’t realize that we know that they are feeding us crap, and showing us no respect. Our government treats us like kettle regulating and controlling us and preventing us from growth and knowledge, while they take from us to protect themselves and the industries that created the problems to begin with.

        I think they want us to get mad and take to the streets, they are setting the people in for a larger fall, and with the amount of anger and frustration that the people are caring around will most definitely backfire, and then more control will have to take place. the mighty $ will fall and no average person would be able to maintain a decent living standard. It will be as it was in the beginning, SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, and guess who will be the fittest!

        I can go on forever, but I must save some energy for my family, however, I want you to know this one thing, I may have lost confidence in our system and lost faith in our government, but I will never let them make me lose heart. With everything that I went through in the past few years, I kept my head on, chin up and I work very hard to keep on living and keep on building a better future in spite, because if anything I am a survivor!

        Larry, have a good weekend, many blessings to you and yours and much love and peace to all of us, and yes HE’S GOT US ALL IN THE PALM OF HIS HANDS, God bless everyone and not forget me :)

  • Kathy

    I appreciate what Nora wrote, and how Larry responded. I agree.

    To me, the answer is simple. Our government officials are on the take. You can call it “campaign financing” or just plain bribery, but money owns our elected and government officials.

    We can not stand for it. Once we have seen this, we must not turn away. We must call it by its name, everywhere we see it. This is our country. It is our right to have honest officials, and our responsibility to fight for it.

    It is never easy to fight power, especially monied power. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

  • Matt

    Great blog, Larry. I just bookmarked this as a favorite.

    As a FA at a major financial brokerage, I am outraged for the commentors here who have been forced to hold onto ARS for 3 years now. I can feel the pain and rage you people have and can’t believe people haven’t been made whole.

    Despite the fact that the firm I work with was one of the first to reimburse their clients for the ARS nightmare, I still believe this episode is a permananent stain on the financial services industry. My feeling is the only way to regain the trust of people is to give them the unvarnished truth, and in keeping with that I’m happy to explain anything and everything to any commentors here about the products they are being sold by their advisors: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m also happy to point out where this industry is flawed and what products to stay away from.

    Thanks for the blog.

    Matt

    • LD

      Matt,

      First off, thanks for the plug and for writing.

      On behalf of all the readers and followers of Sense on Cents, I will take you up on your kind and gracious offer to share your perspectives on what you view as ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’. Rest assured your anonymity is totally protected.

      Communication and transparency are good for investors and the industry. To the extent that you can help further the cause, please fire away.

      Thanks.

      LD

  • Matt

    I liked your article above about the underwriting of auto loans. Have you written much on the coming student loan fiasco? I’m sure you are aware that student loans cannot be defaulted on by the borrower, even in bankruptcy? And that this guarantees two things: 1) that the government will be at odds with itself (as the primary creditor) to solve the problem, and that 2) this guarantees a life of indentured servitude to the debtor.

    Don’t you find it funny that the Sallie Mae’s of the world have no problem handing a liberal arts major $80,000 of debt to get a degree for a job that will likely only cover the minimum payments? Talk about underwriting standards!

    Matt

    • LD

      Matt,

      I have not written all that much about student loans specifically although I have written a lot about overall consumer indebtedness. I did write back in 2009 about SLMA

      Sallie Mae….Sallie Mae Not

      There is little evidence that Uncle Sam has any underwriting standards at all. The unintended consequences for our economy as a whole are enormous and not healthy.

      I wish there was a degree of humor but when the costs are so high and the incompetence so great, the humor does not have much chance of gaining a foothold. Pathetic is more like it.

  • will

    Does anyone else think the Central Registration Depository (CRD) system for evaluating brokers and brokerage firms is a failure?

    http://www.finra.org/Investors/ToolsCalculators/BrokerCheck

    The broker that recommended ARS to me, then turned his back on me when they became frozen, has a relatively clean CRD record.

    According to a story I found in my local newspaper, this broker had 19 investor complaints against him in April 2006. About a month later the same broker had 15 complaints. As of today, he has only 2 complaints.

    BTW: These 2 complaints (one of them is from 1983) were not visible when I checked a few months ago.

    Investors need a better way to warn each other about these unscrupulous brokers and firms.

    • disenchanted

      As I have daily contact with the CRD system, I can tell you that all WRITTEN customer complaints are reported to Finra, but not necessarily on the reps CRD file. If there is an investigation created by the complaint, it is supposed to be reported on the reps file. If it becomes a litigation it is to be reported. Many times these complaints turn out to be misunderstandings, errors that were not intentionally done by the broker, or issues that were amicably resolved. Those would not be reported on the reps file. The bigger concern to me is that many times a reps termination papers should be marked, but due to retaliation of lawsuits or Finra investigations that wind up attacking the firm for a rouge broker the firm dismissed, firms file as “allowed to resign” or “voluntary”, instead of putting the real reason for termination. Finra should support a firm that rightfully terminates a bad seed instead of putting the fear of G-D in the firm for what actions are going to come next.

    • Danny

      BrightScope Aims to Beat SEC, FINRA Showing Adviser Disciplinary Actions

      BrightScope Inc., the firm that rates thousands of corporate 401(k) retirement plans, is starting a website that will show disciplinary histories for financial advisers.

      The firm will begin publishing today a database of registered investment advisers and brokers that displays customer disputes and terminations as well as assets under management, and eventually aims to publish performance histories and fee schedules that investors may search, Mike Alfred, co- founder and chief executive officer of San Diego-based BrightScope, said in an interview last week at Bloomberg headquarters in New York.

      “We see this as part and parcel of a larger movement to provide transparency for consumers” in financial services, said Alfred.

  • RM

    I was burned by UBS on Auction Rate Securities.
    They had them listed on my UBS statement as Cash Equivalents.

    o They sold me an additional $ 75,000 worth of ARSs 2 weeks before the freeze on Feb. 1, 2008.

    o The financial sector went from holding 80% of the ARS at the beginning of 2007 to 30% at the end of 2007; yet claim that they could not “see” nor predict that ARSs were in trouble.

    UBS President of Securities, was found to have dumped all of his ARS 3 months before the meltdown. His emails confirming this fact were made public.

    o Since I live in Washington, DC; I was able to bring alot of preasure to bear and get my money back. It took nearly a year.

    o I was not compensated for any of my time, mental anguish, pain and suffering. UBS was found guilty by Cuomo, Attorney General of NY and was force to give the money back and they did. This was like committing a BANK ROBBERY and being told that if you just give the money back everything will be forgiven. A mere slap on the wrist.
    ( Cuomo justified this on the basis that the ARS holders wanted their money back ASAP, and that prosecuting this case would take to long in the courts.)

    o I would like to find someone to present my case for PUNITIVE DAMAGES.

  • RM

    A Civilized counties Legal System must rest on solidly like a
    Three Legged Stool.
    o Existance of a LAW or REGULATION
    o Enforcement of the LAW or REGULATION
    o Penalties for breaking the LAW or REGULATION
    sufficient to Deture the Crime.

    We have inadequate laws and regulations and Obama’s admistration has done little about reforming them.

    We have insufficient, lax and understaffed Enforcement.
    We have seen only Madoff be given anything near a penalty
    and it was not suffienct to deter the crime, but amounted to
    really high salary for each day he is incarcerated.

    — Only a Gallows on Wall Street is going to restore My and Many other Americans confidence in Wall Street.

    When Foreign governments and investors finally realize the sad state of finacial affairs existing in the US, we will really be in trouble financing our incredibly huge national Debt.






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