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Archive for the ‘Auction Rate Securities scandal’ Category

ARS Update: Investors Still Getting Screwed

Posted by Larry Doyle on September 18th, 2013 7:59 AM |

I am long overdue to address the ongoing — as in 5+ years — nightmare that defines the world of auction-rate securities, aka Wall Street’s greatest scam.

“You mean this is still going on”  is a common refrain I have heard from a variety of media representatives, lawyers, investors, and even regulators.

Yes, indeed, the ARS nightmare continues with seemingly little evidence of meaningful support provided to those ARS investors still left standing in the cold wondering whatever happened to the concept of investor protection embedded in the securities reform legislation passed back in the 1930s.

We know that FINRA liquidated its own ARS holdings — all $650 million of them — back in 2007. If not for that fortuitous (??) stroke of luck (??), perhaps the regulator would also be waiting in line wondering if and when it might get its money back.

To check in on how the supposedly venerable firm of Goldman Sachs is partaking in the ongoing screwing of ARS clients, I thank a regular visitor to these parts who shared a commentary. (more…)

ARS Update April 2013: The Nightmare Continues

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 25th, 2013 8:43 AM |

Five plus years after the meltdown of the largest fraud ever perpetrated on Wall Street, and the nightmare that defines the world of auction-rate securities goes on.

While Wall Street, Washington, and the media would very much like to leave the pain encompassing the ARS market largely in the rear view mirror, for many individuals who still hold on to the hope that they may ultimately get repaid in full from these widely distributed “cash-surrogate” instruments, the pain and anxiety remain front and center.

I continue to hear regularly from many individual ARS holders.

Not that anybody needs further reason to know that individual investors on Wall Street are at an enormous disadvantage in the face of captured and corrupted regulators and institutions that possess more information, but a recent piece of data I unearthed while working on my upcoming book (think I might be able to get Mary Schapiro to come to a book signing and autograph some copies!!??) speaks volumes to this point.  (more…)

ARS UPDATE: Cries for Help Go Unanswered

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 27th, 2013 8:21 AM |

February 14, 2008: The auction-rate securities market freezes, and tens of thousands of our fellow citizens’ lives are forever changed as that simple American virtue of “trust” goes out the window never to return.

I have long described the ARS market as Wall Street’s greatest scam. Five years out, the pain of this fraud continues and ARS investors’ cries for help go unanswered.

What happened to our country? I will tell you what happened. Our government and regulators are ineffectual at best and corrupt at worst. You do not think so? Let’s navigate.  (more…)

Calling All Auction-Rate Holders: OPEN FORUM

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 17th, 2013 8:57 AM |

We are now less than one month away from the five year anniversary of what I believe is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on Wall Street. Regular readers know I am referencing the ARS (auction-rate securities) tragic debacle. I have been remiss in not addressing this situation for more than a few months and apologize for that.

Some past holders may wonder, “Is the ARS pain ongoing?” Indeed it is. Tens of billions of ARS remain outstanding. Some individuals and institutions still trapped in the painful ARS predicament may wonder if anybody even still cares about their plight. We do. Not only investors, but ARS issuers as well were ensnared by the Wall Street ARS trap and continue to experience very real pain in the process.

I broach this topic once again thanks to a reader who shared the following story about a communications firm entangled in the ARS mess the other day:  (more…)

Those Uncle Sam Failed, Violated, and Left Behind

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 3rd, 2012 8:31 AM |

They are going to forget about me.

I have heard that line and iterations thereof from too many of our fellow citizens. Uncle Sam in the personage of Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Henry Paulson, Mary Schapiro, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and many others can talk about the actions they have taken and will take to save our economy and our nation; however, in the midst of their supposed efforts they have failed, violated, and left behind tens of thousands of our fellow citizens in their wake.

Of whom and to what do I refer?  (more…)

Oppenheimer’s Al Loewenthal: Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool…

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 15th, 2012 8:06 AM |

Reactions I heard to the Jerry Maguire type bombshell launched by former Goldman exec Greg Smith ran the gamut yesterday.

There are those who questioned Mr. Smith’s sanity at committing career suicide. Others appreciated his airing of dirty laundry and “come to Jesus” expose. I personally believe if Mr. Smith wanted to lash out at those at Goldman who created the culture he came to detest, he may have been more laser like in his approach.

The hand grenade he launched into the Goldman camp was the equivalent of friendly fire and also hit plenty of very good people who work very hard to make an honest living everyday. I know very honest and very good people in the firm.

I welcome being the harshest critic of those who deserve to be called out.  (more…)

ARS Update: STILL Hostage in the ARS Roach Motel

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 6th, 2012 4:38 PM |

Wall Street may think it is back to business as usual, but what about those investors and our fellow American citizens who were left behind and forgotten as a result of the crisis from 2008? Of whom do I speak?

The tens of thousands of our fellow citizens who remain hostage in the ARS Roach Motels.

Who are the managers of seemingly the most grotesque ARS Roach Motels? Oppenheimer Holdings and Pimco. How do we know?  (more…)

Auction Rate Pain Continues: February 14, 2008 to February 14, 2012 Recommended

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 14th, 2012 6:07 AM |

“Larry, they have forgotten about me. I do not know what to do and I have nowhere to turn.”

In so many words, I received that message from an Oppenheimer Holdings customer just yesterday who continues to be unable to access his cash which remains locked up in auction-rate securities a full four years to the day that the ARS market totally froze.

This is America?

We have an administration and regulators which fabricate settlements and try to support people many of whom were financially imprudent? But who is standing up and speaking out on behalf of those remaining ARS investors who were defrauded by financial intermediaries and cannot access their funds from what were supposedly cash surrogate investments?

Four full years later and tens of thousands of our fellow citizens remain largely disenfranchised and disowned and unable to access tens of billions of dollars that is THEIR MONEY?

This is America?  (more…)

Did Senate Show Character in Passing the Stock Act? Can We Do the Same for ARS?

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 2nd, 2012 11:03 PM |

To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.  ~Confucius

Did the United States Senate do the right thing today and show real character in passing the Stock Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act…aka, Stop Insider Trading in Congress!!)?

Let’s come back to that question.

The simple fact is the Stock Act was first introduced SIX YEARS ago. How is it that this piece of legislation languished for so long and now passes the Senate by a vote of 96-3?  (more…)

ARS Update: Lots of People Talking About Oppenheimer

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 12th, 2012 10:06 PM |

Last we checked on the ARS crisis two months back, we learned that the crowd at Oppenheimer was on pace to repay its ARS holders over the next 50 years. Yep, 50 years. How swell.

Well, one lucky Oppenheimer customer will get her money back a lot sooner than that. Who might that be?  (more…)

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