Posted by Larry Doyle on March 7th, 2014 10:06 AM |
Not that we needed any more evidence that Wall Street’s primary self-regulator is a challenged organization when it comes to protecting investors, but in a lead commentary in today’s Wall Street Journal we get it:
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority “routinely” strips out some possible red flags on brokers from its database in the information it makes available to investors, according to a study released Thursday by an organization of lawyers who represent investors in claims against brokers. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 25th, 2014 6:45 AM |
In 2013 the six largest banks on Wall Street generated profits of $76 billion.
Last year, Wall Street’s primary self-regulatory organization FINRA imposed fines of $57 million.
Anybody still wondering why Wall Street likes being a self-regulated industry? Is Wall Street this clean or are the regulators little more than meter maids, as I have long maintained? Thanks to the folks at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, let’s look at the fines imposed by FINRA last year and over the last 9 years (including the years prior to FINRA’s formation in 2007 as a result of the merger of the NASD and the regulatory arm of the NYSE):
Numbers don’t lie. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 18th, 2014 6:34 AM |
Bill Cohan, Susan Antilla, Gretchen Morgenson.
Although these individuals are not the only financial journalists whom I hold in high regard, they are certainly among the very few.
Who else is in their company? Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil, who just the other day wielded a very sharp pen in addressing the arbitration process on Wall Street, or what I define as ‘the kangaroo court.’
Truth be told, the folks at FINRA who oversee Wall Street arbitration seem to be getting a little weary of being used as a punching bag and have made some tweaks to the system. Weil is not impressed. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 12th, 2014 6:13 AM |
Who oversees the private, Wall Street funded police detail, aka FINRA, that I have long maintained operates as little more than meter maids?
The SEC, that’s who.
Or at least the SEC is supposed to regulate and oversee FINRA. Whether the SEC effectively oversees an organization which on its face appears to be loaded with conflicts of interest — if not much worse — is the stuff on which books are written.
As a strident critic of both the self-regulator and the self-regulatory model, I have long called for FINRA’s doors and windows to be opened so America can really learn what goes on within this organization and its relationships with the very banks on Wall Street that fund it. Who seems to be joining my call for a serious review of FINRA? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 7th, 2014 10:06 AM |
“The question I’m asking is whether or not there’s adequate deterrent to prevent the largest financial institutions in this country from breaking the law,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said at a Senate Banking Committee hearing today. “Right now, if financial institutions can just settle their claims out of court, and get a raise for settling them, then where’s the deterrent?”
Senator Warren pressed regulators about their current enforcement efforts, noting that the “the public has little confidence in regulators’ willingness to seek the kind of penalties that will actually deter future financial crimes.”
With those two statements, Senator Warren (D-MA) indicts the current scandalous practices if not outright corruption that lies at the intersection of Wall Street and Washington and provides the public’s concluding sentiment as detailed in In Bed with Wall Street. The clip runs a mere 6-minutes.
What to do about this? How about we start with the following:
1. Congress should launch a privately run Office of Whistleblower Protection.
2. Wall Street’s private police detail, that is the financial self-regulatory organization FINRA, should no longer have absolute immunity and should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
3. Wall Street arbitration should be optional and not mandatory so as to end the kangaroo court.
4. End the self-regulatory oversight of Wall Street.
5. BREAK UP THE ‘TOO BIG TO FAIL’ BANKS!!
Is anybody in favor of the ongoing cronyism and corruption that defines our current system?
Please order a copy of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy.
For those reading this via a syndicated outlet or receiving it via e-mail or another delivery, please visit the blog to view the embedded video clip and to comment on this piece of ‘sense on cents.’
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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.
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 3rd, 2014 7:53 AM |
The lead article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal is entitled FINRA To Crack Down on Brokers with High Numbers of Complaints. This should be a good thing, right? Yes, it should.
The question still begs, though, why FINRA has been so amenable to expunging such an overwhelming percentage of complaints against brokers. Recall that just a few weeks back, I highlighted the fact that FINRA had expunged 96.9% of complaints lodged against brokers from mid-2009 through the end of 2011.
How might individuals know if a broker soliciting them is unscrupulous if a large number of complaints have been erased? Talk about a massive pardoning and significant do-over! But what is an even bigger problem in the industry than brokers with questionable business ethics?
Posted by Larry Doyle on December 17th, 2013 8:19 AM |
Two weeks ago, the folks at the Project on Government Oversight filed a friend of the court brief in an attempt to bring some meaningful transparency to Wall street’s largest self-regulation organization, FINRA.
Why is it so important that FINRA be compelled to open its doors? Too many reasons, but one of them is embraced by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who yesterday provided further fuel to the fire for those looking for real transparency from FINRA.
Let’s navigate and review a press release that highlights just how opaque this organization is.
WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to protect investors and the integrity of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) BrokerCheck program, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today sent a bipartisan letter asking FINRA to clarify and strengthen standards for expungement of investor complaints against brokers. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on November 22nd, 2013 6:53 AM |
I have long maintained that a self-regulatory model for monitoring Wall Street does not and will not work. To think that the brokerage industry could be properly monitored by an organization that it funds in large measure strikes me as ridiculous.
I witness further evidence of this reality in a report that some might think is an indication that this self-regulator, FINRA, is getting tough on Wall Street. If this is tough, then let me puff up the pillows for you and get you a cup of warm cocoa. Let’s navigate as The Wall Street Journal writes this morning:
Under pressure from Washington to crack down on rogue stockbrokers, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is highlighting a fast-track program it began earlier this year to go after what it calls “high-risk brokers.” (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 28th, 2013 7:42 AM |
How do the executives running FINRA reconcile that mandate with the fact that problematic issues raised by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) back in the mid-1990s continue to be outstanding today? In a recent letter sent by Markey to FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum, the Senator from Massachusetts writes,
I was alarmed to learn that arbitration awards and settlements do not show up in FINRA’s BrokerCheck database because brokers have been able to successfully expunge the information. (more…)