Posted by Larry Doyle on April 12th, 2010 9:11 AM |
America loves a hero. Those who go boldly into the dark, defying death, and willing to sacrifice themselves for the well being of their brethren are truly special. Why are so many Americans enraged at the power structure in Washington? For the very simple reason that Americans see few – if any – heroes amongst our elected public servants.
Do we find any heroes on Wall Street? There are many great, heroic citizens in every line of work, including Wall Street, who work tirelessly to fend for their families. These people are heroes, but not on a national level.
Who are our national heroes at this time? Who is truly willing to call out the embedded incestuous power structure that has corrupted and continues to corrupt our society? I will nominate Simon Johnson and James Kwak, co-authors of 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, for serious consideration as national heroes. Why? Johnson and Kwak properly frame the critical debate facing America today. This debate focuses on the fact that the incestuous relationship between our political and financial forces is killing America. Unless and until that incestuous relationship is exposed and unwound, our nation faces grave threats. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 2nd, 2010 10:40 AM |
Judge Jed Rakoff’s ruling to dismiss the complaint by Standard Investment Chartered v FINRA based on the regulator having absolute immunity generated a consistent response from readers and colleagues. What is the theme of that response?
A comment by Bill, a loyal Sense on Cents reader, seems to sum it up best:
Interesting that FINRA has the benefit of a quasi governmental entity, i. e. immunity, but not the customary burden of a governmental entity–transparency. Otherwise known as a license to steal. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 1st, 2010 5:49 PM |
America should be reviled when those charged with upholding the law overseeing our markets are not held to that standard themselves.
Today is a very dark day for those in our country who cherish the virtues of truth, transparency, and integrity.
Why am I despondent? This afternoon, Judge Jed Rakoff issued a ruling dismissing the lawsuit brought on behalf of Standard Investment Chartered against Mary Schapiro and other FINRA executives. What is the basis for Judge Rakoff’s dismissal? He allowed the defense the cover of absolute immunity in the merger of the NASD with NYSE Regulation to form FINRA. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 18th, 2010 8:51 AM |
SEC Chair Mary Schapiro is on the front page of almost every major financial periodical for her ongoing pursuit to fine Bank of America for impropriety in handling its merger with Merrill Lynch.
Recall that the SEC had initially fined Bank of America $33 million last fall for its improper disclosure of Merrill’s financial figures to BofA shareholders prior to the shareholder vote approving the merger of these two financial titans.
Enter Judge Jed Rakoff who threw out the $33 million fine, calling it a ‘contrivance.’
With the ball squarely back in the SEC’s court, Mary Schapiro has now fined Bank of America a tidy sum of $150 million, but still did not pinpoint any single individual at BofA as being culpable for the impropriety. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 17th, 2010 9:26 AM |
Nobody ever said it was going to be easy.
The pursuit of truth, transparency, and ultimate integrity in our financial regulatory system can only be equated to a 15 round heavyweight fight. Yesterday, the sting of opposing blows landed hard upon our face as Judge Jed Rakoff ordered FINRA documents relating to the very formation of this Wall Street self-regulatory organization to remain sealed.
Recall that the request to unseal these documents was made by attorneys representing Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and The New York Times. From the blogosphere, Sense on Cents also wrote to Judge Rakoff requesting that he order these documents to be unsealed. The information embodied in the documents addresses an allegation made by attorneys representing a plaintiff, Standard Investment Chartered, in a lawsuit filed against FINRA. The crux of that lawsuit is that then FINRA head (and current SEC Chair) Mary Schapiro and her fellow FINRA executives lied verbally during roadshows and in writing via the proxy statement issued for the merger of the NASD and NYSE Regulation to form FINRA. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 20th, 2010 10:09 AM |
…will be delivered by February 15th.
Will America ever learn if current SEC Chair and former FINRA head Mary Schapiro and fellow FINRA executives lied verbally and in a proxy statement regarding the merger of NYSE Regulation and the NASD to form FINRA?
Having attended hearings on this case (Standard Investment Chartered v FINRA) in Judge Jed Rakoff’s chambers in October and been informed of further deliberations in December, I was hopeful last Thursday that Rakoff would order the details of pertinent FINRA documents to be made public. Recall that The New York Times, Dow Jones, Bloomberg, and Sense on Cents have all requested the release of these documents.
I was back in Judge Rakoff’s chambers last Thursday. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 5th, 2010 8:40 AM |
The economic landscape of 2009 remains littered with amazing stories and tales yet to be told. Sense on Cents would hope that all these stories generate a full dose of truth, transparency, and integrity.
To eliminate the hypocrisy presented by the financial industry, America needs more arbiters like Judge Jed Rakoff. Let’s review recent developments in the merger of then failing Merrill Lynch with Bank of America.
Were the multiple billions in bonus payments accelerated to Merrill Lynch executives in late 2008 anything short of a total misappropriation of taxpayer funds at large and Bank of America shareholder funds specifically? Did BofA executives conveniently look the other way as Merrill “robbed the bank?” This point of debate is the central premise of the current court proceeding being heard by Judge Jed Rakoff.
BofA very conveniently did not include details of the Merrill bonus payments in pre-merger disclosure materials. What is BofA’s argument for that oversight? Yesterday, BofA attorneys made the case that its shareholders should have been aware of these bonus payments from media reports. Interesting. The media becomes the punching bag for not properly reporting, and now BofA attorneys use the media as a punching bag for reporting. Is this a joke or what?
How did Judge Jed Rakoff respond to such a ‘reach’ defense? (more…)