Posted by Larry Doyle on February 22nd, 2012 2:01 PM |
I have crossed paths with some exceptionally interesting people while navigating our economic landscape and writing Sense on Cents over the last few years. These individuals encompass a wide swath of our American population and include investors, economists, lawyers, consumers, small businesspeople, bankers, students, and so many more.
While I admire and respect most of the people with whom I interact, there are a handful who truly occupy a very special place in my heart and in the Sense on Cents Hall of Fame. Who are these people whom I consider true American heroes? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on November 28th, 2011 6:53 PM |
Many participants in our financial markets and political circles clearly have little interest in allowing a full exposition of facts and figures on a wide array of topics. Why let those trifling principles get in the way of maximizing profits and currying favor for political gain, right?
“That’s not how we roll” here at Sense on Cents. Truth, transparency, and integrity are ALWAYS the order of the day.
Our prized virtues may not be embraced in our nation and the world at large, but that does not mean we should or will ever forsake them. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on August 17th, 2011 4:33 PM |
Since early 2009 I have written at length about the regulatory capture that has dominated the financial industry. I have defined this concept in layman’s terms as the Wall Street-Washington incest. Today a close friend and regular reader of Sense on Cents shares a story which blows the cover off this incest.
This story is written by Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, perhaps Wall Street’s greatest nemesis. I commend him and those from whom he has sourced this information to have the courage of their conviction and the embodiment of the true American spirit to bring this story to light.
I ardently believe this expose should lead to public Congressional hearings and ultimately a federal judicial inquiry. Might it be the beginning of the end for Mary Schapiro? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on July 28th, 2011 7:31 AM |
For those who love baseball, summer is not only a time for taking in a ballgame (like today’s matinee at Fenway Park between our beloved 1st place Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals) but also for paying a visit to the Hall of Fame.
Baseball fans of all ages love to make the pilgrimage to the hallowed hall in Cooperstown, New York.
Fans of Sense on Cents are well aware that yours truly has inducted worthy and deserving recipients into both wings of our own hall here over the course of the year. Just yesterday, I inducted Muddy Water’s Carson Block into the Sense on Cents Hall of Fame.
While I take the boys to the ballpark, I hope readers, both new and old, may like to pay a visit to the Sense on Cents Halls of Fame and Shame a/o year end 2010.
I provided the following ceremonial tribute and induction at the end of last year.
Posted by Larry Doyle on May 20th, 2010 4:08 PM |
Thank you to a loyal Sense on Cents reader for providing a recently released report by the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform entitled The SEC: Designed for Failure.
Much of what the American public has been fed about the SEC has been produced by the SEC itself. With all due respect to SEC Office of Inspector General David Kotz, who is widely respected, the other internal reports produced by the SEC have the stamp of career regulator Mary Schapiro. Regular readers of Sense on Cents know I have little regard for Mary.
This Congressional committee is led by Darrell Issa (R-CA). The report highlights that amongst the SEC’s issues, a lack of funding was not one of them. What else did the report find? What does it recommend?
Executive Summary (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 9th, 2010 12:04 PM |
That simple piece of wisdom is both timeless and precious. Regrettably, too many in our media fail to uphold it. Where do I see evidence of it today?
The Wall Street Journal today runs a book review of Harry Markopolos’ recently released No One Would Listen. The reviewer is Richard J. Tofel of ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative-journalism newsroom. Tofel does not denigrate Harry’s work, but he emasculates Harry from a personal standpoint. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 1st, 2010 10:38 AM |
In an interview on the Today show this morning (video clip after the fold), Harry Markopolos dropped a few bombshells. Harry’s statement that he had purchased a gun and mentally prepared himself to kill Bernie Madoff in self-defense if need be will likely grab the most attention. It shouldn’t.
Markopolos’ biggest bombshell this morning is his warning to America, “don’t trust your government.” No surprise that Today host Matt Lauer did not probe deeper. I am not confident that other outlets will delve deeper into Harry’s statement, either. I wonder why Harry himself is reticent to specifically point out the individuals and the instances which lead him to make that statement.
Recall that a year ago Harry defined the SEC as merely incompetent while simultaneously defining FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) as ‘in bed with the industry’ that is Wall Street. Well, it does not take an advanced degree to connect Harry’s grenade toss into FINRA’s backyard a year ago with his volley this morning. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 4th, 2010 11:40 AM |
Are the wagons circling around Mary Schapiro and her former FINRA colleagues?
Regular readers of Sense on Cents are familiar with the issues and concerns I have raised repeatedly with Wall Street’s self-regulator, FINRA. I continue to believe the issues embedded within this self-regulatory organization lie near the heart of what I deem the Wall Street-Washington nexus.
Perhaps America will learn more about these issues soon. Why? Next week, FINRA’s Board of Directors will address alleged wrongdoings by Ms. Schapiro et al. What are the issues? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on September 3rd, 2009 8:26 AM |
Is Uncle Sam, in the form of the SEC, attempting to issue a mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa in the bungling of the Madoff investigation and trying to conveniently turn the page?
The American public learned very little with the release of the SEC Inspector General David Kotz’s review of the SEC’s failure to expose the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. In fact, having just finished reading the Executive Summary of his investigation, I would maintain it is largely an extended regurgitation of much of what Harry Markopolos provided in his Congressional testimony last February.
What was Harry’s conclusion of his exhaustive pursuit to expose the Madoff scam? The SEC is incompetent.
What was the Inspector General’s conclusion from his investigation? In so many words, Kotz lays out the same results. The SEC was incompetent on so many fronts from the early 1990s until Madoff was exposed last December. For those who would like to read Kotz’s 22-page summary of his investigation, just click on the image below.
Is this all the public gets? Is this all the public can expect from our regulators? Nothing more than a mea maxima culpa? How about a real pursuit of the total truth? This Madoff affair has many more legs. Let’s navigate.
Ronnie Sue Ambrosino, head of the Madoff Victims Coalition for Investor Protection (my guest on NQR’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle on August 16th), and her husband Dominic comment on the Inspector General’s report and simultaneously call out FINRA last evening during an interview on Fox Business News.
Ronnie Sue and Dominic effectively connect the dots while highlighting the following:
1. Current head of the SEC Mary Schapiro formerly headed FINRA
2. Harry Markopolos defined FINRA as being “in bed” with the industry when he provided Congressional testimony this past February detailing his decade-long pursuit to expose the Madoff Ponzi scam.
3. FINRA had an internal investment portfolio (Sense on Cents would add that the portfolio was invested in hedge funds, fund of funds, and also had hundreds of millions in Auction-Rate Securities).
4. Amerivet Securities has recently filed a complaint against FINRA. The complaint indicates it has information and reason to believe that FINRA’s investment portfolio invested in Madoff.
Sense on Cents would add that the Amerivet complaint looks to have FINRA provide a full and thorough review of the following:
>> interactions with the major Wall Street banks
>> its compensation practices
>> its liquidation of its auction-rate securities position in 2007
>> all investment activities
Sense on Cents would further add that the Madoff family had extensive relationships with the NASD, Nasdaq (Bernie helped establish this exchange) and FINRA.
Let’s listen to Ronnie Sue and Dominic Ambrosino:
Is the Madoff investigation over? Any rational individual can understand there are many more regulatory questions needing answers. Where do those questions lead us? Inside FINRA and specifically to its investment portfolio. Why shouldn’t a Wall Street self-regulatory organization mandated to protect investors be obligated, and if need be compelled, to provide total transparency of all its business dealings?
I can only hope major media outlets and Washington pick up this story and understand the need to fully investigate FINRA.
I ask you again . . . is the Madoff investigation over? Not by a long shot!
What do you think?
Related Sense on Cents Commentary:
“Amerivet Complaint Against FINRA Alleges Madoff Investment” (August 25, 2009)
NoQuarter Radio’s Sense on Cents with Larry Doyle Interviews Head of Bernard Madoff Victims Coalition (August 16, 2009)
“FINRA Is Supposed to Police the Market” (April 29, 2009)
“Riveting Testimony from a Great American, Harry Markopolos” (February 4, 2009)