Posted by Larry Doyle on June 10th, 2014 9:38 AM |
“Speak softly but carry a big stick.”
Real leaders and financial cops very much appreciate that principle. Those playing politics and crony capitalism circa 2014 find it to be anathema.
Why is it that bad practices on Wall Street (e.g high frequency trading, abusive sales practices, market manipulation) are too often tolerated in Washington while costing ordinary Americans untold sums? Very simply, when the punishments do not fit the crimes the practices will perpetuate. The penalties become little more than a cost of doing business. Those ‘writing the tickets’ are little more than meter maids.
Those engaged in regulatory oversight might not appreciate these assertions but these realities are part and parcel of the self-regulatory model on Wall Street. To think otherwise is simply to be willfully blind. SEC commissioner Kara Stein recently told the folks at FINRA to take off their blinders. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 28th, 2014 9:27 AM |
In today’s version of “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up,” we hear from Brad Bennett, the Head of Enforcement at Wall Street’s self-regulatory organization FINRA. Bennett and others spoke on a panel this past Friday at a conference sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute.
On the hot button topic of high frequency trading, Bennett weighed in with a comparison that is so dismissive as to defy credulity. Let’s navigate as the folks at Wealth Management were there to cover and reported:
Benefiting from faster access to the markets is akin to buying a first-class plane ticket, and doesn’t sound unfair, said the top cop at Wall Street regulator FINRA. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 17th, 2014 10:54 AM |
Of all the questions facing investors these days, I would think two of the most important are: (1) with whom are you doing business? (2) how much are you paying for the investment product being pitched to you?
Watch this 6-minute clip and you will understand why I write at length, both at my blog and in my book, on the need for real transparency on Wall Street and especially within the regulatory system so as to help people avoid the perils and pitfalls that inevitably come their way when unsavory characters call on them.
I touched on this topic a few weeks back to expose the fact that Wall Street’s self-regulatory organization FINRA allowed close to 97% of the data on its Broker Check system to be “expunged” over a two and a half year period (mid-2009 to late 2011).
What might they have allowed the industry to hide in doing so? Even the host takes a less than subtle shot at FINRA in this segment.
Watch your wallet, folks.
Please order a hard copy or Kindle version of my book, In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy.
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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 April 8th, 2014 8:53 AM |
Of all the questions on all the topics across all the market segments, the one that keeps being repeated by most investors — both institutional and retail alike — is the question regarding the fairness of the game.
That question and others were posed yesterday to James McCaughan who, as President of Principal Global Investors, just so happens to oversee the management of $300 billion and was interviewed by Tom Keene and Michael McKee on Bloomberg Surveillance.
Regarding market fairness in the midst of current high frequency trading practices, McCaughan does not equivocate in stating, “the market is not fair.” (more…)
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 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 October 3rd, 2013 8:58 AM |
Did you feel a sizable tremor running between Washington and Wall Street overnight? I did.
At the epicenter of this tremor was the first meaningful questioning of the practice of self-regulation on Wall Street by their governmental overseers at the SEC.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White opened the door to a potential overhaul of financial-market oversight, saying the special regulatory status of U.S. exchanges may not best serve investors or public companies.
Wow. That simple statement may never lead anywhere, but the mere fact the SEC issued a statement of this sort is a tidal shift of epic proportions. Who else echoed the sentiments of this seismic activity? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on September 13th, 2013 9:27 AM |
Lehman Brothers failed on September 15, 2008.
We are now two days away from the 5 year anniversary of that fateful day and the unfolding of a string of events that continue to ripple across our global economy and markets.
As with the anniversaries of most cataclysmic events, we can now expect an ongoing stream of dialogue as to what led to the crisis and how things have played out since then.
The folks at Morning Joe had a brief 7-minute discussion recently with Time magazine editor Radhika Jones on this topic and these questions. They definitely hit upon some of the key issues but they do not use the one key word to define what really happened both pre and post crisis. What is that word? Let’s take a listen first to what they have to say: (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on September 12th, 2013 9:09 AM |
Do you think there is a reason why bank balance sheets are so convoluted and opaque? Of course there is.
The lack of meaningful transparency allows the banks to continue to employ excessive degrees of leverage across a widely disparate array of businesses and with a paucity of competition all in the hope of generating outsized returns. But who do you think bears the ultimate risk?
They pursue these paths with the support of the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy and a regulatory system that belies meaningful oversight despite those who might want us to believe that Dodd-Frank brought reform to the system.
Former FDIC chair Sheila Bair does not leave much to interpretation on these topics. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 12th, 2013 8:25 AM |
In December 2011, President Obama was interviewed on 60 Minutes and had the following exchange with CBS’ Steve Kroft in regard to behaviors on Wall Street:
KROFT: One of the things that surprised me the most about this poll is that 42%, when asked who your policies favor the most, 42% said Wall Street. Only 35% said average Americans.
My suspicion is some of that may have to do with the fact that there’s not been any prosecutions, criminal prosecutions, of people on Wall Street.
And that the civil charges that have been brought have often resulted in what many people think have been slap on the wrists, fines. “Cost of doing business,” I think you called it in the Kansas speech. Are you disappointed by that? (more…)