Posted by Larry Doyle on June 22nd, 2010 10:32 AM |
What good is a 2009 Annual Report released in September 2010?
Picture a student informing his teacher that he has not been able to complete his 75-page year end review, but that he will surely get it done over the summer and “I’ll have it for you when school starts back up in September.” Additionally, the student tries to ingratiate his teacher by submitting a 6-page summary year in review. If this were not so pathetic it may actually be comical, but my friends this is what we are subjected to by the Wall Street self-regulator FINRA. How so?
FINRA Chairman and CEO Rick Ketchum just released a magnanimous 6-page 2009 Year in Review while informing America that the full 2009 FINRA Annual Report will not be released until September.
American citizens and investors are experiencing one of the most dramatic, traumatic, and anxiety-ridden financial and economic period in our nation’s history, and all we get is a 6-page summary.
The FINRA 2009 Year in Review will not take long to critique, but suffice it to say the grade on this review will certainly be “INCOMPLETE.” (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 7th, 2010 9:03 AM |
Imagine being in a situation in which you knew you had to be quiet in order to advance your own personal career, rather than speaking up and blowing the whistle on irregularities and improprieties within your firm. This message is consistently relayed by many a whistleblower who has suffered from having tried to do the right thing. What is the result? Firms tout their virtuous values of integrity, respect, and excellence while effectively muzzling those who would blow the whistle on crimes and illegal practices.
I believe this reality is all too present in many, if not most, industries in our society today. There is absolutely no doubt it is present on Wall Street. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 6th, 2010 12:24 PM |
Regular readers of Sense on Cents know all too well my questions and concerns about the lack of transparency at the Wall Street self-regulatory organization FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).
I am a big fan of promoting transparency in order to pursue integrity. Who else is a big fan of the same goals? The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) :
. . . an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 24th, 2010 2:39 PM |
You can rest assured that the powers that be on Wall Street would just as soon have the Madoff saga over. The Madoff scam perpetrated on investors is an ugly reminder of the non-existent financial regulatory system during the better part of the last twenty years.
I also believe many in Washington also might like to see the Madoff saga quietly pass by. The failures of the SEC, FINRA, and SIPC in this greatest of scams are an ugly reminder of the Wall Street-Washington incest.
Well, while many of the incestuous partners would like to turn the page, there remains a lot of filth that still needs to be cleaned up and a lot of individuals and institutions that need to be held to account. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on February 20th, 2010 11:58 AM |
The target on SEC Chair Mary Schapiro’s back is getting larger and gaining more focus. How so?
The lead editorial in this weekend’s edition of The Wall Street Journal goes after Schapiro hard in writing, Mary Schapiro’s Say on Pay. While the editorial leads with the ongoing battle Schapiro and the SEC are having with Bank of America’s lack of disclosure during its merger with Merrill Lynch, the Journal quickly turns the tables on Ms. Schapiro and addresses the lack of disclosure at Ms. Schapiro’s former haunt, FINRA.
Come to papa.
Regular readers of Sense on Cents are well aware of how consistently and steadily I have been banging this FINRA drum. It is long past due that America is truly introduced to Wall Street’s self-regulatory organization, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 29th, 2010 8:31 AM |
The policies implemented in Washington are trying to buy time in hopes that our economy recovers. Japan took the ‘buying time’ approach and twenty years later they are still waiting for real recovery.
The approach being taken by those within our financial regulatory structure (SEC and FINRA) is to ‘move forward.’ Well, unless the critically unanswered questions and issues embedded within these organizations are fully exposed and addressed, America can never truly move forward with confidence in the markets and those overseeing them.
President Obama wants real financial regulatory reform. Then Mister President, compel your chair of the SEC, Mary Schapiro, to open the books and records of FINRA. Mr. President, compel Ms. Schapiro to unseal documents regarding the very formation of FINRA itself.
America knows something still smells on Wall Street. What is it? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 22nd, 2010 10:14 AM |
Add Peter Sivere to the list of people totally screwed by the Wall Street-Washington incest.
The incestuous nature of the Wall Street-Washington relationship runs across many segments of our financial landscape. That said, the corrosive nature of this incest is most egregious within those institutions charged with protecting investors, that is the SEC and FINRA.
The SEC and FINRA failed the Madoff investors, the Stanford investors, and ultimately the country as a whole. I firmly believe the financial regulatory system failed to perform because it was in bed with the industry and served at its behest. To what extent are the regulators still in bed with the industry? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on January 4th, 2010 12:04 PM |
Will the change in the calendar bring about change in the prospects for real financial regulatory reform? Will Wall Street and Washington recycle the streamers and party hats used for New Year’s Eve celebrations and declare that the market is up so all is well? If the general media allows the charlatans in Washington and their consorts on Wall Street to frame the regulatory reform debate, America should expect little to no change on this front. In the process, a tremendous opportunity will have been squandered and real risks for our collective future will remain.
The haggling over regulatory turf continues again with Ben Bernanke’s declaration yesterday that our housing crisis resulted not from excessively easy monetary policy but rather lax regulatory oversight of mortgage lending. Whose domain is that to regulate? Oh right, that is the charge of the Federal Reserve. The joke on the American public continues, given that Bernanke is not called on the carpet for that sort of grandstanding. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on November 18th, 2009 12:45 PM |
Should we take heart that the Obama administration is creating a multi-agency Financial Fraud Task Force? While there is no doubt there are massive frauds in the system, the mere creation of a task force does not necessarily mean the frauds will be rooted out. Why? If the agencies involved in the task force are themselves fundamentally and structurally flawed, then frauds will continue. If the agencies merely failed to execute or perform then perhaps this task force will expose those deficiencies and lessen fraudulent activities.
Which agencies will be involved in this task force? The Securities Industry News reports, U.S. Launches Multi-Agency Task Force to Prosecute Financial Fraud:
The task force will be led by the Department of Justice and chaired by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., but will also include senior officials from the Department of Treasury, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Reserve System and other major federal agencies.
Thus, this task force would seem to consist of all government agencies while being led by AG Eric Holder and the Department of Justice. What does Mr. holder have to say? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on October 23rd, 2009 1:19 PM |
The drive for transparency in our financial regulatory system is gaining momentum. How so?
The complaint brought on behalf of Standard Investment Chartered v FINRA, NYSE Group, Mary Schapiro et al is receiving increased interest. As well it should. Why? As I have always maintained, for confidence to return to our markets and economy, it is imperative that we have transparency in our financial regulators and regulation.
In regard to this case, I wrote a Letter to Judge Jed Rakoff in re: Benchmark and Standard Investment Chartered v. FINRA on Thursday October 15th. I wrote:
. . . having attended the hearing in your chambers on October 6th on the above referenced case (I was the only member of the public or the press in attendance), I would request that you release unredacted documents pertaining to these complaints. The release of those unredacted documents would be of real public service. That service entails the ongoing public cry for real transparency in our financial industry at this time. That cry for so many of our citizens seems to go unheeded all too often. I could share dozens of comments left at my site echoing that cry.
I truly believe if a real measure of confidence in our markets and our economy is to return, it must be based on true transparency and integrity. While I have written extensively on the lack of transparency and integrity in our country, I don’t pretend to think that my site will change the landscape on this front immediately. That said, I am never discouraged to continue digging deeper, writing more, and asking the hard questions. On this front, I sincerely hope the adjudication of this case will highlight these qualities for all to see.
Barrons actually beat me to the punch and had requested a release of the same unredacted documents in a communication sent to Judge Rakoff on October 5th. Those interested in Barron’s request written by Jim McTague, the Washington D.C. editor, can access it here.
Today I learn that The New York Times is making the same request of FINRA. Stephen Labaton, senior writer for The New York Times in Washington D. C., made his request of Judge Rakoff this past Wednesday, October 21st. Those interested in the NYT request can access it here.
The drive for transparency in our financial regulatory system continues. With Barrons and The New York Times on board, that drive is gaining steam.
The American public deserves nothing less than total transparency and integrity in its markets, regulations, and regulators.
Related Sense on Cents Commentary:
Nasdaq Sale: Why Would Schapiro and FINRA Execs Lie? (October 22, 2009)
Attorney Richard Greenfield Brands Mary Schapiro and FINRA Execs as “Liars” (October 19, 2009)