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Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street’

J. Weil: Wall St. Arbitration ‘Plenty Rigged’

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…)

Senator Warren Indicts Regulators ‘In Bed with Wall Street’

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.

Is anybody in favor of the ongoing cronyism and corruption that defines our current system?

Larry Doyle

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.

The Wolf of Wall Street: Victims’ Stories

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 21st, 2013 8:09 AM |

I just picked up my weekend newspapers and see Leonardo DiCaprio gracing the cover of Barron’s.

This star will soon grace many movie screens in our nation as “the wolf of Wall Street’ or as we would call guys like this in the business, “just another scumbag.”  But while the movie may entertain and appeal to our lower spirits, what about those whom this wolf and his fellow pack of scumbags preyed upon?

Thanks to the incredible work of one of our best financial journalists, Susan Antilla, we learn just how destructive vermin such as the real life individual, Jordan Belfort, whom Dicaprio depicts can be. (more…)

Wall Street: A Crisis of Culture

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 2nd, 2013 10:22 AM |

Five plus years after the demise of Lehman Brothers and the onset of our ongoing economic crisis, the questions still beg as to whether Wall Street has learned the lessons needed to rebuild meaningful confidence in our markets and implemented real changes to do just that.

The Economist recently released a fabulous report addressing these very questions. For those with even a passing interest in Wall Street, this is a must read. (Props to the regular reader who brought this story to my attention.) What do we learn?

Back in 1980, just 9% of Harvard MBAs went into financial services. By 2008, the figure was up to 45%. Lured to Wall Street and the City by generous pay packages, financiers were encouraged to chase rapid earnings growth.   (more…)

5 Years Later: Banks Still Too Leveraged

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…)

Wall Street’s Top Strategy: Besiege The Regulators

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 25th, 2013 8:27 AM |

Everyday we hear of a new recommended strategy put forth by analysts on Wall Street.

Some of the supposed smartest people in the business recommend sector rotation strategies, others a new found pro-growth approach, still more prefer a style that accentuates value, and others investments that generate income.

There are seemingly as many strategies on Wall Street as there are strategists.

Of all the strategies put forth by Wall Street, though, what do you think is the top Wall Street strategy — not for you, the investor — but for the industry itself? I have no doubt as to the answer to this question. (more…)

S&P Ratings: ‘You Didn’t Believe Us, Did You?’

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 23rd, 2013 7:37 AM |

What are the most important issues you face?

I imagine most would think that physical, mental, and emotional well being would rank highest on your list.

Imagine, then, the individuals to whom you went for independent and objective advice on these very personal issues were to inform you that their insights were, in fact, highly conflicted and that their proclamations and prescriptions were actually little more than “puff.”  You would probably be more than a little pissed off.

What about your financial well being?  (more…)

The Fed Leak: Who is Brian J. Gross?

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 11th, 2013 8:16 AM |

Do you believe that the leak of the Federal Reserve release, a full day before it was to be shared publicly, was a mere accident?

If so, I might caution you from opening e-mail solicitations you receive from individuals in Nigeria informing you that you are the beneficiary of millions of dollars from recently deposed warlords in that nation or other sub-Saharan locales.

I mean, come on. Major financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, The Carlyle Group and more are informed a full day in advance of what the Fed governors are thinking, and the American public is supposed to buy that as an accident? (more…)

Stock Act: Penalty Does NOT Fit the Crime

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 5th, 2012 7:53 AM |

America only had to wait for a 60 Minutes expose and more than half a decade to witness our elected representatives pass a meaningful piece of legislation addressing insider trading on Capitol Hill. If those two basic facts do not speak volumes as to the quality of character of those governing our nation, then let’s navigate further.

President Obama’s signing of the STOCK Act outlawing insider trading in Washington is heralded as a major achievement. If that is the case, then we are holding the bar exceptionally low.

I will grant that our nation is better off having the STOCK Act than not, but let’s hold the applause. As a further reminder that there are two sets of standards in our nation, let’s review how ‘justice’ is defined within the realm of insider trading.  (more…)

Will Whistleblower Protections Suffer at Hands of Rep. Michael Grimm “Reaper” (R-NY)?

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 7th, 2012 11:14 AM |

Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY) was ceremoniously inducted into the Sense on Cents Hall of Shame in May 2011. Not that I ever believed there was reason to doubt his induction, but recently I witnessed further reason to cement his status in the elevated ranks of shame.

As regular readers are fully aware, I write passionately about pursuing the truth while promoting investor education and investor protection. The history of the last few years has shown that the financial services industry has not exactly shared our passion.

Who has shared the passion and took very real professional risk in the process? Numerous and sundry whistleblowers.  (more…)

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