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Posts Tagged ‘Wall Street’

Can Whistleblowers ‘Cross-Examine’ the SEC? Part II

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 10th, 2012 6:37 PM |

My commentary the other day entitled Can Whistleblowers ‘Cross-Examine’ the SEC? received a fair bit of attention and some rather interesting comments. In light of the very fluid developments within the realm of financial regulation, I strongly recommend that post.

The primary concern I raised within that commentary – and hence the title – was that a key panel at the upcoming 39th Annual Securities Regulation Institute consists solely of industry insiders. Why might that be such a concern?

Well, one of the main critiques of our financial regulatory system made by many, including Harry Markopolos, has been the revolving door between our regulators and the industry.

Why is a revolving door such a concern? Stick with me here.  (more…)

Is Jon Corzine “Too Big to Be Indicted”? Part III

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 22nd, 2011 4:29 PM |

This commentary runs a little long, but I exhort you to read it in its entirety as it captures the sentiments of readers who are extremely close to or actually “in the MF arena.”  Their messages are filled with real pain and anguish which is not found in the media. This is reality. I hope you will want to share this post with your friends. LD

As if $600 million in missing customer funds were not enough, recent news emanating from the debacle that defines the bankruptcy of MF Global puts the estimated misappropriation of customer funds at a cool $1.2 billion. Yes, billion with a B!

Those involved in the markets would easily ascertain that those manning the MF Global ship redirected these customer funds in an attempt to save the ship as it was going down. The customers themselves remain in a state of shock and bewilderment as to how this reality might ever have come to pass.

Meanwhile, the outrage in America burns while the lack of trust and confidence in the markets, the market makers, and those charged with protecting investors grows stronger by the day.

You don’t believe me? Read on and chew on these messages I recently received from people “in the arena”: (more…)

UPDATE: Did Wall Street Violate the Racketeering Act?

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 4th, 2011 11:50 AM |

A month ago I questioned whether there was sufficient evidence of abusive and fraudulent practices in the mortgage business on Wall Street (underwriting, servicing, securitizations, etc) to make a case that the industry as a whole violated the Racketeering Act? I would not expect that our ‘leaders’ in Washington would ever think about making that case; that said, I think there is plenty of reason to believe that a very real case could be made.

What will we likely see? Perhaps a number of individual cases. We witness just such a situation today with news that the Department of Justice yesterday filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank for lying about the quality of loans made by a mortgage subsidiary of the German bank. (more…)

Will There Be a QE3?

Posted by Larry Doyle on March 28th, 2011 7:56 AM |

Is there really any doubt that virtually all our markets, especially commodities and with the exception of real estate, have been propped higher as a direct or indirect result of the Federal Reserve’s policy of quantitative easing? I have no doubt.

The question remains outstanding just how far the Fed, in concert with its banking friends on Wall Street, has gone and will go to further manipulate our markets. That question may never be fully answered. What a shame! For those who believe a preponderance of truth, transparency, and integrity are the cornerstones for long term fiscal health and financial well being our markets remain a decidedly challenging arena.

In light of this reality and with the end of QE2 on the horizon this June, where do we go from here? A reader posed that very question the other day. (more…)

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 18th, 2011 9:04 PM |

The market feels firm. Your broker calls with an opportunity that sounds very appealing. You are sitting on cash and feel you may have missed the run in the market. Your cash is generating little to no return. You are contemplating taking a flyer on this “deal.”

Your broker is really pushing you and indicating a lot of people are getting involved in these deals. The highlighted returns look too good to be true. But wait, haven’t you seen this movie before? Remember, ‘if it sounds too good to be true…’ it typically is.

Another play on this same theme was highlighted at Bloomberg a few weeks back. This story deserves serious attention. Pay particular attention to the commissions and fees earned by Wall Street and the risks absorbed by you, the investor. (more…)

Gaining the Edge

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 17th, 2010 7:20 AM |

What competitive individual worth his salt does not want to ‘gain the edge’? Have you ever come across successful individuals–success being a very relative term–who did not want to ‘gain an edge’ and then widen the gap with the competition? I haven’t.

I had fully intended on writing this morning about the ongoing developments in the insider trading scandal sweeping across Wall Street. ‘Gaining the edge’ is very much the common thread that runs through this story. The lengths to which selected individuals would go to ‘gain that edge’ make for interesting reading. The wearing of wiretaps by informants adds to the intrigue. Where will the story lead? Which hedge funds may be implicated? What ‘masters of the universe’ may fall while pursuing their untold riches and accompanying success?

Then I thought, why would I want to take readers into this seamy world and give attention to those who may break the rules to ‘gain that edge.’ I don’t. At least not today. (more…)

Operation Broken Trust Missed “The Big One”

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 8th, 2010 7:55 AM |

$8 billion is a lot of money, right? Right.

But when is $8 billion NOT a lot of money?

$8 billion is NOT a lot of money when it is compared to $35 billion, $135 billion, or $335 billion. Agreed?

Agreed. Thank you. Let’s continue.

Sense on Cents is a huge proponent of exposing and prosecuting financial fraud wherever it occurs. To this end, I was happy to see that the Feds have had their ‘street cleaners’ operating overtime the last few months. The results of the Fed’s ‘street cleaning’, also known as Operation Broken Trust, is a not insignificant collection of 231 cases totaling $8 billion in losses. Well done. In all sincerity, I commend each and every individual involved in this effort. While those arrested deserve due process, they also deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If guilty, I hope they receive maximum sentences.

Regrettably, though, the street cleaners missed “The Big One.” Which scam is that? A scam which by any measure could reasonably be described by any of those much larger figures referenced above.    (more…)

Fooling Some of the People All of the Time

Posted by Larry Doyle on December 7th, 2010 9:21 AM |

Who is willing to stand up and call out the companies, the financial regulators, and others who both enabled and embodied the practices which brought about our financial crisis?

David Einhorn, President of Greenlight Capital, speaks at the 6th Annual New York Value Investing Congress in New York City, October 13, 2010.There have been and will continue to be many well written books highlighting some of the finer points from this economic period. Will there be any books written which truly take off the gloves and call out the individuals and institutions deeply involved in the ‘Wall Street-Washington incest’ central to our economic demise? One book I plan to read seems to address this very theme. I thank a regular reader of Sense on Cents for bringing David Einhorn’s Fooling Some of the People All of the Time to my attention.

To those involved in the financial industry, Einhorn needs no introduction. To those in the general public, let me inform you that David Einhorn–more than any other individual– publicly called out Lehman Bros. as a disaster waiting to happen, and well in advance of anybody saying the same. What does Einhorn have to say now? What does he address in this book? Let’s navigate. (more…)

An Insider’s Perspective on Insider Trading: “Everyone Doesn’t Belong on Wall Street”

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 26th, 2010 8:16 AM |

The Man in the Arena, written by Teddy Roosevelt in 1910, is certainly one of my favorite passages from history.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

I thought of this passage in light of a communication I received from a regular reader of Sense on Cents. This reader wrote to me in response to my recent commentaries and appearance on CNBC discussing the ongoing insider trading investigation. This individual had a long and distinguished career on Wall Street. (more…)

Is Ferdinand Pecora Rolling Over in His Grave?

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 19th, 2010 6:57 AM |

Where are our statesmen?

Where are the individuals who would choose to sacrifice personal gain for our national welfare? I am not talking about mere public policy implementation. I am talking about those who would choose to pursue and embrace the truth while exposing the incestuous Wall Street-Washington relationship that has brought our nation to its knees.

Where is today’s Ferdinand Pecora when we need him? I shudder to think that the great Pecora, who led the investigation of Wall Street practices which brought on the Great Depression, might be rolling over in his grave right now. Why’s that? (more…)






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