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Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

What Happens When Investors Lack Trust?

Posted by Larry Doyle on August 6th, 2010 1:05 PM |

Think the structure of the equity markets is broken? With the preponderance of equity volume now dominated by high frequency trading and true retail investors fleeing in droves, what do people think the chances are that we could experience another Flash Crash as we saw on May 6th?

Last evening,¬†The Wall Street Journal ran an online poll on this topic in Legacy of the ‘Flash Crash.’ I have to admit, I was surprised by the results. Did you get concerned witnessing the 1000 point ‘whoosh’ in a very short time period on May 6th? An overwheming number of pollsters believe it can happen again.

With our computer-drive stock market, could a “flash crash’ happen again?

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Wall Street’s Greatest Fraud

Posted by Larry Doyle on July 20th, 2009 9:07 AM |

Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme has to be the greatest fraud of all time, right? Allen Stanford is likely a distant second, correct?

Well, actually, no. Madoff has certainly reserved a special place in financial ‘hell’ for his fraud, but make no mistake, the single greatest fraud ever perpetrated on investors is the collective Wall Street enterprise that marketed and distributed Auction-Rate Securities. The ARS market at its peak was a $330 BILLION market. Of that initial size, those on Wall Street tracking developments within the ARS market project that $165 BILLION held by thousands of retail and institutional investors remain frozen.

The Wall Street Journal highlights the next in what could be a long running series of ARS investigations in writing this morning, Cuomo Says Schwab Faces Fraud Suit:

In an official notice sent to Charles Schwab & Co. Friday, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo warned that his office plans to sue the largest online brokerage firm for civil fraud over its marketing and sales of auction-rate securities to clients. Emails and testimony cited in the letter show Schwab’s brokers had little idea of what they were selling and later failed to tell clients that the market was collapsing.

I am heartened to see AG Cuomo launch this action against Schwab but I wonder why he does not simultaneously take the same action against EVERY bank, broker, and investment management firm involved in the marketing and distribution of ARS.

Regular readers of Sense on Cents know that I believe the ARS trail leads back to the Wall Street self-regulatory organization, FINRA. For the benefit of our newer readers, allow me to reconnect the dots once again. (more…)






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