Remember about a year and a half ago, when President Obama appointed a former federal prosecutor to head the SEC with the promise that she’d be, pound for pound, the toughest regulator D.C. had ever seen?
Well, she’s been tough, alright: tough to deal with. Her fellow Democrats on the commission hate her, her fellow regulators hate her, Congressional Democrats hate her (and Republican ones aren’t interested in giving her any more money), consumer groups hate her, and the White House isn’t thrilled, either.
And what does she have to show for all of the alienation? Well, a great deal of alienation. Read more »
Last week, Judge Shira Scheindlin made pretty clear that she doesn’t think it is reasonable to ascribe 13 years of stock appreciation to a couple of elderly men’s scheme to hide their trading in said stock, even if they were on the board of said stock’s company and even if a jury found them to be very bad men, indeed. So the SEC went back to the drawing board and is now willing to settle for half of it. No word as to whether it offered a “credible explanation” for the new math. Read more »
FINRA has had an awful lot dumped onto its plate in recent months. Since, as it turns out, its members aren’t the best at reporting little things like criminal convictions, personal bankruptcies, tax liens, etc., to the self-regulator, it’s had to order member firms to do some background checks themselves, rather than just take the word of the new guy who’s joining his 34th brokerage in eight years. Worse still, it’s had to tell those member firms to give it all of the information, which it had promised to go through with a fine toothed-comb and check against court records to minimize the number of paroled felons doling out financial advice under its august banner.
Well, if the highly-compensated folks at FINRA thought they might be able to deal with the ensuing backlog with their old delete-red-flags-from-BrokerCheck strategy, it is sorely mistaken. Read more »