The $23,000 Trade, UBS And Eliot Spitzer


The Daily News is reporting that New York Attorney General (he's not governor yet) Eliot Spitzer is accusing UBS Financial Services of moving clients into a brokerage program that charged clients fees based on the value of their assets rather than a per-trade fee. Sounds like the sort of program designed to serve hedge funds started getting applied to indivduals, allegedly because UBS created a financial incentive for brokers to move accounts into the program.
The News lists three of the worst abuses/mom-and-pop type investors that Eliot Spitzer likes to be seen defending:

A 91-year-old client who paid $35,000 for four trades over two years. They would have cost her about $2,000 in a traditional brokerage program.
Another client who was charged $24,000 for one transaction.
A couple who were charged more than $23,000 each for two trades, a sum that totaled about 20% of the income from their family farm.


The Less-Colorful Eliot Spitzer Strikes Again

[caption id="attachment_99794" align="alignleft" width="260"] No jurisdiction can hold me.[/caption] Hedge fund manager Phil Goldstein once said that when Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin looks in the mirror in the morning, he sees Eliot Spitzer. Granted, he said this before certain aspects of Client Number Nine's private life hit the front pages, but the point was made. And while Spitzer moves from one failed media venture to another—undoubtedly paying very close attention to a certain South Carolina House race—Galvin still carries the torch and a copy of the Bay State's securities law. That law must be unusually broad, because he's used it to fine a German bank $17.5 million for naughtiness related to a CDO created with an Illinois-based hedge fund.