Trading: Now A Little Less Fun

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The Securities and Exchange Commission fined Jeffries & Co. $9.7 million yesterday for the activities of a vice-president charged with recruiting institutional client and was given an annual travel and entertainment budget of $1.5 million to get the job done. At the time, the industry regulator NASD had rules limiting gifts to $100. You can do the math on that yourself.
Okay, we'll do it for you. With a budget like that, Jeffries could have been providing $100 gifts to 15,000 traders. Of course, the man Jeffries handed this budget had a plan, and it didn't include spreading the wealth around quite that broadly. Quinn gave special attention to the boys trading equities at Fidelity, according to the SEC and NASD.
Not surprisingly, while the Reuters story on this is a bit vague, the New York Post has the glorious details of Quinn's entertaining.

He spent $125,000 to take Fidelity pros to the Super Bowl in Houston with a weekend of entertainment that included parties hosted by Maxim and Playboy magazines.
While every Wall Street firm wines and dines clients, Jefferies raised the bar in March 2003 when it paid more than $75,000 for Fidelity's Thomas Bruderman - a key equity trader - to have a truly memorable bachelor party.
Quinn booked a private jet and hired limos for the party in Miami; festivities included dwarf-tossing and ogling strippers.
Danny Black, The Lansing, Mich.-based dwarf at the center of the party, confirmed to The Post that dwarf tossing was part of the activities.
"What's a party without drunken dwarf tossing?" asked Black. He confirmed that "scantily clad" strippers were around the party, but declined further comment on the activities.

Now, of course, Quinn was not the first guy on Wall Street to ignore gift rules. A box-seat at a Knicks game probably violated them, so they were pretty much ignored by everyone. But when you add bachelor parties, strippers and Super Bowl tickets, well you've made yourself a good target for regulators seeking to make headlines and restore "investor confidence" or some such.
Party's Over! Jeffries Fined $10M [New York Post]

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