Friday, May 29, 2009

Unwinding Madoff Fraud, Fairly

“Cold, cold, cold,” one writer said of Irving Picard in a letter “Get off your false moral high ground and pay already,” another demanded, in comments posted on The NY Times Web site. Madoff victim Helen Davis Chaitman, a lawyer, complained that her clients “have been forced to go on welfare, use food stamps, and sell their homes for a fraction of what they are worth” because claims are paid too slowly.

“He’s standing in the middle of a whirlwind of emotion and has to act like Solomon,” said Kenneth Feinberg, who ran the compensation fund for 9/11 victims. On problematic claims, Picard may call in forensic experts at FTI Consulting to investigate whether an account is tied to Madoff family members or other insiders. Claim is also reviewed by SIPC (Picard is spending SIPC money).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One Regulator to Oversee Banking Sector

Obama administration close to recommending a single regulator to oversee the banking sector. Also still under consideration is an agency to police consumer financial products and a new investor protection regulator See Marketwatch for Reader comments. "Is it getting better Or do you feel the same. Will it make it easier on you now
You got someone to blame?" Bono, U2 Video.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Schapiro V. Obama: New Consumer Agency Proposed

SEC will not easily give up regulatory authority. SEC Chairman Schapiro responded to reports that Obama administration is considering a new regulatory commission to focus on consumer financial products, including credit cards, mortgages and mutual funds. Schapiro thinks the SEC should continue to regulate mutual funds. Proposal gaining traction and some say a welcome sign that regulatory reforms may yet address consumer needs. (Hatip Securities Law Prof Blog, WPost) As U.S. Weighs New Consumer Agency, SEC Stakes Out Regulatory Turf. More on potential massive regulatory turf war.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Penny Stock - Redux: (Alleged) Racketeering

Over a Dozen Wall Street Brokers Charged With Fraud ? A couple of the names rang a bell.

Manhattan DA Morgenthau announced indictment of sixteen people--including owners Sorbara and Markowitz--at Joseph Stevens & Co. Morgenthau said that they ran a racketeering enterprise from 2001 - 2005 that raked in $6.2 million in illegal commissions.

Just my personal recollection but all along whenever I saw this Firm's name I thought it was AS Goldmen/Stuart Winkler/Marciano Brother - related and glancing at the defendant list that is confirmed. A couple articles mention the DH Blair/Goldmen prior registrations.
These matters take so long to uncover, would you say Wheels of Justice? Or just a matter of playing catch up or what did someone call it? Due Process? Robert Brennan built and owned the prestigious Due Process Stable Golf Club in Colts Neck, NJ - where he lived until his arrest in 2001. Do you remember First Jersey, the Helicopter TV Commercials and "come grow with us"? Old Blue Eyes in B&W COME FLY WITH ME

More reminiscing? It was 1988 when then 27-year-old Anthony Marchiano opened a brokerage firm with twin brother Salvatore in NY with $50,000 cash. Named the firm A.S. Goldmen & Co., initials for Anthony and Salvatore, the men who make gold. Gold they made. Marchiano was accused of running a corrupt enterprise that prosecutors say cheated thousands of investors out of nearly $100 million in 10 stock manipulation schemes, among them a failed Naples, FL golf arena. Stories on the A.S. Goldmen case

Monday, May 18, 2009

Will Government Reject TARP Payments? Handful get green light.

Go to State Street Slide Show via SEC showing how the Offering POSITIONS STATE STREET TO REDEEM TARP INVESTMENT. Goldman (HQ pictured),Morgans Move to Repay. Will The Government Reject TARP Payments? Handful get green light. Up-to-the-minute TARP NEWS.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

S.E.C. Plans Surprise Exams of Investment Advisers

The Commission voted 5-0 to open the proposal to public comment for 60 days, AP reports. S.E.C. chairwoman Schapiro said this is a response to Madoff and other schemes where View Video investment managers controlled client money directly or through affiliates, giving them power to withdraw it.

Annual surprise examinations would allow independent accountants to peer into a fund’s books and verify that the money is actually there providing ”another set of eyes on client assets,” Schapiro said. Fund managers would know an exam was coming every year, not when. For investment funds not using independent firms to hold client assets, proposal would require the investment adviser to obtain a report by a registered public accounting firm.

Full-Court Press Behind Bank Bailout

Judicial Watch has obtained documents that show how the Bush administration forced our nine largest banks to accept $125 billion in bailout money in exchange for equity stakes. Long known that Henry Paulson had insisted that the banks’ top executives accept government money, documents provide details of the full-court press at Paulson’s meeting with them on Oct. 13 and how the bankers had no choice. Go to Statement from Judicial Watch and Links to All Documents »Go to E-Mail from the Treasury Chief of Staff via Judicial Watch

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Compensation Guidelines | Financial Literacy via Video Games?

Obama administration wants to change compensation practices across the financial-services industry. WSJ Reports. Under consideration incorporating compensation as a “safety and soundness” concern on Bank examinations as well as expanding SEC and Fed powers. MORE
Dealbreaker notes: Work for a bank that took any TARP money or not? Senior hire? Low man on totem pole? Fed will "ask or tell banks to structure their compensation, not just at the very top level but down much further." HAVE YOUR KIDS READ THIS:
Financial literacy through video games? Former legislator/entrepreneur hit the road to tout his venture for building financial literacy among teens through video games. View photos You can always play a Video game at bottom of Compliance and Financial Oversight .

Monday, May 11, 2009

Inside the Fall of Bear | New Job Hunt Wrinkle?

Did you see this on weekend in the Journal? Pictures and more of investment bank turned from healthy to nearly insolvent.

From "Street Fighters: The Last 72 Hours of Bear Stearns, the Toughest Firm on Wall Street" by Kate Kelly.

If you missed "Desperate Housewives" on Sunday, fills you on a new Job Hunting Wrinkle. Brian Glatt, left, a plastic surgeon in Morristown, consults with Lou Capolino, who decided to spruce up his image after a lack of success in his job search. "I'm a man of about 60. I'm competing against people who are younger," said Capolino.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

" compliance my service is being mischaracterized as improper"

NY Fed Board Chairman Stephen Friedman resigned amid controversy he owned stock and served as a Goldman director. From resignation letter: "…although I have been in compliance with the rules, my public service motivated continuation on the Reserve Bank Board is being mischaracterized as improper." William Black, professor of Economics and Law University of Missouri: It's a clear conflict of interest for private banks to own an arm of the Fed, much less individual regulators to own stakes in entities they're overseeing. Friedman case highlighted unusual role of Fed’s 12 regional banks that serve both private and public interests. The solution?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Broke And Broker Welcomes Rosenthal Consulting Group

Please visit this link for Broker And Broker which is the announcement that "BrokeAndBroker Welcomes Rosenthal Consulting Group to its list of professional service providers."

You may prefer to read or click through the May 6 message which includes an AC/DC-Stones video and can be accessed here:

We wobbled and our knees buckled, but we're in the center of the ring for this next round. Bruised. Battered. But still here. Rock me baby! We're going to get through this. Go ahead, like I said: Rock me baby! I can take it.

Just imagine AC/DC and the Rolling Stones, together, on our side, playing the soundtrack of our lives

SEC Shorting Roundtable, Stress Test Worry

Yesterday was the SEC Short Selling Roundtable. Read Chairman Schapiro's written comments. And the Treasury is expected to announce today that banks must show that they can issue debt without government subsidies before they are allowed to exit TARP. As Investors Circle Ailing Banks, Fed Sets Limits:
Seeing opportunity in struggling banking system, private equity firms lobbying to change federal rules that limit their control.
as we Pre-Opening wait for Bank Stress Tests Pump & Dump!SEC hits 2 Attys and CA Corp.->LegalTimes.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Boutique Buzz May Be Over

Proclaiming a golden era for boutique investment banks and trading, Bankers at bulge brackets firms were streaming to boutiques, driven by the view that they would be able to make more money there than at a TARP-ridden bank. But banking powerhouses may pay back funds quicker than assumed. And, there are a lot of boutiques out there--like Ondra and Stone Key-to compete with more established Lazard, Perella Weinberg and Greenhill. Breakingviews wonders if there will be enough business to go around. At the same time, the bulge bracket will fight tooth and nail to defend its turf. So the bloom may be off the rose already. The key will be to have a niche, like Banking for KBW.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

New NJ Securities Law Chief 'To Regulate Industry in Turmoil:' To Stand Up For Everyday Investor

Marc Minor is the new head of NJ's Securities Bureau.
It's Minor's job to referee a fight. As the state's new top cop for securities law, he is responsible for regulating an industry in historic turmoil. A low-key jazz lover who carefully chooses his words, describes the situation as "a unique point in history." HaTip/The Star-Ledger

Friday, May 1, 2009

BUFFETT Critical of Stress Tests/PARTNER: Regulators may curb Leverage

MONDAY UPDATE: On Sunday, Warren Buffett said Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp and a third Berkshire Bank holding, M&T, do not need more equity capital. “We would buy stock in any of the three banks at present prices.”

Buffett attacked government stress tests of 19 large banks, saying they failed to properly assess the industry’s health, but still said he would expand his company’s stakes in three big banks.

Berkshire Hathaway's Charles Munger goes through several books a week. Munger thinks regulators may significantly curb the amount of leverage, or borrowed money, that banks can use. That will drive down Wall Street pay, since traders won't be able to make as many big, leveraged bets. This could benefit Berkshire, with its cash hoard of $24.3 billion at the end of 2008. "There's going to be new rules in the game," he said. "For someone like us, that's going to be very interesting." More at WSJ Profile
Buffett says government is doing the right things (AP)

SEC Now Recruiting: Salaries up to $237K

SEC Offering Markets Experts Salaries up to $237K

SEC will immediately begin recruiting candidates with extensive experience in the financial markets, including but not limited to: equity and fixed income trading, structured products, complex derivatives, financial analysis and valuation, fund management, investment banking and financial services operations. Statement detailing the fellows' qualifications and duties is available on the SEC Web site. The SEC encourages qualified individuals to apply by June 1. Compliance-specific tenure not sought but might be valuable. The Program is open to different types of professionals, which may include attorneys, economists, accountants, risk professionals and other experts in the securities industry."It's a great way to bring in highly-seasoned financial experts who can help us keep pace with the practices of Wall Street and protect investors," said Chairman Mary Schapiro (pictured).

The new Program will help the agency expand its ability to oversee complex industry practices and products. Individuals who come to the agency through the program will also help familiarize SEC staff with industry practices and products.

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