Monday, December 28, 2009

Madoff Christmas Gift

Should you have missed the Christmas Eve news, Bernie Madoff landed in the hospital. Official account says that he "fell out of bed." Local TV station reported, "Madoff came to Duke with facial fractures, broken ribs and a collapsed lung."

Gary Weiss noted you don't get that from 'falling out of the bunk' or from "high blood pressure."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Outsize Fees Provide Funhouse-Mirror Distortion

Wall Street is seeing a special kind of payday. Outsize fees are even providing a bit of funhouse-mirror distortion to so-called league tables, which rank banks based on the size of the deals they handle each quarter. Banks that were in such bad shape that they needed the government’s aid are now getting bragging rights from raising money to replace the capital they have returned to the government.

Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America have now returned their federal bailout money and raised new capital to replace it. More than $50 billion of new capital was raised as part of the effort by the biggest banks to repay TARP and get out from under the thumb — and pay caps — of Washington. All told, December was the biggest month in history for offerings.

See more in the NY Times’ latest DealBook column.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shrunken Compliance, Internal Audit Staff / ICAP, 5 RRs Settle SEC Charges for Displaying Fictitious Trades and Misleading Customers

Compliance and internal audit were not spared layoffs. According to a poll by Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, 27% of executives reported reductions in these areas in the past 18 months, despite the fact that compliance experts and internal auditors were heavily recruited just a few years ago, in the wake of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

As reported by CFO Magazine, for compliance staffers left behind, the role becomes more daunting. Particularly as companies cut travel budgets, the ability to do thorough site visits is limited, says Francis. "How does internal audit now execute their responsibilities?" she asks. "How can they be more strategic in their review and monitoring? There are lots of challenges facing the remaining personnel." More than ever, close coordination among internal audit, legal, and compliance personnel "is critical," she says.

Despite the reduction in compliance personnel, 50% of respondents to the Deloitte survey, who included CFOs, CEOs, board members, and middle managers in finance and risk management, said their compliance and ethics programs are strong. Another 36% said they are adequate. Many public companies and some private companies invested significantly in their compliance programs after the passage of Sarbox in 2002, notes Francis, and they may now feel confident that those programs are effective even with a reduced staff. But that confidence may not always be justified. "What seems to be slipping is the actual testing or review or active monitoring of transactions or behaviors," she points out. "That's the risk."

Meanwhile on Dec. 18 the SEC and the U.S. subsidiary of the world's largest inter-dealer broker, U.K.-based ICAP plc,settled fraud charges that alleged deceptive activity and material misrepresentations to customers concerning its trading activities. ICAP agreed to settle the SEC's charges by, among other things, paying $25 million in disgorgement and penalties. SEC additionally charged five ICAP brokers for aiding and abetting the firm's fraudulent conduct and two senior executives for failing reasonably to supervise the brokers. The individuals have each agreed to pay penalties to settle the SEC's charges.

Link to SEC ORDER INSTITUTING ADMINISTRATIVE AND CEASE-AND-DESIST PROCEEDINGS vs ICAP and Ronald A. Purpora, Gregory F. Murphy, Peter M. Agola, Ronald Boccio, Kevin Cunningham, Donald E. Hoffman, Jr., and Anthony Parisi

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Job Search "Nightmare" for Madoff Employees

Bernie Madoff's former assistant, Eleanor Squillari (pictured) hopes to begin a new career in cosmetology. She knows she'll 'never get a job in finance.'

Madoff sons and other employees are frequently confronted with the notoriety, shame and anger synonymous with a firm that seemed to hum along quietly and profitably until a year ago. Even workers with no suspected connection to the Ponzi scheme say their careers there have come back to haunt them, with no end in sight.

"I'll never get a job in finance, and I'm one of the lucky ones," says Squillari. She went to beauty school this summer and plans to look for work at a hair salon while selling her handmade jewelry.

Mark Madoff recently met with a group of Wall Street contacts to get opinions on whether he could find another job in finance: He talked about working on a trading desk or in trading technology, asking to be kept in mind any openings.
More from WSJ via Google News.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Geithner criticizes regulators over Regulatory Overhaul - Compliance Opportunities loom

In an unusual meeting involving Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, FDIC. Chairwoman Sheila Bair and SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said "enough is enough" as he criticized the regulators for hindering progress of the financial regulatory overhaul, sources said. Although the revamp is a top priority for President Barack Obama, regulators and the financial-services industry have criticized the proposal. The Wall Street Journal

To explore Bank Regulatory Compliance opportunities. go to or contact
Not posted - current need is: Regulatory Reporting/Call Report experts ASAP: up to Director-level Opportunities for those with Bank Holding Company Regulatory and Basel reporting experience.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bank Regulatory Compliance Advice Needed with the Fed, OCC or OTS

In anticipation and based on actual assignments, experience with a Federal Banking agency such as the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision is now needed for full-time employment with one prestigious Client of Rosenthal Recruiting. Responsibilities of these Positions include:
•Advising clients on a variety of regulatory advisory services that help meet bank holding company and banking compliance requirements.
•Analyzing policies, procedures, people, processes, and systems used by financial institutions to meet bank regulatory requirements and expectations.
•Designing and implementing quality, practical business approaches.
•Researching emerging trends, regulatory guidance, and best practices

Experience required includes 6+ years of experience with the Fed, OCC or OTS. Candidates with a minimum of 1 year of relevant experience with federal banking agency may apply for a less senior position.
Click here to read more and apply. These positions will be based at the Advisor's midtown office and will require travel up to 40% during the year.

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