From Bill Singer: About Damn Time!

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Jun 1, 2006 8:18 am

TO ALL MY FORUM COLLEAGUES:


FINALLY, SOMEONE IS GETTING IT RIGHT.  READ ABOUT THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION'S DRAMATIC AGENDA TO REFORM UNFAIR REGULATION:


Dear Financial Industry Association Members:<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


FIA is presently seeking candidates for every elected seat at all the NASD District offices. For 2006, the following elected office seats are currently available and have not been filled by FIA candidates:


Districts 1 (two seats)


District 5 (two seats)


District 8 (one seat)


District 9 (one seat)


District 11 (one seat)


If you are interested in stepping up and participating in a change to fairness and reasonableness, you are an Owner or Officer at an NASD Member Firm, and that you live and work in the anyone of these Districts, please call David Alsup at 800 252-3017.  For more information, please see our web site at http://www.financialindustryassociation.org/ and click on District Elections. 


The Financial Industry Association (“FIA”) is pleased to inform you that over 350 NASD member firms signed a petition drafted by our new organization.  http://financialindustryassociation.com/petition.pdf  This dramatic petition marks an historic point in the history of the NASD --- it signals the beginning of an important revolution.  It is the start of a new relationship between the regulator and the regulated.  Self regulation always contemplates an active role by the industry but in recent years over-zealous and unfair regulation destroyed that vision.  And to be fair, an overly submissive NASD membership encouraged the excesses that we now seek to redress.  It is time to start the long-overdue reform of our industry.  It begins with this petition.


What does the petition demand?


It calls for the delay in the implementation of the recently revised NASD Sanction Guidelines --- which were shockingly issued without a prior submission to the membership, without a vibrant debate, and without the courtesy of a vote.  As FIA members have made clear, these new guidelines arbitrarily increased fines and suspensions in a manner we feel is calculated to unfairly burden smaller firms.


It calls for an industry-wide investigation of growing complaints about abusive conduct by NASD Staff.  As many of you have likely experienced or heard, there are increasingly troubling allegations of intimidation and retaliation by Staff.  There are also reports of excessive and frivolous Rule 8210 demands for information and documents --- and these demands frequently seem calculated to sap the financial ability of smaller firms to defend themselves.  Additionally, we seek to put an end to what we see as strong-arm tactics used during settlement negotiations in which Staff demands fines and suspensions far in excess of sanctions warranted by the facts, and often in excess of what is ordered after an expensive contested hearing.


It calls for a commonsense, rationale OATS and TRACE programs, and for a top to bottom review of what many members refer to as the punitive fines and threats of suspension that have become commonplace with these matters.


FIA delivered the signed petitions to the NASD Board of Governors and is standing firm in its demand that the matters be submitted for a vote.  In response to our pressure, the Board is presently investigating the petition’s claim of abusive Staff conduct.


Please check out  FIA’s BLOG and news on www.financialindustryassociation.org.


Finally, FIA is not about membership dues.  Presently, we have none!  Membership is free.  Further, we  will not perpetuate the failed agendas of those trade groups that came before us.  We are not hiring lobbyist to waste our funds at lunch with politicians who could care less about our sincere reform efforts.  We are not seeking to be appointed to yet more feel-good commissions and subcommittees. 


Frankly, we’re not here to the friend of any regulator in the hopes of receiving an appointment to a committee--- we are here to advocate in the best interests of the NASD membership community. 


We are here to voice your legitimate concerns and complaints, and to see that they are considered. 


FIA is here because no one else was willing to speak on your behalf.  Please join us.


Sincerely,



Richard L. Goble


 

Jun 1, 2006 5:42 pm

Thanks for the post Richard.


The reality for most brokers will not be improved very much as long as the arcane concepts of 1930's firm oversight of brokers is eliminated completely in the independent channels. Commission advisor's should have a viable free standing alternative over firm supervision of activity similar to independent RIA options.


This would increase competition and lower consumer costs, maintain a healthy competition between fee and commission channels, cut the enormous investment in central dealer structures and increase direct accountability to the public from industry participants. While the government excess and cronyism involved between firms and regulators is disgusting and horrible for brokers and clients alike no level of votes or leadership changes if going to change this current trend. Regulators and firms always have just one primary incentive; blame production for every ill, pass all regulation costs and losses on down the line to brokers and clients. It's all made possible by captivity of licenses that can't shop for a the lowest forms of transaction execution and the worst forms of distributing industry losses from the guilty to the innocent. It's a basic socialist system that is at the heart of it and there are so many interests that are invested in it.


You can't reform it, it has to be overturned. If you want talk revolution then at least give people a goal worth fighting for.


Many of these small dealers who are indeed going to washed away by larger forces also supported increasing excesses on their production as well. What's missing in this industry are strong voices speaking for producers and their clients interests and making a logical assessment of the failures of firms and regulators and the very core structures that make participant at the broker and client level captive to this ineffective system.