Do we learn anything from this?
An irreverent Wall Street Blog
by Bill Singer
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Bill Singer In the News
Written: October 27, 2008
Stories to Follow for November 2008
FINRA Case Analysis by Bill Singer
RRBDLAW.com is now updated with Bill Singer's comments about recent FINRA disciplinary actions. Catch up on new enforcement trends. Read some of Bill's criticisms and critiques.
A Touchy-Feely Wall Street
What will emerge after Wall Street picks up the pieces? Hugs from your broker. The Forbes.com Investor Team brings the love back to personal finance.
With Bob Froehlich, Greg Ghodsi and Bill Singer.
Bill's comments start off with a bang:
Singer: In years past, Wall Street was a somewhat forgiving parent. If its children were fired or laid off, Mom and Dad often welcomed them back home. However, Wall Street is now living in an assisted living facility and there is no room for the errant offspring. This time, the contraction in the securities industry is not merely cyclical but transformational. Not only will we likely witness the destruction of certain lines of business, but we are now confronted with the cascade effect as the laying off of a trader rolls into the shutting down of a desk, which turns into the dissolution of a firm, which may herald the cessation of entire business segments for years to come, if not forever.
Hard Lessons From the Bear Market
The Forbes.com Investor Team turned its gaze forward and tried to answer the question: What will we have learned from what Froehlich calls "The Investment Class of 2009?" Securities attorney Bill Singer says it's humility. We're all too willing to consider ourselves experts these days, he says. Ghodsi hopes that people learn not to panic and that the gyrations that the market has gone through recently will dull the effects of the next financial crisis.
In typically blunt fashion, Bill says what everyone is truly thinking:
I think many Americans are getting fed up with "spin." Since the beginning of this economic crisis, far too many pundits have either argued that there was not a subprime problem, that the subprime problem was minor, that the subprime problem was containable, that the credit markets would not be impacted by the subprime crisis, that the credit markets were overreacting, that the credit market problems would not spread outside of the U.S., that Asia would pull us out of the slowdown, that sovereign funds were shrewdly supporting our failing financial institutions, that there would be no recession in the U.S., that the U.S. recession would be shallow and quick, that there would be no worldwide recession, that the worldwide recession would be shallow and quick, and so on, ad nauseum.
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I’ve been reading disciplinary summaries for most of my career–always
looking for names I know from my travels. There have been several
over the last thirty years.
One of the most pathetic stories I’ve ever read is in this list.
It’s the cretin who got himself barred because he was stealing
from a customer. He stole $240. Not $240,000, not even
$2,400. Two hundred and forty and no/100ths dollars–like
the cost of a nice dinner for two.
Boys and girls, if you ever decide to steal from your clients go for the gold–don’t be a piker.