Investors Eager for Puerto Rico’s $70 Billion Debt?

By Fernando Langa The Puerto Rican economy has significantly suffered because of the territory’s $70 billion debt.  The debt has constrained the island, which has been in recession since 2006, crimping tax revenue and pushing the jobless rate well into double digits. Rating agencies have reacted to the territory’s economic crisis.  On February 2014, Standard [&hellip

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FINRA Announces New Focus on Cockroaches – Recidivist Offenders in the Securities Industry

By Alexander Cook Cockroaching is an aptly crass name for a behavior in which some of the most devious brokerage firms and brokers have engaged.  The name is given to a pattern of conduct in which less-than-ethical brokers move between less-than-ethical brokerage firms at a rapid pace, allowing them to more effectively avoid detection while [&hellip

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One Size Does Not Fit All: Supervisory Failures Added to Risks Associated with REITs

By Katia Ramundo On March 24, FINRA announced that it hit LPL Financial with a fine of $950,000 for supervisory deficiencies in the sales of alternative investments. According to FINRA, the deficiencies are related to sales of a broad range of products, including non-traded REITs, oil and gas partnerships, business development companies, hedge funds, managed [&hellip

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High Frequency Trading Has the FBI Investigating Whether the Stock Market Is Rigged

By Ted J. Krapin The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined several authorities, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, in investigating whether high frequency trading (“HFT”) firms break U.S. laws by acting on private information aggregated by super-fast computers in order to gain [&hellip

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FINRA May Collect Massive Amounts of Confidential Customer Data in the Future

By Tanner Forman FINRA has proposed the creation of a new form of market regulation known as the Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System (“CARDS”).  If the system is created, FINRA would be allowed to mine massive amounts of client data from investment firms in hopes of using that data to better protect investors and to [&hellip

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A Recent Flood of Cases Has Caused FINRA to Freeze New Arbitrations in Puerto Rico

By Myles Burstein On March 18, 2014, FINRA announced that due to the recent flood of cases in Puerto Rico, claims would be delayed until FINRA could find additional arbitrators.  In particular, there have been a lot of claims by bondholders who have lost money as a result of misrepresentations as to the risks involved. [&hellip

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FINRA’s BrokerCheck Needs a Gut Check

By Jennifer Allegra On March 6, 2014, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) issued a warning to the investing public regarding FINRA’s failure to disclose “red flag” information in a broker’s background check.  PIABA conducted an analysis and found that FINRA has elected to limit disclosure despite opposition from the SEC. The FINRA website [&hellip

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Investor Rights Clinic Wins Full Recovery in First Arbitration Decision

Thanks to the hard work of its student interns and staff, the IRC obtained a FINRA arbitration award for the full amount of its client Carol Barnes’ net-out-of-pocket losses in a matter adverse to Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. While the IRC has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for its clients through settlements, this [&hellip

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FINRA Warns Investors That Bitcoins May Be More Than a Bit Risky

By Bradley Zappala If you’ve been keeping up with the news over the past year or so, chances are you’ve heard of Bitcoin. Yet while most have heard of the virtual currency, many still do not understand exactly what it is, or how it works. Although many investors have viewed Bitcoin as a way to [&hellip

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SCOTUS to Reconsider “Fraud-on-the-Market” Theory in Halliburton

By Allison Norris On March 5, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., No. 13-317. This case will challenge the “fraud-on-the-market” presumption in securities fraud cases.  Without this presumption, putative class action plaintiffs will not be able to maintain a securities fraud class [&hellip

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