Proposed FINRA Rule Change to Shift Professionals without Ties to Securities Industry into “Non-public” Arbitrator Pool

By Sunny Desai In a proposed FINRA rule change, persons who worked in the financial industry for any duration during their careers would always be classified as non-public arbitrators, as well as persons who represent investors or the financial industry as a significant part of their business. This would mean removing certain attorneys, accountants, and [&hellip

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Municipal Advisors Face Increased Regulation Under Dodd-Frank

By Nathaniel Touboul The financial crisis of 2008 led regulators to the realization that municipalities needed a system that protects their own interests when dealing with Wall Street. To achieve this goal, the Dodd-Frank Act, among other things, created a new class of regulated persons called “Municipal Advisors” (MAs). Under new regulations, MAs may not provide [&hellip

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Press Releases and the Dangers of Insider Trading

By Edel Gonzalez Illegal insider trading has undermined the trust that investors have in the securities market for many years. It cripples public confidence in the market and hinders growth for investors and companies. In response, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has strengthened its commitment of investigating and prosecuting insider trading. The SEC has [&hellip

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The SEC’s Bad Actor Rule: Citigroup Restricted from Selling Hedge-Funds to Private Clients

By Rachael Williams In July 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted the “Bad Actor” rule. This rule prevents companies and individuals with a “criminal conviction, regulatory or court order or other disqualifying event” from participating in private offerings and selling investments in hedge-funds or private-equity funds to clients. The rule is part of [&hellip

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Federal Court Orders Former FINRA-Registered Broker’s Assets Frozen, Places Emergency Injunction on Firm

By Nathaniel Griffin On June 3, 2014, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) petitioned for an emergency injunction preventing Albany, NY-based Scott Valente and The ELIV Group, LLC. (“ELIV”) from engaging in fraudulent securities trading. In its complaint, the SEC alleges misappropriation of customer funds and misrepresentations of customer account performance, investment guarantees, account values under [&hellip

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Investing in Technology IPOs: Why You Should Think Twice About Uber-Valuations

By Eli Rodrigues On Friday, June 6, 2014, Uber Technologies Inc., a car-hailing smartphone application was valued at $18.2 billion, more than quadrupling its previous year’s valuation. Uber has secured more than $1.5 billion, with the most recent billion dollar round of funding coming from Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management and BlackRock Inc. According to Uber’s [&hellip

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Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch Fined $1 Million by FINRA for Submitting Inaccurate Blue Sheets

by Michael Lorigas On June 4, 2014, FINRA announced that it had censured and fined Barclays Capital, Inc., Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc. $1,000,000 each for their failure to provide complete and accurate electronic blue sheets to FINRA, the SEC, and other regulators. Blue sheets are questionnaires requested [&hellip

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FINRA Board of Governors Finds Charles Schwab & Co. Violated FINRA Rules by Attempting to Prevent Customers from Participating in Class Action Lawsuits

By Wayne Grossman On April 24th, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Board of Governors issued a decision that found Charles Schwab & Co. (Schwab) violated FINRA rules by sending certain amendments to its customer account agreements to 6.8 million of its customers. These amendments prohibit customers from participating in class action lawsuits against the [&hellip

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Risks and Benefits of Foreign Investments

by Raymond Nicholas On May 6th, 2014, Alibaba, a Chinese E-commerce goliath filed its IPO with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), in what many economists predict could be the largest or one of the largest initial public offerings in United States history. Alibaba currently controls eighty percent of China’s E-commerce market and [&hellip

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The Puerto Rico Bond Crisis and Its Effect on U.S. Investors

By Thais DelaCuba The Puerto Rico Bond Crisis has had a large impact on the United States’ almost $4 trillion municipal-debt market, which includes bonds issued by states and other local authorities as well as by cities. As a result of the sinking market, Puerto Rico’s current debt is between $52 billion and $70 billion, [&hellip

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