Who Will Decide the Fate of Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis?

By Jacqueline Aleman Puerto Rico and its state-owned agencies have amassed an estimated $70 billion of debt since 2006. That’s four times the debt that forced Detroit into bankruptcy two years ago. A bad combination of rising debt, slow economy, and decreasing population has pushed yields on Puerto Rico debt above those of Greece. The [&hellip

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New FINRA Senior Help Line

By Christopher Palomo This year FINRA proudly launched its first ever help line for seniors. The helpline is a source of free information and is FINRA’s latest effort in protecting investor rights. The program is designed to address the unique needs of one of the fastest growing communities of investors – senior citizens. With an [&hellip

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The Investor Rights Clinic Sends FINRA Dispute Resolution Task Force Letter Proposing Changes to Benefit Small Claim Investors

FINRA provides the largest forum for the resolution of disputes between investors and their brokers. Indeed, because nearly all brokerage firms in the U.S. have included a pre-dispute arbitration provision in the agreements with their customers, individuals really have no choice but to pursue their claims in arbitration. In an effort to improve the transparency, [&hellip

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FINRA Changes Rules to Address Perceived Investor-Sided Bias of Public Arbitrators

By Ranon Altman On February 26, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (“FINRA”) proposed amendment to FINRA Rules 12100(p) and 12100(u), which define “non-public” and “public” arbitrators. FINRA arbitrators are decision makers that hear opposing sides of disputes, study the evidence, and render final decisions. Generally, public arbitrators [&hellip

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The Dangers of Affinity Fraud

By Kelsey Paine Between 2005 and 2012, according to SEC allegations, investment manager George Elia met with South Florida residents at expensive Fort Lauderdale restaurants to persuade them to invest millions in private equity funds that purported to buy and sell stock in public companies. In reality, these funds were owned by Elia, who used the [&hellip

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Purchasing Stock in the Newest Fads Can Often Result in Pump-and-Dump Devastation

By Ali Levenson On December 16, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suspended trading of securities of Las Vegas electronic cigarette company American Heritage International, Inc. (“AHII”). The SEC cited to concerns regarding potentially manipulative activity related to AHII common stock. The “potentially manipulative activity” was prompted by a series of unsolicited “robo” [&hellip

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Risk It to Get the Biscuit: The Dangers and Rewards of Tesla’s Stock Volatility

By Maxwell Levine On June 26, 2010, Tesla Motors (“Tesla”) became the first American automaker to go public since Ford in 1956. On its first day trading on the market, Tesla’s share price rose from $17 to $23.89, an impressive 41% surge. Even more surprising, from March 4, 2013 to September 4, 2014, Tesla’s stock [&hellip

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SEC Clawback Provision Costs Silicon Valley Executives Half a Million Dollars

By Amanda E. Preston Casting a blind eye may help executives sleep better at night, but it may also cost them half a million dollars. On February 10, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had entered into a settlement with William Slater and Peter Williams III, two former chief financial officers of Saba [&hellip

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New IRS Policies Regarding IRA Distributions May Affect Brokers and Investors

By David Tanner For over thirty years, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has taken the position that an individual with two IRAs, IRA1 and IRA2, could take a distribution from IRA1 and IRA2 within one year of each other without taxes or penalties. This is contingent upon the fact that the funds from the distributions [&hellip

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Does Arbitrator Diversity Matter? PIABA’s Study Finds Roughly Homogenous Roster of FINRA Arbitrators

By Jessica Neer Last fall, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) released a study titled “The Importance of Arbitrator Disclosure”.  The study analyzed the backgrounds of current Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrators and the arbitrator recruitment and disclosure process.  The emphasis on the make-up of arbitrators stems from the concern that arbitration can [&hellip

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