Click here for U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu’s, D-La., press release on her opposition to the nomination of Sharon Bowen to a seat on the Commodities Futures Trading [...]

Obama administration sides with banks in Madoff case

The Obama administration is siding with big banks in a dispute over their alleged role in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., in a 22-page filing late Friday, urged the Supreme Court to let stand a lower court ruling that would bar Madoff Trustee Irving Picard from pursuing billions of dollars in claims against the likes of HSBC, UBS and Italy’s UniCredit, which Picard alleges helped enable the scam to take place. Picard had also sued Madoff’s primary banker, JPMorgan Chase, seeking some $19 billion in damages. Earlier this year, Chase agreed to pay $543 million to settle the case, but the appeals involving the remaining banks have continued. The banks have denied wrongdoing, and argue that Picard has no standing to sue them on behalf of Madoff’s clients. More on CNBC [...]

SEC Set to Spur Exchange Trading

Top U.S. securities regulators are embracing a plan designed to shift more stock trading onto exchanges and away from private trading venues operated by banks and other firms, according to people familiar with the discussions. The move, which could deliver a blow to bank trading operations, is expected to be part of a coming Securities and Exchange Commission pilot program aimed at boosting trading in the stocks of smaller companies. The plan’s inclusion in the pilot would mark a small victory in a larger battle over stock trading between exchanges and operators of so-called dark pools. It would affect a small amount of trading, but a successful test could be a precursor to applying it on a broader scale in the future, the people familiar with the discussions said. More in the Wall Street Journal [...]

Obama administration backs banks in Madoff dispute

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Madoff Fraud Victim’s Estate Can Seek Refund in Tax Court

Bernard Madoff’s fraud might have been detected with enough due diligence in mid-2006, more than two years before the Ponzi scheme collapsed, a U.S. Tax Court judge ruled. That means it’s possible, Judge Diane Kroupa said, that the estate of a New York man who died that year is entitled to a $1.9 million refund for death taxes paid on his $4.8 million Madoff account — an account revealed to be worthless after the fraud was uncovered. Kroupa, in a decision May 21, didn’t assess the likelihood that Bernard Kessel’s estate can prove its case. She did say, though, that it can try to do so at a Tax Court trial where lawyers may iron out a new wrinkle in the financial mess created by Madoff’s crimes. Other challenges to estate taxes on Madoff accounts are under administrative appeal at the IRS, Stephen Krass, a New York attorney representing the estate. More on Bloomberg [...]

No Easy Win For IRS In Madoff Account Tax-Refund Dispute

A U.S. Tax Court judge on Wednesday rejected the Internal Revenue Service’s attempt to net a quick win in a case over how the IRS should value a Bernie Madoff-managed account that allegedly wasn’t worth what the account owner had reported to the agency. Judge Diane L. Kroupa denied the IRS’ motion for partial summary judgment, finding that there were issues of material facts about the worth of the account, managed by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. More on Law360 [...]


Congressman Leonard Lance [R-NJ7] signs on to support H.R. 3482 – Restoring Main Street Investor Protection and Confidence Act.

If your representative is currently not co-sponsoring H.R.3482 (click here for a list of current co-sponsors), please take a moment now to write to your congressman at

Millennials Have No Idea Who Bernie Madoff Was

Millennials Have No Idea Who Bernie Madoff Was
And that says a lot about their financial mindset

One of my favorite things about graduation season is reflecting on the mindset of young people embarking on their first career. For the 1.6 million Millennials entering the real world this spring, the Cold War has always been over and the Internet has always existed. They have no living memory of when testing positive for HIV was akin to a death sentence. For them, Sam Kinison and Freddie Mercury have always been dead. Email is too slow; snail mail, unthinkable. Cursive is a forgotten skill. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive movie director than the brutish Dirty Harry. Korean cars have always been ubiquitous on American roads. In a new poll, more than half of 18-to-29 year olds could not identify the Bernie Madoff investment scam—a defining $65 billion fraud and the largest Ponzi scheme in history. This scandal broke in 2008 and has been in the news repeatedly. Trusting investors lost their life savings and many will never fully recover. Yet in just half a decade young people have largely forgotten the scam and, presumably, the lessons that sprang from it. More in Time here.

Finra Tweaking Broker Data Surveillance

Wall Street’s self-regulator continues to tweak its efforts to collect substantial data from the brokerage industry to shore up support for the heavily criticized initiative that would increase its oversight. Richard Ketchum, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority chairman and chief executive, said Monday during the organization’s annual conference in Washington that the changes would ease the burden that the data surveillance would impose on firms. Finra said late last year it plans to introduce a proposal that would allow it to collect consolidated data about trading, brokerage products, and practices of firms and individual brokers to better understand—and potentially reduce—the overall risk in the industry, rather than responding only to individual violations and risks. More in the Wall Street Journal [...]

Ex-MF Global executives can tap more legal defense money: judge

Jon Corzine and other former insiders of collapsed brokerage MF Global can tap another $10 million of insurance funds to defend lawsuits accusing them of hastening the firm’s downfall, a U.S. judge said on Monday. Judge Martin Glenn granted the request from Corzine and the others at a hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, raising to $40 million from $30 million the cap on what the defendants can draw. Glenn authorized roughly $3.7 million more to pay the legal fees of defendants no longer involved in the cases. However, the judge was irked at the request, saying he had expected the initial $30 million to cover most of the litigation. More on Reuters [...]