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Don Trone Blasts DOL Fiduciary Plan: Still Wouldn’t Stop Madoff

Don Trone, often referred to as the “Father of Fiduciary,” testified at a Department of Labor hearing on Thursday that its proposed fiduciary rulemaking would have failed to stop famed Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, and that more fiduciaries than brokers have stolen money from investors. “I think research will show that over the last 15 to 20 years, fiduciaries have stolen more money from investors and retirement savers than brokers,” Trone, who has been steeped in fiduciary endeavors for the past 30 years via his founding of the Foundation for Fiduciary Studies, as principal founder of fi360, and now as head of 3ethos, told DOL executives. “Bernie Madoff was subject to a fiduciary standard, and, if he was here today, I think he would say that the department’s proposed rules would not have slowed him down.” More on Think Advisor here.

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Fairfield Investors, Citco Settle Madoff-Related Lawsuit

A long-time employee of mega-swindler Bernie Madoff who turned government informant in 2009 has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. This marks the final prosecution in the more than six-year long Bernie Madoff case, who first admitted to his gigantic fraud back in late 2008.
Irwin Lipkin, 77, agreed he owes the government a Rolex watch, a well-known painting by Red Skelton and $170 billion cash on Monday, and was sentenced to six months in jail Wednesday on charges of conspiracy and making false statements in employment records. More in the Wall Street Journal here.

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Key Madoff Employee Pleads Guilty; Fined $170 Billion

A long-time employee of mega-swindler Bernie Madoff who turned government informant in 2009 has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. This marks the final prosecution in the more than six-year long Bernie Madoff case, who first admitted to his gigantic fraud back in late 2008. Irwin Lipkin, 77, agreed he owes the government a Rolex watch, a well-known painting by Red Skelton and $170 billion cash on Monday, and was sentenced to six months in jail Wednesday on charges of conspiracy and making false statements in employment records. More on ValueWalk here.

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Chapter closes on Bernie Madoff saga

Is this finally, at long last, the end of the Bernie Madoff saga? The last of Bernie’s employees who were charged with helping to perpetuate his giant scam was sentenced Wednesday in New York. Irwin Lipkin, who began working Bernard L. Madoff Securities in 1964 and was the firm’s comptroller when he left in 1998, was charged with falsifying records. More in the Palm Beach Daily News here.

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Companies forced to disclose CEO-workforce pay gap

Publicly traded companies will have to disclose the pay ratios of their CEOs and the median pay of their workforce thanks to a split vote by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday. SEC chairwoman Mary Jo White said the regulator had no option other than to pass the rule, which passed in a 3-2 vote, with the two Republican commissioners voting against. The commission was tasked with enforcing a number of provisions contained within the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform act, which marked its five-year anniversary in July, including the pay-ratio rule. “It is the law and we are required to carry it out,” White said. More in the Guardian here.

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Author: S.E.C. Had Opportunity to Catch Madoff Sooner

The ponzi scheme carried out by Bernie Madoff and members of his staff, is the subject of a book, authored by Erin Arvedlund, called, “Too Good To Be True: The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff.” Arvedlund, a guest on the WNPV Program, Regarding Your Money, says ponzi schemes are still happening. “Malcolm Segal, he was just charged with swindling people out of money due to unusually high rates of return. You can do a check on your broker on Brokercheck.org” More on WPNV here.

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Finra brands DOL fiduciary rule misguided, confusing

A Labor Department proposal designed to reduce conflicts of interest for brokers working with retirement accounts would create overlapping regulations that would baffle financial advisers and investors, Finra said Friday. The rule would require brokers to act in the best interests of their clients in 401(k) and individual retirement accounts, a standard investment advisers currently meet. Although the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. supports the DOL’s goal, it said the measure does not incorporate existing securities laws and introduces ambiguous new concepts. More on Investment News here.

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NYSE Outage Shows a Need for Plan B

U.S. regulators called on top exchange officials two years ago to strengthen the plumbing that underpins the stock market after a series of trading disruptions. The exchanges did an analysis and concluded they needed a backup plan for the crucial 15-minute closing auction each day when traders are guaranteed they’ll get the final price. Yet when the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading for hours on Wednesday, there were unanswered questions. More on Bloomberg here.

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Wall Street’s Top Cop Takes Harder Line

The Securities and Exchange Commission has ratcheted up its punishment of individuals, more than doubling the typical fine over the past decade amid pressure to prove the agency is tough on Wall Street. The SEC has stepped up its enforcement activity across the board. The agency levied more civil penalties in the first half of this fiscal year, October through March, than over any comparable period since at least 2005, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of the 4,443 penalties imposed by the SEC since October 2004. More in the Wall Street Journal here.

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New York Stock Exchange outage adds to fears on financial markets

The New York Stock Exchange ground to a halt for nearly four hours Wednesday because of what officials said was a technical glitch, spooking investors and raising new worries about the soundness of the world’s complex financial markets. The nation’s oldest exchange went dark from 11:32 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., its longest computer-related closure to date, freezing orders and redirecting trades through a sprawling network of other exchanges. But the outage, the latest in a series of alarming glitches since the turbulent 2010 “flash crash,” has led to new questions about weaknesses in the technical underpinnings of some of the world’s most critical exchanges. More in the Washington Post here.

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