Just because a stock broker has a license to do business doesn’t mean they’ve received a meaningful stamp of approval from regulators. Next time some financial person is pitching you for business, go back and read the stunning coverage of Mark C. Hotton, a guy who allegedly was fleecing investors for years as regulators sat back and ignored a stream of red flags.
Hotton is the fellow who fooled the Broadway producers of “Rebecca: The Musical” into thinking he’d raised millions of dollars in financing for them. The producers of Rebecca only lost $60,000 doing business with Hotton. Others haven’t been so lucky.
Hotton is in jail today, and it’s a joke when you consider that, after years of alleged stealing of millions from investors, he finally got caught because he fleeced a few big-shots from show-biz. It’s even more of a joke that U.S. prosecutors took a deep bow for their “lightning speed” sleuthing after catching Hotton 22 years after his first crime — which should have been a reason to keep him out of the brokerage business altogether.
I wrote about Hotton’s capers in a recent Bloomberg column. A week after that story, I wrote a second one, this time for TheStreet.com, about a fresh complaint against (the now-incarcerated) Hotton filed by Finra, which is the Wall-Street-funded regulator that is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission. There really ought to be a special judicial forum where the public can bring complaints against regulators who are utterly clueless.
You’re seen a lot of headlines about robo-trading in the financial markets, but don’t fool yourself that it’s some new problem for regulators.
The debate’s been going on for 25 years as to what we can do to rein in computer trading. We’re still bringing up the same questions, and we’re still living in a time where Wall Street is way ahead of its regulators on the high-speed trading issue.
I talk about it in my column this morning for TheStreet.com. Read article
It could have been worse for JP Morgan and its CEO Jamie Dimon: The New York Times might have broken the story on some other day, like when readers weren’t on red alert for today’s Supreme Court ruling on health care. In any event, Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Susanne Craig broke the news this morning that the JPM loss that was supposed to be only $2 billion (aka, the “tempest in a teapot” loss) might wind up being $9 billion. You can read that article here.
I wrote about Dimon in my column “JPMorgan’s Dimon Goes From ‘Least-Hated’ to ‘Most-Embarrassed’” for TheStreet.com in May, calling Dimon “Wall Street’s most cooed-over magazine cover boy.” (I should note that I’ve never seen any cooing over Dimon by Craig, a refreshing exception among financial writers). I’ve seen a lot of top execs get fawned over by business writers over the years, but the adulation of Dimon has for a long time been over-the-top. You can read that story here.
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JP Morgan’s Dimon said “Lobbying is a Constitutional right. We have our right to have our voice heard.”
My column today for TheStreet.com: Read article
Were they talking about millions? Or billions? Whatever. It’s only other people’s money, so what’s the big fuss?
Here’s my column for TheStreet.com on Jamie Dimon’s testimony today: Read article
So she was tearful. Do we care?
The chief investment officer of JPMorgan Chase (JPM_), who resigned Monday in the wake of the bank’s announcement of an embarrassing $2-billion-plus loss on her watch, is but the latest high-ranking woman to depart a business famous for its gender discrimination. [...] Read article
To a lot of writers, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has been a rock star. To me, he’s always seemed more like a very proficient plumber.
I don’t mean that in a bad way. Plumbers can be useful technicians when you need an expert who knows how keep the toilet from backing up. Dimon made his way to the top, in part, because he was a guy who did his homework, crunched the numbers, and made it his business to understand, well, the pipes and connections inside a securities firm. [...] Read article
“What’s interesting about the economic crisis is that it’s not just cheating — it’s cheating with a religious belief.”
A Duke University prof explains why and how we lie, and how we might clean things up. Meet Professor Dan Ariely in my column today: Read article