Friday, November 6, 2009

Insider Trading, For Real

It's Friday morning and, as usual, I'm at the FINRA website looking up recent disciplinary actions. Today I find a well-known broker-dealer being fined for insufficient anti-money laundering policies. $600,000 is the fine, but I also know how much it costs to shoot advertisements involving helicopters, let alone running those ads in prime time, so I think their pocketbook will survive.On the other hand, the individual referenced in the link I'll post below is done. Game over. Forced early retirement. As you'll see, when a broker-dealer is called in for investment banking work, they end up knowing information no one else has, information that can move the price of the company's stock up or down with near certainty. So, investment bankers are fiduciaries who have to keep the information confidential. Don't spread the news, and--for crying out loud--don't try to buy shares of the company's stock so you can dump it when the news becomes public. Tempting, sure. But it's a criminal violation. It leaves you open to all kinds of civil suits. And--as you'll see--it tends to end a registered representative's career permanently.
See what I'm talking about here:

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