Markups, Markdowns

In recent years, markups have become a growing concern for regulators, and brokerage firm markup policies and procedures have come under increasing scrutiny from the SEC and the NASD. Essentially, a markup, or markdown, is the amount of money above (or below) the “inside” market that a broker dealer may […]

Bored Traders on Tinder

A Symptom of Wall Street Revenue Dip One bond trader says he’s been slipping out early to watch his kids play sports. A fund manager says his office just staged a golf retreat. A trading supervisor at another bank confides he’s swiping through a lot of profiles on Tinder, the […]

The Wells Notice

Receiving a subpoena from the SEC, or an 8210 Request from FINRA can be the start of a long investigative process while can ultimately lead to a Wells Notice, and an enforcement proceeding. How you handle that process can dictate the end result, and you need to retain competent securities […]


Was the Account Churned?

Churning is excessive trading in a customer’s account by a broker taken in the context of the customer’s financial situation and investment objectives. While no one test is available to determine if an account has been churned, churning requires three elements, first, excessive trading, and second, control of the account […]

Regulation BI

Congress Still Trading On Non-Public Information?

Even a looming scandal wouldn’t deter some of Congress’ most eager stock traders.” This article from Politico details the outrageous trading patterns of some members of Congress, who despite the STOCK Act, continue to trade in the securities of companies who are the influenced by their investigations and legislation. The […]

Brokers Can Win Promissory Note Cases

We all know that defending promissory note cases for brokers is difficult. After all, those notes have been written, revised, rehashed and reworked by brokerage firm attorneys for years.As I have noted in the past, and in my near daily telephone consultations with brokers with promissory note issues, this does […]

Everyone Does It Defense Falls Short

Even coupled with the ever popular “I didn’t know it was a crime” defense, an Investment Advisor loses. Lessons in securities regulation for the self-help minded. By Mark J. Astarita, Esq. Too often I hear clients, or more appropriately, potential clients, explain to me that they did not use an […]