Did Wall Street rig the game?

Author contends the formation of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority was one of the nation's biggest overlooked conspiracies.

By Benzinga Mar 5, 2014 9:38AM

A Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange. (© Carlo Allegri/Reuters)By Louis Bedigian, Benzinga

There have been several scandals and conspiracies on Wall Street, but not all of them have received the media attention that they deserved.

According to Sense on Cents' Larry Doyle, the No. 1 overlooked conspiracy involves self-dealing during the formation of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a regulator Doyle dismisses as woefully ineffective.

"I would make the premise that self-regulation for Wall Street doesn't work," Doyle told Benzinga. "FINRA, Wall Street's self-regulator, in the first five years of its existence -- and it was formed only in 2007 as a result of two other regulatory bodies -- imposed fines on Wall Street of a little over $50 million per year. Let's put that in context: $50 million on an industry that generates bottom-line earnings of close to $100 billion. That's the reason why Wall Street likes being self-regulated."

In his new book, "In Bed with Wall Street: The Conspiracy Crippling Our Global Economy," Doyle addresses a number of conspiracies -- including the FINRA scandal.

"FINRA was formed as a result of the merger of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the regulatory arm of the New York Stock Exchange," Doyle explained. "I looked very hard at that merger. In tracking a case that was brought against FINRA, that case maintains that FINRA effectively perpetrated a fraud ... that they lied to their member firms in terms of the financials that were shared with them.

"They misappropriated somewhere between $180 million and $380 million for the benefit of FINRA's senior executives and the benefit of Wall Street's largest firms -- those being Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley and those entities."

The case was appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Regrettably, the Supreme Court decided in early 2012 not to hear it," said Doyle. "I looked through all documentation that I could find on that case and interviewed the lawyers that brought that case. They stated, in no uncertain terms, (that) the lies were blatant, they were unequivocal."

Doyle referred to this as "pretty scandalous stuff" that "deserves greater attention."

"Regrettably, for many people on Wall Street (and elsewhere) in America, a lot of people aren't aware," he said.

If Doyle has anything to say about it, that should finally change.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

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Mar 5, 2014 11:29AM
Where there is money there are crooks nearby.
Mar 5, 2014 10:39AM
Wall Street corrupt. Politicians corrupt. Society corrupt. Should we even try to teach children morals or ethics, or simply skip to the lessons on how to acquire power, money and fame by whatever means?
Mar 5, 2014 5:40PM
Wall Street being self-regulated is like the fox guarding the chicken coop.
Mar 5, 2014 11:22AM
Is Wall Street rigged?  Probably to some extent.  When you get that much money involved, corruption and cheating are inevitable.  However, the great thing about the USA is that no one is forcing you to play the Wall Street game (at least not yet).  Yeah, there's plenty of pressures, both subtle and overt, to try and get you to invest in Wall Street.  Some will go so far as to label you as foolish or stupid of you don't play the stock/ETF/MF game.  We've even gotten to point where much of society has bought into the notion that it's impossible to ever retire without a 401k/IRA/pension invested with Wall Street.  But ultimately, you still have a choice, no one is forcing you to do anything.  And if you look around, there are plenty of people making plenty of money investing in other things outside of Wall Street.
Mar 5, 2014 11:01AM

Let's see money is involved, BIG money !!  And this is a question, I have to answer...??

I know of few morals, when the "money grubbers" attempt to amass great wealth.

WWJD, or what did he say...??

Mar 5, 2014 6:48PM
Everything is fixed to the advantage of the rich and powerful...........but only temporarily.
Mar 5, 2014 6:36PM
Ben and the Fed. have printed $4 trillion  to bed the banks and wall street in the past 5 years. $65 illion this month to help them out. How long will the public put up with this? 
Mar 5, 2014 6:55PM

Just like making a bank robber the bank president .


Mar 5, 2014 11:55AM

There are Hundreds of investments, besides being involved in Stocks or Wall St...

Maybe not hundreds, but certainly dozens...

Until the advent of 401s back in the 80's and the ease of owning a piece of WS or stock in your own Company or Mutual's in others....The average working stiff, had little to do with investments of that nature...

Buy a Home, Cars, Boats, maybe a Cottage at the Lake, send your kids to College, have a few CDs or Savings bonds and that was pretty much it...

And that was only the Middle or upper Middle that could afford all of those...

That expanded in the 70s through the 2000's and is now headed back the other way...

The Middle class seems so screwed...For 2 generations, things weren't too bad..

Mar 5, 2014 7:29PM
Wall St. isn't about investing in a company, contributing to it's growth, creating jobs. The S&P stock report, Market Edge, Second Opinion weekly Report, any of those indicators may be deliberately misleading. The after hours trading have the advantage as well as the "insiders". But, if you study a co., some of them have predictable highs and lows. It's EZ to make a little $$.
Mar 5, 2014 12:03PM

Strangely even with 401Ks and matching of contributions, only about 25-30% originally made use of the Savings program...

Have not checked statistics or records, but until the late 80s or early 90s, participation rates in the programs, probably didn't go over the 50% rate..

Many older workers, related back to the Depression Crash, and instead put money in their Credit Unions...The mindset changed very slowly..

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