Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

January 31, 2018

The Man From Sullivan & Cromwell / Under Trump's SEC, Wall Street Secrecy Expands as Enforcement Shrinks (The Intercept by Susan Antilla and Gary Rivlin) A towering bit of old-fashioned journalism from two of the very best writers on the financial beat. Among the must-read stories of the year! The tone of the article is set forth in this excerpt:

Jay Clayton's rise to SEC chair began with a client call late in November 2016, shortly after Trump's election. How, the client asked, could the incoming administration cut back on Wall Street regulations? In response, the Wall Street Journal reported, Clayton "dashed off" an email laying out his ideas for making it easier for businesses to raise money without so many rules imposed by government. Such deregulatory discourse is in the DNA of a firm like Sullivan & Cromwell, where lawyers dispatch lengthy letters to regulators seeking everything from exemptions from punishment to the insertion of industry-friendly language in new rules. The client shared the email with Trump advisers, who were apparently so impressed that they asked Clayton if there was any administration job that might interest him. By late December, according to the Journal, Clayton was in Mar-a-Lago meeting with the president-elect to discuss the SEC chairpersonship. His appointment was announced a week later, on January 4.
Ya got yer folks who like takin' tests. Ya got yer folks who don't mind takin' tests but just don't do well on them. Ya got yer folks who don't like takin' tests. Ya got yer folks who don't like takin' tests and just don't do well on them. Then ya got yer folks who think they've figgered it all out and, well, you know, like takin' or not like takin' tests, damn, why not just get someone else to take the damn test for ya and not have to bother with the whole showin' up in person thing. Today's Blog explores the interaction between the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and one of those folks who apparently didn't want to bother with having to sit down and take a test and found someone else to substitute for him. READ

SEC Halts Alleged Initial Coin Offering Scam (SEC Press Release 2018-80)  In a Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the SEC alleges that AriseBank falsely stated that it purchased an FDIC-insured bank which enabled it to offer customers FDIC-insured accounts and that it also offered customers the ability to obtain an AriseBank-branded VISA card to spend any of the 700-plus cryptocurrencies. Also, the Complaint alleges that AriseBank also omitted to disclose the criminal background of key executives. The Court ordered a halt in AriseBank's allegedly fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) that targeted retail investors to fund what it claimed to be the world's first "decentralized bank."

Few articles published in the Blog attracted more attention than FINRA Gets One Last Slap In Marine Veteran's Face ( Blog, July 31, 2017)
In that article, we discussed the plight of Richard S. Botkin, a 15-year Marine Corps veteran, a registered representative since 1986, and  author of "Ride the Thunder-A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph." Botkin had appealed to FINRA for reconsideration of the four-month suspension and $15,000 that the self-regulatory-organization had imposed upon him pursuant to a settlement for his alleged violation of the self-regulator's Private Securities Transaction Rule. involving his participation in a production company designed to create a documentary film about his book. In telling Botkin's story, the Blog posted this brief biography about him from the Allegiant Giving Corporation's (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) website's "Our Team" page:  501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) website's "Our Team" page:


A former Marine Corps infantry officer (active service with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines and 1st Reconnaissance Battalion), Richard Botkin served 15 years of combined active and reserve duty. 

Rich and his wife have been married for 32 years and they have two adult sons.   He is also the author of the book "Ride the Thunder-A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph."   The book is currently on the Commandant's Reading List.    

Since 1998 Rich has been involved in annually leading short-term dental / medical missions to Cambodia where they work with Agape International Missions-an organization dedicated to ending the sexual trafficking of young children-and other in-country Christian missionaries to provide basic relief for the poor and hurting of that country.  

In addition to the notion of aiding those who have selflessly served our nation, Botkin subscribes completely to the Allegiant Battle-concept of not just giving assistance to our veterans, but helping them to become the successful, productive members-and business LEADERS-of society they were created to be.   He refers to the old proverb: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. TEACH a man to fish and you feed him for life." This idea and model-combining entrepreneurial opportunities with strategic mentoring-brought to the table by Mark Haney, is something which will not only resonate with the veterans we intend to serve, but also the larger American public which will support and bless these efforts. Blog is pleased to inform its readers that Richard's film "Ride the Thunder - A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal" is now available on Amazon Prime:

Incredible True story of American military legend John Ripley and Vietnamese war hero Le Ba Binh & their fight against the communists during the Vietnam War. When the war ends, Ripley goes home & passionately tries to tell the truth of the war to a divided America while Binh is imprisoned & struggles to stay alive in re-education camp while their wives valiantly cope. Rotten Tomatoes 89%

To those readers who asked how they could help Botkin and send a message to FINRA, please visit the Amazon webpage "Ride the Thunder - A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal" Watch the film on Amazon Prime for free or buy or rent it. Add your message in the "Customer Reviews"