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UBS and Santander's Role in Underwriting Employee Retirement System Bonds

We've written extensively about the UBS Puerto Rico Closed End Funds. These funds were concentrated in the riskiest subset of Puerto Rico municipal bonds - uninsured bonds with little or no market outside of the proprietary UBS funds. Our prior posts on Puerto Rico can be found on our website.

In this post we revisit the Employee Retirement System's 2008 ERS Series B offering to highlight Santander's role in this ill-fated deal. The Series B bonds were the second of three ERS offerings. The...

Puerto Rico Municipal Bond Returns and Sunspots

Introduction

Economists use a statistical procedure called regression analysis to determine whether there is a relationship between economic variables. For example, a labor economist might use regression analysis to determine whether there is a relationship between salaries and education after controlling for differences in job tenure and geographic region. An antitrust economist might use regression analysis to determine whether an attempted collusion in the airline industry effected prices...

Non-Traded REIT Conflicts Run Amok: VRM I, VRM II and MVP, MVP II

Introduction

SLCG has written extensively about pervasive conflicts of interest in non-traded REITs arising because a non-traded REIT's sponsor, advisor, selling agents, and major suppliers are often affiliated entities that benefit more from creating the non-traded REIT than from running the REIT profitably. See our blog posts on REITs. SLCG economists have also published peer-reviewed articles on non-traded REITs, including An Empirical Analysis of Non-Traded REITsi.

A collection of...

Santander's First Puerto Rico Family of Funds: Same Defects, Similar Losses as UBS Puerto Rico and Popular Funds

Introduction

We have previously posted our extensive research into UBS Financial Services of Puerto Rico's closed end funds - some of which were co-managed and sold by Popular.

A summary of our UBS posts as of February 12, 2015 can be downloaded by clicking UBS Puerto Rico's Bond Fund Debacle: What We Know so Far. That summary is also available in Spanish by clicking Lo que Sabemos hasta Ahora de la Debacle de los Fondos de Bonos UBS Puerto Rico.

Two subsequent UBS posts can be accessed by...

Extreme (Expungement) Makeover: Is Scrubbing a 30-Year Record Really Legal?

We have written extensively about problems with FINRA's BrokerCheck system. See our blog posts on BrokerCheck.

Others have written about expungement abuses. For example, see Susan Antilla's "The Unbelievable Story of One Broker and Her Firm Fighting to Clean Her Tarnished Record".

Two weeks ago a FINRA panel rendered an extraordinary expungement award, recommending expungement of 8 awards and 3 settlements. The award in Joseph Anthony La Ferla, Jr. vs. UBS Financial Services Inc. can be viewed...

Are Employee Retirement Checks in Puerto Rico About to Stop?

Yesterday a Joint Stipulation and Order was entered into between investors in Employee Retirement System (ERS) bonds issued in 2008 and the Governor, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Director of the Commonwealth's OMB and the ERS. The Joint Stipulation and Order and the Order Approving Stipulation, Setting Aside Hearing and Dismissing Case are available on our website.

We have written extensively about the ERS bonds. You can find more information in our blog posts on the conflicted ERS bond...

UBS Puerto Rico's COFINA Conflicts Were Even Worse Than ERS Conflicts

We have written extensively about the wreckage caused by UBS's business model in Puerto Rico. See "UBS Puerto Rico's Bond Fund Debacle: What We Know so Far" and "Lo que Sabemos hasta Ahora de la Debacle de los Fondos de Bonos UBS Puerto Rico". All our Puerto Rico posts are available in English and in Spanish.

UBS's Farm-to-Table business model included encouraging the Employee Retirement System ("ERS") and other entities in Puerto Rico to issue bonds when no viable market except for UBS's...

This is why UBS paid the SEC $15 Million over Reverse Convertible Structured Products

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a $15 million settlement with UBS over structured products linked to high volatility stocks today. The SEC press release announcing the settlement and its Order Instituting Proceedings are available on the SEC website. This post explains the underlying notes and why UBS may have paid the SEC a substantial settlement over sales practices related to UBS's reverse convertible notes ("RCNs").

UBS sold thousands of structured notes to retail...

Craig McCann's Comment Letter in Support of NASAA's REIT Guidelines

Yesterday, Craig McCann, President of SLCG, submitted a comment letter in support of NASAA's proposed concentration limit for nontraded REITs. He also urged NASAA to find a mechanism for ensuring roll-up and advisory contract protections promised by Sponsors to investors as a condition for receiving registration permission are not summarily eliminated when capital raises end and investors truly need these protections. Read Dr. McCann's comment letter.

More on the Sordid Tale of the Global Net Lease and ARC Global Trust II Merger

On August 11, 2016 we wrote about the recently announced merger of Global Net Lease, Inc. (GNL) and American Realty Capital Global Trust II (ARC Global Trust II). See Sacha Baron Cohen and Nicholas Schorsch - Masters of the House! ARC Global Trust II's 8-K announcing the merger (see the merger agreement).

Global Net Lease had been non-traded REIT ARC Global Trust Inc. but began trading on the NYSE under the ticker GNL on June 2, 2015. Read our full June 5, 2015 blog post on ARC Global Trust /...

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