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SEC Examiniation Priorities 2014

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) senior staff recently announced their 2014 examination priorities . The national examination program will be focusing on fraud detection and prevention, corporate governance, and registrants that serve as both a broker-dealer and investment adviser.

SEC staff also plans to undertake initiatives that examine the rollover of retirement vehicles during employment transitions or near retirement. In particular, the staff is concerned about misleading...

SEC Litigation Releases: Week in Review - January 10th, 2014

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Diamond Foods, Inc.
January 9, 2014, (Litigation Release No. 22902)
According to the complaint, Diamond Foods, Inc. manipulated walnut costs to report "higher net income and inflated earnings to exceed analysts' estimates for fiscal quarters in 2010 and 2011." According to the complaint against Diamond's former CFO, Steven Neil, Neil "directed the effort to fraudulently underreport money paid to walnut growers." Diamond's former CEO, Michael Mendes, has...

Behringer Harvard / TIER REIT Illustrates How Non-Traded REIT Sponsors and Brokers Have Siphoned $10 Billion to $20 Billion (and Counting) From Investors

Sponsors have issued, and brokers had sold, over $85 billion of non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) by the end of 2012. These investments are illiquid, high-commissioned, poorly diversified real estate investments. Despite their glaring defects another $20 billion of non-traded REITs were sold to investors in 2013.

Sponsors and brokers have siphoned off at least $20 billion from investors through their sales of non-traded REITs up through 2012. We illustrate the calculation of...

Did UBS Charge its Proprietary Puerto Rico Bond Funds Excessive Markups? Part II

We have previously posted several blog posts about UBS Puerto Rico's collapsing closed-end municipal bond funds including: Trouble in Paradise: UBS Puerto Rico Bond Fund Investors Hit Hard, Diversification and UBS Puerto Rico Bond Fund Losses, Did UBS Charge its Proprietary Puerto Rico Bond Funds Excessive Markups? and Merry Christmas from UBS Asset Managers of Puerto Rico.

UBS has argued that since we couldn't identify which trades in the EMMA data were the UBS bond fund trades and UBS...

¿Acaso UBS Cobró Márgenes Excesivos a Sus Propios Fondos de Bonos de Puerto Rico? Segunda Parte

Anteriormente habíamos publicado varias entradas en nuestro blog acerca del colapso de los bonos municipales de UBS Puerto Rico: Peligro en la Isla del Encanto: Inversionistas de UBS Puerto Rico Sufren Cuantiosas Pérdidas, Diversificación y Pérdidas en los Fondos de Bonos de UBS Puerto Rico, ¿Acaso UBS cobró márgenes excesivos a sus propios Fondos de Bonos de Puerto Rico? y Feliz Navidad de parte de UBS Asset Managers de Puerto Rico.

UBS ha argumentado que no debemos especular si UBS cobró o...

FINRA Regulatory Priorities 2014

Early this month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released their 2014 regulatory and examination proirities . FINRA is continuing to focus on the suitability of recommendations made to retail investors. FINRA specifically mentions complex structured products (including leveraged ETFs), non-traded REITs, frontier funds, and interest rate sensitive instruments such as mortgage-backed securities and municipal bonds. At a recent conference, a FINRA representative added that...

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