ENOUGH ABUSES FROM FINRA
FINRA, the rigid straitjacket of financial regulation, brazenly ran one of the most successful and few high-profile women off of Wall Street and into the Silicon Valley.Ruth Porat, the highest ranked female on Wall Street has left Morgan Stanley for Google — and that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which oversees brokers and broker dealers, is the impartial — and corrupt — Wall Street watchdog, headed by amultimillionaire Richard Ketchum as its Chairman and CEO.
While the average American family’s ANNUAL income barely goes above $55,000, FINRA pays its CEO Richard Ketchum $300,000 per month to head the “non-profit” FINRA. Is there anything wrong here? Correct, FINRA’s “non-profit” status is a facial mask to fool the American public while the FINRA bureaucrats collect millions of dollars each year extorting SMALL businesses.
Following the financial crisis that began in 2008 when many banks and financial institutions closed their doors, new waves of regulation to control the more daring investment strategies were forced on those that remained. The straitjacket of overregulation emanating from FINRA is the main reason Ruth Porat’s departure. In the mostly white male world of Wall Street, diversity is not a dirty word but something seen to be tolerated, not embraced or encouraged. No woman has ever been at the very top of a Wall Street investment bank and with its most-powerful female executive departing for Google, that likely won’t happen any time soon either.
Before leaving to take over the same title in Silicon Valley, Ruth Porat was one of the only female CFOs in the financial industry and, by far, the most powerful. This is a woman who was not only respected for her high acumen across the board by the industry in the U.S., but around the world as well. While high numbers of women entered and became successful in the financial industry in the 1980s, there has since been a rollback on that progress with many leaving or not pursuing financial careers as studies show men continue to dominate in the traditionally male-led industry, largely due to regulatory abuses by FINRA.
In 2013, President Barack Obama was rumored to be considering Ruth Porat for the next Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, the nation’s second-in-command of the money supply and fiduciary policies. Instead, Porat took on an even bigger challenge that threatened to topple our entire financial system, and she showed incredible leadership and courage during the financial crisis. Despite having a chance at a high-profile government gig, Porat opted to help pull Morgan Stanley out of the depths of its woes. Not only did people like her help stabilize a vital American financial institution, the work done to assist major companies’ recovery was a first step toward getting the country’s economy — and that of the world at large — back on its feet.
Anyone questioning this move should be asking themselves why the sudden, drastic career change? The reason is simple if the way in which FINRA regularly operates is understood.
The authority came to be in 2007 when the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) merged with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to create FINRA. Since inception and the coming of the 2008 recession, FINRA has produced massive overregulation, regulatory abuse and has operated with discriminatory investigative practices which have only become worse and worse each and every year.
Supposedly, FINRA regulates all firms evenly, however those in the business and on the Street know the regulatory body goes particularly hard against small brokerage firms. Even more egregiously, it targets black brokers and now with Porat, FINRA may have chased off the most successful woman in the business as well.
TALMAN HARRIS, AFRICAN AMERICAN “TURNED INTO CHARCOAL”, FINRA RACISM EXPOSED
FINRA has unfairly singled out black brokers and “turned them into charcoal” under FINRA abuses. TALMAN HARRIS, an investment professional with a 20 year, clean regulatory history was barred from FINRA in December 2014.
A notorious racist, FINRA staffer JEFFREY BLOOM was caught making an egregious statement,“FINRA will nail those black bastards in New York.“ Yes, FINRA racist Jeffrey Bloom “burned” the innocent black American broker Talman Harris.
“CHRIS BRUMMER, GEORGETOWN PROFESSOR SCREWED UP MY PREGNANT MOTHER”, OUTRAGE FROM AN UNBORN CHILD
TALMAN HARRIS has a real problem in the world of FINRA: Talman Harris is a black American and we all know what the blacks were called the “N word” just a few decades ago. There is no evidence against Talman Harris. There is no reason to kill his career and there is no reason to put his unborn baby’s future in the limbo only because the dumb academic CHRIS BRUMMER, FINRA’s rubber stamp NATIONAL ADJUDICATORY COUNCIL (NAC) wanted to single out Mr. Harris as a TARGET to destroy.
MEET CHRIS BRUMMER, THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY FINRA UNCLE TOM EXPOSED
CHRIS BRUMMER, Georgetown Law School professors asks: “Does the truth matter in FINRA hearings?” The answer is “No”. In the book of FINRA, it is a white men’s elite club. Uncle Tom Chris Brummer is the exception. Talman Harris could not possibly get ahead, he is black and he was called the “N word” by the racist FINRA staffer Jeffrey Bloom. As far as Chris Brummer, Chris Brummer is no doubt the 21st century “Uncle Tom” for FINRA.
“CHRIS BRUMMER has no regulatory background whatsoever. CHRIS BRUMMER is an academic with hardly any experience in the real world,” says American patriot Talman Harris. “I am very upset with Chris Brummer and his other FINRA cronies that have targeted me and destroyed my life only because I am BLACK. I have very serious claims against them individually and against FINRA. CHRIS BRUMMER owes my good name back – a professional with a 20 year clean regulatory history; CHRIS BRUMMER has screwed up my life; CHRIS BRUMMER has screwed over my pregnant wife, and CHRIS BRUMMER has screwed up the future of my unborn child! ”
FINRA RUBBER STAMP CHRIS BRUMMER THREATENS JOURNALISTS, EXPOSED
In January 2015, FINRA’s notorious rubber stamp, an obscure FINRA National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) headed by CHRIS BRUMMER, a Georgetown University academic affirmed FINRA’s racially motivated decision. Since then, CHRIS BRUMMER has repeatedly harassed journalists and attempted to silence the media that has exposed his undisclosed payments received from convicted felons.
JULIE BAUER, (Tel: 202-7288217, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ), FINRA’s head of government relations declined to comment on FINRA’s regulatory abuses against Talman Harris. Talman Harris’s first child is due in June 2015…
Under the thumb of CHRIS BRUMMER, research shows FINRA’s NAC has ruled in favor of FINRA staff 100% of the time. Has Chris Brummer committed fraud in a FINRA Kangaroo Court headed by Chris Brummer? It’s obvious.
At some point the question has to be asked: When is someone, a group of people or a campaign against FINRA going to curtail or finally put an end to this abuse? How many hard-working brokers will be targeted and taken down by the regulatory body because their crime in FINRA’s eyes is being black? And how many powerful Wall Street women do we have to lose before people begin saying “enough is enough?”
If FINRA can push a well-respected and seasoned 28-year veteran off Wall Street all the way to the Silicon Valley, then the rest of the industry simply doesn’t have a fighting chance against the likes of its Chairman and CEO Rick Ketchum or Alan Lawhead, director of its Appellate Group, or a MICHAEL GARAWSKI, a FINRA bureaucrat that only exists in the shadow — or the blatantly biased regulators Jeffrey Bloom and Robert Morris.
FINRA stinks from top down like anything sick and rotten. These are just a few of the slimy characters spreading their mess all over the Street. It’s about time FINRA’s overregulation and the handcuffing of Wall Street executives is exposed to the light of scrutiny. It might be time to do some serious spring cleaning.
Benjamin Wey is an American business leader
A multilingual strategic adviser on Wall Street, an investigative journalist and a leading American expert on China. With approximately 20 years of professional experience, in-depth knowledge of the various international cultures and extensive global contacts, Mr. Wey has led and participated in more than 200 projects worldwide. As the CEO of New York Global Group, Benjamin Wey shares his views about the 7 signs that separate winners from losers in the business world.
We spend a lot of time in this society focusing on winning and losing. While attending Columbia University to earn my 2nd master’s degree, I had many professors that challenged us to become winners, not losers. “Benjamin Wey, you want to be a winner? ” says a business school professor. From the sports pages to the stock market, from our elections to our schools, we worry about who’s up and who’s down. There is an entire industry, the self-help book business, that generates millions or even billions for those who claim to have the answers.
Based on my experience of both success and failure in life, I have spotted seven myths about winners and losers that deserve exploring.
1. WINNERS HAVE THE EDUCATION NEEDED TO SUCCEED WHILE LOSERS DON’T.
Education, of course, is incredibly valuable, but our formal system of education isn’t as well adapted to the needs of the 21st century as it could be. You want proof? Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Dell dropped out of college and became billionaires. And it isn’t just in the computer world: Ted Turner, David Geffen and Ralph Lauren are worth a billion or more, and they dropped out as well.
2. WINNERS UNDERSTAND THE RULES AND PLAY THE GAME TO WIN WHILE LOSERS DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES.
You can amass wealth, get yourself a corner office and wind up in Millionaire Acres in the Game of Life by knowing the rules and playing by them. However, more and more often, I see truly successful people don’t play the game. They create their own rules. In a world of checkers players, these people are playing chess, Risk, Jenga and God knows what else. By redefining the world around them, they build success into their new game. You can’t win a million-dollar jackpot if you’re playing penny ante poker. And nobody ever got rich playing someone else’s game.
3. WINNERS FOCUS ON LUCRATIVE INDUSTRIES LIKE FINANCE AND LOSERS OPT FOR BUSINESSES WITH LESS REMUNERATION.
We read all the time about the guy at Goldman or Morgan or Chase who got a $100-million bonus, and the popular press has us convinced that everyone on Wall Street is paid insane amounts of money. It’s true for the people at the very top, but most people in finance don’t have “screw you” money — they need that paycheck and can’t afford to be out of work. Think of the people who answer the phones, run the copiers and enter the data. Do you really think they’d do that if they had a million bucks? At the same time, we don’t think of people in janitorial services as being rich. But there isn’t a city in America without at least one person who runs a cleaning service or custodial enterprise who couldn’t pay cash for a Mercedes.
4. WINNERS JOIN WINNING TEAMS AND LOSERS JOIN LOSING TEAMS.
The flaw in this thinking is the word “join.” Yes, it’s possible to team up with someone who is successful, and you can ride on that person’s coattails. But that isn’t really success so much as it is being a parasite — even a beneficial one. Far more frequently, you work with people over time, and as jobs and projects come and go, you wind up assembling a team that then goes out and succeeds. Again, it’s useful to think about musicians. The Beatles, arguably the most successful band of all time, had one member die (Stuart Sutcliffe played bass originally) and another get replaced (Ringo Starr took Pete Best’s job as drummer) before they took the world by storm. That said, it’s hard to make it if you are surrounded by people whose approach to things almost guarantees failure.
5. WINNERS PUT IN LONG HOURS OF HARD WORK THAT LOSERS DON’T.
This myth mistakes activity for productivity. Yes, there are times when you have to do something for 14 hours at a stretch; we’ve all done it. You shouldn’t be doing it like that everyday. One thing I have learned is that if you like something, it’s not work any more. When LeBron James suits up to play for the Miami Heat, do you seriously believe he’s thinking, “Time to go to work?” Basketball for him isn’t work, and the last time I looked, the NBA didn’t play 14-hour games every day.
6. WINNERS SET GOALS AND LOSERS DON’T.
Goals are actually double-edged swords. Yes, setting goals is a great way to focus on achievement. But what happens when you achieve your goal? NASA had a goal of sending a man to the moon before the 1960s ended. It was an astonishing challenge, and the brightest people in the country pulled it off. And then what? We went to the moon a few more times and canceled the last Apollo mission for budgetary reasons. Since then, the brightest people in the country have tended not to work for NASA — the space shuttle and the space station are OK, but they aren’t the moon shot. Goals can be self-defeating, whereas direction is endless. That’s why our space probes are driving around Mars, photographing Jupiter and Saturn and even leaving the solar system.
7. WINNERS THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, WHILE LOSERS DON’T.
Again, thinking outside the box is a blessing and a curse. You have to be outside of it just enough to see a way to improve on what exists, but if you get too far ahead, no one is prepared to back you. To stay with our space metaphor, back in the 1950s, when the Soviets put up Sputnik, a private company like Virgin Galactic was beyond belief. People weren’t going to go for it because even the U.S. government couldn’t get into orbit. Today, Virgin Galactic is on the verge of commercial operations because the world has caught up to the idea of a private company in space. If you are three steps ahead of everyone else, you’re leading the parade. If you are a mile ahead, you’re walking by yourself.
One final thought about this: Winning is fun, and losing isn’t. But it’s your life. How you keep score is entirely up to you.
Over the years, I, Benjamin Wey, have learned that entrepreneurs can sometimes seem a little crazy. By that, I mean they see something the rest of us don’t, and they pursue it with a passion that can be all-encompassing. Often, the result can be a multi-million, or multi-billion, dollar business that leaves a lot of us saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
In the case of Donald Trump, he has been a visionary in many ways. When he went to work in his father’s real-estate development business (father Fred Trump named it after his wife – Elizabeth Trump & Son), it was a carefully run operation building affordable housing in New York City. Donald thought his dad didn’t dream big enough. Golf courses in Scotland and casinos in Atlantic City weren’t on Fred’s radar, but “The Donald” has dreamed bigger. Since taking the reins of the family business in the 1970s, he had his own airline, his own TV show, and he is one of the few businessmen “everyone” knows by name and by face.
“Mixing business and politics creates perplexing dynamics. Trump is the master at creating sensationalism to build his brand.” Says Benjamin Wey, a recognized American financier on Wall Street and CEO of New York Global Group, a private equity investment firm. “No publicity is bad publicity. The iconic Trump statement may hurt him in the short run. Over time, Donald Trump is a marketing genius.”
In 2015, Wall Street financier Benjamin Wey was named a “Top 10 Most Influential Asian Americans in Finance” by Asian media.
Sure, he’s had his failures: the airline, Trump Vodka (a Trump and Tonic? Really?), and his casinos have gone bust (how do you lose money with a “00” on the roulette wheel?), but Trump has managed to bounce back from his disappointments because he always has more irons in the fire, and his brand is strong.
So, I, Benjamin Wey, have to admit that his current campaign for the White House, specifically for the Republican nomination in 2016, can be confusing. Maybe he sees something that we don’t, but just as likely, this time he sees something that isn’t there, and it’s costing him big time.
Among the business ties Trump has lost since starting his campaign and saying the things he has said are: Macy’s, NBCUniversal, Univision, and Serta mattresses. In addition, by taking sides rather aggressively on issues like immigration, Trump alienates large segments of the market. The one thing you really don’t want to do as a business is get people mad at you. Trump has done this.
READ MORE: NBC TO DONALD TRUMP: ‘ESTAS DESPEDIDO!’
Yet there is a part of the American public that believes a good businessman or woman would make a good president. And Trump is appealing to their instincts; they tend to dislike “politics” and think the pragmatism of business and the skills of a CEO transfer to the White House. The trouble is that history teaches that it just isn’t so.
The real question comes down to this: Does Trump really believe that he can win the White House, or is this just a publicity stunt? He probably believes he has a shot; the single most-common trait among successful entrepreneurs is a “can-do” attitude. At the same time, Trump has used possible presidential bids as a way to keep his name in the paper. I, Benjamin Wey, think if we could look inside his head right now, we’d see that Trump is after both. The presidency would be an extension of his career, and it would be a great foundation for future successes.
READ MORE: BENJAMIN WEY’S TRUMP ON THEBLOT MAGAZINE
When you look at it this way, it starts to make sense. The money that Trump is losing from ruptured business ties are a cost of doing the White House business. If he wins (and he believes he will, and he’ll be the best ever in his own opinion), the power of the presidency and the legacy that creates for the Trump Organization to use will pay off hugely (or as he would say “yooj-ly). If he doesn’t win, he will have lost some money (the Univision deal cost him $13.5 million) but will be in a position to recoup much of it based on his experiences as a “politician.”
You have to remember that Trump’s 1987 book “The Art of the Deal” explains his philosophy. He’s in a deal-making business, and if you have to lose a few to gain a few extra, that’s the game.
“The Art of the Deal is a good example of Donald Trump’s talent in building a brand. When the controversy blows over, Trump will be the winner, again. I am a fan.” Says Benjamin Wey, financier and journalist who has been following Donald Trump’s career path.
This isn’t necessarily about the presidency so much as it is about the brand Donald Trump. From that angle, this whole thing starts to make sense.
Everyone needs job.
Long ago, one could get a job with a company and, 40 years later, retire from that same company. Those days are long over, and most of us will have numerous employers before our working lives end. So long as you are the one deciding when to quit, that’s cool. As we all learned during the financial crisis, though, a lot of companies in times of trouble do the deciding for you, and you wind up unemployed through no fault of your own.
That isn’t going to change any time soon, but here’s some advice on how to know when it’s time to jump before you get pushed:
The first clue that you probably need to leave is when top management announces major changes.Think about it: If things were going well, there’d be no reason for change. Business is a conservative environment; you don’t fix things that aren’t broken. Risk is acceptable only to the extent that the rewards justify it. If the rewards are shrinking, you are forced to change. “Adapt or die” is code for update the resume.
Are you part of the team to implement “Project X,” which has been delayed twice and has a new project manager and the budget has been redefined? This is change that isn’t being implemented well.
Do you walk past the conference room and the corner offices and see the big wigs in closed-door meetings all day? Their time is valuable, or at least expensive, and every minute they are together, they aren’t running their own fiefdom in the firm. So whatever it is they are discussing is serious. And when serious things go well, those meetings are short, and they leave the doors open. Long meetings with the door shut means review your LinkedIn profile.
Another hint is to check out the conditions in the accounting department. Are the bean counters working late? Sometimes this is perfectly normal, like right before a regularly scheduled audit. But if the last audit was a few months ago and these guys are burning the midnight oil, it might be a sign that there is more money going out than there is coming in.
Related to that, for those of you who get reimbursed for expenses (travel or whatever), do you get your expenses paid easily and quickly, or is it like pulling teeth weeks, even months, after the fact? If they aren’t paying you, and you’re part of the team, what outside suppliers aren’t getting paid? Probably most of them. And why? Because there isn’t enough cash to take care of everyone.
Did you just get a promotion without a raise attached? Does this promotion give you greater responsibility, or as the bullshitters in H.R. call it, “scope for professional growth?” Without more money, they are trying to get more out of you for free. Let’s try a thought experiment. What would happen if you go to the grocery store and get a loaf of bread and a pound of butter, and offer only to pay for the bread? Even if you call the free butter “a unique professional opportunity,” you aren’t leaving with the stuff. If they don’t want to pay you more for extra work, there could be trouble across the company.
Ever been at a company that has a hiring freeze? Someone leaves the company, and the desk sits unoccupied for months or permanently. It could be that the company has outgrown the need for a person in that role, but more likely, not filling that seat saves some cash. And if you’ve been given some of that person’s duties (without a raise), then you should see if that interview suit still fits.
To get rid of a lot of people at once, management sometimes likes to redraw the organizational chart. Have you had four different supervisors this year? Has your department changed names three times? Are you on a different floor or on the opposite side of the building just because? Beware of employees playing musical chairs.
How’s morale? It’s quite possible for you to be totally miserable, but everyone else is thrilled to pieces to get to work every morning. Or are you the happiest camper in the company despite crying yourself to sleep every night? Bad morale is hard to fix. Better to leave.
When you get to work, do you know what you are supposed to do? Or have they moved the goalposts so many times you have no idea where to begin? You have a function within the organization that contributes to the success of the whole, and if you don’t know what that function is and how it fits into the overall operation, maybe no one else does either.
If you’ve been in the company a couple of years, how many new faces are there? If the answer is “a lot,” that means many people have left. High turnover is never a good sign. You probably ought to join the exodus.
Some people think that quitting a job means that they have failed somehow. Rats abandoning a sinking ship, and that kind of thing. That’s the wrong way to look at it. You’re just firing your employer for failure to perform. If they can do it to you, you ought to be allowed to do the same.
I run across all kinds of things in my professional life that I may not know much about. My expertise lies in how money works, but a lot of the time, I am providing that for people who need money to build bridges or factories, launch high-tech businesses or new farming products. I am driven because I don’t try to know it all. I get advice from people I trust who know these things. Often, I have to pay a pretty penny for that knowledge.
So, it never ceases to amaze me, Benjamin Wey that how many people I meet casually or who are part of my non-professional life have opinions they believe they have to share with me. People who have never been to China (where I was born and raised) want to advise me on how to do business there. People with a negative credit rating want to suggest ways to make my business thrive. People who don’t have to suffer the consequences always know exactly what I should do.
Speaking from personal experience. Benjamin Wey is a Wall Street financier and investigative journalist. I have been to more than 50 countries and have advised many projects. By this logic, if we just let the cab drivers and barbers in New York run the world, we’d have heaven on earth. The old espionage saying applies, “Those who know don’t talk and those who talk don’t know.”
It all sounds simple. In reality however, its takes confidence, courage and a lot of gust to adhere to one’s beliefs and not bend to pressure.
What is really hard to deal with is their damned sincerity. They want to help. They really do. They have my best interests at heart. They’re just hopelessly ignorant about the business situations that puzzle or trouble me, and I really don’t need to be distracted or second-guessed by someone who isn’t even in the game. There are people I will gladly pay for their wisdom, and these other people are not on that list.
There is a special place in hell for the would-be gurus out there who dress up completely obvious points as some kind of wisdom. Fortune-cookie advice is hardly worth cracking open the cookie (and by the way, fortune cookies are an American invention.) “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” No kidding? A day ago, yesterday was and a day from now, tomorrow will be. That’s how time works!
“Be the change you want to see in the world” is just as useless or unproductive. Why would I want to be the change I don’t want to see? What if I like the status quo? “Be the sameness that you desire” doesn’t really resonate, does it?
A dear friend of mine, one of the most enlightening CEOs of public companies recently taught me a new phrase: YOLO, which stands for “You Only Live Once” . It rings a lot of truth. Take charge, stand up for your own principles, supported by resources and perseverance. In the end, a courageous or a visionary leader does not live life like a coward.
It reminds me of the Chevy Chase bit in the movie “Caddyshack,” when the country club’s best golfer advises a kid to “be the ball.” The kid promptly screws up the shot and is told “You’re not being the ball.” What the hell does that even mean? But there they are on late-night TV telling me to do this or that, not even knowing who the hell I am.
I think a moratorium is in order for any statement that starts with “If I were you …” You aren’t me, and I’m happy about that.
If I wanted your opinion, I’d ask for it. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves a basic question: Can we ever live a life that is fearless?
Benjamin Wey‘s life principles:
1) “Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.” – Abraham Lincoln
2) “No publicity is bad publicity.” – Donald Trump
3) “Facts are stubborn things.” – Ronald Reagan
Yes, I am Benjamin Wey and I stand by these messages. Leadership training is a real and daily learning experience.
Benjamin Wey observed this article, and if you live in the business world this might interest you..
Without announcement, all trading ceased on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as of 11:32am on Wednesday.
While off-floor trading is still occurring, every listing on the NYSE board is currently showing “HALT” and/or “No Quotation.”
The NYSE has released a statement stating that trading has halted due to a technology issue and that they are working to restore trading as quickly as possible.