Yearly Archives: 2009


Putting Madoff’s Theft into Context

One of the most useful things an economist can do in litigation consulting is to put abstract numbers into context.  Bernie Madoff’s theft of $65 billion dollars is almost mind-boggling.  To illustrate the significance of his crime, I compared his theft with other financial crimes most people are familiar with- burglary, theft, pick pocketing and purse snatching.  The more »


Are Nebraskans Really the Most Suspicious People in the Nation?

If you gauge suspicious activity by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) “By the Numbers” report on the Securities & Futures Industries, then yes.  By FinCEN’s tally, Nebraska accounted for 7.31% of all SAR-SF filings from January 1, 2003 through June 30, 2008. Three states had higher counts (New York, Massachusetts & California) but Nebraska is more »


2009 Securities Arbitration Filing Trends

FINRA reports that arbitration filings are up 90% through February 2009 over the prior year.  There were 1,065 arbitrations filed in just January and February 2009. If these numbers hold steady over the rest of the year, 2009 will witness a level of arbitration filings not seen since 2005.  However, I don’t expect the filings to “hold steady” through 2009. more »


2008 Securities Arbitration Filing Trends: Security Type

FINRA added three new securities types: Variable Annuities, Derivative Securities and Auction Rate Securities to the Security Type list in 2008. Derivative Securities and Auction Rate Securities to the Security Type list in 2008.  Derivative Securities was the second most frequently cited type of security in its first year on the list. Mutual funds moved ahead of Common more »


2008 Securities Arbitration Filing Trends: Type of Controversy

FINRA released the final tallies for 2008 arbitration filings.  2008 witnessed marked change in trends regarding the type of controversy.  Filings citing “Omission of Facts” increased 337% from 2007 levels. Misrepresentation saw the second largest jump in filings with an increase of 171% over 2007.  In 2007, Misrepresentation was the 5th most frequently cited type of controversy and it jumped to more »