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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 »