12 Stories

Iowa Brokerage CEO Indicted in $200M Fraud Scheme

Russ Wasendorf faces up to 155 years

(Newser) - The founder of a bankrupt Iowa-based brokerage accused in a $200 million fraud scheme has been indicted on 31 counts of making false statements to regulators. A federal grand jury returned the indictment today against Peregrine Financial Group CEO Russ Wasendorf Sr. Wasendorf has been jailed since his arrest last... More »

Brokerage Accused of Stealing $215M

PFGBest declares bankruptcy in wake of founder's suicide attempt

(Newser) - PFGBest declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy last night, after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a lawsuit accusing it of fraud, lying to regulators, and abusing customer funds. Regulators believe Russell Wasendorf, who tried to kill himself Monday, had been fabricating bank balances and forging signatures on the documents he submitted... More »

NY AG Slaps Schwab With Suit Over Defrauding Clients

(Newser) - The New York attorney general has told Charles Schwab he will sue the brokerage for civil fraud over its marketing of securities to clients, reports the Wall Street Journal. Andrew Cuomo alleges that Schwab's brokers had little understanding of the financial instruments and then failed to inform clients that the... More »

Traders Sneeze, Peso Catches Cold—or Flu

Mexico City brokerages suffer under swine flu

(Newser) - Peso trading is taking a hit as Mexico City brokerages, wary of spreading the flu, send home anyone who so much as sneezes, Bloomberg reports. Face masks litter the floor at one brokerage, whose daily trading volume is down 30%, as traders furiously scrub their desks in an attempt to... More »

Brokerages Get Tough on B-List Hedge Funds

With financing cut, look for many to merge or collapse

(Newser) - Brokerage firms are cutting their financing and support to hundreds of hedge funds, reports the Wall Street Journal, delivering a further blow to what was the highest-flying sector of American finance. As they attempt to shore up their own positions, the banks are dividing their hedge fund clients into two... More »

Madoff Scandal Turns Up Heat on Financial Advisers

Loophole lets Madoff types profit from bad advice, they say

(Newser) - Wall Street advisers and brokers are tussling over the details of a looming regulatory overhaul as Washington takes steps to prevent another Bernard Madoff scandal, Bloomberg reports. Advisers want brokers who counsel clients to be subject to the same oversight they’re under; currently, their brokerage counterparts can profit by... More »

Citi, Morgan Stanley Merge Brokerages

(Newser) - Rumors of Citigroup’s plan to merge its brokerage unit with that of Morgan Stanley have proven true, as both companies’ boards approved the move today, CNBC reports. Morgan Stanley will control 51% of the joint venture between its operation and Citi’s Smith Barney. Observers see Stanley’s option... More »

Morgan Stanley Near $3B Deal for Smith Barney

The joint venture would create the world's largest retail brokerage

(Newser) - Morgan Stanley is close to a deal giving it control of Citgroup’s Smith Barney business and creating the world’s largest retail brokerage, reports Reuters. The joint venture would give Morgan 51% of Smith Barney for up to $3 billion. In addition to the cash, Citi would benefit from... More »

Morgan Stanley Eyes Smaller Fish to Boost Banking Cred

After converting from investment bank, company targets growth in deposits

(Newser) - Just months after converting from an investment firm into a bank-holding company, Morgan Stanley is already one of the top 50 US banks in terms of deposits, the Wall Street Journal reports—and is looking to acquire regional banks that will speed its climb. Analysts say it’s unlikely Morgan... More »

Merrill Braces for $6B-$8B in New Writedowns

Subprime woes mean unprecedented third consecutive losing quarter for brokerage

(Newser) - Merrill Lynch is likely to report another $6 billion to $8 billion in writedowns related to the subprime collapse tomorrow, leading to a third consecutive quarterly loss, the Wall Street Journal reports. Merrill’s chronic mortgage losses—$30 billion and counting—show just how deep the world's largest brokerage is... More »

Will Lehman Be the Crunch's Next Victim?

Shaky confidence means its biggest fear may be fear itself

(Newser) - After a collapse of confidence sank Bear Stearns last week, some traders are betting that Lehman Brothers will be the next victim of the credit crunch. Its stock went on a rollercoaster ride yesterday—plunging 40% at one point and closing down 19%, the biggest fall since the firm went... More »

John Thain to Be Merrill CEO

Former Goldman honcho took the NYSE public

(Newser) - Merrill Lynch will name NYSE chief John Thain as its CEO as soon as today, an insider tells the Wall Street Journal. The former Goldman Sachs president, on Merrill’s shortlist since Stan O'Neal was shown the door two weeks ago, was also under consideration for Citigroup’s top post.... More »

12 Stories