Monday, December 28, 2009

Did Rokita Let Stifel Off Too Easy?

Secretary of State Todd Rokita has reached a deal with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. over $54 million worth of auction rate securities the firm sold to some of Indiana's most prominent investors. In October, Rokita brought administrative charges against the firm, alleging securities fraud. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Stifel will begin repaying the 142 investors over the next two years. Although Rokita's original action charged Stifel with selling investments to its customers that were not suitable and failing to disclose risks associated with auction rate securities, Stifel is not paying any penalties to the state for securities violations and no securities licenses are being suspended. Nobody was required to disgorge commissions earned on the transactions? Also, if Stifel set aside a reserve fund to cover these losses of its customers, then why does it need two years to repay them? Perhaps Rokita shouldn't have been so quick to reach a deal. Are there ties to some of the individuals with Stifel and questionable stock trading activities by Tim Durham and his associates? Just asking. And while we're on the subject of auction rate securities, why do these investors get their money back when the Indianapolis waterworks department had to pay more than $60 million in penalties when it got tripped up in the auction rate bond meltdown?

1 comment:

M Theory said...

Good analogy you made to the dirty water company that SerVaas got us into. Indy's water customers are being ripped off.

Did you catch that SerVaas called for a city council resolution to give Colts fans back their money after the game they recently lost?

I thought to myself he's the pot calling the kettle black.