August 30, 2010
Instead of concentrating on what is really ruining the basic premise of our free market system, the government, the SEC and FINRA are all concentrating on the non-issue of Fiduciary Duty. They all believe that BDs should have the same moral and ethical strictures as Investment Advisors, the same legal responsibilities to their clients. However, the problems that occurred in the past two years with Ponzi schemes like Madoff and Sandford, were in the IA world (those that already have a fiduciary duty), not the BD world. Anyone who really wants to break the rules will not let a fiduciary standard stop them. Fiduciary Duty is a topic to be debated in lecture halls at law schools, the SEC should be looking at the real problems, the real reasons that the public is fleeing the markets, the real reasons that the institutions are sitting on the sidelines: the HFT Pirates, their cohorts at the exchanges, quote stuffing and Reg NMS.