What’s With The “U” In Guarantee (Or Should That Be Guaranty)?

Spelling and pronouncing English words can be a challenge.  I’ve often been puzzled by the word “guarantee”.  What’s the point of including the unpronounced “u”?  The word is derived from an Old French word, garantir meaning “to protect”.   In English, the letter “g” may have either a soft (e.g., as in “legend” and “gerund”) or hard (e.g.,

The DBO Wants Your Social Security Number, But Is It Legal?

Readers will recall that last year the California legislature created a statutory exemption for finders from the California’s registration requirement for broker-dealers (Chap. 743, Stats. 2015).  That exemption, codified at Corporations Code Section 25206.1, requires persons relying on the exemption to file a statement of information with the Department before engaging in activities described in the

How Much Does Your Banker Make?

In the midst of the Great Depression, The New Yorker published a poem by Ogden Nash entitled “Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer”.  But are bankers really wealthier than hoi polloi?  The answer may be found in the Department of Business Oversight’s annual survey of bank officer and director at state-chartered banks, national

Is Rule 10b-5 The “Mother Of All Litotes”?

Yesterday’s post addressed the use of litotes in California’s broker-dealer suitability rule.  Litotes can be an effective rhetorical device, but as Judge Frank H. Easterbrook observed, it is also ambiguous.  Associated Randall Bank v. Griffin, Kubik, Stephens & Thompson, Inc. 3 F.3d 208 (7th Cir. 1993) (“‘Not unlike’ can mean almost anything; although the listener may cancel

Suitability Of Broker-Dealer Recommendations And Litotes

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, better known as FINRA, imposes a suitability requirement on its members.  Rule 2111(a) requires, in part, that a broker-dealer or registered representative “have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer” based on the customer’s investment

Class A Is Class A and Class B Is Class B And Shall Ever The Twain Meet?

In addition to directors and officers, Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 applies to every person who is “directly or indirectly the beneficial owner of more than 10 percent of any class of any equity security (other than an exempted security) which is registered pursuant to Section 12″ of the Act.  This,

Is Certiorari A Possibility For SLUSA Question Not Addressed By Any Federal Circuit Court?

In Luther v. Countrywide Financial Corp., 195 Cal. App. 4th 789 (2011), the trial court ruled that state courts do not enjoy concurrent jurisdiction when a class action meeting the definition of a “covered class action” under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (aka “SLUSA”) did not involve a “covered security”, as also

Liechtenstein And Article II, Section 1 Of The Constitution

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I spent the Fourth of July holiday in the Fürstentum Liechtenstein, a very beautiful and surprisingly inaccessible part of Europe.  Its capital city has no airport.  The country is also largely vertical, as it is sandwiched in the Alps between Austria and Switzerland.  While enjoying a cappuccino in an outdoor cafe in Vaduz, the principality’s capital,

California Legislature Mulls Anti-Short Selling Bill

In April, I wrote about a bill, SB 726 (Hueso), that would have added a new section to the Corporate Securities Law banning false statements to government officials for the purpose of manipulating the price of a company’s security by triggering an investigation.  See “Bill Aims To Put The Kibosh On Alleged Hedge Fund Stock