Judged For The Holidays

James Miller,
Contributing Editor & Research Analyst,
Wealth Solutions Report

The Holiday Season Is For Judging: Football Tickets Lead To Lifetime Bar, License Revoked For A Mean Email, Dave Ramsey’s Corporate Ethics, The FTX Fiasco Hits Tom And Gisele, And Are The Phillies The Harbinger Of Recession?

Thanksgiving just ended, thankfully, and the holiday season is on its way. There are many holidays for various faiths and cultures in December, but I grew up with Christmas. For those of you whose household didn’t celebrate Christmas, let me describe it for you:

There’s a well-fed, childless old man who lives at the North Pole and plays with elves. They watch everything you do – all year – starting from December 26 so you can’t even get away with anything on New Year’s Eve.

They’re judging you – constantly – searching for the smallest infraction. If you do too many bad things, or say them, or even think them, they record all of it to throw back in your face on Christmas morning, when they shortchange you or substitute the toys you wanted for something cheap and generic.

Christmas is judgment day.

“Now James,” you say, “that’s just a silly myth.” Is it, though? We’ve got some stories for you! There’s the broke advisor who took almost a year to buy a reimbursed item – barred for life! Then the scolding planner who emailed an insult to a prospective client – license revoked! And that’s nothing compared to Dave Ramsey’s wrath.

An economic indicator?

And what if those “elves” are economic prognosticators who “research” women’s hemlines, men’s underwear and lipstick? They also watched the Philadelphia Phillies to make sure they lost the World Series.

For good measure, we also toss in a schadenfreude article about the FTX crypto scandal cleaning out the treasures of the ultra-wealthy and some mega-sized capital firms.

1) Tom Brady, Other Investors Hit by Crypto Fiasco

Sam Bankman-Fried’s once-high-flying crypto exchange, … now faces existential threats as regulators descend and a rival’s proposed bailout appears far from certain.”

“Brevan Howard Asset Management’s Alan Howard, the family office of Paul Tudor Jones and Millennium Management founder Izzy Englander also chipped in as angel investors, alongside celebrities including Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady.”

Crypto implosion!

“FTX also attracted capital from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Iconiq Capital, Insight Partners, Thoma Bravo and Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group Corp.”

If you haven’t heard about the FTX implosion and the volumes of juicy gossip surrounding it by now, then welcome back from your coma! This implosion’s got a who’s who list to rival the Bernie Madoff fiasco.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen have something to worry about besides each other, and plebs like me are happy to be just plebs who didn’t fly close enough to the sun to get burned by this one.

Notably, self-described “Chief Twit” Elon Musk shunned Bankman-Fried’s investment in Twitter after he allegedly set off Musk’s “b*llsh!t detector,” which sometimes backfires dramatically.

To read the full article by Hema Parmar and Gillian Tan of Think Advisor, click here.

2)  Finra Pulls Out All The Stops in Barring Ex-Wells Broker Who Expensed Football Ticket

“Finra on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Nancy K. Mellon in Tampa, Florida to overturn her 2019 industry bar over falsified expense filings and reaffirmed a $4,600 charge to cover the cost of the disciplinary hearings.”

“Mellon was barred on three counts after the regulator found she had falsely filed for $4,300 in expenses tied to VIP tickets to the annual Outback Bowl college football game in January 2016.”

“The ex-broker was authorized to expense the purchase, but Finra alleged that she converted the funds by filing for the reimbursement before she had actually paid the venue.”

“Mellon, who was experiencing financial hardship at the time, used the money to pay for personal expenses and did not actually pay for her tickets until December 2016.” 

The wheels of justice

So let’s get this straight – an advisor got approval for a reimbursement, received the reimbursed cash before buying the items, then after significant delay, did indeed buy the reimbursed items. And for that, she’s barred for life. Wait … what? What the Finra, Finra?

There’s nothing quite like the wheels of justice crushing the technically guilty for a minor infraction.

To read the full article in AdvisorHub, click here.

3)  Bad Omen for US Economy? Phillies Winning the World Series

“Would a championship win for the Philadelphia Phillies be a good thing for the nation’s economy?

Why are economists watching your lipstick?

“The only times the team has won has been in the midst of economic chaos: the financial crisis of 2008 and the recession in the early 1980s. Prior to that, the Athletics, a former Philadelphia baseball team, won during the stock-market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of 1930.”

“Weird economic indicators have become a favorite pastime of market watchers. These include indices that track everything from the hemlines of women’s apparel, to the underwear-purchasing habits of men, to the consumption of champagne and little luxuries like lipstick.”

“City of brotherly love”

The Phillies tried to tank the economy, and if it were not for the valiant Houston Astros, we’d all be in recession right now. Like we need another reason to hate Philadelphia! Does the National Bureau of Economic Research know about this?

Not that I’m paranoid or anything, but is some economist out there really trying to track my underwear for recession omens? Or women’s hemlines, for “research” purposes? Creepy much?

To read the full article in AdvisorHub, originally from Bloomberg News, click here.

4) CFP’s Insulting Email To Client Leads To License Revocation

“The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has sanctioned 13 current or former certified financial planners for various violations, in one case revoking the license of a planner who angrily told a prospective client that ‘your reactions tell me why your husband left you.’” 

“David R. Nute of Sequim, Wash., had his license revoked. … The case stemmed from a written grievance submitted to the board by a former prospective client who asked if she could drop off copies of documents needed for a potential transaction in person at Nute’s office. … Nute … replied, ‘It is totally ridiculous to expect me to drive into town and waste a couple hours of $1,000 hourly time,” and “I was only trying to help, and your reactions tell me why your husband left you.’”

If the CFP Board revoked someone’s license for being rude, they’ll love reading this column. CFP Board, your reactions tell me you have too much free time on your hands.

Like Mellon, Nute had his career terminated for a technical infraction by a self-regulatory organization that really needs to chill.  

Be nice or we’ll revoke your license!

Next time you’re at the drive-through and they mess up your order, be nice! The CFP Board knows if you’ve been bad or good, so you better be good for goodness sake.

To read the full article in Financial Advisor magazine, click here.

5) ‘Do you eat shrimp?’: Dave Ramsey debates sex and religion in contentious deposition

“A deposition of Dave Ramsey in a case accusing his company of discrimination provides insights into how the personal finance magnate views sex, religion, and workplace culture.”

“‘Defendant maintains standards for employee conduct at and away from work, including a prohibition against premarital sex,’ the company explained.”

Shrimp and fornication

“[Attorney: ‘The Bible] also says not to eat shrimp. Do you eat shrimp?’”

“Ramsey: ‘That’s ridiculous. I’m not going to answer.’”

The article contains much that can’t be summarized here about judgment, fornication, biblical interpretation and pornography, a lesbian who settled a discrimination suit, and a termination allegedly due to religion-based COVID-19 corporate policy.

Take that mask off!

I have no fear of Dave Ramsey. In fact, there’s some bored CFP and Finra enforcers I’d like to introduce to him.

But I do fear his deity may actually exist, and I’ve been naughty this year – every year actually – so I’ll shut up now.

To read the full article by Alex Rosenberg of Citywire RIA, click here.

James Miller, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at ContributingEd@wealthsolutionsreport.com

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