coin pyramid

FTC shuts down bitcoin chain referral scheme

March 17, 2018

FTC shuts down bitcoin chain referral scheme The FTC shut down a fraudulent scheme that promised big profits to those who sent bitcoin and got others to send bitcoin. This is called a chain referral scheme — basically a pyramid scheme. Here is the FTC’s recent warning. The prospect of big profits is just an illusion.  “Ever get a chain letter in the mail or online? Then you know the drill — you send money to a person at the top of the list, then take their name off and add yours to the bottom before sending the letter to more people. If the letters keep going, you’re supposed to make money as your name moves up the list. In fact, most people are guaranteed to lose money. “Chain letters have been around for decades. Today’s twist: online chain referral scheme s involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Litecoin.

Read more
storm clouds

Financial Advisors, get prepared for impending upheaval

March 13, 2018

Don’t wait for the storm to build a boat Often there are signs in advance that a brokerage firm is thinking about making some big changes. As Cathy Nichols points out in the piece below, financial advisors at firms showing signs of impending upheaval can take the time to evaluate whether they want to stay. Rumors give you the opportunity to get a head start.

Read more

John Oliver on bitcoin

March 12, 2018

Who does it better? The good, the bad, the goofy. Bitcoin and blockchain technology may turn out to be transformational — just like technology behind online shopping. We can now buy books, toilet paper, and cough drops on But, those investors in and countless other dot com flame-outs lost a ton of money. As long as folks keep pouring money into things like PonziCoin, DogeCoin, and DeepOnion, a lot of folks are going to lose a lot of money.

Read more
storm clouds

Broker who fired financial advisor ordered to pay

March 12, 2018

Broker Who Fired Financial Advisor Ordered to Pay $4 Million Broker fired financial advisor to keep him from moving to another firm with his huge book of business. My friends who are financial advisors, it could happen to you.

Read more
Starbucks cups

I’ll have some Ether with my latte – will Starbucks put tokens on the menu?

March 2, 2018

Business Insider reports that Starbucks could dive into the cryptocurrency space. Another significant challenge to the Wall Street model for raising capital? Could it be as easy as ordering a latte? Business Insider posted an interview with Patrick Byrne, CEO of and crypto/blockchain enthusiast. Overstock reports that it passed the $100 million mark in its tZERO ICO. While this is basically a promotional piece for tZERO, it is interesting nonetheless. Note how many times Bryne points out that tZERO and other tokens are speculative investments. 

Read more
Wells Fargo stagecoach

Shocking news! Investigation of customer abuse by Wells Fargo broker/advisory unit

March 1, 2018

If you think that today’s Wells Fargo is different from the old Wells Fargo, think again. Emily Glaser of the WSJ reports that Wells Fargo’s brokerage/investment advisory practice — its Wealth Management Unit — is being investigated by DOJ for improper sales practices. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

Read more
woman wagging finger no no

Not so fast, says court to bank that put arbitration clause in account agreement in middle of litigation

February 19, 2018

Banks and other financial institutions ordinarily include an arbitration clause in their account agreements that forces their customers to resolve all disputes through mandatory arbitration. Haven’t all of us gotten those mailings from banks with tiny print stating the new terms and conditions to which we “consent.” If we do not object, or close our accounts, we are generally deemed to accept those revised terms and conditions.

Read more

How did the Equifax hack happen?

February 9, 2018

The SciShow guys have a nice video explaining how the Equifax hack happened. Equifax is in the business of collecting, storing, and disseminating sensitive consumer information — like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and bank account numbers. You don’t voluntarily give Equifax your sensitive data — Equifax gets that data whether you want it to or not.

Read more
Peter DInklage and Morgan Freeman

Persuasion behind those super expensive Super Bowl commercials

February 5, 2018

What is the thinking behind those super expensive Super Bowl commercials? I love the creativity that goes into these commercials, but let’s not forget that no company would use them if they were not effective persuasion. So how are the companies trying to persuade us? I like to read books on the science of persuasion and behavioral economics, but not everyone is a nerd like me. One of my favorite authors, Robert Cialdini, has this awesome video that explains the factors that persuade us to do the things that advertisers want us to do. This is a really interesting and easy way to learn about how commercials and other persuasive techniques get us to do something we otherwise would not do.

Read more
Uncle Sam

Securities Law in the Trump Administration – Has Anything Changed?

January 26, 2018

Please join the Chicago Bar Association Securities Law Committee on February 27, 2018 from 3-6 p.m. for three great panel discussions of what in securities law has changed and what has not during the first year of the Trump Administration while getting continuing legal education credits.

Read more