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Misconduct and malpractice. Investment industry "best and worst practices". Information to improve public protection. Expert witness services for industry and investors. Forensic investment analysis. • View topic - Securities Commissions assist predatory behaviours

Securities Commissions assist predatory behaviours

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Re: Ontario Securities Commission

Postby admin » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:03 pm

Jeffrey G. Macintosh, Financial Post · Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010

Is the Ontario Securities Commission Chicken Little when confronted with potential breaches of securities law by large, powerful, and well-represented companies?

Maybe. Here's a trivial little example. I want to make it clear at the outset that the following events may be completely on the up-and-up and betray no illegality or attempt to mislead. However, in my view, there is a reasonable basis to conduct an investigation. The Ontario Securities Commission has declined to do so. You be the judge.

Many will recall that in the spring of 2007 BCE initiated a process of submitting itself to competing takeover bids. The winner was a consortium consisting of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners (a subsidiary of Merrill Lynch & Co.), which, in June of 2007, agreed to pay $42.75 per BCE share. It was to be a highly leveraged buyout, with a good deal of the $40-billion necessary to effect the transaction borrowed from a consortium of banks. Had it closed, the BCE transaction would have been the largest corporate buyout in the history of the planet.

Initially, the stock price closely tracked the buyout price, with some discount based largely on the time value of money. Then two things happened that not only depressed the price of the stock, but introduced a high degree of volatility. One was that a group of debenture holders announced that it would oppose judicial approval of the transaction. The other was that, as the credit crisis deepened, it was feared that bankers who had agreed to lend massive amounts of capital to the buyout consortium would back out.

When approval was finally granted by Justice Joel Silcoff of the Quebec Superior Court on March 7, 2008, the price had fallen to an anemic $35.80. However, the approval caused it to rise by about $2, to $37.72.

Then, on May 21, the Quebec Court of Appeal unexpectedly reversed Judge Silcoff's decision. The effect was devastating. The stock price fell from $37.12 to $32.64 in a single day.

On June 2, the Supreme Court of Canada agreed to an expedited hearing of a further appeal. The stock price continued to twitch and turn with every new report. By way of example, when the press reported on June 17 that the debenture holders had received a rough ride in questioning from some of the Supreme Court judges, the stock price immediately went up by $1.50 to $35. In the days following the Supreme Court's restoration of the trial judgment, the stock traded in the range of $37.

The fact that the favourable Supreme Court ruling caused the price to rise no further than $37 is indicative of the market's serious concern that the banks would not honour their legally binding commitments to fund the buyout. Reports circulated that the parties were involved in "complex" negotiations, and that the banks were pushing hard for changes to the credit terms.

It was against this backdrop that on Monday, June 30, a story appeared in a newspaper of national circulation entitled: "Haggling may stall BCE deal till year-end; Lenders are balking at the purchase price as buyers dig in; 'They're at $42.75, and damn the torpedoes.' " In part, the article quoted an unnamed "executive at the bargaining table" stating that "everyone has underestimated when this deal gets done.... It's Christmas." The story also said "the source added he did not think the buyers and the banks would reach an agreement over the financing terms this summer, if at all." The story was picked up on the Dow Jones newswire, as well as other news services, and had an immediate, substantial, and negative impact on the price. On the day that the story appeared, BCE's share price went from Friday's close of $36.76 to $35.55.

Despite this extremely negative press report, however, just four days later, on the fourth of July, an announcement was made that the financing arrangements between BCE and the banks had been formally concluded. The stock price immediately leaped more than $4 per share, to $39.64.

So what's the big deal about a drop of $1.21 in the stock price of BCE? Because of BCE's gargantuan size, that represented about a billion dollars in market value. Moreover, in the period between the press report and the "terms agreed" announcement, about a billion dollars' worth of stock traded hands. Some people made a lot of money. Others lost a lot of money.

But the greatest impact was on the option market. Call options (yes, a tidy little sum of which were held by the author) that had traded at a premium to strike price lost virtually all of their value. Conversely, the price of put options soared. For example, some Canadian call options that had traded for 90¢ prior to the report traded for 5¢ after. Then, after the "terms agreed" announcement, they traded for $1.30. Anyone who knew that the press report was in error -- or worse, had planted a false report -- could have made a killing.

Now call me a cynic, but there's something fishy about a report stating that it was doubtful that "the buyers and the banks would reach an agreement over the financing terms this summer, if at all," juxtaposed against a concluded agreement four days later. Sure, surprising and unexpected breakthroughs in negotiations sometimes happen. Sometimes. But let's face it -- other interpretations are possible. A person who deliberately planted a false story, for example, might have exploited that falsehood to make a small fortune in the options market. A huge amount of money was at stake. In these circumstances, is it not too much to ask the OSC to undertake an investigation?

Indeed, assuming that the disclosure was false or misleading, under Ontario's elaborate system of civil liability for misleading secondary-market disclosure, any number of parties might have incurred civil liability, either because they were the source of the statement, acquiesced in its release, or failed to take steps to publicly correct any inaccuracies. These include BCE, members of the BCE board, BCE's negotiating team, individual members of the buyer consortium, their directors and/or negotiating team, and others.

Now, when this author submitted a 27-page memo to OSC enforcement staff detailing the precise nature of the possible breaches of securities law, what was the response? "We don't enforce private law -- that's a matter for a class action." Oh, really?

Perhaps staff has forgotten that the Ontario Securities Act empowers the OSC to make a variety of sweeping orders "if in its opinion it is in the public interest" to do so. The OSC has repeatedly and zealously asserted -- and the courts have affirmed -- that a public interest order may be made even without an actual breach of the act, rules or regulations. A fortiori, as we lawyers say, an order can be made when there has been a breach of the securities act.

Staff may also have overlooked the fact that in Re Canadian Tire, one of the most oft-cited cases defining the scope of the public interest powers, the commission roundly rejected the argument that a takeover bid is purely a private matter to be litigated in the courts. Calling this argument "far wide of the mark," the commission went on to say that where takeover bids involving "the rights of the holders of some 83 million [shares] are concerned, [this] is not a private matter.... " Rather, "this is demonstrably a public matter involving a major public company and one that concerns and impacts on the public marketplace... and its perceived integrity." So why all this posturing about private law enforcement not being their business?

There are other worrisome aspects to this case. One is that, after compiling that 27-page memorandum of law detailing the facts and possible breaches of securities law, the OSC did not deign to respond even with an acknowledgement of receipt. It was not until a lawyer friend of mine specifically followed up with an inquiry about the memo that a telephone chat was arranged with an OSC staff lawyer. After a cursory and not particularly friendly conversation, the lawyer made it clear that staff had no intention of doing anything. No further communication of any kind was ever directed my way. It really warms the cockles of the heart to know that the OSC is so receptive to private (and uncompensated) efforts to assist in the enforcement of securities laws.

This author was also told in no uncertain terms that the OSC was not about to challenge claims of journalistic privilege that would assuredly be made if it attempted to determine the identity of the unnamed "executive at the bargaining table." Tomorrow, I suggest that a self-denying ordinance under which the OSC systematically refuses to challenge journalistic privilege is a ready-made invitation for the dishonest to manipulate securities markets for fun and profit without fear of OSC intervention. Stay tuned.

- Jeffrey G. MacIntosh is Toronto Stock Exchange Professor of Capital Markets, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto.

Read more: http://www.financialpost.com/Option+ign ... z0wLiAii2s
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Re: BC Securities Commission

Postby admin » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:45 pm

BCSC execs get raises in fiscal 2010

Compensation for Leong just under $500,000

Friday, July 9, 2010

By James Langton

The British Columbia government has released executive compensation disclosure information for 2009-2010, revealing the pay of the senior officers at the B.C. Securities Commission, among other public sector organizations.

The disclosure reveals that the new chair of the BCSC, Brenda Leong, earned $499,251 for the year, comprised of $319,636 in base salary, $125,853 in incentive pay, along with pension and other compensation.

That’s a big raise for Leong, the commission's former executive director, who earned $388,132 in her previous role in fiscal 2009. But it is below the $549,092 earned by the BCSC former chair Doug Hyndman in his last full year as chair.

Hyndman left the helm of the BCSC to head up the Canadian Securities Transition Office, and was paid a little over $120,000 for his time at the commission in fiscal 2010, before joining the CSTO in July of last year.

The commission’s other top executives -- vice chair Brent Atiken, director of enforcement Langley Evans and director of corporate finance -- also received raises for the year.

This is in contrast to the Ontario Securities Commission, which reported modest declines in the salaries of its top executives when it disclosed compensation earlier this year.


(advocate comments........you have to suspect an organization where the salaries are paid by the very persons they are supposed to regulate.........the people are appointed (or annointed) into the positions by the same industry, and they are paid triple or quadruple what they would earn in other public service positions (others being those outside the investment industry). It is the perfect recipe to find, hire and retain "yes" men and women, people who will cater almost exclusively to the needs of those who pay them and almost negligently to the public interest. Shame)
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:22 am

http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/content ... 08651/149/

Securities laws short on teeth
Written by Lethbridge Herald
Friday, July 09 2010, 10:08 PM
Painful as they may be, the city’s new “red light camera” intersections will remind Lethbridge motorists of an important lesson.
Speeding, as well as running red lights or stop signs, can have tragic consequences. Even though they may happen unintentionally, those driving misdemeanours can result in property damage, bodily injury and even death.
So tickets triggered by those cameras, or by traffic radar across the city, carry a bite. Even so, the courts may impose penalties far more severe when one driver’s actions — intentional or otherwise — result in another person’s pain and suffering.
Drivers’ licences can be suspended, across the continent. Stiff fines and probation orders are common. Jail time is yet another possibility.
Rob somebody of their health and happiness, and you’ll pay the price. That’s society’s response to those who disobey our driving laws.
But not our investment and securities laws, apparently. Certainly not in Alberta.
Just recently, the Alberta Securities Commission announced fines of $2 million against two men — one an Albertan, one an American — who were found guilty of bilking more than $29 million (US) from nearly 3,000 victims across Canada and the U.S.
Among them, the commission says, were some 400 Albertans who lost about $2 million all told. A little pain and suffering, anyone?
Not for the perpetrators, it seems. Alberta’s securities laws don’t provide for jail time for people who commit these crimes. And what if they declare bankruptcy, or claim they can’t pay the fine?
And as for Americans who victimize Albertans — who mistakenly believe this province’s securities legislation is all the protection they need? If they don’t pay, maybe the most severe penalty they face is being barred at the border . . . and having to miss the Calgary Stampede?
Sounds like a small price to pay, for someone who had illegal use of more than $29 million of other people’s money.
In setting the fines, the commission pointed out this was no accidental brush with the law. Not like going a little faster than the speed limit, for example, or failing to stop before the amber light turned red. No, this was clearly intentional.
It was “an egregious flouting of Alberta securities laws,” the commission says, and “a sham investment scheme.”
Even so, apart from its announced fines, there was little more the commission could do than bar the guilty parties from Alberta’s capital markets. Yes, just Alberta’s.
If your driver’s licence is pulled, that means right across Canada. Arrest warrants are valid right across Canada as well. And as for the national revenue folks . . .
But all the Alberta securities people can do is tells these scam artists not to try it again anywhere between the British Columbia border and the Saskatchewan one. So if they set up shop in Moose Jaw or Cranbrook, who’s to stop them?
As for restitution to all the people who lost a little, or lost a lot? Good luck on that one. If you’re found guilty of a Criminal Code crime involving a motor vehicle, you can be ordered to make restitution for the personal injuries and damage you’ve caused. If you’re taken to court on a civil case which follows that conviction, you may be liable once again.
But if you lose all your savings in an ill-advised “investment” scheme which violates this province’s securities laws? Sorry, we can’t help you.
If any Albertans doubt the need for a nation-wide securities law, as currently proposed by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, they may want to consider the plight of these latest victims.
Clearly, we need a national set of laws protecting all Canadians from those who prey on people whose only failing is being a little too trusting.
We also need strong provisions for victim restitution, so those $2-million fines could be shared by those who’ve been robbed, as some form of compensation.
And as Canadians, we need a reciprocal agreement with U.S. authorities, so our laws and theirs can be enforced for the protection of investors on both sides of the border. Our current “every province for itself” system is clearly bankrupt.
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:17 am

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Proposed Canadian Securities Act and investor protection: a failing grade
Page 1 of 3
On May 26, 2010 the Minister of Finance of Canada released a draft bill for a new Canadian Securities Act. In his press release he states that the proposed regime will provide better and more consistent protection for investors across Canada; improved regulatory and criminal enforcement to better fight securities-related crime; new tools to better support the stability of the Canadian financial system; faster policy responses to emerging market trends; simpler processes for businesses, resulting in lower costs for investors; and more effective international representation and influence for Canada. What’s not to like? In this commentary IndependentInvestor.info examines the weaknesses in investor protection in existing Canadian federal and provincial legislation, how the draft bill deals with those weaknesses, and the benefits for investors claimed in the Minister’s release. Are those benefits truly found in the draft bill? Read on.

The Minister, in his release announcing a draft bill for a new Canadian Securities Act (the Bill) or as a PDF doc.1703, repeats a statement which has become his mantra, that Canada is the only major industrialized country that lacks a national securities regulator. This invites the public to measure the Bill against legislation in those other countries. For numerous reasons, most of which are too obvious to require repetition, a comparison with the situation in the US is the most appropriate.

The desire of the federal government to assume jurisdiction over securities goes way back, to at least 1935. So it has had plenty of lead-time to come up with legislation that demonstrably would improve the plight of Canadian investors. And since issuers, dealers and mutual fund and other institutional investors have the resources and expertise to defend themselves, the validity of any new securities legislation must be judged by how well it protects the interests of the retail investor. Never forget: without the retail investor, dealers would have no clients, institutions no pools of capital to invest, and issuers would have no liquid, active markets for their securities.

Therefore, in this commentary, we will look at how the Bill stacks up, in particular in addressing current weaknesses in Canadian retail investor protection, using the US as our benchmark; for more on this comparison, see Retail investing in the U.S. and Canada: a comparison on our site IndependentInvestor.info .

http://independentinvestor.info/content ... 5/236/1/0/ go to this site to read the three page report on the new national regulator

(Advocate comments......it is fairly obvious to me that the new securities regulations have been written with protection of the "house" or investment industry as first priority. I know of no person in Canada whose major interest is investor protection who was even allowed near the drafting of the new legislation.......
Therefore I will agree with the failing grade given by the site above. While I am satisfied that 13 faulty, commissions are being put out of business, I am not satisfied that best practices against corruption, conflicts, and cronyism have found their way into this new system. Canada still needs securities protection that is not written by those in conflict with how they earn their living. Sorry politicians, you failed to properly protect the public, and sold out to the conflicts.)
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:11 pm

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I am just reflecting on the situation of a fellow in Nova Scotia who is in a position of about a $1 million dollar loss, (all of his account) due to unprofessional and predatory sales practices by an industry salesperson posing as a trusted advisor.

If that fraud is not bad enough, I am reflecting on the second, third and hundredth.....abuse that this poor couple is having to go through in order to gain their life back.

The abuses are those perpetrated by an industry of "yes" men and women who are paid and captured by the investment industry, and yet responsible to protect the public.

They have a loyalty to the industry that pays them, and seem to have forgotten their duty to the public.

From 13 provincial and territorial securities commissions, all paid by the industry. Some paid up to $700,000. To investment dealers cozy little self regulatory agencies (whatever they call themselves today, IDA, IIROC, IDIOT) with the top person there also getting north of $700,000. With Mutual Fund Dealers groups paid similarly to represent the interests of the mutual fund sellers (and misleading the public into thinking that they are a regulatory group, the joke is on us). to professional associations which stick together with codes of silence to ensure that all loyalty is owed to the group and not to the public. Hundreds of bodies all running around like the Catholic church, making certain that the "institution" and the "system" is protected at all costs, the goose that lays the golden egg for nearly one million people in Canada who work in this industry, or feed upon it. No concern for the 30 million consumers. Nope. Financial abuse is ignored about 99% of cases due to the conflicts of interest, connections, corruption and cronyism that is built in layers upon layers in the Canadian financial system. Yes men. Yes women. All decent people who are stuck inside a system that forces them to "comply" with the system or be fired for speaking out.

All these people (estimated at one million) who will look the other way, ignore financial fraud and abuse, turn an blind eye, and accept others being hurt, simply because they are afraid to speak out against a corrupt system. Even people who are paid six figure salaries to police and protect consumers, turn a blind eye 99% of times, to preserve and protect self interest and lucrative jobs inside this system. What a fascinating and sobering view of human nature.
Read THE LUCIFER EFFECT if you would like to see one possible explanation of why decent people do indecent things to others. It is the perfect primer for foundational rot in Canada's financial system.
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:07 pm

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by James Surowiecki JUNE 14, 2010

A few weeks after B.P.’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig blew up and crude started spewing into the Gulf, Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, ordered the breakup of the Minerals Management Service—the agency that was supposedly in charge of offshore drilling. It was a well-deserved death: during the past decade, M.M.S. officials had let oil companies shortchange the government on oil-lease payments, accepted gifts from industry representatives, and, in some cases, literally slept with the people they were regulating. When the industry protested against proposed new regulations (including rules that might have prevented the B.P. blowout), M.M.S. backed down. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, when he hired the famed stock manipulator Joseph P. Kennedy as the first head of the S.E.C., said, “Set a thief to catch a thief.” M.M.S.’s modus operandi was more like setting a thief to help other thieves get away with the loot.

M.M.S.’s bad behavior was unusually egregious, but it’s hard to think of a recent disaster in the business world that wasn’t abetted by inept regulation.
· Mining regulators allowed operators like Massey Energy to flout safety rules.
· Financial regulators let A.I.G. write more than half a trillion dollars of credit-default protection without making a noise.
· The S.E.C. failed to spot the frauds at Enron and WorldCom,
· gave Bernie Madoff a clean bill of health, and
· decided to let Wall Street investment banks take on obscene amounts of leverage,
· while other regulators ignored myriad signs of fraud and recklessness in the subprime-mortgage market.

These failures weren’t accidents. They were the all too predictable result of the deregulationary fervor that has gripped Washington in recent years, pushing the message that most regulation is unnecessary at best and downright harmful at worst. The result is that agencies have often been led by people skeptical of their own duties.

This gave us the worst of both worlds:
· too little supervision encouraged corporate recklessness,
· while the existence of these agencies encouraged public complacency.

The obvious problems of graft and the revolving door between government and industry, in other words, were really symptoms of a more fundamental pathology: regulation itself became delegitimatized, seen as little more than the tool of Washington busybodies. This view was exacerbated by the way regulation works in the U.S. Too many regulators, for instance, are political appointees, instead of civil servants. This erodes the kind of institutional identity that helps create esprit de corps, and often leads to politics trumping policy. Congress, meanwhile, often takes a famine-or-feast attitude toward funding, allocating less money when times are good and reinflating regulatory budgets after the inevitable disaster occurs. (In 2006 and 2007, for instance, Congress effectively cut the S.E.C.’s budget, even as the housing bubble was bursting.) This makes it hard for agencies to do consistent work. It also contributes to the sense that regulation is something it’s O.K. to skimp on.

Given that we still spend tens of billions of dollars on regulation every year, it may seem odd that attitudes can matter this much. But the history of regulation both here and abroad suggests that how we think about regulators, and how they think of themselves, has a profound impact on the work they do. The political scientist Daniel Carpenter, in “Reputation and Power,” his magisterial new history of the F.D.A. (one of the few agencies that’s been consistently effective), argues that a key to the F.D.A.’s success has been its staffers’ dedication to protecting and enhancing its reputation for competence and vigilance. That reputation, in turn, has made the companies that the F.D.A. regulates more willing to respect its authority. But that’s a rare success story. In most other cases, as the idea of regulation began to seem less legitimate, regulators became less effective and companies felt more free to ignore them.

The social psychologist Tom Tyler has shown that acceptance of a law’s legitimacy is the key factor in getting people to obey it. So reforming the system isn’t about writing a host of new rules; it’s about elevating the status of regulation and regulators. More money wouldn’t hurt: as the conservative economists George Stigler and Gary Becker point out, paying regulators competitive salaries (as is done, for instance, in Singapore, which has one of the world’s least corrupt, and most efficient, bureaucracies) would attract talent and reduce the temptations of corruption. It would also send a message about the value of what regulators do. That’s important, because what the political theorists Philip Pettit and Geoffrey Brennan have called “the economy of esteem” is crucial to making public service work. Offering regulators the kind of reputational rewards that, say, soldiers or firefighters get will make it easier for them to develop a similar sense of common purpose.

That doesn’t mean that the government needs to start putting out “Men of the S.E.C.” calendars, but it does need to instill in regulators the sense that their actions matter. As Carpenter argues in a recent essay, successful regulation, by filling information gaps and managing risk, fosters confidence in the safety and honesty of markets, which in turn makes them bigger and more robust. The pharmaceutical industry, for instance, would be much smaller if people were seriously worried that they might be poisoned every time they took a new drug. And though executives chafe at financial regulation, the protection it provides makes investors far more likely to hand them money to play with. If we want our regulators to do better, we have to embrace a simple idea: regulation isn’t an obstacle to thriving free markets; it’s a vital part of them. ♦

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial ... z0qOG10us4

(Advocate comments......step one is to eradicate the self serving provincial and territorial securities commissions in Canada, that will be a win for the public interest, and then begin to take a really strong look at the new national securities regulator to see how much of the old corruption and cronyism survived the changeover. As difficult as ridding a tropical home of bugs, but it has to be done if we want not to be policed by financial opportunists. We have "almost" accomplished step one.)
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Wed May 26, 2010 2:17 am

I have decided to start using a technical term to describe what happens (happened) in my financial industry and elsewhere to lead to ethical collapse of the system...........it is called regulatory suck (RS) and I apologize for the use of a technical term. It works like this:

When British Petroleum turned out to have leaned on the help of various regulatory exemptions, and permissions to bypass environmental practices or best drilling practices, it was by using regulatory suck to gain these permissions.

When the coal mining disaster occurred in the United States in 2009 in which more than 20 people died, it was later learned that they had used regulatory suck to gain permissions they should not have, or avoid safety precautions they should have enacted.

I watched a PBS documentary this evening about the US airline industry and the "hub and spoke" system of small regional airlines setup to feed the larger airline hubs. It showed how profit hungry airlines squeezed the safety out of the industry for profits by hiring 400 hour to 600 hour pilots to fly the little regional puddle jumpers (I myself am a commercially licensed pilot with 350 hours so I can speak to just how dangerous that might be). It was regulatory suck at the FAA that allowed this practice of squeezing the safety out of the industry at this level.

I could go on, but I have run out of other examples to try and help you understand what is going on. Please suffice it to say that in the financial and investment industry, particularly in investments, it is regulatory suck that has allowed a financial serving industry to become morphed into a financial predator.

It is by allowing the investment industry to "self regulate", meaning to "police themselves" that regulatory suck gets started. It is by allowing the investment industry to choose whom to appoint to "police" them that regulatory suck gets fed further.

It is then by allowing the investment industry to pay the salaries (100% of the investment regulators in Canada are paid 100% by the investment industry and zero percent by the government) of these regulators that regulatory suck grows into a regulatory addiction.

Paying the regulators about triple what they might earn elsewhere also has some benefits into helping regulatory suck. The top person in the USA SEC has his or her salary capped at $162,900, while top people at thirteen provincial and territorial securities commissions earn up to $700,000 salaries. This gets the regulatory suck up to very high levels due to the money and the job potential involved.

To truly understand how regulatory suck works, do not take my word for it, pick up a copy of the book, "NO ONE WOULD LISTEN" by Harry Marcopolous, a nice greek geek, a numbers and math whiz who tells of his battle for nearly ten years to try and convince regulators in the states that the returns that Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff was generating were mathematically impossible, when compared with more than one hundred months of never ever having shown a negative return. The warnings were ignored to to regulatory suck, and a few other related reasons he lays out quite clearly in his book.

It is worth reading for anyone who has the slightest doubt about whether or not you are protected by people who are supposed to "regulate and protect" in certain industries. Or better yet, avoid reading it if you do not want to become very upset, but avoid reading it at risk of your financial health. What a set of options. One, by reading it damages your health, the other, by not reading it, damages your financial health. Geez.......... Sorry.

A book review of NO ONE WOULD LISTEN is linked here in case you would rather get the shorter version.
http://fairwhistleblower.ca/content/boo ... uld-listen

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Re: Ontario Securities Commission

Postby admin » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:59 pm

By Mail & E-mail: jstevenson@osc.gov.on.ca November 10, 2005
Ontario Securities Commission 20 Queen Street West Suite 800, Box 55 Toronto, Ontario M5H 3S8
Attention: John Stevenson Secretary
Dear Sirs/Mesdames:
Re: OSC Rule 13-502 Fees
We are writing on behalf of The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (“IFIC”) and its Members to provide our comments on the proposed revocation and replacement of Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”) Rule 13-502 Fees released by the OSC on August 12, 2005.
IFIC is the national association of the Canadian investment funds industry. IFIC’s membership includes fund managers representing nearly 100% of the $554.2 billion in mutual fund assets under management in Canada, retail distributors of investment funds and affiliates from the legal, accounting and other professions.

The OSC’s mandate is to “provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in their integrity”2. The OSC does not operate as a for-profit entity and was not established as a commercial enterprise. The fees charged to market participants by the OSC as the regulatory authority for the province of Ontario should be for the exclusive purpose of funding costs incurred to administer the provincial regulatory framework. However, this clearly has, and continues to be, at odds with the current reality of the vast operating surpluses that have been generated by the regulatory fees charged to our industry.
1 As at September 30, 2005 – source IFIC Member Statistics. 2 OSC 2005 Annual Report, at page 2.


We acknowledge that the OSC has recently distributed a $15 million refund to market participants, which represents a portion of the regulatory costs that they have paid during the last two years. In its News Release announcing the refund, the OSC stated that “the rebate reflects stronger than expected revenues under the OSC’s new fee structure”4. We believe that since its surpluses have been so vast for the past eight years, the OSC should issue additional refunds to market participants.
It is also our contention that the mutual fund industry pays a disproportionate amount of fees to the OSC resources it consumes. We note that many of our Members have not received refunds of any kind, and that one of our Members has received a refund cheque in the minor sum of $12.00. In the face of the vast surpluses and disproportionate charges, it is unfair that the fees charged to the mutual funds industry are being increased by a meaningful amount.
The OSC has maintained that since becoming a self-funding crown corporation in the fall of 1997, it has been committed to reducing regulatory costs so that fees collected will more closely match expenditures incurred by the OSC.5 However, if the proposed revocation and replacement of current OSC Rule 13-502 comes into effect, many of our Members will be obliged to pay materially higher fees to the OSC than are currently required, which will potentially create even higher surpluses than in prior years.
We do not believe that the OSC’s fee structure ensures the consistency that was intended between the fees charged and the cost of providing services. If OSC fees were aligned with the costs incurred to provide the services that are provided to Ontario’s capital markets, the OSC would not have accumulated the $209,880,708.00 surplus that has been generated over the past eight years. Note that as stated in its 2005 Annual Report, the OSC’s surplus is $64,805,359.00.
3 All of the data for the chart was taken from OSC Annual Reports 1998-2005. 4 OSC News Release “Ontario Securities Commission announces $15 million refund of fees to market participants” dated March 9, 2005. 5 Letter dated August 27, 2003 from Charlie Macfarlane, Executive Director, OSC, to Thomas A. Hockin, President and Chief Executive Officer, IFIC, re: Regulatory Costs in the Investment Funds Industry.

J. Stevenson, OSC re: IFIC Comments on OSC Rule 13-502 November 10, 2005
While we acknowledge that some of the surplus has materialized as a result of the revenue generated from investment income and miscellaneous income, and while it is reasonable for an organization to maintain a surplus reserve, for the OSC to consistently operate under such vast surpluses confirms that fees should be decreased. We, therefore, believe that OSC fees should be further reduced in all areas and that greater refunds should be dispersed to market participants, and ultimately to investors.
We thank you for this opportunity to comment on the proposed revocation and replacement of OSC Rule 13-502, and look forward to discussing these matters with you further. Please contact the undersigned directly by email at thockin@ific.ca or by telephone at (416) 363-2150 Ext. 241; John W. Murray, Vice President, Regulation & Corporate Affairs, by email at jmurray@ific.ca or by telephone at (416) 363-2150 Ext. 225; or Stacey Shein, Legal Counsel, by email at sshein@ific.ca or by telephone at (416) 363-2150 Ext. 238 should you require further information or wish to discuss our comments.
Yours truly,
“Original Signed by Thomas A. Hockin”
By: Hon. Thomas A. Hockin President & Chief Executive Officer
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:07 am

.......and Canadian Securities Regulators make the US SEC look like super hero's............

SEC staffers downloaded porn while Wall Street crumbled
April 23, 2010 | 1:29 pm
Instead of watching Wall Street, some staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission were watching XXX.

According to a memo from the SEC's inspector general, obtained by the Associated Press, numerous senior staffers reportedly spent hours surfing pornographic websites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system.

The inspector general's office conducted 33 probes of employees looking at explicit images in the last five years and said that 31 of those probes occurred in the 2 1/2 years since the financial system teetered and nearly crashed.

The memo was written by SEC Inspector General David Kotz in response to a request from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). A few highlights include:

--A senior attorney at the SEC's Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard-drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office.

--An accountant was blocked more than 16,000 times in a month from visiting websites classified as "sex" or "pornography." Yet, he still managed to amass a collection of "very graphic" material on his hard drive by using Google Images to bypass the SEC's internal filter.

--Seventeen of the employees were "at a senior level," earning salaries of as much as $222,418.

Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said it was "disturbing that high-ranking officials within the SEC were spending more time looking at porn than taking action to help stave off the events that put our nation's economy on the brink of collapse."

SEC spokesman John Nester said in a statement Friday that each of the offending employees has been disciplined or is in the process of being disciplined. He said some have already been suspended or dismissed.

"We will not tolerate the transgressions of the very few who bring discredit to their thousands of hardworking colleagues," Nester said. He said the agency has lately increased penalties.

Here is some of what our readers had to say about the findings:
exit2enter wrote: I guess at 220k a year, one can only resort to online porn as opposed to hiring expensive online escorts like that former NY official ... 16,000 'access denied', yet still perservered ... imagine that dedication to sniff out the Madoffs of Wall Street... we'd of gotten rid of all fraud by yesterday.

lulzguy wrote: Here, here.... we need more details on this story! What was the time frame of this and the investigation? Was there discipline? Hello ... Bueller ... Bueller?!

Either way these clowns need to me fired... and I need to be given one of those jobs! ;)

ellen_gene wrote: I am sick and tired of having to put up with such scatology taking place amongst such senior SEC government attorneys and accountants while receiving salaries in the hundred of thousands not including many more thousands in benefits which the self-reliant middle class is not aloud under our 8,500 page tax code. This sub rosa chicanery can and should not be tolerated by these otiose clerisy. They should be hung out to dry and exposed as to what they are, elite bilge seeking contagion on government salaries while we self-reliant middle class are expected to understand their need for explicid relaxation on our tax money. VP Biden language shows his inability to conform to what ever religion he claims to belong to. You may not like Bush, but at least he was felicitous.

BartA58 wrote: Well it's good to hear that the accountant found a way around the agency's internet filter. ... now that is putting your skills to good use. I don't even know what to say about this. I need to find a job like this where you get paid 200 grand a year to watch porn. Rock on porn dudes.

Don Key wrote: No doubt the SEC was asleep at the wheel, as was the policy under the last President Bush. But, amid Obama's popular chastising of and legal action toward the banking sector, something tells me this story is a public relations gimmick to deflect attention, more than a serious problem.

Share your thoughts below.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter @GerrickKennedy)
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:42 am

Here is how to make financial crime and abuse of Canadians a well paying safe proposition:

1. We "self" regulate, meaning we get to police ourselves.

2. We pick and choose who will head the securities commissions, thus we get to appoint "friends" to police us.

3. We pay those friends about triple what they would ordinarily earn in this kind of position. (SEC head earns $162,900 while Canadian security commission heads are paid upwards of $500,000)

4. They (our friendly regulators) let us commonly and routinely violate securities laws, using something called "exemptive relief" from the law. Thousands of public examples. No public notice of investments or investment sales pitches that do not met our laws but are given to consumers to obtain their money.

5. Our same friendly regulators have conned their way into credibility, enough to earn seats on "joint management committees" of the RCMP IMET investigative team. Thus, we are able to avoid criminal investigation 99% of the time due to our inside position on this commercial crime force.

6. When fines and penalties are levied by the financial regulators in Canada, the self regulators usually "keep" the money. That's right, if they recover money through fines, usually none of it goes back to the victims, but stays in the coffers of the regulators.

True story:

When ABCP (toxic, poorly rated debt product) needed to be dumped on Canadian consumers, while it did not met our laws......investment sellers went to their pals at the securities commissions to apply for legal exemptions to sell this toxic product.
Approximately 20 exemptions were granted here in Alberta (and I assume 12 other provinces and territories) and $32 billion of toxic debt was dumped onto Canadians.
Securities commissions not only cannot seem to answer simple questions on this matter now such as "why give legal relief, etc., etc, but when things got really hot and it appeared as if they had to act to make an appearance of being "regulatory", they applied fines and penalties to their friends in the investment business of less then half of one cent for every dollar missing in Canada from these products.
These fines were imposed by the very persons who aided the financial scam by giving them the legal permission to break the law and sell this crap in the first place. Isn't it lovely when we give ourselves the ability to police ourselves. Kind of like asking the Hells Angels to police crack cocaine and hookers since they are the "largest market participants." (my apologies to the Angels if I have damaged their reputation by comparison to the investment regulatory industry in Canada)
Two other minor points.

Last point. When the investment regulatory assn (IIROC formerly IDA) had to act to appear impartial, their president Susan Wolbergh Jenah spoke publicly that the investment dealers had no idea what they were selling.


Strange to hear her say this, as it was her signature on legal exemption documents letting this toxic product be sold a few years earlier when she was the vice chair of the OSC.
I guess it is hard to remember what you did when you were the $400,000 vice chair of the OSC, now that you are earning $700,000 as the head of IIROC. Isn't paid forgetting wonderful?
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Sun Apr 11, 2010 10:20 am

Olive: We need better, not more, regulators

Harry Markopolos testifies in Washington about the Bernie Madoff fraud.
Markopolos says the SEC official he spoke to in 1990 was clueless. (Feb. 4, 2009)

David Olive

April 11, 2010

Harry Markopolos, now lionized in U.S. financial circles as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Eliot Ness, warned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1990 that a secretive money manager named Bernie Madoff was either perpetrating fraud on his trading partners or was running a Ponzi scheme of unprecedented size.

It turned out to be the latter, of course. By the time Madoff was finally stopped, with his arrest by the FBI eight years after that first warning to the SEC, Madoff had accumulated in the accounts of his clients some $65 billion (U.S.) in phantom assets. The total loss to investors is calculated at $18 billion. Madoff is now serving a 150-year prison sentence.

The SEC's sole purpose is to suss out and stop that kind of thievery. It has the mandate, budget and staff resources to do that.

Or does it? That should be the overarching question, as Ottawa moves toward creation of a national securities regulator for Canada, modelled on, oh dear, the SEC.

For at least a decade, a community of well-meaning business executives and public-policy experts in Canada have been promoting an SEC for Canada. Their argument's most compelling point, at least in their view, is that alone among major industrial nations Canada does not have a national securities watchdog. Instead, regulatory supervision and enforcement takes place at the provincial and territorial level, through 13 securities regulators.

Yet no one has shown that a new national regulator would have been any more effective than the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) – the leader among the 13 agencies, from which the others traditionally take their cue – at preventing the Bre-X Minerals Ltd. mining fraud, the Drabinsky-Livent Corp. fraud, or the Conrad Black-Hollinger International Inc. fraud.

Mind you, Black's misdoings were brought to light by the U.S. district attorney for northern Illinois, not the SEC. Ditto the decade-ago scandal in which New York analysts were privately describing as "crap" securities they were peddling to clients. That scuzzy practice was uncovered not by the SEC, but by then-New York state attorney general Eliot Spitzer.

Yet the pursuit of the panacea of a national securities regulator continues apace, despite the propensity to failure of national securities regulators like the SEC and Britain's Financial Services Authority.

Ottawa has pushed ahead with a transition office to create a new national regulator and write up a new national securities act, and vows to have a pan-Canadian securities regulator in operation within three years.

This surely is putting the cart before the horse. Fewer than half the provinces and territories are on board with this concept and two major jurisdictions, Alberta and Quebec, are fiercely opposed to it. They regard it as an unconstitutional federal intrusion into a field that, for 143 years, has been a provincial jurisdiction. That was before they learned Dwight Duncan, the Ontario finance minister, insists any new national securities regulator be headquartered in Toronto, disdain for which is one of the things that unites this country.

Back to the advertised virtues of a national regulator, and thus to the SEC.

The SEC was on a prolonged siesta during the epidemic of white-collar crime afflicting the investors in Fortune 500 companies, including Enron Corp., WorldCom Inc., Tyco International Inc. and Adelphia Communications Inc., the CEOs of which are all now behind bars. Collectively, these and other miscreants who faked their books in the late 1990s wiped out a stunning $8 trillion in shareholder value.

No heads at the SEC rolled over this spectacular regulatory failure. Instead, just a few years later, the SEC caved and allowed Wall Street firms to set their own reserve levels for a rainy day. Because funds set aside for reserves come off the bottom line, the giant New York securities firms set aside less than adequate cushions from potential losses. That resulted in the 2008-09 global financial meltdown. As a result, firms collapsed and have been liquidated or merged out of existence, causing no small havoc for world financial markets and bailout costs to the taxpayer.

As in Canada, laws on the books exist in the U.S. that would have prevented that epic meltdown, by the simple expedient of demanding of Wall Street where it was hiding liabilities that put such a respectable glow on the books it showed investors.

"I was on a panel a few weeks ago with a former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission who was asked why the commission has so far failed to enforce (laws already on the books) against Wall Street," economist Robert Reich wrote recently on his blog. "He had no response except to mumble that legislation is meaningless unless adequately enforced. Exactly."

The "magic bullet," if there is one, is simply to provide adequate resources to the OSC and its provincial and territorial counterparts, and then hold them accountable for making a quick end to Garth Drabinsky re-enactment of The Producers in real life at the expense of trusting investors in Livent Corp.

In the absence of political will – and, frankly, of sufficient public outrage over the likes of Bre-X – the regulators will continue to astonish us with their lack of competence.

After 30 years of deregulation and perpetual underfunding of remaining regulators, the regulatory function has atrophied across the board, from emergency rescue management (the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina) to workplace safety (the recent West Virginia coal mine tragedy). It's been a long time since the best and brightest were attracted to jobs at regulatory agencies.

As Harry Markopolos testified in an after-the-fact SEC probe into how the regulator had so utterly failed with Madoff, Markopolos recalled a 1990 meeting with the head of the SEC for the New England region in Boston, ground zero for funds, including the one Madoff operated.

"I explained the fraud to him and he did not have an industry background that I was aware of," Markopolos recalled.

"He had zero comprehension of topics being discussed. He seemed very ill trained, uninformed about industry practices, did not understand financial instruments. Didn't even have a basic understanding of finance."

We don't need new regulatory agencies or new laws.

What we need is better regulators. Ones who aren't watching the clock until they "transition" to a much higher-paying job at a firm they used to regulate.

The more time we fritter away on a proposed national regulator that most provinces don't want, and, frankly, the country doesn't need, instead of bulking up the OSC and holding it accountable, the more millions of dollars will be sheered from innocent victims of unscrupulous operators.
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:01 pm

Presentation to the Liberal Party February 3rd, 2010 Parliament Hill
My family & I have been victims of a financial crime; I have lost complete faith in the power and will of the government to correct the situation that led to my loss. It has been almost five years since nearly two thousand investors across Canada have lost $250 million from an alleged Ponzi scheme or so-called “hedge fund” which we were told was a “conservative, long-term investment” NORSHIELD. NO JUSTICE. NO RESTITUTION. No mandatory errors and omissions insurance to compensate investors and/or weed out wayward, unsophisticated, commission-driven so-called “advisors” albeit “registered salespersons” There have been only what appears to be intentionally pointless, costly hearings by provincial regulators at taxpayers’ expense. No RCMP FINTRAC or other police investigations into Canada’s largets so-called “trusted bank” Royal Bank of Canada’s involvement in Norshield, nor Bank of Montreal’s involvement as Guardian of Norshield investments. Nor has the auditor KPMG been held ACCOUNTABLE for its role in this fraudulent scheme yet enormous sums of monies have been siphoned by a court-appointed receiver or “trustee” RSM Richter and law firm “Stikeman Elliot” with no recourse anywhere in Canada for a wronged investor, we must resort collectively, to a costly and time-consuming class action suit when the governments and self-regulatory organizations have failed the Canadian public many times over. We need a political party which can demonstrate that it can lead us out of the woods on these important issues with some well-thought out policies and is willing to organize the necessary engagement structures to listen to the citizens of Canada. We have what I believe is an intentionally corrupt, fragmented regulatory regime designed to protect the financial industry NOT Canadian retail investors.
Marcia O
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:12 pm

February 2, 2010, Press Release – Alphabetical List of Disciplined Persons

Attention News/Business/Financial Editors:

Under pressure from investors, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has quietly and without fanfare published a national alphabetical list of brokers, financial agents and investment advisers who have been disciplined. These are people who have cheated their clients, stolen from them or were simply grossly incompetent in representing their best interests. The list is urgently needed, but is being criticized as “too little, too late”.

Small investors need such a list to know who in the financial services industry to avoid, and it is also a salutary tool for industry colleagues to know who the black sheep and incompetents in their industry are. The CSA list is similar in some ways to the Small Investor Protection Association’s (SIPA’s) “Brokers Hall of Shame” list published 10 years ago.

But the CSA list does not include members of the self regulatory organizations (SROs) recognized by the CSA; the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA), and the Investment Industry Regulator of Canada (IIROC). These two industry associations are not supplying names.

This means that consumers investing in products sold by investment dealers or mutual fund dealers receive no benefit from this initiative by the CSA. In addition, consumers investing in products sold by insurance companies or banks (who are federally regulated), such as segregated funds, will be unable to check on their representative.

Few of the provincial regulators are disclosing cases of discipline before 2004 whereas the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) lists cases back to 1987 (an additional 17 years). This suggests the extreme and lamentable reluctance of most regulators – who should be protecting the consumer – to do anything concrete to help consumers if by so doing, they would upset some in the financial services industry.

According to SIPA, this is just one more reason why a strong National Financial Services Regulator – provided it has a strict mandate to protect consumers – should be strongly supported by Canadian consumer-investors.

For additional information:
Visit SIPA’s website at http://www.sipa.ca//regulation/csaRegulators.htm
Stan I. Buell, P.Eng., Tel: 905-471-2911

(advocate comments: This is also evidence of the lack of rules, lack of respect for consumers that the self regulatory agencies have. They have entirely sold out the right to self regulate in the name of an addiction to profits.)
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Re: Ontario Securities Commission

Postby admin » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:46 am

As you know Coventree and its wholly owned subsidiary Nereus Financial are the financial sponsors of 46% of the Non Bank ABCP sold in Canada. Yesterday, the OSC conducted a pre-hearing to establish dates for the hearing of its allegations against Coventree.

It is interesting to note, that the OSC intends to hear the OSC staff's allegations against Coventree "in May and June of 2010, followed by closing arguments to be held on dates to be determined" [thereafter]. At the same time, Coventree will hold a shareholders meeting on June 30, 2010 to approve a special resolution authorizing the winding up of the Company and the distribution of its remaining assets to shareholders.

It is once again very evident that the OSC is not working for the investing public, as its decision on the Coventree matter cannot involve fines or settlement dollars being paid by the company, once Coventree is wound-up. Coventree could presumably be wound-up shortly after it is approved by the shareowners on June 30, 2010.

Figure 3: Distribution of Non Bank ABCP By Sponsor (% of Face Amount)

Non Bank ABCP Total - $35 Billion
Non Bank ABCP Under CCAA Restructuring Plan - $32 Billion

Source: JP Morgan Report on Restructuring March 14, 2008


Diane A. Urquhart
Independent Financial Analyst

E-mail: urquhart@rogers.com

Coventree Comments on OSC Proceedings and Related Matters

Jan 14, 2010 12:45:00 PM
NEX Symbol: COF.H

TORONTO, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - Coventree Inc. (NEX: COF.H) announced that, as a result of a pre-hearing conference held today at the Ontario Securities Commission, Coventree expects that the hearing into the matters set out in the notice of hearing and related statement of allegations issued by OSC staff dated December 7, 2009 will be held in May and June of this year, followed by closing arguments to be held on dates to be determined.

Coventree also announced that its board of directors has determined to hold an annual and special meeting of shareholders on June 30, 2010. At that meeting, shareholders will be asked to approve a special resolution authorizing the winding up of the Company and the distribution of its remaining assets to shareholders. The record date for the meeting has been set for May 17, 2010. Further details relating to the meeting will be set out in the information circular to be sent to shareholders prior to the meeting. Coventree currently does not intend to make any dividend or other distribution to its shareholders prior to the completion of the OSC hearing.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes certain forward-looking statements, including with respect to the Company's expectations to implement a winding up of the Company and distribution of its remaining assets to shareholders. These forward-looking statements are not historical facts but reflect Coventree's current expectations regarding future events based on information currently available to Coventree. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions which may be substantial. Many factors could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the various matters discussed under "Risks and Uncertainties" contained on pages 18 and 19 of the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2009 which is available under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, the Company may not be able to wind down its operations or implement a formal winding up of the Company in the near future or at all, and the amount of funds available to be distributed to shareholders pursuant to such a winding up could be significantly reduced and/or the timing of the distribution of such funds could be significantly delayed. In particular, the amount of any distribution to Coventree shareholders in connection with such a winding up will be affected by the legal and other costs incurred by the Company in connection with the OSC hearing and by the amount of any fines, monetaries penalties and/or costs that may be imposed against the Company and the current and former officers of the Company named in the OSC notice of hearing. These factors should be considered carefully and prospective investors should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release and Coventree does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update or revise these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

%SEDAR: 00024386E

Craig Armitage
The Equicom Group Inc.
Tel:(416) 815-0700 (416) 815-0700 x278
Email: carmitage@equicomgroup.com
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Re: Regulatory Failure

Postby admin » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:36 pm

I attended a fascinating presentation today by a young lady who claimed to be some kind of electrical power utility information person for Alberta. Amazing how it took her 30 minutes to say absolutely nothing, leaving no one informed about who she was, what she was there for, and so on.

She used industry jargon, acronyms no one understood, (AEUS, FTP, AEC, Whatever seemed to come to mind). She referred to joint coordination with other agencies to protect the public. She even had a powerpoint presentation with charts and boxes to show her case. She had no idea and no clue that she was a paid and trained parakeet, willing to say and do whatever her bosses told her. Even if it meant abusing the public.

All I could do was watch with amazement at how identical it was to any investment industry bullshit session where a regulator, self regulator, or some industry paid lackey droned on about similar "protection of the public" lies, while billions of dollars are removed as fast as possible from the public.

The person was paid by a salary from the industry that was profiting so handsomely. Was hired by someone appointed by a joint effort of industry and government. "Annointed" might be a better term. Regulated by similarly paid persons.

It all came to me during this meeting that it was just another version of the very same movie of the investment industry. Hire a bunch of spineless "YES" men. Pay them to be loyal to you. Tell them what message to give the public, and screw away. Abuse the public interest as much as you can possibly get away with..........and hire a few more talking heads if the public makes some noise. Put together a phoney "watchdog" group to "protect" the public. Appoint the chair of that group as well. Put ten groups together if you have to. Buy your way into legitimacy. Who cares? There is billions upon billions of dollars to be had by raping the public. Easy pickings.
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