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Acrimoney

Are You Serious, UBS?

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

UBS, your struggles with the IRS are beginning to get in the way of business. If you're not lucky, vultures from other financial companies will soon be plucking at your market share like roadkill.

The $21.2 Billion Halloween Mask

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

The season makes me wonder: What does it take to become a Halloween mask?

CEO Overboard

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Presumably, there was a glory to betting big and being right. The highs from winning more than trumped considerations of fair play. Of course, there was one problem. They got caught.

More Talking Points for Clients and Investment Advisers

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

I invest my clients' portfolios by focusing on their cash needs first: renovations to a house, capital calls from other investments, and tuition for example. These discussions are tangible.

Straight Talk for Clients and Investment Advisers

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Financial advisers: we serve clients best when everybody is on the same page. I would resist the temptation "to reinvent yourself" just to make the quick sale and bag a few extra bucks.

The World According to Grove

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

If I introduce myself as a "stockbroker" at a cocktail party, people look at their watches and say, "I'm late for a drive-through root canal."

Madoff: 150 Years Are Just the Start

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

If the system is broken, can Madoff victims expect just solutions? And since when do umpires share in the spoils of victory?

The Madoff Twelve

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Home
Norb Vonnegut

Ira Sorkin, defense attorney for Bernard Madoff, requested his client's sentence be limited to twelve years. He cited Madoff's age and thirteen-year l...

Is the SEC Awake?

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

The Securities and Exchange Commission barred Bernard Madoff from the securities business. We all feel safer now? Yeah, right.

Madoff: The Three Amigos

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

What do Bernie Madoff, Ahmed Ghailani, and a captured Somali pirate have in common? They're all locked in the same New York prison.

What Would Grove Do?

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Grove manages about $2 billion in total assets for wealthy families. He's seen it all inside his investment bank. He'll be joining Acrimoney for a new guest series: What Would Grove Do?

Madoff Leftovers

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Madoff victims don't need a cook. They need Solomon to sort through these complicated issues of law and fairness.

WMD: Weapons of Money Destruction

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Get-rich-quick schemes are the new WMD.

Bandaged Futures?

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Supposedly "managed futures" herald the dawn of an enlightened age for investments but what the heck are they and why are corn and interest rates being uttered in the same breath?

One Billion and Broke

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

If this were Hollywood, the courtroom would be jammed. Reporters everywhere. Rowdy audience. Distinguished lawyers snarling and prepping to rip each o...

Spaghetti a la Madoff

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

The trustee is on a mission to recover funds. He has his agenda, and we're watching a game of hardball between the courts and some extremely wealthy investors.

Should the SEC Tweet?

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

FINRA and the SEC are compounding a problem -- they're regulating unevenly. The result is that bad guys have a place to hide -- or to reinvent themselves.

Top Ten Ways to Spot Financial Fraud

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Madoff's sense of order was legendary. He probably arrived at the office early just to run the vacuum cleaner. Other cons are similarly fastidious.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' Allowance

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Madoff's preferential treatment of some investors, however, is a big deal. It's a likely blueprint, I think, of the trustee's legal tactics.

Swine Flu Found on Wall Street

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Hedge funds are often unstable. One bad year, and investors pull their capital. A few bad "marks," and lenders make margin calls.

Financial Fraud: Neighborhood Watch

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Most of the Ponzi schemes originate in the United States. It's embarrassing.

Ponzi 401(k)

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Nothing like retirement in the big house.

Ponzi Block Party

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

The home of the the $23 million, alleged fraudster is less than one minute's walk from the Florida estate of Bernie Madoff.

The $20 Million Ponzi Stimulus Package

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Twenty million dollars is enough to cover the cost of 10 lawyers for more than 18 months.

My Money or Acrimoney

Norb Vonnegut | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Norb Vonnegut

Incremental solutions, the nuts and bolts of everyday financial planning, help. Diversify your investments. Tweak your estate plans by funding trusts or opening accounts for your kids.