Backstage Wall Street

Scenes from an Independent Brokerage Firm

I consider non-traded REITs or nREITS to be part of the group of investments that are just absolute murderholes for clients – they pay the brokers so much that they cannot possibly work out (and they rarely do wihout all kinds of aggravation and additional costs). Further, I have yet to hear a single credible…

“The Stock Market is Rigged!”

Yes, I’m excited about Michael Lewis’s new book Flash Boys coming out this week but no, I don’t get worked up about high frequency trading anymore. I’m going to tell you a quick story and then you won’t either. Once upon a time in the late 1700’s, there were two types of sonofabitches trading the earliest…

Of Brokers and Bankruptcy

Jerome P. Crabb said that “Crime is to man as fleas are to dog, the likelihood of its presence increases as the quality of one’s personal circumstances decreases.” You may or may not subscribe to the theory that people usually do bad things when they’re forced to and steal when their backs are against the…

The Last Chop Shops

The broker, nicknamed “The Platypus” for his splay-footed waddle and untucked shirts, turned to take a long look at a blonde woman walking by. By my reckoning, there are probably less than 20,000 registered reps still trying to carry the Belfort Banner into the second decade of the 21st Century and sell stocks over the…

My ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Review

Real quick – I finally managed to see The Wolf of Wall Street today, thought I’d write up some impressions… For starters, I began in the business on Long Island at the tail-end of that era and I had met a lot of the guys depicted in the film while cold-calling at Duke & Company…

Daughter of the Boiler Room

The day my father had to surrender to prison, I drove him. My mother had locked herself in the bathroom crying and throwing up, becoming nothing short of a more beautiful version of Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. Ironically enough, Marty, she looks like a cross between Sharon Stone and Michelle Pfeiffer. Totally your leading ingénue…

Boiler Room Diaspora

diaspora (di·as·po·ra) noun dī-ˈas-p(ə-)rə, dē- the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland It’s almost over. It’s ending with a whimper, not a bang. One by one, the last of the cold-calling retail brokerage firms are fading away. The game that Jordan Belfort invented twenty years ago had managed…

“absolutely out of control”

“I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now…I am going to put it very bluntly: I regard the moral environment as pathological. And I am talking about the human interactions . . . I’ve not seen anything like this, not felt it so palpably…They have no responsibility…

Backstage Wall Street Turns One! Thank You!

Wow. I can’t even believe that a year has passed since my book, Backstage Wall Street, first hit Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine stores. I began writing it in the spring of 2011, edited it with Stephanie Frerich and the amazing staff at McGraw-Hill throughout the year and then in March of 2012…