FINRA seeks to expand influence, wants to be the next SEC

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s chairman and chief executive, Richard G. Ketchum, says that despite failing to stop or even stem the financial crisis, the investment industry’s non-profit, self-regulatory agency is up to the challenge of being the country’s top securities enforcer. “We want to be in there stopping the activity, not just cleaning up the bodies. We’ve changed the organization to be able to respond more quickly. I think we’re more agile now than we were three years ago,” Ketchum told the New York Times.

NASDAQ wants tougher reverse-merger rules

The NASDAQ Stock Market is proposing a seasoning period for reverse-merger companies that want to be listed on its exchanges. The plan would require such companies to trade for at least six months on the Over-the-Counter Market or another lower exchange, and to maintain a share price of at least $4 for 30 of the first 60 days after applying for a listing on one of the major exchanges. NASDAQ is developing the plan in a bid to block what it sees an all too easy route for companies – particularly foreign ones – to circumvent scrutiny and raise capital from American investors by combining with publicly traded shells, according to TheStreet.com.

Judge dismisses suit by Madoff investors against SEC

Some investors went after the Securities and Exchange Commission in a civil suit, claiming the agenyc failed to protect them by taking action against Bernie Madoff. It didn’t go their way, exactly. Ashby Jones at the Wall Street Journal says “a federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the suit, which alleged the SEC had acted with ‘gross negligence.’ U.S. District Judge Laura Swain ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to ‘identify any specific, mandatory duty that the SEC violated,’” but at the same time, she ripped the agency, “calling its behavior ‘sloppy,’ ‘uninformed,’ and ‘irresponsible.’”