Prime Time Crime

(Prime Time Crime Apr. 05, 2010)


By Larry Elford



Imagine yourself working in an industry where you can call yourself a trained professional after a 30 or 90 day correspondence course.  I did.

Imagine working in an industry where forgery, fraud, negligence, negligent misrepresentation are not handed over to the police, but rather handled “internally” by persons hired and paid by your very industry. 

To use but one example, and perhaps the “foundation” for each and every financial crime up the ladder to the top of Wall Street, imagine being licensed as a “salesperson”, and being able to get away with calling yourself a professional advisor.  Others go to jail for misrepresenting a professional title.  Doctors, Dentists, Engineers, Lawyers. We have done it for more than twenty years.  How, you ask?

Imagine that your industry has not one national, regional or local agency that is charged with sole protection of the public interest, or one which is not paid by your very own industry.  Mine didn’t. 

Imagine having such a “license” to print money, and a license to get away with nearly anything, including criminal violations,.........oh, I almost forgot one small item.

Imagine being able to skirt the law in your securities sales just by filling out a form for something called an “exemption”.  You can now sell products which do not even meet our laws. Imagine. 

Thousands of legal exemptions have been granted to push corrupt investment advice or products, and imagine that these have all been done with no notice to the public consumers whose money is involved.  Can you go to the police and ask them for permission to violate the laws?  Imagine that the investment industry can.

Imagine when some of those products explode, implode, or disappear, like we have seen in our recent economic collapse.  Imagine having those very same “regulators” hand out fines equalling less than half of one penny for each dollar that disappeared.  Imagine that things like this happen when the crime is the largest in Canadian history and involves billions and billions and billions of Canadians money.  Amazing.

Now imagine that your self regulatory “schtick” is so well spun, so carefully woven, that our own little personal regulators have even gained access to something called the “joint management committee” of the RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team.  That's right kids, I would like you to imagine that our best people are on the inside at the RCMP.  “Helping” them investigate our best people.

Now take away the word “imagine” from this article and you are introduced to the naked greed and self interested design of our Canadian investment regulatory system.

You are not protected in Canada.  You are the very bottom of an economic food chain that is designed to feed those above you.  Imagine you are like a cow, out in the field, not even aware of your particular relationship in the chain.  Contented.  Imagine.



Larry Elford (former CFP, CIM, FCSI, Associate Portfolio Manager, retired) worked twenty years inside bank owned brokerage firms in the country and retired in 2004.  He writes, blogs and has completed a one man doc film project on what he learned as a broker at   He can be reached at:      More tricks of the investment trade found free of charge at

Prime Time Crime

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