Monday, November 9, 2009

Feeling light with the weight of your hope...

There are so many cases yet to come against deep pocketed defendants in the Madoff and other frauds. These are not easy cases. And I am stunned, as I review the case law, by the imbalance in favor of powerful institutions who have the resources, not only to protect their interests with legislators and in the courtroom, but also in their initial due diligence when soliciting client funds. We as consumers and investors in these institutions, have come to expect such diligence on our behalf because of their size, breadth, and resources, and by their easy access to cross-border funds. No less when these institutions have betrayed their capacity and ability to sustain such costs with both personnel and finance in brand names, we as consumers have come to respect and affiliate with the level of expertise they flaunt through millions of dollars of marketing. Where are the ethical standards that would inform the sweeping actions of such institutions when they gather funds, if they will justify their actions at the expense of the very clients who have supported their aggrandisement through the years?

There has clearly been a discrepancy between the message marketing has produced and reality, otherwise we would not be at the low point in investor confidence around the world that we see today. The global financial crisis, and serial fraud have brought home a message of shame within the financial services industry. The stain of this shame will be hard to remove. Here liability is the issue. Without the sense that such powerful institutions are subject to independent judicial review, how do we tout the rule of law throughout the world as a plausible and necessary ideal?
Right action, and independent review must start at home and the U.S. must set an example of reform that will ripple the principles this nation holds dear throughout the world.

In the hope that the investing consumer can still find justice in the courtroom, my small law firm has started on the path of holding financial institutions liable. At the same time we are busy with the prospect of serving those we believe deserving of our service, time, and at the risk of exposing sentiment... our devotion. We do devote ourselves everyday to the pursuit of what is most right, to support others who are on this quest for those injured by fraud, by flagrant abuse of power, and by the systemic failings to which all of us are vulnerable as actors and recipients. Change cannot be effected by wishing it, it requires the effort of our hearts and our hands! In our case, both are full!

We, like our clients, are hopeful that in the end, those same financial institutions will thank us for increasing investor confidence, and one day with the change in this tide, providing them with more clients based on the raising of the ethical and legal standards in the services they provide to consumers.


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