The CTF received this letter from Larry Elford and received his permission to reprint. His assertions are beyond our ability to corroborate, but his insights and comments seemed worth passing on.
If I could speak with my prime minister, here is what I would like to say.
In 2004 I resigned my career of twenty years inside the brokerage industry, mostly working with major bank owned brokerage firms. I resigned because of my failure to have an impact on raising the matter of ethical failures. Failures which I witnessed each and every day within my industry. Ethical failure I found to be standard industry practice, despite codes of ethics, codes of conduct and rules to the contrary. Virtually none of the rules are enforced when they interfere with revenue.
My efforts to support change fell on deaf ears and I failed to bring anything like “best practices” into my own industry. I failed. I left.
I took on personal project to inform and educate the public about financial abuse by people claiming “trusted financial advisor” status. I was dealing in crimes and abuses which earned millions of dollars within every investment office that I knew of.
In 2005, after a fund company employee took his own life, in circumstances of management retaliation so brutal they can only be described as “corporate and legal torture”, I decided that I needed to inform yourself and others of the magnitude of the crimes against Canadians, the ease with which they were perpetrated and the lack of enforcement in Canada. I failed to gain your attention to the matter, and I failed to interest your Parliament in addressing these types of crimes.
At that time I was then dealing with an example where financial abuse of customers had placed over $800 million into the pockets of the investment firm. This case is on file with the standing committee on finance. It failed to raise an eyebrow within your government.
In 2007 or 2008, the market for toxic ABCP investments imploded, catching everyone with their pants down. It left $32 billion missing in action from our Canadian economy. The supposed authorities who now claim to investigate this matter, were in fact well documented participants in the legal tricks that allowed this $32 billion to disappear in the first place.* I ask how you can preside over a system which lets conflicted regulators aid financiers and then allows the same conflicted regulators to investigate the damage done? http://www.investoradvocates.ca/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=140&start=0
I testified in Ottawa to a standing committee on finance on these matters, and yet I still have failed to properly engage those at the top. No change. No response. I failed.
I add up the crimes against Canadians, against our economy, and I conclude that clever, cunning white collar fraudsters are putting more money in their pockets each year in Canada, than the economic damage done by each and every other crime in the entire country, combined. http://www.investoradvocates.ca/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=179
Here is where you have failed as leader. Failed to set aside political self preservation in favor of the public interest. Failed to protect Canadians from abuses by rich and powerful parties. Failed to protect our economy from infection by financial pandemic.
The very best you have done is to hire one securities commission head, to begin work on a new national securities commission. Hired from one of the very securities commissions who participated in the legal “tricks” that allowed each of these crisis to infect Canada. Perhaps will allow them to infect Canada for years to come. Even Richard Nixon was known to say, “you cannot trust the people who made the mess, to clean it up.”
You have failed to understand that allowing the foxes to guard the henhouse is an example of “worst practices”. You have failed to give us anything that looks like “best practices”. You are failing on giving us a modern, honest, unconflicted securities regulation. The industry makes more money on dirty, dishonest, and conflicted.
We deserve better. We deserve a leader who understands this and does not fail to act, when our entire economy, our financial future, and the financial health of Canadians is at daily risk from financial predators.
With respect for your position, you have failed us and you have failed the position.
Each and every Canadian, with exception of fraud artists and banksters, are now paying the price. Fraud artists and banksters are toasting what a great country Canada is to commit white collar crime.
Executive director of www.investoradvocates.ca
(former CFP, CIM, FCSI, Associate Portfolio Manager, retired)