The Martha Stewart Trail: Do Rich Investors Get Special Treatment?

So, Martha Stewart is accused of using inside information-my reaction: what’s new? If you arethe client of a brokerage house, and you are trading >1million in stocks, you DO get lots of services that the small guys don’t get! Like, access toCEOs…I’m sure that Sam Wachsel talked to Martha quite frequently. My question: as a small investor, camn you demand to get the same treatment?
And, this kid(Fanuiel)…will he ever be a stockbroker again? Seemslike he was a scrificial lamb in the wholeaffair.

As I understand it Martha has a seat on the NYE and should know the rules.
If the jury is composed of ordinary shmoes and they saw Martha dragging a $12,000 purse around they might be tempted to be just a bit prejudicial.

Yes, position, power, etc. do gain priviledges others don’t access.

If you live by your conscience you can sleep soundly and not fear.

He was a what in the what.

So are you bitching about her being taken to trial or about whether you would be treated better than those who are richer than she is/was? When this thing happened she was worth over a billion [sup]With a “B”[/sup]. Fact is as a nobody you and I wouldn’t know any “insider info”.

Wall St. is a financial institution. We all know how financial institutions work, the president and all the sr. vices are the privileged ones, everyone else is a peon. Wall St. runs on insider information, always did, always will. Trading on inside information is illegal, but that doesn’t seem to stop it from happening. There’s big bucks involved, when there’s big bucks involved people are going to use every conceivable angle to try to get an edge.

Alright ccwaterback now take that somewhat simplistic information and relate it to Martha’s case as the OP did. :stuck_out_tongue:

From an excellent article about the case in Reason magazine, :

The most serious criminal charge against her is not perjury or insider trading but securities fraud, based on the fact that she denied to the press, personally and through her lawyers, that she had engaged in insider trading. This was done, the feds say, not for the purpose of clearing her name, but only to prop up the stock price of her own publicly traded company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. In other words, her crime is claiming to be innocent of a crime with which she was never charged.

Many people think Stewart “should have known better” because she used to be a stockbroker. But when it comes to insider trading, the SEC and the Justice Department don’t want anyone to know better. If they did, they would have long since asked Congress to clearly define the offense. Instead, as Barron’s Editor Thomas G. Donlan wrote in June, “The government prefers to define [insider trading] case by case. ‘He did what? Oh, that should be illegal.’ So it is.”

The government now admits Stewart never had inside information from Waksal. Here are the facts patched together from various pleadings and other public accounts:

What’s worse, these government lawyers don’t seriously expect to prevail at trial. Without a credible claim of insider trading against Stewart, the securities fraud charge based on her public (and truthful) denials of the government-leaked claims that she was guilty of insider trading will collapse. Martha will walk, and it will be a good thing. But she and her shareholders will have paid an unnecessary price. That’s not a good thing. It’s a disgrace. And a damn shame.

Finally, someone that understands the case even better than I do. ** How refreshing!** :wink:

CurtC, that’s sort of unfair of you, introducing facts and considered opinions instead of just venting ignorant prejudices.

To clear up some of the factual errors mentioned:

Martha Stewart did not have a “seat” on the New York Stock Exchange (or NYSE, which is what I presume spingears was refering to). She was a member of the Board of Directors. A member of the NYSE owns a “seat” on the trading floor, which permits that firm or individual to buy or sell instruments.

Wall Street is not a “financial institution.” Wall Street is an area of New York City that contains a very high concentration of financial institutions. The S.E.C. takes insider trading very seriously, and most brokerage firms are mortally afraid of anything that might cast doubt their way. Most firms have rules that are far more stringent than the S.E.C. requires. Having been an officer in a publicly traded company, I also know that F.I.'s are very careful about disclosure and appropriate practices, and every element of a deal being meticulously tracked.