Date:March 6, 2014; April 15, 2014; Nov 12, 2014; Dec. 27, 2014
In a broad investigation, the Journal revealed that Wall Street's own national watchdog doesn't make public all the regulatory red flags it has about brokers. The Journal dug up and analyzed the employment and disciplinary history of more than 550,000 of the nation's stockbrokers. Reporters found a wide array of regulatory breakdowns. The Journal revealed that more than 1,500 people had violated rules requiring them to disclose criminal charges or bankruptcies to investors. Reporters also found more than 50,000 brokers had failed a key entrance exam - sometimes as many as a dozen times - and that those who repeatedly failed had worse disciplinary records. And the Journal identified 16 “hot spots” across the country where large numbers of troubled brokers congregate, often near elderly and wealthy investors - and showed how state securities regulators do little to target resources on these problem areas.