The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused a brokerage firm of duping five Wisconsin school districts into placing highly risky bets with public money–bets that resulted in fat fees for the broker and devastating losses for the public, the Huffington Post reports. The case exemplifies the kind of behavior that worsened the fallout from the most punishing financial crisis in generations: A firm peddles an opaque product to investors without fully describing how risky the product actually is, leading to the investors’ ruin…

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staff and wire services reports