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Jewish World Review May 9, 2002 / 27 Iyar, 5762

Art Buchwald

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Consumer Reports

Mother's Day in the market | Mother's Day is coming and most mothers are counting their blessings. I expected Mother Fugett to be counting, but instead I found her a very mad lady.

When I asked her why, she said, "Alfred is being investigated by the SEC."

"What for?"

"As you know, Alfred, at age 25, is the star analyst for Goldman, Merrill and Barney. Last year he made a million dollars, not including a bonus. I'm so proud of him because we originally wanted him to go into the mattress business with his father."

"Is Alfred good to you?"

"A jewel. He calls me every day."

"That's nice."

"That's what the SEC wants to talk about. They want to know whether he is giving me insider stock tips."

"Why would Alfred want to do that?"

"So his mother would be secure in her old age."

"Alfred is a good man and the SEC has no right to find out if he did something wrong."

"This is what the SEC said Alfred did. He took a bum stock and told the public it was a great stock. His company bought it on the way up and sold it before it tumbled. Alfred said it was the best way an investment company could make money."

"It seems financially sound. So what is the SEC complaining about?"

"Alfred told me everybody does it or there wouldn't be so many millionaires on Wall Street. The SEC wants to talk to me about Alfred's daily telephone calls."

"That's ridiculous. If every broker were investigated for giving insider information to his mother, there would be no stock market. Did Alfred really give you tips on a stock before the public found out about it?"

"I am his mother - what choice does he have? Alfred and I have no secrets from each other."

"How did the SEC find out about your telephone calls?"

"Alfred told me not to tell anyone, so I only told the women I play bridge with. One of them turned out to be a whistleblower. Alfred is very mad at me and says he could go to jail."

I tried to make Mrs. Fugett feel better by saying, "No one goes to jail. You pay a fine and sign a paper promising that in the future you will be more careful and you won't call your mother every day."

Comment on JWR contributor Art Buchwald's column by clicking here.

05/07/02: Salary negotiations
04/26/02: Homeland security
04/24/02: The greatest breakthrough
04/18/02: Conflict of Interest
04/15/02: The Sign That Couldn't
04/11/02: It's Cherry Blossom Time
04/08/02: The Young Audience
03/31/02: Safe Deposit for Sale
03/26/02: Au Revoir to Soft Money
03/21/02: Andersen Defense Fund?
03/19/02: Celebrity kickers
03/15/02: A Mickey Mouse solution
03/13/02: Shadow government in the sandbox
03/07/02: The Way It Is
03/05/02: Not telling the truth
03/01/02: Book flogging
02/27/02: The players are mad

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