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Investment firms that fix misconduct should be celebrated, not punished – The Globe and Mail

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The policy of giving prosecutorial discounts in deserving cases is meant to lighten the punishment that gets meted out. But what we really should be asking is: why are these firms being prosecuted and punished at all? THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrien Veczan

Adrien Veczan/The Canadian Press

Bad things can happen in any financial services firm. None are immune to internal errors or systemic failure – and transgressions by wayward employees are, unfortunately, an occasional hazard of real life. What matters most, though, is how management responds when misconduct comes to light.

In particular, do the firm’s executives react by containing the problem and implementing robust measures to prevent a recurrence? Do they report the matter to regulators immediately? Does the firm compensate every harmed client in full promptly?

Smart firms do all this. They then qualify for special treatment in regulatory prosecutions that flow from the incident. For example, they receive “credit for co-operation” that can reduce fines substantially – by millions of dollars in one recent case alone.

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In some jurisdictions such as Ontario, these firms also become eligible for “no-contest” settlements, which resolve enforcement proceedings without the firm having to make an admission of wrongdoing that could come back to bite it if any clients sue afterward.

This policy of giving prosecutorial discounts in deserving cases is meant to lighten the punishment that gets meted out. But what we really should be asking is: why are these firms being prosecuted and punished at all?

By their own initiative, they’ve promptly put things right, including, most importantly, compensating everyone who was affected adversely. Firms that do so are poster children for corporate responsibility. If we want to encourage more such behaviour, spanking them doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Instead, we should be lauding them and easing the path for others to follow their example. So, why not simply create an administrative process allowing them to submit paperwork detailing what happened and documenting, specifically, these six key things:

  1. Their non-compliance was inadvertent or the result of rogue employee misconduct that the firm did not encourage, countenance or know about.
  2. The problem did not arise and its detection was not delayed by a lack of diligence on management’s part.
  3. The firm didn’t ignore or attempt to cover up the incident.
  4. Internal processes have been strengthened sufficiently to ensure the problem won’t occur again.
  5. Appropriate disciplinary action has been taken against every employee who engaged in deliberate wrongdoing.
  6. Every client harmed by the error or misconduct has been identified, the extent of the harm they’ve suffered has been accurately determined, and the firm has fully compensated them.

Let regulators pore over the material and investigate further as they deem necessary. But ultimately, if they’re satisfied that these six criteria have been met, the only action they should take against the firm is to identify it in a news release about the incident.

That bulletin should set out a description of the wrongdoing in enough detail to let the public understand the nature and gravity of it. Measures taken by the firm in response should be mentioned, including the fact that all affected clients have been made whole. Regulators should state they are satisfied the firm dealt with the event appropriately.

And that’s it.

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No need for officials to crank up their costly enforcement battle machinery, as a state of compliance has already been restored. No need for the firm to deploy reputation management countermeasures. No stigma. Best of all, no need for investors to spend money and incur angst to secure recompense. Everybody wins – except any employees who went rogue, if that’s what caused the problem. They would still get prosecuted, and deservedly so.

Neil Gross, president of Component Strategies, a capital markets policy consultancy in Toronto.

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Currently, regulators are limited to issuing a “no action” letter when they approve of the firm’s response and want to hold off taking enforcement action. The letter forms part of the firm’s record but is not disclosed publicly. That’s less than ideal as it fails to provide transparency. It also doesn’t capitalize on the opportunity for encouraging others to follow the firm’s good example.

Moreover, this approach keeps the matter pinned to a narrative that’s essentially negative in slant (we’ve decided not to prosecute you) instead of a celebratory one (you dealt with the situation well).

So, again, why not move these cases out of enforcement altogether and into a purely administrative process that isn’t freighted with prosecutorial overtones and limitations.

Perhaps there would be concerns about diminished deterrence – i.e., won’t this initiative foster a cavalier attitude toward supervision if companies can just clean up any messes when they occur and then walk away, penalty free?

Another related concern might be optics: will this make regulators appear soft on misconduct?

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The short answer to both questions is no. Recall that the program would excuse only non-compliance arising where there has been either no complicity or lack of diligence by the firm[PF1] . Those who have turned a blind eye to wrongdoing or have been lazy in their oversight duties won’t qualify for exemption. They’ll still face fines, denunciation and suspensions or bans and deregistration, where warranted.

So, this approach isn’t soft on malfeasance. Yet, it offers maximum redemption for those who act responsibly when “stuff happens.” It’s a big carrot, to be sure, but the deterrent stick’s still there to whack anyone in management who enables transgressions.

In addition, this approach emphasizes that the true dividing line between culpable misconduct and pardonable error lies in whether the wrongdoing was intentional or inadvertent, and whether good or bad choices are made once the problem surfaces.

Finally, this approach prioritizes getting redress for harmed investors – something regulation hasn’t always focused on as much as it should. That’s the right priority. So let’s actualize it now by stepping up from a system that offers credit for co-operation to one that strategically sets punishment aside and gives kudos for accountability instead.

Neil Gross is president of Component Strategies, a capital markets policy consultancy in Toronto.

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New Found Announces $48 Million Investment by Eric Sprott – Yahoo Finance

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/THIS NEWS RELEASE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN OFFER TO SELL OR A SOLICITATION OF AN OFFER TO BUY ANY OF NEW FOUND GOLD CORP.’S SECURITIES IN THE UNITED STATES/

VANCOUVER, BC, Oct. 21, 2021 /CNW/ – New Found Gold Corp. (“New Found” or the “Company“) (TSXV: NFG) (NYSE American: NFGC) is pleased to announce that it has arranged a non-brokered private placement with Mr. Eric Sprott of 5 million common shares of New Found (the “Common Shares“), at a price of C$9.60 per Common Share, for gross proceeds of C$48 million (the “Offering“).

New Found Gold Corp. Logo (CNW Group/New Found Gold Corp.)

New Found Gold Corp. Logo (CNW Group/New Found Gold Corp.)

New Found intends to use the proceeds of the Offering to fund exploration of New Found’s 100% owned Queensway Project and for working capital and general corporate purposes. The Offering is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSXV“) and approval by the shareholders of the Company if required by the TSXV.

Collin Kettell, Founder & Executive Chairman of New Found Gold stated: “Mr. Eric Sprott has been a major supporter of New Found Gold since prior to the Company’s IPO. New Found Gold finds itself in an enviable position, well-funded with approximately $150 million in working capital post raise, as the Company continues to explore for high-grade gold at its Queensway Project. With a district size land package and our success to date, we believe there is great potential for this success to continue to build as we advance our program. On behalf of management and the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Eric for his continued support.”

Mr. Sprott currently beneficially owns 31,601,200 common shares of New Found. Upon closing of the Offering, Mr. Sprott will beneficially own 36,601,200 common shares of New Found.

In the event the TSXV requires shareholder approval of the Offering, the Company will call a special meeting of its shareholders. The Offering is expected to close shortly after all necessary approvals are obtained.

Any securities issued pursuant to the Offering will be subject to a hold period under applicable Canadian securities laws, which will expire four months plus one day from the date of closing of the Offering. A 1% finders’ fee is payable in connection with the Offering.

The securities to be issued under the Offering have not been, and will not be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act“) and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any of New Found’s securities in the United States.

About New Found Gold Corp.

New Found holds a 100% interest in the Queensway Project, located 15 km west of Gander, Newfoundland, and just 18 km from Gander International Airport. The project is intersected by the Trans-Canada Highway and has logging roads crosscutting the project, high voltage electric power lines running through the project area, and easy access to a highly skilled workforce. The Company is currently undertaking a 200,000m drill program at Queensway. With a current working capital balance of approximately $103 million, New Found is well funded for this program.

Please see the Company’s website at www.newfoundgold.ca and the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

Contact

To contact the Company, please visit the Company’s website, www.newfoundgold.ca and make your request through our investor inquiry form. Our management has a pledge to be in touch with any investor inquiries within 24 hours.

New Found Gold Corp.
Per: “Craig Roberts”
Craig Roberts, P.Eng., Chief Executive Officer
Email: contact@newfoundgold.ca
Phone: + 1 (910) 406 2407

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-Looking Statement Cautions

This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation, relating to the Offering, TSXV approval of the Offering, the requirement for and timing of shareholder approval of the Offering, the closing of the Offering, and the timing related thereto, drilling on the Queensway gold project and funding of the drilling program. Although the Company believes that such statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts; they are generally, but not always, identified by the words “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates,” “projects,” “aims,” “suggests,” “potential,” “goal,” “objective,” “prospective,” “possibly,” and similar expressions, or that events or conditions “will,” “would,” “may,” “can,” “could” or “should” occur, or are those statements, which, by their nature, refer to future events. The Company cautions that forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs, estimates and opinions of the Company’s management on the date the statements are made, and they involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Consequently, there can be no assurances that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Except to the extent required by applicable securities laws and the policies of the TSXV, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements if management’s beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change. Factors that could cause future results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements include risks associated with the Company’s ability to satisfy the conditions to close the Offering, including the Company’s ability to obtain all necessary shareholder and stock exchange approvals, possible accidents and other risks associated with mineral exploration operations, the risk that the Company will encounter unanticipated geological factors, risks associated with the interpretation of assay results and the drilling program, the possibility that the Company may not be able to secure permitting and other governmental clearances necessary to carry out the Company’s exploration plans, the risk that the Company will not be able to raise sufficient funds to carry out its business plans, and the risk of political uncertainties and regulatory or legal changes that might interfere with the Company’s business and prospects. The reader is urged to refer to the Company’s Annual Information Form and Management’s discussion and Analysis, publicly available through the Canadian Securities Administrators’ System for Electronic Document Analysis and Retrieval (SEDAR) at www.sedar.com for a more complete discussion of such risk factors and their potential effects.

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View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-found-announces-48-million-investment-by-eric-sprott-301405422.html

SOURCE New Found Gold Corp.

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View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2021/21/c0025.html

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Bitcoin is over $66,000. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before you invest – CNBC

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Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, hit an all-time high on Wednesday, surging above $66,000. Its previous record of $64,899 was set in mid-April.

This surge comes after the first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund made its market debut on Tuesday.

With all the hype, investors may feel tempted to buy in on the fear of missing out, or “FOMO.”

“A lot of people who have yet to get into the space or really learn more about it are going to be bombarded with a lot of noise right now,” Douglas Boneparth, certified financial planner and president of Bone Fide Wealth, tells CNBC Make It.

But before investing in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, it’s important to step back from the noise and excitement and first understand what it means to invest in a digital asset, he says.

To do that, Boneparth recommends asking yourself three questions.

1. Why am I investing?

First, assess why you want to invest in the first place.

If you’re just afraid of missing out, then you should probably pause before moving forward. It’s important to truly understand bitcoin, cryptocurrency or any asset prior to investing in it.

“‘Educate before allocate’ is a phrase that me and my friends are using,” says Boneparth, who has invested in bitcoin since 2014.

Taking a step back may be difficult, especially now as bitcoin hits an all-time high, but it’s worth taking some time to research what it is, how it operates and what the risks are before parting with your money.

2. Can I handle volatility?

Next, consider how well you handle extreme swings in price, since bitcoin is a notoriously volatile asset. “That’s not easy to handle for most investors,” Boneparth says.

For some people, the volatility “may be OK, that may coincide with your appetite for risk and your own risk tolerance and investment time horizon,” Boneparth says. “But, you still got to live with it.”

Other investors may prefer something more stable.

But regardless of your tolerance level, financial experts warn that the volatility makes bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a riskier investment than something like a low-cost index fund, which should be kept in mind.

3. How much can I afford to allocate?

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From casino to sports: Canada’s gambling journey

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Gambling was originally present in Canada amongst native people, quickly becoming cemented into the cultural history of the country. The earliest recognised game that involved a fairly primitive form of gambling – although not with money – was Slahal. This was a traditional stick game, using two different kinds of sticks that were split between the two teams, as well as ten scoring sticks. The sticks were exchanged in the place of currency, with the team with the most scoring sticks ending as the winner. What’s more, Slahal is still alive today and features regularly in traditional festivals across the country, for example, at Vancouver’s Summer Live festival.

Card games have remained the most popular forms of gambling, whether it’s Poker or Blackjack. During the Klondike Gold Rush, the game of Faro had a big boom in North America, but left Canada when the gold rush subsided, although arguably the love for card games remained.

Read on as we talk regulations, the move online and beyond.

Regulations

The Canadian Criminal Code was enacted in 1892, dictating laws and deciding what kind of behaviours would be permitted across the country. In terms of gambling, the Code tolerates it, but only under certain conditions. An amendment was made in 1910 that allowed occasional games of chance where the profits would be used for charitable events and activities. As well as this, games were also sometimes permitted at agricultural fairs and exhibitions.

These laws around gambling remained relatively unchanged until the 1970s, where it was decided that individual provinces would have the authority to license and regulate gambling for themselves.

In particular, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta have created their own corporations and commissions to regulate casino gameplay. The latter operates as the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) commission, working to regulate the selling and consumption of alcoholic beverages, recreational cannabis use, and gambling. The policies and rules that the AGLC put in place went on to maintain the fairness and security of all gambling activities, whilst also working to maximise the financial return and potential benefits of gaming.

Going online

The AGLC have taken things one step further, and even gone on to create their very own regulated online casino. The site was developed in 2020 and is called Play Alberta, in which all money that’s made by the site is then funnelled back into the community via Alberta’s General Revenue Fund.

This way of regulating casino gaming helps keep the pastime safe and fair – but how? Well, this site in particular works alongside GameSense to keep all players well-informed before placing their bets, and within their set budget.

Sports betting

As well as casino gaming, Play Alberta has also begun to offer sports betting, which has arguably become equally as popular amongst Canadian gamers. This has been a long journey for the nation, with the federal government only granting provinces the right to legalise single-game wagering in 2021.

The province of Ontario has had a long history of pushing for sports betting to come into fruition, so they are expected to be the first to incorporate sports into the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) gaming laws.

With the annual betting habits of Canadians already estimated to surpass a value of US$10 billion – you can only imagine how the industry will grow with singular sports betting also entering the market! What sports will you be looking to bet on first?

 

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