The new Vanity Fair article on FGG and the Noels quotes an observer:
[A] well-known investor says, “These [F.G.G.] guys were just a marketing machine.… Walter was just really a customers’ man.… They didn’t even know what questions to ask. It’s malpractice. It’s gross negligence. It’s not criminal behavior, in my view. Nobody would do this. I mean, Walter wouldn’t ruin himself. Nobody would do this.… You can’t put amateurs in a world of grownups.… That’s really what this is. They are amateurs.”
The term “customers’ man” is rarely used these days for clueless stock brokers but my father (Yale 27 ; was that your class, Walt?) used to tell the tale of two former college classmates who encounter one another on the street. One asks the other how he’s earning a living and is told, “Oh, I’m a customers’ man, but please don’t tell my dear sweet Mama – she still thinks I’m a piano player in a whore house”. Tee hee.