The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday announced a settlement with broker-dealer Raymond James Financial involving $350 million worth of auction rate securities which the regulatory agency claimed were marketed and misrepresented by the firm's reps as “safe, liquid alternatives” to money market funds and other highly liquid investment vehicles.

In fact, in the 2008 financial crisis, these investments lost much of their value. The SEC has been pursuing a number of financial services firms over the sale of ARS products and says that to date it's garnered restitution of more than $67 billion for investors.

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