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"Banking" On Holiday Gifts? I Can Say It's The Thought That Counts!

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CNBC.com

Most of my PR and professional contacts send Christmas cards, but for the past two years the boutique Wall Street firm, Rodman & Renshaw, has sent me heavy metal piggy banks. I assume the company sends them to its clients as well.

Last year it was an old-fashioned gas station attendant and this year it's a retro deep-sea diver with a treasure chest. I get the cute logic. Occasionally I interview R & R's senior biotech analyst Mike King and I often quote their research on this blog and on the air. There's no quid pro quo. That'd be unethical.

While I appreciate the sentiment, the problem is the pggy banks don't work. Either I'm not following directions or they have a defect. They're made in China and so now I can't even give them away to coworkers with kids because they're worried about the paint. So, they sit on top of the file cabinet next to my desk collecting dust.

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CNBC.com

But check out the card shown above, that came with the bank. "Happy Holidays from Rodman & Renshaw, LLC This gift complies with NASD Rule 3060". That's the relatively new regulation that prohibits NASD member firms from giving a gift or a tip worth more than a hundred bucks. The value of the thing also complies with CNBC policy.

Whatever the banks cost, they're not worth it. Besides the occasional passer-by who will stop and ask, "What's that?", they're of no use. And they're too heavy to throw in the garbage.Anyone interested?

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com