A great article from a very interesting website. Read the article here.
During the past year, the financial sector has done a lot of wrong. First, it nearly self-destructed. Then it engaged with a set of Washington elites to extract trillions of dollars of public funds to ease its pain. Now, it’s posting record bonuses on the back of that assistance, in a disgustingly entitled manner, as if its profits are based on sheer skill, rather than federal aid, accounting tricks, and regulatory indifference. What’s missing from this reckless scenario? Women.
Here we go again… Read the article here.
Enron was the financial scandal that kicked off the decade: a giant energy trading company that appeared to be doing brilliantly—until we finally noticed that it wasn’t. It’s largely been forgotten given the wreckage that followed, and that’s too bad: we may be repeating those mistakes, on a far larger scale.
Specifically, as the largest Wall Street banks return to profitability—in some cases, breaking records—they say everything is rosy. They’re lining up to pay back their TARP money and asking Washington to back off. But why are they doing so well? Remember that Enron got away with their illegalities so long because their financials were so complicated that not even the analysts paid to monitor the Houston-based trading giant could cogently explain how they were making so much money.
After two weeks sifting through over one thousand pages of SEC filings for the largest banks, I have the same concerns. While Washington ponders what to do, or not do, about reforming Wall Street, the nation’s biggest banks, plumped up on government capital and risk-infused trading profits, have been moving stuff around their balance sheets like a multi-billion dollar musical chairs game.
This is progress, but not near enough. Read the article here.
After three days of floor debate, the House voted 223 to 202 to approve the measure. It would create an agency to protect consumers from abusive lending practices, set rules for the trading of some of the sophisticated financial instruments that fueled the crisis, and take steps to reduce the threat that the failure of one or two huge banks or investment firms could topple the entire economy.
The approval of the bill is the most significant step lawmakers have taken to confront the financial crisis since the $700 billion bailout package was rammed through Congress at the peak of the emergency more than a year ago. The bill represents an attempt to address comprehensively what many of its supporters have called the underlying causes of the collapse — reckless risk-taking unrestrained by regulation.
Read the article here.
A new report alleging corruption in Morgan Stanley’s China operations has sullied the firm’s aspirations to be a good example of corporate social responsibility.
Reuters has published a damning article that alleges Garth Peterson, a former employee at Morgan Stanley in China, is suspected of violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by engaging in bribery with Morgan Stanley’s government and business contacts in China. The article states Morgan Stanley conducted its own internal investigation and already submitted those findings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Peterson was apparently fired in December 2008.
Read the entire article here.
Can you imagine if the President had access to all the resources of the government to fund his re-election campaigns, and there was endless red-tape preventing others from challenging the incumbency?
What if, instead of voting to re-elect incumbent congressmen, we had the option of either voting “yes” or “abstaining”?
Welcome to the world of corporate governance in America. Our shareholder democracy has more in common with Saddam Hussein’s government than our own political democracy.