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My latest posts, articles & citations.

BusinessWeek | Thursday, October 22, 2009

Call it pay day in Washington: The Federal Reserve and Treasury made a splash by unveiling sweeping compensation rules, mostly for executives at banks and other financial companies.

BusinessWeek | Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Insider-trading scandals have been a fact of market life since the Dutch were hawking East India Tea. And the high-stakes bust on Oct. 16 of Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire founder of hedge fund Galleon Management, for allegedly trafficking in ill-gotten information includes the usual array of investment analysts, corporate executives, and clock-punching interlopers.

BusinessWeek | Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. isn't the only beneficiary of a plan to refill its coffers. The proposal, which the banking regulator announced on Sept. 29, also offers an intriguing way for financial firms to boost their capital and raise their profits.

BusinessWeek | Thursday, September 24, 2009

The leaders of 20 of the world's biggest economies committed to a laundry list of executive pay reforms for financial firms, including limiting bonuses to a portion of total net revenues and linking them tightly to share prices. But don't count on sweeping mandates from regulators just yet.

BusinessWeek | Wednesday, September 23, 2009

By Friday evening, the heads of the world's 20 biggest economies -- from the US to South Africa, encompassing 85 percent of global economic activity -- will have dined, met, lunched, met again, and made their pronouncements.

If history is any judge, there may not be much in the way of immediate or lasting results.

BusinessWeek | Wednesday, September 9, 2009

World leaders are talking bravely about fixing the global financial system. As the Group of Twenty heads toward an important summit in Pittsburgh on Sept. 24-25, they are vowing to bang out a regulatory structure that will keep rich, careless bankers from once again driving their firms to ruin and then getting bailed out by taxpayers. Finance ministers and central bankers who met in London earlier this month reported "substantial progress in delivering our ambitious plan."

BusinessWeek | Thursday, September 3, 2009

More problem banks and less FDIC money mean tough takeover rules could eventually be loosened

The U.S. is making it tough for private equity firms to buy ailing banks. In late August the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. imposed stricter rules for acquisitions, the latest move in a long game of chess between the banking regulator and the buyout giants. But analysts say the FDIC may back down. The number of troubled banks is rising, and the regulator's pot of money is dwindling.

BusinessWeek | Friday, August 7, 2009

It has been a big week so far for the market cops at the Securities & Exchange Commission: Each day brought a new multimillion-dollar settlement, most involving high-profile people or companies—Bank of America (BAC), General Electric (GE), and two former executives of American International Group (AIG), plus two smaller trading firms.

BusinessWeek | Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We wrote this week about retail derivatives, one of several ways banks are still playing the risk game. So just how risky are these structured products for the average investor?

Good luck figuring that out. If history is any judge, the answer is “pretty risky” — and investors won’t do a good job evaluating the risk. Research suggests you’ll probably be overpaying for what you get.

BusinessWeek | Wednesday, August 5, 2009

That didn't take long. The economy hasn't yet recovered from the implosion of risky investments that led to the worst recession in decades—and already some of the world's biggest banks are peddling a new generation of dicey products to corporations, consumers, and investors.


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