Monthly Archives: May 2011

Andrew Fastow Leaves Prison — Now in a Houston Half-Way House

Andrew Fastow, the former CFO of Enron, who entered a guilty plea to fraud and other charges as part of a plea bargain, has left federal prison in Louisiana for a Houston half-way house. Mr. Fastow’s six-year sentence ends on … Continue reading

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“French Can’t Fathom IMF Chief’s Prosecution: U.S. Justice System and Morals Differ.”

Headline USA Today, May 19, 2011, p. 3B. Yes, and thank goodness we do worry about chamber maids who have to be taken to hospitals after working the $3,000 per night shift.

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Hank Greenberg, AIG, and Lessons For All

A new book, “Fatal Risk,” by Roddy Best, is an instructive look at what happened at AIG.  The book does what a business book should do – look for root causes when you have a company such as AIG implode. … Continue reading

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Is That “Watch” or “Stake-Out”? Xinhua Finance and Loretta Fredy Bush

In 2004, The Wall Street Journal called Loretta Fredy Bush, the founder of Xinhua Finance, one of its “Women to Watch” for 2004. We may have misunderstood the meaning of the term “watch.”  Ms. Fredy Bush was indicted on May … Continue reading

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What Is It About International Finance? Poor Judgment and the IMF and the World Bank

Paul Wolfowitz resigned in 2007 as head of the World Bank after a tale emerged of his HR intervention on behalf of a bank executive he was dating. Managers not dating those who report to them is one of those … Continue reading

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Facebook and Those Maddening Kids

“Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”  Mark Zuckerberg, founder, co-founder, whatever (depending on litigation) and CEO of Facebook Well, except that Facebook hired a PR firm to cajole, convince, and coax op-ed writers … Continue reading

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The NRLA and Boeing and a Former Swamp in South Carolina

Boeing is building a plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state.  The company has spent $1 billion for new production facilities needed in order to meet the demand for its new 787 Dreamliner.  9,000 jobs await the folks in South Carolina … Continue reading

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“I don’t care if you don’t know why [they have the information], as long as you can piggyback off them.”

Audrey Lewak, retired Merrill Lynch sales associate who took a technical analysis class to mimic the moves of hedge funds.  Oh, Ms. Lewak, this is not the stuff of science.  This is the stuff of superstitious lemmings — and cliffs … Continue reading

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The Raj Is Guilty — On All 14 Counts and the Defense Did Not Fail in Its Strategy

Raj Rajaratnam looked much thinner and very much frightened as he made his way, with his ankle monitor, from the federal court building.  A jury had just given the prosecution convictions on all 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy.  Insider trading is … Continue reading

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Warren Buffett Disappoints, But Governance Worked

Warren Buffett was asleep at the wheel.  And he didn’t wake up when he realized that one of his lieutenants who was likely to succeed him had purchased stock in a company and then pitched the idea of Berkshire Hathaway … Continue reading

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“I can rob a bank with a pencil.”

Lee Farkas, former CEO of Taylor Bean Mortgage, convicted of 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy, i.e., robbing a bank with a pencil.

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“It’s very common in our business to, to sell [fraudulent, counterfeit, fictitious loans] – because it’s all data, there’s really nothing but data – to sell loans that don’t exist. It happens all the time.”

Convicted former CEO Lee B. Farkas who presided over at $2.9-billion fraud at Taylor Bean.  He does give new dimensions to the “Everybody does it” rationalization.

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Ohio State and Tressel, BuckeyeGrove.com, and the New York Times: Don’t Fire the Bum?

There is a certain thrill to a line of logic that skates along with facts that lead to one unassailable conclusion but then loops through a back swizzle and a camel spin to land in a solution that finds our … Continue reading

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States Can’t Countermand the Right to Mandatory Arbitration

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