Banking, Finance & Services

Exam privatization threatens public schools "They make kids in my class feel dumb," says Vanessa Verdín about the corporate-designed standardized tests that millions of U.S. students are required to take under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Vanessa, an energetic eleven year old whose hobbies include soccer, knitting and research, feels that the tests "ask the wrong questions" and "waste time when we could be learning."
German financial giant Deutsche Bank has agreed to a $270 million settlement of claims that it participated in a complex securities fraud orchestrated by a fugitive Saudi arms merchant that bankrupted Minneapolis-based securities firm Stockwalk Group four years ago.
Seven Irish banks are being investigated by the Central Bank of Ireland for selling consumers insurance policies that they did not need. Tens of thousands of Irish consumers could get as much as €3,000 ($3,900) each in refunds.
The UK Serious Fraud Office has notched up another win in the global interest rate setting scandal by sending three Barclays traders to jail. Of the 20 bankers that have been charged to date, five have been found guilty, six have been let go while nine are to face trial.
An analysis of 282 local executives at 109 area companies who have had the same title from 2003 until the end of 2005 showed that merely sticking around gives an executive an excellent chance of getting a raise, sometimes a big one. In many cases, raises are dictated by employment contracts or other compensation practices that have nothing to do with an executive's job performance and are often divorced from the kind of market logic that dictates how most people are paid.
Protestors have rallied this week outside annual meetings of Barclays bank in London, Citibank in Dallas, Credit Suisse in Zurich and Wells Fargo in San Francisco. A surprising number of shareholders have rallied to their side to vote down excessive executive compensation, in an unexpected victory for the Occupy movement.
The newly elected president of the European Commission and his cabinet - who together form the central executive body for the 28 member states of the European Union - have deep ties with powerful corporate interests that make them poor choices to support citizen rights, say critics.
Two Merrill Lynch executives convicted for their roles in a Nigerian barge deal that inflated Enron's profits have been ordered released from prison pending their appeal.
Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. could find itself at the center of the bankruptcy reorganization of Asarco, a century-old American mining and smelting company whose liabilities include the environmental cleanup of 94 Superfund sites in 21 states. Depending on what happens in the bankruptcy reorganization, U.S. taxpayers ultimately could be responsible for the tab.