Banking, Finance & Services
Free trade advocates and multinational corporations are pinning their hopes on Robert Zoellick, the United States trade representative, as negotiators from around the two continents gather in Miami for the Free Trade of the Americas talks.
Like almost anything involving Wal-Mart these days, the dispute has less to do with specific legal or regulatory questions than it does with the deep rift the company has opened across the American landscape.
One rich bank (JP Morgan) lost money to a rich hedge fund (Saba). Surely that is a zero sum game: They swap mansions and yachts, their partners swap diamonds and butlers, and it makes no difference to the rest of us. Or are they robbing us?
Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay out a record $2.5 billion fine to settle U.K. and U.S. government investigations into allegations of fixing global interest rates, just months after six other banks paid out $4.3 billion on similar charges. Activists say that the banks should have faced criminal charges.
The Internal Revenue Service is demanding that hedge-fund and private-equity investors disclose hundreds of billions of dollars they have invested offshore, boosting scrutiny of accounts popular for tax advantages.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 encouraged the Securities and Exchange Commission to fine corporate executives if they certified financial results that turned out to be bogus. The record suggests a bark decidedly worse than its bite. The SEC has filed cases against 31 executives at only 20 companies so far and recovered a total of $12.2 million from nine former executives to date.
The U.S. Congress saw no progresses toward corporate accountability and reining in corporate influence over public institutions in 2013, according to the newly released Corporate Accountability Coalition (CAC) Congressional Report Card.
In a move that could reverberate throughout the fund industry, the nation's second-largest pension fund is considering lifting a nearly eight-year ban on tobacco investments.