Law & Regulation

US financial regulators have charged 69 firms for breaking new corporate laws brought in after a wave of scandals.
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?
Over one million people in the Canadian province of Quebec will receive a total of C$15.6 billion ($12.5 billion) in damages for smoking related diseases from three of the biggest tobacco companies in the country. The settlement is the result of a 17 year long court battle.
The law firm that helped win $7.2 billion in settlements for Enron investors is seeking nearly $700 million in legal fees for itself and other attorneys who handled the case, according to court documents.
The first of about 8,000 lawsuits blaming the health problems and deaths of Florida smokers on tobacco companies went to trial Tuesday. The key to the case is proving whether now-deceased Stuart Hess was addicted to cigarettes made by Richmond, Va.-based Philip Morris, a unit of Altria Group.
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."
European Union officials told leading automakers to make deep cuts in tailpipe emissions of the cars they produce or face fines that could reach billions of euros. Companies including Volkswagen and Renault immediately promised a fight to weaken the proposed legislation.
A once-obscure accounting rule was changed Thursday to give banks more discretion in reporting the value of mortgage securities. Apparently under political pressure, the five-member Financial Accounting Standards Board approved a controversial change that makes it possible for banks to keep some declines in asset values off their income statements.
The topic was the largest defense procurement scandal in recent decades, and the two investigators for the Pentagon's inspector general in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office on April 1, 2005, asked the secretary to raise his hand and swear to tell the truth.
The analysis by the California Air Resources Board, released Wednesday night, shows that the greatest health dangers related to toxic air emissions stems from diesel trucks traversing the freeways and other roadways around West Oakland and the Port of Oakland.