Law & Regulation

The settlement, announced Friday, brings the government far less than it had originally sought over alleged violations of accounting rules. Fannie's regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, in 2006 sought to require the three former executives to pay back more than $115 million of bonuses and pay fines that it said at the time could total more than $100 million.
A federal judge in Brooklyn decided on Friday to unseal confidential materials about Eli Lilly's top-selling antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, citing "the health of hundreds of thousands of people" and "fundamental questions" about the way drugs are approved for new uses.
Violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation, an extensive review of water pollution records by The New York Times found. Polluters include small companies, like gas stations, dry cleaners, and shopping malls. They also include large operations, like chemical factories, power plants, sewage treatment centers and one of the biggest zinc smelters, the Horsehead Corporation of Pennsylvania.
New York State prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating whether the Carlyle Group, one of the nation's largest and most politically connected private equity firms, made millions of dollars in improper payments to intermediaries in exchange for investments from New York's state pension fund.
Does Monsanto own all future generations of genetically modified seeds that it sells? The Missouri-based agribusiness giant wants farmers to pay a royalty to plant any seed that descended from a patented original. The legal decision has ramifications for other patented "inventions" that reproduce themselves like strands of DNA.
Interview with CorpWatch managing editor Pratap Chatterjee, on his forthcoming book, "Halliburton's Army," published by Nation Books and available in books stores on February 2, 2009.
Four years after the company's ignominious collapse, Enron's former top executives are about to head to a climactic criminal trial later this month, serving as a reminder that changes in the behavior of many American companies have been more muted than many once expected.