Law & Regulation
A cache of secret documents has thrust HSBC, the world's second largest bank, into the limelight for helping international clients dodge taxes. A series of articles published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is finally pushing reluctant governments to act almost eight years after the original leaks.
About a quarter of the nation's banks lost a combined $10 to $15 billion in the wake of the federal government's takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The losses are galling to small bankers because they took pains to avoid the exotic loans and loose underwriting standards that have hobbled Wall Street titans and some huge banks.
A world-renowned Harvard child psychiatrist whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic medicines in children earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007 but for years did not report much of this income to university officials, according to information given Congressional investigators.
Norway's Ministry of Finance announced Friday that it would exclude mining giant Barrick Gold and U.S. weapons producer Textron Inc from the country's pension fund for ethical reasons. This is an especially significant judgment for Canada, as Barrick Gold is currently Canada's largest publicly traded company.
The former chief accounting officer of Enron pleaded guilty today to a single felony charge of securities fraud and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors, giving a significant lift to the government's case against the two leading figures in the scandal over Enron's collapse.
Mordechai Orian, president of Global Horizons, a Los Angeles-based labor recruiter, was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for "engaging in a conspiracy to commit forced labor and document servitude" of some 400 Thai citizens who were brought to work on farms in the U.S.
Several major banks - notably Citibank, Deutsche Bank and HSBC - have suspended over a dozen global foreign exchange traders in a growing scandal over manipulation in the $5.3 trillion-a-day market. Barclays, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered and UBS are also being investigated.
The federal government handed out tens of millions of dollars in contracts to these companies, without regard to how they treated their workers. This summer, to help put an end to these kinds of mistreatment, President Barack Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order.
The world's first ever referendum on banning civilian guns in Brazil failed to pass this past Sunday. Among those profiting are Taurus, the largest small arms producer and manufacturer in Latin America.