Law & Regulation

Ten major U.S. banks settled charges of illegally kicking people out of their homes for pennies on the dollar, under two agreements with the government. The biggest beneficiary is Bank of America which will win a get-out-of-jail free card for selling fraudulent loans to the government.
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.
Europe's second-highest court delivered a stinging rebuke to Microsoft Monday, but the impact of the decision upholding an earlier antitrust ruling may extend well beyond the world's largest software maker to other high-technology companies.
If you're a teacher, student, journalist or just a plain concerned citizen interested in finding well-researched documentation about climate change, you can no longer depend on the Canadian government to supply that information.
CrocTail is an extension of the Crocodyl.org Wiki web site project, an online compendium profiling the accountability and transparency track records of multinational corporations. Developed with support from the Sunlight Foundation, CrocTail users can search the entire subsidiaries database. In this new version, users can click on different years and see how subsidiary relationships for a company have changed over time.
Many hedge funds were relieved when the Obama administration's financial-overhaul plan included no big surprises to the lucrative, secretive industry. In 2008, major hedge funds and their trade groups spent $6.1 million lobbying Washington, up from $4.2 million in 2007 and nearly seven times the $897,000 average from 2003 to 2006.
How Deutsche Bank made its U.S. arm vanish from the records maintained by the Federal Reserve and saved itself from locking up $20 billion in deposits. (Hint: Hire a lobbyist on Capitol Hill)
Traffic International, a Brazilian sports media company, has been named as the source of at least $60 million in bribes paid to Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) officials, the organizers of the World Cup football tournament, to obtain media and marketing rights to international games.
Two small utilities are set to pay more than $50 million to Enron for electricity that they agreed to buy but that Enron will never deliver, under terms of a settlement that raises larger issues.
Swedish Match AB and Philip Morris International Inc. announced a joint venture Tuesday to market smokeless tobacco world-wide. The venture combines a world-wide giant in smokeless, Swedish Match, with the world's second-largest purveyor of cigarettes, PMI, an Altria Inc. spinoff.