Law & Regulation

JP Morgan, the Wall Street bank, is negotiating to escape criminal prosecution for its role in the sub-prime mortgage crisis in return for paying the U.S. government roughly $3 billion, plus $6 billion to investors, and another $4 billion to compensate home owners.
The auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers is overhauling its operations in India two months after starting an investigation into fraud at Satyam Computer Services, a software and outsourcing firm whose chairman said in January that he had falsely claimed assets of $1 billion in cash and overstated operating margins.
Dueling reports released yesterday -- one by a consortium largely funded by the biotech industry and the other by a pair of environmental and consumer groups -- came to those diametrically different conclusions.
The recent boom in humanitarian aid has an underbelly largely invisible to charity sector outsiders. "Easy money: the great aid scam," packs a biting critique (Linda Polman, The Sunday Times Online, April 25). In 2006, CorpWatch's "Afghanistan, Inc.", cited by Polman, drilled down on reconstruction dollars, in what's become known as "Afghaniscam." We bring our report to you again.
The medieval alchemists claimed they could turn ordinary metals into gold. Analysts at Standard & Poors (S&P), Wall Street's top ratings agency, claimed that bad loans to poor people were wildly profitably. A U.S. government investigation alleges that S&P financial analysts are no different from the hucksters of yore.
Uruguay has defeated Philip Morris, the global tobacco giant, in a major international lawsuit over the country's tough anti-smoking regulations. The Swiss-based company sued Uruguay at the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Dispute under the terms of a 1991 bilateral investment treaty between Uruguay and Switzerland.
Five executives of the Mitutoyo Corporation, a precision instruments maker, were arrested today on suspicion of illegally exporting equipment to Malaysia that could be used in making nuclear weapons.
Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, is recalling nearly one million toys in the United States today because the products' surfaces are covered in lead paint. According to Mattel, all the toys were made by a contract manufacturer in China.