Money & Politics

May 6, 2002 -- According to a new report released today, many of the U.S. government's largest contractors have repeatedly broken the law or engaged in unethical conduct. However, they are never even temporarily suspended, let alone debarred, from gaining additional government contracts. Smaller contractors are not so lucky. The report, profiled in U.S. News and World Report today, was published by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).
Robert Rubin will resign from the beleaguered Citigroup. As Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration, Mr. Rubin helped loosen Depression-era banking regulations that made Citigroup's creation possible. He also helped beat back tighter oversight of exotic financial products during that time.
Many of the same American corporate executives who have reaped millions of dollars from arms and oil deals with the Saudi monarchy have served or currently serve at the highest levels of U.S. government, public records show.
Halliburton is hiring temps to work in Iraq: $100 a month for locals, $300 for Indians and $8,000 for Texans. Meanwhile taxpayers are getting charged top dollar, prompting investigations from the United States military.
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."
Nearly 70 percent of Swiss voters approved a "fat cat" referendum that would prohibit "golden handshake" bonuses to departing corporate bosses while the European Union approved legislation limiting bankers executive bonuses to a maximum of one year's salary, or twice that amount if a majority of shareholders approve.
Sean M. Berkowitz and a small group of government lawyers will be in the spotlight in the Jan. 30 trial of Enron's former leaders. The case is the capstone in the cleanup after an era of business misconduct that left investors billions of dollars poorer. The outcome could shape the public's -- and history's -- judgment of how effective it was.
How much money did Charles G. Taylor, the deposed president of Liberia, siphon out of his war-shattered country, and where is it? A review by the International Herald Tribune of court transcripts, bank records, and newly available government receipts and confidential prosecution memos show, for example, how the country's largest timber company sent tax payments to Mr. Taylor's private account rather than the national treasury.
A plan to build a new, large coal-fired power plant has proved divisive in the Navajo community in Nevada, with some arguing that it will bring the community millions, while others saying it is a lethal "energy monster" and harbinger of environmental destruction.
Was I the only editorial writer that noticed the remarkable comment by President Bush's chief economic advisor Saturday? Lawrence Lindsey was doing his bit this weekend to put the best possible face on last week's embarrassingly vacuous Waco economic summit. One of his stops was CNN's Novak, Hunt & Shields.