January 10, 2014 |
The dirty little secret of those eye-popping fines and penalties the government has been extracting from banks and Wall Street firms for financial wrongdoing is that they cost the firms only a fraction of the top-line numbers. Now Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are demanding that the top and bottom lines be disclosed -- not only what the government and the banks claim the settlements are worth, but what they're really worth. As my colleague Jim Puzzanghera reported , they've introduced the Truth in Settlements Act to do that job. For any federal agency settlement larger than $1 million -- and you have to be engaged in some pretty trivial wrongdoing to fall below that threshold -- the act would require public disclosure of how much of the settlement is tax-deductible, and how much involves "credits" for routine conduct.
January 9, 2014 |
Surf's up for action star Gerard Butler, who is poised to star in a remake of the 1991 thriller "Point Break," which memorably featured Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent infiltrating a gang of bank-robbing surfer dudes led by Patrick Swayze's laid-back Bodhi. According to the Hollywood Reporter , Butler is in final negotiations to play the nirvana-seeking criminal Swayze made popular in a new remake from Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. The movie will feature some surfing but will also be set in the broader world of international extreme sports.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2013 |
Occidental College is trying to separate a deluge of bogus sexual assault allegations from those that may be legitimate after two groups, including one claiming to represent "men's rights," tried to undermine the school's anonymous reporting system, a campus spokesman said. Over the course of 36 hours, some 400 anonymous reports -- some by people who claimed to have been assaulted by "Occidental College," "feminists" or "Fatty McFatFat" -- flooded in after members of the online communities Reddit and 4Chan began discussing the idea late Monday, Occidental spokesman Jim Tranquada said.
December 4, 2013 |
Following our post on California Republicans' misleading health insurance website , numerous readers reached out to us with examples of how the Assembly Republican Caucus, which created the thing, has been marketing it. As we reported, the GOP website, coveringhealthcareca.com , looks like an effort to steer citizens away from coveredca.com , which is the legitimate enrollment site for California's individual insurance exchange....
December 3, 2013 |
Kya sells ceramic masks online. A buyer recently instructed her to cash his check and then allow him to pick up his mask later. Kya asks: Is this some kind of scam? Answer: Probably. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions It sounds like a variation of a relatively common scam involving bogus checks -- a racket that the Federal Trade Commission says has become a fact of life online. For details of the scam and my advice for not getting duped, check out today's Ask Laz video.
August 21, 2013 |
Yelp Inc. was hoping to debunk misconceptions and ease business owners' concerns about the popular review website. Instead, many small-business owners at the company's town hall meeting in Hollywood on Tuesday slammed the site, venting their frustration at Yelp for aggressive advertising tactics and bogus reviews that they said hurt their businesses. "I have one-star reviews for my diner from people that have never walked into the place. They've never stepped foot, they've never tried the food, but they give me one-star reviews.