September 15, 2009 |
In a rare move, a federal judge threw out a deal in which Bank of America Corp. would have paid $33 million to settle charges that it misled shareholders about $3.6 billion in bonuses being paid to Merrill Lynch & Co. executives, contending that the punishment was too light. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York also lashed out at federal regulators, saying they didn't dig deeply enough to determine whether Bank of America executives intentionally set out to deceive shareholders about plans to pay bonuses to employees of Merrill Lynch last year, when the bank was acquiring the Wall Street firm.
September 1, 2009 |
The nation's top securities cop is raising concerns about the rich bonuses that some brokerages routinely offer to lure salespeople from rivals. In an open letter on the Securities and Exchange Commission's website Monday, Chairwoman Mary L. Schapiro warned top brokerage executives that "certain forms of potential compensation may carry with them enhanced risks to customers." Specifically, Schapiro's letter focuses on the risk that brokers lured with bonuses might seek to generate commissions big enough "to justify special arrangements that they have been given."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 2009 |
As a member of the powerful Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions board, Sean Harrigan's private financial life intersected repeatedly with the business of his agency, which oversees a $10.7-billion portfolio on behalf of retired public employees. Long before he was caught up in a national investigation into the way public pensions are managed, Harrigan took a consulting job with a law firm that was applying to get work from his board, records show.
April 28, 2009 |
Mary Schapiro, the new Securities and Exchange Commission chief, was certain to take a get-tough stance at the agency -- after Bernie Madoff, what other choice did she have? But in addition to all the steps she's taking along those lines -- a new enforcement director, streamlined rules for launching investigations, new procedures for following up on the 2,000 or so hotline tips the agency receives daily -- the SEC also is trying to make itself more transparent.
April 2, 2009 |
A Sacramento company that once was among the nation's fastest-growing ethanol producers says it could run out of cash within a month. Pacific Ethanol Inc. said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it might not be able to continue past April 30 without renegotiating its debts or finding new sources of cash. The company said a bankruptcy filing was possible.
March 3, 2009 |
Federal regulators on Monday accused Sunwest Management Inc., one of the nation's largest operators of assisted-living facilities, and its former chief executive with securities fraud in connection with real estate investments that turned sour. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the charges against Sunwest, based in Salem, Ore.
February 10, 2009 |
The top cop at the Securities and Exchange Commission is leaving the government less than a week after receiving an angry dressing-down before Congress over the agency's failure to detect a massive alleged fraud scheme. The SEC said Monday that Linda Thomsen was leaving for the private sector but did not provide details. She has been the agency's enforcement director since May 2005.
December 27, 2008 |
Christopher Cox, the embattled chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is defending his restrained approach to the financial crisis, saying he has provided steady leadership as Wall Street's main regulator at a time when other federal regulators have responded precipitously to upheaval in the markets. During his tenure, the SEC has watched as all the investment banks it oversaw collapsed, were swallowed up or exited their traditional line of business.
December 18, 2008 |
The Madoff scandal is shining a new light on what critics deride as years of toothless enforcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission -- and heightening calls for major changes. Already under fire for its regulatory performance during the financial crisis, the reputation of the federal government's Wall Street watchdog is now in tatters after it failed to stop Bernard Madoff's alleged Ponzi scheme before it had wiped out as much as $50 billion in investors' money.