Federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into trading at Goldman Sachs, raising the possibility of criminal charges against the Wall Street giant, according to people familiar with the matter.
Also of interest is the fact that the probe by the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office -- which is known for aggressively investigating financial fraud cases -- was not based on an SEC referral and was underway before the SEC announced the civil case on April 16.
(This is from the Washington Post.)
Good. I'm glad to see the Department of Justice going after Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street criminals. Let's hope some of them end up in jail. Civil suits are not enough.
The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday announced that it has opened a civil investigation into possible anticompetitive behavior by Partners HealthCare, the region's most powerful hospital and physician network. In earlier posts (see here) I've noted what a vile organization Partners is; it's chaired by Jack Connors, one of the most rapacious thugs in Boston, a man who cloaks himself in his Catholic do-goodery but is only devoted to the almighty dollar. I hope the Department of Justice brings Partners down.
Along with yesterday's news about Wyeth's gross deception (see below) comes this story about the coal industry sending fake letters to members of Congress, purporting to be from nonprofit groups opposed to climate-change legislation.
Good lord. This country is going to hell in a handbasket.
Today's New York Times carried a front-page article about a massive effort by Wyeth, the pharmaceutical giant, to engage in a communications firm to ghostwrite "scientific papers" that appeared in medical journals, benefiting Wyeth's sales of hormone drugs. What a sleazy company. The perpetrators of this kind of fraud should go to jail for a long time.
Obviously, not all pharmaceutical companies are bad. But many of the big ones are among the sleaziest companies out there.
Be sure to check out the graphic attached to the Times article, as well as the 79-page PDF of a ghost-written article (author "to be determined"). Good lord.
The New York Times reports that many of the banks, hedge funds, and investment firms (and accounting firms) that reeped extraordinary fees from steering clients' investments to Bernie Madoffs spectacular ponzi scheme will now face tough scrutiny themselves. The main case in point is the Fairfield Greenwich Group, whose founder, Walter Noel, is a prime example of the sort of scumbag we all can hope this scandal brings down. You may have been reading about this guy in recent days. His firm brought in more than $500 million in fees since 2003 alone for the investments Greenwich placed with Madoff. Noel reportedly has five luxury homes -- in Greenwich, Southampton, Palm Beach, and New York City -- with a combined value of more than $20 million.
Fairfield hauled in money for Madoff's scheme by promising its clients it would assiduously monitor their money with Madoff, independently calculating the value of the funds invested with Madoff, reconciling statements of trades with Madoff's custodial records, etc. It's now not at all clear that Fairfield took any of those steps to protect its clients.
We can hope that slimeballs like Walter Noel end up in the slammer along with Bernie Madoff.
I'm not going to do an exegesis of this one, because Kathy G. has already done such a good job of it. (Incidentally, I love the fact that you can easily find, right there on the upper-left corner of her blog, the number of days, minutes, and seconds left in this miserable president's term.)
Do you listen to "This American Life" on NPR? Did you hear the episode in May about the economic crisis and its origins in banks giving out loans for subprime mortgages? You're already familiar with that linkage, of course, but if you didn't hear the explanation of what was going on, you owe it to yourself to listen to it. (Click the "full episode" link under the small photo on the left of the TAL site.)
It seems pretty clear that the cartoon above pretty much captures what has happened to America under Bush & Cheney.