Mary Jo White is a poor choice to head the SEC. As a U.S. attorney, she demonstrated a lack of political independence and competence.
In the late 90’s prosecution of the Teamsters money landering scandal, White won several guilty pleas from low-level has-beens, but gave a pass to prominent union figures who played a key role in the Democratic political campaign of 2000, and every one since. The magnitude of White’s dereliction of duty can be seen in who was not prosecuted- Richard Trumka, Andrew Stern and Gerald McEntee.
In the 1996 Teamster election, incumbent President Ron Carey narrowly defeated Detroit union attorney James Hoffa, son of the legendary Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa. After the loss, the younger Hoffa’s operatives pored over Carey’s campaign disclosure documents and found evidence of serious wrongdoing by the Carey campaign. Carey’s campaign raised $538,100 through a series of schemes including some $885,000 in bogus …
The Securities and Exchange Commission recently notified us that it will allow Goldman Sachs to exclude our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on the company’s lobbying priorities. The basis for the exclusion was that another shareholder, The Needmoor Fund, had already submitted a similar proposal. We disagree that the proposals duplicate each other. We hope that Needmoor will raise the issues that prompted our proposal, especially Goldman’s endorsement of Dodd-Frank, but we doubt they will.
Goldman has reportedly bowed to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) who filed a proposal to split the positions of Chairman and CEO, a role now filled by Lloyd Blankfein. Often dismissed as pests or gadflies, it is nice to see shareholder activists score once in while, but its clear that Goldman is more responsive to its left-wing critics.
Here is our proposal:
Goldman Sachs’ primary responsibility is to
Billionaire Phil Falcone, whose cozy relationship with the Obama Administration was first exposed by NLPC, may face civil fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to a filing yesterday by Harbinger Group Inc., Falcone and two other directors have received “Wells Notices,” meaning that they are under investigation.
Falcone is the Chairman, CEO and primary investor in Harbinger Group Inc., a hedge fund. Reportedly, other Harbinger investors include Soros Fund Management. Harbinger owns LightSquared, which has received an unusual waiver from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deploy a national 4G wireless network.
Media reports have alleged that Falcone prevented some investors from withdrawing their money from the hedge fund during the financial crisis, while allowing others to do so. The Wall Street Journal reports today that one favored investor was (surprise!) Goldman Sachs. One of the Harbinger directors who received a Wells Notice is Omar Asali, …
As someone who has sponsored “Say on Pay” shareholder proposals with companies like Boeing and Procter & Gamble, I wonder whether SEC-mandated votes on executive compensation will do any good. In fact, I worry that it may lead to a false sense of shareholder empowerment.
Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted 3-2 to adopt a rule requiring public companies to hold an advisory vote on executive pay at least once every three years.
At Boeing in 2008, our “Say on Pay” proposal got 38% of the vote, an extremely strong vote for a proposal opposed by the company’s management. It had little impact. Management paid no attention to us and Boeing CEO James McNerney continues to be overpaid, even as the company experiences setback after setback.
Public companies should be controlled by shareholders, and their representatives, the board of directors. Unfortunately, corporate boards today are characterized by cronyism and …
The FBI’s reported arrest of money manager Vincent McCrudden for allegedly making threats to kill members of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other government officials prompts the question of what role, if any, anti-capitalist and anti-Wall Street rhetoric played in his actions. If the logic of the Left that was applied to the Tucson shootings – that Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin somehow had something to do with Jared Loughner’s rampage – should not President Obama and other politicians be held responsible for McCrudden’s threats?
According to CampaignMoney.com, a Vincent McCrudden made a $2,300 donation to Obama for America on April 19, 2007.
Of course, Obama’s anti-banker and anti-Wall Street rhetoric was just that. In the wake of all the bailouts, Obama is actually the best friend the big banks and Wall Street have ever had. But does that mitigate the potential impact of his words on …
Goldman got to keep 100% of what it really wanted, namely the ability to cling to its claim that if did nothing wrong.
It did acknowledge a “mistake” for not telling CDO buyers that hedge fund operator John Paulson helped booby-trap the security before it was sold. It is common for the SEC settle Wall Street cases without an admission of guilt, but is not typical for it to allow the accused party to do but at the same time admit to a “mistake.” That’s how it works when your political influence permeates the government. You get to deny wrongdoing at the same time you admit to wrongdoing.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ballyhoos that the $550 million settlement is the largest ever, but is likely viewed by Goldman as the cost of doing business. Goldman will pay the fine and move on.
In this case, Lloyd Blankfein and …
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly considering a ban on former auto czar Steven Rattner from working in the securities industry for up to three years. Even if he gets the three years, it would be pitifully short.
Rattner oversaw the bailouts of Chrysler and GM, which were conducted to the benefit of the United Auto Workers. In the GM bailout, billions of dollars were simply stolen from bondholders and turned over to the union-controlled funds.
Rattner has kept mostly mum since he left from his post in July of last year. He claimed that the auto companies were coming out of bankruptcy and his duties as auto czar had been fulfilled. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner provided this explanation:
Steven Rattner, whose leadership and vision were invaluable . . . has decided to transition back to private life and his family. I hope that he takes another opportunity
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suspected that the Texas-based Stanford Financial Group was a massive Ponzi scheme eight years before it took any action to shut the company down, according to a shocking 151-page report released last week by the agency’s inspector general. Click here to download a 159-page pdf of the report.
From 1997 to 2005, the SEC ignored tip-offs from Stanford Financial Group insiders, numerous complaints, and four separate examinations conducted by its own employees which concluded that the Stanford Financial Group was likely a front for a fraudulent investment scheme. It wasn’t until 2005 that the SEC’s Fort Worth office launched a formal investigation of the firm.
According to the SEC’s internal tracking system, a six-day examination of the Stanford Group conducted in 1997 determined that the firm was a “possible ponzi scheme.” At the time, SEC examiners said that the high Certificate of Deposits (CDs) return …
With the SEC now charging Goldman Sachs with a billion dollar fraud, I hope CEO Lloyd Blankfein and his colleagues will end the sanctimony and indignation that has characterized their response to recent criticism of the firm, some of it coming from these quarters. The SEC charges come a day after reports surfaced that Goldman director Rajat Guptatold is under investigation for his possible role in the separate Galleon insider trading case.
We do not subscribe to the wilder conspiracy theories about Goldman, but we do have serious concerns in two areas:
1) Goldman Sachs exercizes undue influence on the government through a network of former Goldman executives who have rotated in and out of powerful government posts.
2) Goldman Sachs is one of the most profitable firms in the country. Yet, its executives and the company itself bankroll and promote of host of anti-business causes.
Neither of these things …
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will not allow Wal-Mart to exclude from consideration an NLPC-sponsored shareholder proposal asking for a report on the company’s lobbying priorities. Wal-Mart suddenly finds itself on the opposite side of public opinion on ObamaCare and cap and trade, after having embraced both last year.
On January 9, Wal-Mart sought to preclude a shareholder discussion of these issues by asking the SEC if it could exclude our resolution on the grounds that it “does not focus on, or implicate, a significant social policy.” Oh, really?
The SEC disagreed. Our resolution must now appear in the Wal-Mart proxy, and I will have the right to speak at the annual meeting in early June. Even after losing at the SEC, Wal-Mart still refuses to address the issues raised by the resolution. In its statement of opposition, it can’t even bring itself to mention ObamaCare or cap and …