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After 20 Years of Financial Turmoil, a Columnist’s Last Shot - The New York Times

For the past 20 years or so, as a business columnist for The New York Times, I’ve had a front-row seat for bull and bear markets, scandals, crises and management mischief.

But I am leaving The Times, and this is my last shot at Fair Game. So it seems a fitting moment to look back at what’s changed and what hasn’t in the financial world, for better or worse.

In addition to a string of garden-variety banking and business scandals, four seismic financial events occurred during my time as a columnist: the collapse of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund in 1998, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the accounting scandals of Enron in 2001 and WorldCom in 2002, and the mother of them all — the mortgage debacle — in 2008. That one brought world economies to the precipice and wiped out Lehman Brothers and a raft of troubled banks.

......“Sarbanes-Oxley came into effect 15 years ago, and there have been fewer accounting scandals and more accountability,”...It’s too bad that the mortgage crisis six years later didn’t result in heightened accountability.

Here’s another sign of progress: Believe it or not, corporate directors are more active in their oversight than they used to be. Egregious board practices and chummy appointments are less common......Something else that hasn’t changed over the decades is analyst and investor reliance on companies’ creative earnings calculations. These figures, which do not conform to generally accepted accounting practices, typically exclude costs that companies incur in their operations.....Inventive earnings calculations, while more prevalent today, were very popular in the lead-up to the dot-com crash. Back then, analysts valued companies based on imaginative, nonfinancial metrics like the number of page views a retail website received or the percentage of “engaged shoppers” visiting a site. ....My search for truths on Wall Street and elsewhere over the years has sometimes raised hackles. That’s to the good. It wasn’t my job to be part of a company’s spin machine.
financial_communications  farewells  NYT  women  retrospectives  Wall_Street  seismic_shifts  LTCM  bubbles  scandals  SOX  truth-telling  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
4 weeks ago by jerryking
'Found millions from Bofors in overseas accounts'
The first investigator of the case Michael J. Hershman, the then president and CEO of The Fairfax Group and who was assigned primarily to probe violations of currency control laws in 1987,..huge money was transferred into accounts of influential people in defence deals, including in procurement of Bofors Guns.
scandals  scams 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
‘The situation is desperate’: murdered Maltese journalist’s final written words
In her last blogpost, published the day she died, Daphne Caruana Galizia signed off with a sentence that seems particularly chilling now.“There are crooks everywhere you look. The situation is desperate.”Caruana Galizia, 53, felt she had good reason to feel pessimistic about Malta, and her enemies had good reason to fear her. Someone, it seems, was worried enough to want her silenced.In that last post, which appeared just before a bomb blew up the car she was driving, Caruana Galizia had taken aim, and not for the first time, at Maltese politicians. But they were far from the only people in the firing line.he believed, in essence, that malign and criminal interests had captured Malta and turned it into an island mafia state; she reported on a political system rife with corruption, businesses seemingly used to launder money or pay bribes, and a criminal justice system that seemed incapable, or unwilling, to take on the controlling minds behind it all.Proof of her fears included the 15 mafia-style assassinations and car bombings that have taken place on the island in the last 10 years – and, ultimately, perhaps, her own murder too.
Malta  murders  scandals 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Harvey 'tried hard to get Ash alone' - Former Hollywood manager says she didn't allow mogul to harass actress
Sheffield claimed that Weinstein threatened her saying she "wouldn't work in this business" if she didn't comply."When we were leaving his (Weinstein's) office, he cornered me and said, 'What do I have to do to get her alone?' I told him to 'kiss my black ass'," Sheffield said.Sheffield added that she made sure that she didn't cow down despite Weinstein's frequent threats. "I never gave him the opportunity to even breathe on my client."Aishwarya forayed into international cinema with Gurinder Chadha's Bride & Prejudice in 2004, with her big-ticket Hollywood film being The Pink Panther 2 in 2009 that she co-starred in with Steve Martin and Andy Garcia.
8 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Uber Pushed the Limits of the Law. Now Comes the Reckoning - Bloomberg
The ride-hailing company faces at least five U.S. probes, two more than previously reported, and the new CEO will need to dig the company out of trouble.
uber  scandals 
8 weeks ago by MattieTK

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