|Occupation||Investigative journalist, columnist, author, writer|
Newt Gingrich is a boastful kind of guy. But when it comes to Wall Street, the former House speaker is surprisingly modest.
For Randy Neugebauer, the Texas Republican who chairs the investigations subcommittee, the top sources of funding for his 2012 reelection campaign are from the insurance, banking, finance, securities and real estate industries.
George Soros is one of the few characters from the world of finance who deserves to be called larger-than-life.
Some hedge fund managers have made big bucks trading oil futures – George Soros is one.
Legitimate institutions historically have been defenseless in the face of outright fraud.
Shorts wager on price declines by selling shares that they have borrowed in the hope of buying them back at far lower prices.
I'm not an ultra-libertarian who thinks there shouldn't be insider-trading laws at all.
With such enormous bucks devoted to trading in oil and other commodities, the distortions that they cause have been exacerbated.
In the struggle against sexual discrimination on Wall Street, Pamela K. Martens is a latter-day Rosa Parks – a woman who, metaphorically speaking, refused to sit in the back of the bus.
No other facet of American business is more corrupt, more intoxicated with illegality, more weakly regulated, and has a greater impact on poor and working people than debt collectors; not credit card companies or subprime mortgages, not even payday lenders.
Numerous academic studies have shown that amateur investors make poor traders – buying stocks for the wrong reasons, holding losers for too long, and acting on whims and emotions.
Even a casual reader of the financial pages knows that microcaps are a perennial headache for regulators and, above all, for investors because they have been prone to abuse by stock manipulators.
When Corporate America finds a Jayson Blair in its midst, the standard operating procedure is to circle the wagons and deny that any form of liability extends up the chain of command.
Ordinarily, the feds piggyback on the S.E.C. in complicated financial cases, but history proves that breath-holding on that score is a dangerous endeavor.
One problem with the focus on speculation is that it tends to promote the growth of the great intellectual cancer of our times: conspiracy theories.
Debt collectors should be required to disclose the applicable statute of limitations in the body of their collection letters, in bold type. While it's not illegal to dun a consumer for an old debt, it is illegal to sue for one.
There are a lot worse things you can do with all your bucks than giving them to even a mediocre mutual fund – such as, for example, giving them to a mediocre hedge fund. If supporting the lifestyle of a mediocre fund manager is your favorite charity, who am I to stop you?
Excessive hype, bankruptcy, cash burning like autumn leaves – such is the stuff of short-selling.
With 'posts' running in the millions, Internet message boards have become an essential part of the savvy investor's arsenal.
If you think Wall Street has a short memory, you're dead wrong. No, the folks who work on Wall Street, regulate Wall Street – and, above all, invest in its wares, notably its hedge funds – don't have a bad memory. They don't have any memory at all.
MF Global used to be known as Man Financial, and it had a reasonably good reputation. It did a humdrum business placing commodities trades for fund managers as well as farmers, grain dealers and others whose livelihoods depend on the vagaries of commodity prices.
At their worst, message boards can subject you to mindless braying or outright stock scams. But at their best, they provide meaty insights on just about every stock imaginable.
When the Securities & Exchange Commission settled securities-fraud charges against Richard Harriton, former chairman of the clearing subsidiary of Bear, Stearns & Co., there were smiles all around. The SEC was happy. Harriton was happy. Bear Stearns was happy.
I found that options traders – the Amex was mainly an options exchange – routinely conspired to keep as wide as possible the spreads between the prices investors paid and the prices floor traders paid for the same securities.
All too often, the pitchmen are selling the notion that if you gain 'control' over your financial destiny – pick your own stocks and execute your own trades – it will be the first step on a short road to riches.
When it comes to making laws that protect the public from the financial services industry, Congress has done a progressively worse job since the Pecora Commission hearings of the early 1930s, which led to Congress taking bold steps to regulate banking and securities firms in 1933 and 1934.
The media and marketing deluge has spawned a new type of Wall Street loser: the armchair momentum player. These are novice investors who engage in short-term stock buying and selling based on media reports or an expert's enthusiasm.
Conspiracy theories feed on opacity, and that's a longtime problem with short selling. Large long positions must be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission in public filings, but not large short positions.
Insider trading by hedge funds has a long and distinguished history, dating to the days when people didn't know that there was such a thing as a hedge fund.
I'm rooting for Saudi Arabia getting a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Mutual funds dare to be average. In fact, they dare to be lousy. They have long since ceased striving for anything resembling perfection when it comes to managing your money.
Humiliating events have a way of capturing the public's imagination. So it has been since antiquity, when gladiators were pitted against each other and the legions of Spartacus were crucified in endless rows on the way to Rome.
For the Amex, which has been casting around for a role for itself, microcaps fill a crucial void – a 'niche' that Amex officials feel has been neglected.
People are told their rights when they're arrested. Consumers getting collection letters are entitled to the same courtesy.
The problem with the focus on speculators, as was demonstrated during the financial crisis, is that it tends to divert attention from the real villains. During the financial crisis, the villains were the actions of the banks, not the speculators betting on bank share prices.
Despite all the drawbacks, the Internet provides a wide array of information – and some of it is being watched pretty carefully by the pros.
Kochi, formerly called Cochin, is a former European settlement with a large Christian population and a seafaring heritage. It is a town of enormous charm that reminds some visitors of the Caribbean more than India.
The heart of the 2008 financial crisis was a coterie of reckless financial executives, working for too-big-to-fail financial companies, who were handsomely compensated for taking risks that almost ruined the economy when they failed.
I've met Dick Syron. I like the guy. He's a man's man kind of character, a real charmer, the kind of guy you'd want to have a beer with, as well as being an economist of considerable repute.
Indians are sometimes accused of being condescending toward Westerners and of being excessively preachy in their attitude toward other nations. That accusation is sometimes correct.
In the U.S., diversity is a politically correct slogan. In India, it is a historical fact. Much as we in the West may resent it, India has a lot to teach us when it comes to religious tolerance.
Oil futures were originally created to give heating oil dealers, gas retailers, aviation companies and other businesses a method of hedging against adverse price changes. Instead, they've become just another Wall Street plaything.
India may be the only country in the world that has been free of anti-Semitic prejudice throughout its history.
Broadcasts from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange have propelled once-obscure financial journalists such as Maria Bartiromo to celebrity status and made CNBC to investors what ESPN is to sports fans.
Beefs against debt collectors are consistently among the top complaints received by both the FTC and state attorneys general.
Short-sellers perform a useful function in the market as conduits of negative information, and shorts often complain that they are discriminated against by regulators.