Posts Tagged ‘investment banks’

Wall Street’s Bailout Bonuses

July 23, 2010

 Wall Street's Bailout Bonuses

Kenneth Feinberg, Special Master on Compensation Reform, cited 17 financial firms for “ill-advised” excessive payments to their executives while taxpayers were bailing their companies out with TARP funds. He called this “bad judgement.” Total of the bonuses and other executive payouts: $1.6 billion.


Wanted: Icelandic Banker

May 14, 2010

Wanted: Icelandic Banker

Interpol wants Sigurdur Einarsson, former chairman of Iceland’s failed Kaupthing bank. Iceland has already arrested the bank’s former CEO, Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson.

Mr. Einarsson, accused of counterfeiting, forgery and fraud, is said to be in London. The real Interpol wanted notice is here. There’s no reward but, if you find the guy, grateful Icelandic authorities will probably treat you to a glass or two of Brennivin.


SEC Asks Banks About Accounting Dodge

April 14, 2010

SEC Asks Banks About Accounting Dodge

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sent a letter to a score of bank CFOs asking if they used the same maneuver as Lehman Brothers to cook the books during quarterly reporting periods. In the trick, called Repo 105, a  bank uses a short-term contract (a Repurchase Agreement) to exchanges assets for cash, agreeing to buy them back later at 105 percent of their value, but the firm reports the resulting cash as if it were a straight sale. This gives the temporary illusion of bank soundness and profitability.


“SEC: Did others use Lehman accounting gimmick?” AP via Salon.

“SEC to Banks: Who Else Used Repo 105?” Marian Wang, ProPublica.

“Do other firms use Lehman’s accounting ‘drug’?” Alistair Barr, MarketWatch.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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