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Author Archives: Jonathan Weil

Commentary: Do Bank of America victims think they got taken

The Justice Department accused Bank of America Corp. this week of defrauding Wachovia Corp. and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco in a 2008 mortgage-bond deal. Here’s the funny part: Neither one has claimed it was defrauded by Bank of America in the transaction.

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Banker math meets the Justice Department’s cooks

Eric Holder has said he doesn’t know if he will stay on as U.S. attorney general, now that President Barack Obama has been re-elected. Here’s something to help them decide: A story about how the Justice Department got caught fudging its numbers on financial-fraud prosecutions — again.

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Commentary: Saying ‘you’re fired’ is the only answer here

Never underestimate the government’s capacity for incompetence when it comes to overseeing large financial institutions. The latest example: an ill-advised consulting contract between Freddie Mac’s outside auditor and the federal agency in charge of running the company.

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Commentary: Groupon IPO scandal is sleaze that’s legal

Here’s an unsettling fact for anyone thinking of ever buying shares in a newly public company: Even if its executives know their internal accounting systems are a wreck, they aren’t required to disclose this until after the company goes public.

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Commentary: MF’s money mystery is how much it paid Moody’s

So many times when the big credit-rating companies have embarrassed themselves, the world has sighed and chalked it up to a business model that by design invites corruption and incompetence. Perhaps never before have the public’s expectations for the industry been lower.

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Commentary: Financial frankness is a bad dream for a bank

There’s a simple explanation for why the world’s zombie banks remain so reluctant to write off worthless assets and tap the equity markets for fresh capital. They don’t want to end up like UniCredit.

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