Big Banks, Big Bonuses and Big Government
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A federal judge has accused two Wall Street firms of "lying to their shareholders" about executive compensation. At the same time, big banks that got taxpayer bailouts are resuming the practice of guaranteeing multi-million-dollar bonuses that don't depend on performance. Are new regulations needed? Also, documents show that Karl Rove played a key role in the firing of US Attorneys. On Reporter’s Notebook, do opium poppies fund religious extremists or do drug traffickers also trade in religion?
Banner image: Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis (R) and Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain shake hands at a press conference at Bank of America headquarters September 15, 2008 in New York City. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
Docs Show Rove Played Key Role in US Attorneys’ Firings ()
A former federal prosecutor, fired during the Bush Administration, says White House e-mails now confirm his "worst nightmares:" that Karl Rove and his deputies violated the law. David Iglesias was the US Attorney for New Mexico, and he spoke with Michael Isikoff of Newsweek magazine.
Big Banks, Big Bonuses and Big Government ()
Even when Wall Street banks were losing money and receiving taxpayer bailouts, top traders were getting multi-million-dollar bonuses. Now some of the same institutions are at it again, guaranteeing big money even before any work is performed. The banks say that's what it takes to get the best people, but critics contend it creates risk-takers with nothing to lose except the nation's economic stability. Are the same people who helped to create the ongoing great recession now being rewarded? Is it time for the government to step in or should the free-market prevail? Would regulations stifle free competition or prevent another financial disaster?
- Robert Profusek: Attorney, Jones Day
- Stephen Lerner: Director of the Private Equity Project, SEIU
- Lucian Bebchuk: Director of the Corporate Governance Program, Harvard Law School
- Stephen Moore: Member of the Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal
Following the Opium Money in Afghanistan ()
A Senate committee says two federal agencies have lowered conventional estimates of how much drug money is going to the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency say the Taliban get about $70 million a year from Afghanistan's opium poppies, much less than the $400 million estimated by the UN last year. Al Qaeda may not be getting much at all. Gretchen Peters is author of Seeds of Terror, which argues that both religious terrorist groups have evolved into narco-terrorist syndicates with religious overtones.
- Gretchen Peters: former journalist, Associated Press and ABC News
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