Tag Archive for ‘Financial Crisis’
On the fifth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, columnist Gael O’Brien says the biggest takeaway of the 2007-8 financial meltdown may be how leaders misjudged the “footprint” of their institutions and the impact they can have on “bystanders” – a community, a country, and potentially countries around the world.
For more than two years, Goldman Sachs’ reputation has been under fire for its alleged role in the financial crisis. On August 9, 2012, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) announced it won’t prosecute the firm. Goldman Sachs’ spokesman said, “We are pleased that this matter is behind us.”
Tess Czerski, a Dutch undergraduate student and intern with the RACI Project in Bali, Indonesia, says local entrepreneurs in developing countries are harnessing sustainable practices at an astonishing rate – leaving far behind Western enterprises, which are paralyzed by the current economic situation.
The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) — the idea that companies directly contribute to the common good — is gaining adherents throughout the business world. However, what constitutes responsible corporate behavior is open to interpretation by the firms themselves and the larger cultures in which they operate.
Years after the financial crisis, there have still been no prosecutions of top executives at the major players in the financial crisis. Why’s that? Well, according to a now-departed Justice Department official who used to be in charge of investigating such matters, the Justice Department has decided that holding top Wall Street executives criminally accountable is too difficult a task.
While there’s no excuse for recent leadership scandals, Art Stewart writes, “it is also irresponsible to dismiss outright our own role in engendering a culture of duplicity, incompetence, and corruption as if it all could manifest from unsupported solo acts.”
A new report by Bloomberg News suggests that in July 2008, then-Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson met with “a dozen or so hedge-fund managers and other Wall Street executives” to discuss a possible scenario for placing mortgage enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into “conservatorship.” Pulitzer Prize-winner Jesse Eisinger says Paulson’s meeting with his former Wall Street peers draws “a picture of a Treasury Secretary who took care of his buddies while allowing the system to blow up.”
Reporter Jake Bernstein – who won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories on questionable Wall Street practices – says Margin Call is a “briskly paced and marvelously acted” film which tells “the story of a Wall Street that has evolved from an economic helpmate to an economic predator.”
Has anything changed in banking regulation since the crisis of 2008? Consider the case of MF Global Holdings Ltd., a New York-based securities firm that filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 31 after disclosing sizable exposure to derivatives and other investments related to billions of dollars in European sovereign debt. The firm was headed by Jon Corzine, a former CEO of Goldman Sachs who subsequently went into politics and was elected U.S. Senator and, later, Governor of New Jersey. In this video clip, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart compares and contrasts the positions and behavior of Jon Corzine, the politician, with Jon Corzine, the CEO banker.
An executive recruiter in the compliance field says he’s recently noticed a disturbing trend: as the global economy stagnates and seemingly worsens, and job cuts are announced daily, tensions rise. “Frustration, irritation and the loss of common decency pervades,” he says. “It has truly become a dog-eat-dog environment.”