Autumn is upon us, but I see no fall off in candidates for our weekly look at finance's festering underbelly. Here's our list of nominees for The Call of Shame. Vote for your pick at the bottom.
And feel free to leave a comment.
AN INSIDE JOB
Perot employee Reza Saleh is accused of making $8.6 million in illegal profits using inside information to buy stock options ahead of Dell's proposed purchase of the company. The Wall Street Journal reports that Saleh was also Ross Perot's inside man 30 years ago in rescuing two employees held hostage in Iran. If he's guilty, I say that instead of prison, we put him in Special Ops to go back to Tehran...
TRUMP'S LIBYAN IN-TENT
Oh, Donald. Didn't someone on your team realize that they were renting out your estate TO MOAMMAR GADHAFI? The Libyan dictator's tent has been up and down on Trump's suburban Seven Springs property this week even though Gadhafi wasn't actually staying in it. It's just a "symbolic" gesture he takes with him every time he leaves home. New Jersey officials refused to let him set up camp on property he owns there. Let it never again be said that New York is classier than New Jersey.
California's attorney general is lunging at ailing Beverly Hills money manager Stanley Chais, accusing the 83-year-old Friend of Bernie of pretending to be an investment advisor, when in truth he was just sending hundreds of millions of dollars of client's (and his own) money to Madoff. Chais is in New York where he is being treated for a blood disorder, and his attorney says he's too frail to travel west for trial. The lawsuit claims Chais promised returns of up to 25 percent while raking in $270 million in fees.
Ok, I've almost learned to accept cheating in cycling or baseball. But intentionally crashing your car to throw a race? This week Renault's Formula One was given a "suspended permanent ban" (oh, that'll show 'em!) for Nelson Piquet's intentional race-fixing crash at the Singapore Grand Prix last year. Look, it's a Renault, it would've crashed eventually on its own.
KEN LEWIS IS "AWESOME"
Another week, another problem in the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch deal. This week the bank failed to turn over requested documents in time to a congressional committee. The bank says it's working to remedy that. But my favorite part of the story details what documents HAVE been turned over.Reuters reportsthat House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns claims the bank has sent him "hundreds of pages of unrelated, extraneous information" which includes "emails from employees to Ken Lewis about his 'awesome' performance on 60 Minutes, emails to employees about company discounts at retailers, the announcement of the 'Annual Pecan Sale'" and "an invitation to attend an East Asian investment conference, written in Chinese."
Only in California. The state lottery's TV show apparently gave $2.8 million away to someone who never actually qualified to be there, while another person who won a $2,000 consolation prize should've actually been allowed to compete in a game worth potentially $30,000. Now you begin to understand why we can't balance a budget...
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