News Articles By Mary Bottari

Greedwashing on Wall Street

All eyes are on Wall Street this week as the big banks get ready to report their earnings and bonuses. Rebounding banks are preparing to pay out bonuses that rival those of the pre-crisis boom years.

During the first nine months of 2009, five of the largest banks that received federal aid — Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — together set aside about $90 billion for compensation.

To avoid pitchforks and public outrage, most banks are tamping down on the cash payouts and beefing up long-term stock options. One bank is taking an even more novel approach. Dare we call it greedwashing?

Bernanke: Wrong Speech, Wrong Nominee

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, gave a speech this week that made headlines and raised eyebrows: “Lax Oversight Caused the Crisis, Bernanke Says.” Finally, many thought, the Fed Chairman would fess up to his role in the crisis! Alas, 98 percent of the speech is dedicated to justifying what the Fed did right over the last decade, and the “lax oversight” apparently had more to do with other agencies charged with regulating mortgages and underwriting practices, not his own.

Brace for a "Jobless Decade"

By any measure, the last decade was a rotten one. It started with a stolen election and the worst terrorist attack in American history. It is ending this week with the United States mired in two wars and deep into a catastrophic recession.

It’s hard to imagine that the next decade could be worse, but could it?

As Owners of AIG, the American Public Deserves Some Answers

More than a year after reckless Wall Street gambling collapsed the economy, no employee of a major American bank or financial institution is behind bars. This fact is all the more astounding when it comes to AIG.

AIG was at the heart of the financial meltdown. Their "innovative" use of risky credit default swaps (a type of insurance policy on bonds) helped transform boring bond trading into a highly leveraged, high-velocity global business.

Happy Bonusmas?!

Bank bonuses are due to be announced. Perhaps, in the dead of night on Friday. The Wall Street Journal has already reported that they expect the total to top $140 billion. This is a record high and it was only possible because regulators flooded Wall Street with $3 trillion in cash, loans, guarantees and other forms of taxpayer support.

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