Entries by Wendy Fried

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Playing the blame game…

This financial crisis is painful, but everyone seems to be enjoying the blamefest. Choose your culprit: Wall Street, the White House, Congress, candidates, lobbyists, Fannie, Freddie, FASB, mortgage bankers, borrowers. Or all of the above. Then there are the regulators. On that score, some politicians are saying there was “no regulation” of the financial markets. […]

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Wanna be sedated?…

Scary events like Lehman’s fall and AIG’s takeover are inspiring what you might call “Prozac disclosures,” intended to soothe anxious investors. For example, on Friday Constellation Energy Partners (CEP) reported to investors that it had no bad news to report. In this press release, it said it had “no hedging or other contractual counterparty exposure” […]

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Back to school with Fannie and Freddie…

The Fannie/Freddie debacle provides many “teachable moments.” One of the classes we can sign up for is “what’s wrong with corporate employment contracts” – or what’s right with them, if you happen to be the executive who’s got one. As Michelle noted yesterday, the feds said they wouldn’t try to recover compensation from departing Fannie […]

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It’s been swell, says Novell…

This week Novell Inc. (NOVL) and other distributors of Linux-based software announced a venture with IBM to offer PCs that will be, as the press release puts it, “Microsoft-free.” You gotta kinda like that. But you don’t gotta kinda like the severance contract Novell filed Wednesday for former executive Thomas Francese, whose pending departure was […]

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Sloppy subprime valuations on Wall Street?…

On Wednesday the SEC released its second-ever “ComplianceAlert.” (Gee, what ever happened to spaces between words?) The alert, addressed to SEC-regulated firms (e.g. broker-dealers and investment advisers), used a low-key tone but raised serious issues. For example, SEC examiners found some large broker-dealers to be surprisingly sloppy about verifying the values their trading desks assign […]

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TeleTech time travels back to 1996…

This week TeleTech Holdings (TTEC) restated 12 years’ worth of financials dating back to 1996 – the year in which Nintendo 64 debuted, Alan Greenspan spoke of “irrational exuberance” and Christie Brinkley married that scoundrel she’s now divorcing. The culprit was misdated stock options. In a February 8-K, TeleTech announced the results of an internal […]