Thursday, July 18, 2013

More Cowbell . . . .

Jeffrey Skilling mug shot
Public Domain
Interesting and relevant corporate news over the past several days.  In catching up on recent stories pertinent to issues of justice, the following seem particularly relevant in connection with previous posts on the Corporate Justice Blog:

Enron's Skilling to Leave Prison in 2017 as Sentence Cut:  "Former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling, who spearheaded the fraud that destroyed the world’s largest energy trader, will leave prison in 2017 after his sentence was reduced to 14 years from 24.  U.S. District Judge Sim Lake III in Houston yesterday approved the terms of the deal made between prosecutors and Skilling, who appeared at the hearing dressed in prison-issued green clothes and wearing handcuffs that were removed in court. In exchange for a shorter sentence, Skilling, 59, agreed to forfeit $45 million, drop his bid for a new trial and end litigation over his 2006 conviction and sentence. The former CEO’s prison term was already set to be reduced by nine years, thanks to a 2011 appellate-court ruling that sentencing guidelines were incorrectly applied in his case."

 Wall Street's "Fabulous Fab" Heads to Trial:  "The trial of the infamous ex-Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice 'Fabulous Fab' Tourre, which start[ed] Monday [July 15, 2013], could put a face on the type of Wall Street recklessness that imploded the housing market and almost sank the economy five years ago. . . .  If Tourre is found liable, he could face a hefty fine from the SEC and be barred from working in the financial industry. 'The SEC can take a real bite out of you . . . The sky's the limit in terms of the monetary penalties.'  The SEC has filed civil charges against Tourre and is taking him to trial largely based on e-mail evidence. The SEC alleges that, based on the messages, Tourre knew he was selling compromised investments - packages of real estate debt that had been expected to fail and were being shorted by hedge fund firm Paulson & Co."

States Promise Quick Action on Election Laws After Ruling on Voting Rights Act:  "Across the South, Republicans are working to take advantage of a new political landscape after a divided U.S. Supreme Court freed all or part of 15 states, many of them in the old Confederacy, from having to ask Washington's permission before changing election procedures in jurisdictions with histories of discrimination.  After the high court announced its momentous ruling . . . officials in Texas and Mississippi pledged to immediately implement laws requiring voters to show photo identification before getting a ballot. North Carolina Republicans promised they would quickly try to adopt a similar law. Florida now appears free to set its early voting hours however Gov. Rick Scott and the GOP Legislature please. And Georgia's most populous county likely will use county commission districts that Republican state legislators drew over the objections of local Democrats."

Marissa Mayer
courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Giorgio Montersino

How One Year of Marissa Mayer has Changed Yahoo:  "Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer likes to shop.  During Mayer's one-year tenure -- her start date was a year ago Wednesday [July 17, 2013] -- Yahoo has bought an incredible 16 startups. And she didn't even start the buying spree until she'd been CEO for three months. Since then Yahoo's acquisitions have been made at a breakneck pace, with the company sometimes announcing two purchases in a single day, or six over the course of a month.  'It is just astounding how truly active Yahoo has been on the M&A front,' said S&P Capital equity analyst Scott Kessler. 'They're mostly buying very small companies, but still -- I don't know that any other company has matched this pace of buying.'"



  1. It's official, Jon Corzine will not be cuffed over MF Global.

    John Corzine, former Democrat Senator and Governor of New Jersey CEO of MF Global will not be charged for his mishandling of customer accounts leading to the collapse of the storied firm.

    It seems that everyone at the firm was guilty of financial malfeasance except the politically connected Democrat - who Joe Biden often referred to as the Obama administrations "go to guy" for advice on the economy - despite senior executives saying that Corzine was fully aware of the misuse of customer funds.

    Go figure.

  2. "Across the South, Republicans are working to take advantage of a new political landscape after a divided U.S. Supreme Court freed all or part of 15 states, many of them in the old Confederacy ... blah, blah,blah"

    Wait, isn't that the same part of the country that progressive Democrats used to call the "Solid South" when they were creating obstacles at the polls for blacks in order to deliver elections to the likes of Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Truman and JFK? The same "Solid South" where progressive Democrats enforced segregation and Jim Crow?

    Trying to insinuate that a requirement to show a valid I.D. - something that we all do in order to board a plane, cash a check, enter a federal building, etc. in every part of the country - to cast a ballot is in any way similar to what racist Democrats did for generations to deny blacks the vote is simply shrill and laughable.

    Those who vote illegally cancel out the legitimate vote of another - black or white.

    In fact, the I.D. requirement is so common in other countries that foreign observers of U.S. elections are shocked to find that in most of our country I.D. is not required to vote:

    "It's an incredible system," said Nuri K. Elabbar, who traveled to the United States along with election officials from more than 60 countries to observe today's presidential elections as part of a program run by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Your humble Cable guy visited polling places with some of the international officials this morning. Most of them agreed that in their countries, such an open voting system simply would not work.

    The most often noted difference between American elections among the visitors was that in most U.S. states, voters need no identification. Voters can also vote by mail, sometimes online, and there's often no way to know if one person has voted several times under different names, unlike in some Arab countries, where voters ink their fingers when casting their ballots."

    If voter ID requirements are so discriminatory, why is the Obama administration funding the implementation of such requirements in other countries?:

    "In Kenya, the $53 million Yes Youth Can program empowers nearly one million Kenyan youth to use their voices for advocacy in national and local policy-making, while also creating economic opportunities. In advance of Kenya’s March 2013 general elections, Yes Youth Can’s “My ID My Life” campaign helped 500,000 youth obtain National identification cards, a prerequisite to voter registration …"

  3. The most recent McClatchy/Marist Poll shows that 83 percent of Americans agree that it would be a good thing to "Require voters show identification in order to vote". That finding includes the support of 83 percent of non-whites and 78 percent of those under 45.

    Wow, who knew that non-whites and young people were such "racists"?