Thursday, October 16, 2008

Investigations: Media Ignored Derivatives Timebomb

Amid all the media hoopla about regulatory failures that contributed to the market collapse, you'd think journalists had been warning us all along about what was going to happen. Nothing could be more ridiculous. The recent coverage has ignored the fact that the financial press bulled housing - and derivatives - all the way up, just like it bulled dot-com stocks during the previous mania. Here's one good - albeit rare - look at the media role in all this, from Harper's Washington editor Ken Silverstein.

TAGS: markets, fraud, derivatives, investigations

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Investigations: Christopher Cox's SEC Gutted Enforcement Arm

Under chair Christopher Cox, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission "undermined and demoralized" its enforcement division, which investigates securities fraud, according to this exposé in Portfolio magazine. Cox has insisted he wasn't asleep at the switch in the run-up to the financial hell sweeping the planet. But Portfolio reports Cox's SEC reduced the watchdog division's powers and, as a result, fines against companies, individuals and brokers fell from $1.5 billion in 2005 to $507 million last year.

TAGS: market, fraud, investigations, SEC

Investigations: Q&A With Shadow Factory Author Bamford

Author James Bamford, who has delved deeper than anyone into the super-secretive U.S. National Security Agency, speaks with Democracy Now's Amy Goodman about his latest book, The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. Bamford reveals major new info on how the NSA conducted espionage on American military personnel, aid workers and journalists. His revelations have sparked two Congressional inquiries. See their Q&A here.

TAGS: intelligence, spy, investigations

Interesting: Q&A on Army Cemetery at Heart of HBO's "Section 60"

Interesting Q&A with filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matt O'Neil here about "Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery," part three of their documentary trilogy for HBO exploring the human costs of the wars in the Mideast.

TAGS: Iraq, Mideast