Browsing: SEC

Glitch means no paychecks today for thousands of feds

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For 40,000 federal employees, this has not been a happy Friday. The reason: They didn’t get paid. Because of problems at the Interior Business Center (IBC), which handles payroll processing for numerous agencies outside of the Interior Department, paychecks that were supposed to be direct-deposited today didn’t go through, spokesman Michael Fernandez said in a statement later posted on the center’s website. Paychecks will now be deposited Tuesday, he said. The affected employees work in 23 of the 42 agencies served by the business center. They represent about 17 percent of the 240,000 workers paid through the IBC, according to the statement.…

Shareholders benefit from campaign funding disclosure, report says

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Companies that hide their political spending from shareholders have less value on the market, according to a report released Tuesday by researchers at Harvard law and the Public Citizen consumer advocacy group. Harvard law and economics professor John Coates and Taylor Lincoln with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division compared 80 companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 that voluntarily disclose their electioneering activities with other S&P 500 companies in the same industry. The companies with disclosure policies had a 7.5 percent higher industry-adjusted price-to-book ratio than other firms, according to the report. The duo looked at price-to-book ratios, as opposed…

No exposure for SEC employees in porn case

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Two-dozen past and present Securities and Exchange Commission employees are probably breathing easier. The reason? A federal judge ruled against making their names public after they got caught watching pornography and other sexual images on the job. In a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed this May, Denver attorney Kevin Evans had argued that government workers who “knowingly and intentionally” used taxpayer-financed property to engage in misconduct had no right to privacy. In a ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello disagreed. Not only were their privacy rights intact, Arguello wrote in an interesting line of judicial reasoning, but…

Congress approves SEC records exemptions repeal

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Congress has given final approval to legislation shutting down controversial Freedom of Information Act exemptions for the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to its sponsor, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. The measure now goes to President Obama. The exemptions, tucked into the financial services overhaul enacted in July, allowed the SEC to withhold some records gathered from hedge funds and other financial entities that it regulates. Without the new provisions, SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro argued, such entities could be reluctant to cooperate during examinations out of concern that sensitive records could become public. But critics said existing FOIA exemptions were adequate…

Former SEC lawyer sues LeBron James for $4M, claims he's his dad. Wait, what?

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In what may be the oddest paternity suit in recent memory, a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer is suing basketball star LeBron James and his mother for $4 million. Leicester Bryce Stovell claims that he is LeBron’s dad, and that the basketball star and his mom have conspired to deny his paternity and shut him out of the Miami-bound player’s life. Stovell said his memory of his 1984 one-night stand with Gloria James resurfaced 20 years later. (In an astounding coincidence, that would place his sudden recall well after all hard work and late nights of raising a son,…

Did porn addiction cause the financial crisis?

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Nero fiddled as Rome burned; SEC staffers watched porn as the economy crashed. A new report from the agency’s inspector general revealed a startling proclivity for sexually graphic materials among certain SEC staffers. The SEC’s inspector general conducted 33 “probes” — yes, that’s the word the Associated Press chose to use, and yes, I am twelve years old — of SEC officials, including 17 “at a senior level.” One senior attorney spent up to eight hours a day viewing and downloading pornography on the job, burning files to CDs and DVDs that he kept around his office. An accountant was…