Tag Archives: finance

Where the Mob Keeps Its Money – NYTimes.com

26 Aug

Money is money, no matter how much blood drips from it.

THE global financial crisis has been a blessing for organized crime. A series of recent scandals have exposed the connection between some of the biggest global banks and the seamy underworld of mobsters, smugglers, drug traffickers and arms dealers. American banks have profited from money laundering by Latin American drug cartels, while the European debt crisis has strengthened the grip of the loan sharks and speculators who control the vast underground economies in countries like Spain and Greece.

Mutually beneficial relationships between bankers and gangsters aren’t new, but what’s remarkable is their reach at the highest levels of global finance. In 2010, Wachovia admitted that it had essentially helped finance the murderous drug war in Mexico by failing to identify and stop illicit transactions. The bank, which was acquired by Wells Fargo during the financial crisis, agreed to pay $160 million in fines and penalties for tolerating the laundering, which occurred between 2004 and 2007.

via Where the Mob Keeps Its Money – NYTimes.com.


After Knight Capital, New Code for Trades – NYTimes.com

9 Aug

Software is buggy. Some of my buddies in the industry tell me that it IS possible to write reliable code, but very expensive. So expensive and time-consuming that it is almost never done. Think about that for a minute. We live in a too-big-too-fail world that’s held together by software that’s almost guaranteed to fail. Sometime.

AS a former software engineer, I laughed when I read what the Securities and Exchange Commission might be considering in response to the debacle of Knight Capital’s runaway computerized stock trades: forcing companies to fully test their computer systems before deploying coding changes.

That policy may sound sensible, but if you know anything about computers, it is funny on several accounts.

via After Knight Capital, New Code for Trades – NYTimes.com.

Occupy Economics, and the Sustainable Finance Lab — Crooked Timber

17 Oct

in the Netherlands a very interesting initiative started a few weeks ago (independent of Occupy Wall Street, but obviously not independent of the same global problems in the financial sector): the Sustainable Finance Lab. It’s an initiative by an eclectic group of academics, mostly economists (some more mainstream, some more heterodox), and one small ‘green’ bank (Triodos), to bring together people interests in debating what the real problems are with the financial sector and what needs to be changed. … it’s been very, very interesting – in fact, on issues of economics I haven’t seen anything as interesting so close to home for a long time, and that’s probably because people who normally don’t speak to each other are sitting in the same room and sharing their views. Bankers, academics, students, ex-investment bankers, journalists—they all share their views in a respectful atmosphere, but it’s clear they do not quite have the same perception of how urgent change is needed, and indeed what type of change is needed, or what the causes of the problems are.

via Occupy Philosophy, Occupy Economics, and the Sustainable Finance Lab — Crooked Timber.