What Do Bernie Madoff, the Loch Ness Monster, and Alex Rodriguez Have In Common?

They are in the 2009 edition of Topps’ Allen & Ginter series of Trading Cards. The set will consist of 350 cards: 230 baseball players, 30 rookies, 25 historic figures and 15 world champions. It also will include 50 short-printed cards. Among the unusual inclusions to the basic set are Old Faithful (the Yellowstone geyser), […]

Read full story · Comments { 2 }

Ethical Integrity Leadership – Setting the Tone From The Top

EthicsPoint sponsored this webinar and these are my notes. Howard Sklar, Vice President & Global Anti-Corruption Leader, American Express Company was the presenter. Howard was quick to point out that it is not just the “tone” but having the right “tone.” Also, it not be just the tone “at” the top, but that it be […]

Read full story · Comments { 2 }

Ponzimonium, Ponzipalooza, Ponzimania

There is “rampant Ponzimonium.” Or is there a “virtual Ponzipalooza”? Bart Chilton, a commissioner at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission coined these terms in his speech on March 20 before American Bar Association’s Committee on Derivatives and Futures Law Students. Personally, I prefer Ponzimania. The CFTC has filed charges against 15 alleged Ponzi schemes so […]

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

Combine Risky Mortgages With a Ponzi Scheme

Of course Scott Adams can find humor in Dilbert by combining the worst pieces of the financial industry collapse: risky mortgage loans, a Ponzi scheme, and misaligned executive compensation.

Read full story · Comments { 2 }

Did Compliance Programs Fail During the Financial Industry Meltdown?

Most people would say yes to this question. I think the answer is more complex. A stand alone compliance program could not prevent the over-exuberance, excessive risk taking, and ethical lapses that lead to the meltdown. The inspiration for this post came from an article by David Hechler, Risky Business: Did compliance programs fail the […]

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

OFAC: Are You In Compliance?

ATTUS Technologies was kind enough to host a webinar on OFAC compliance. Bradley Allen, CAMS, gave the presentation and these are my notes. The mission of Office of Foreign Assets Control is to administer and enforce economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against selected targets. It really came […]

Read full story · Comments { 1 }

AIG Bonus – My Thoughts

I have not said much about the AIG bonus hullabaloo. Frankly, I thought the outrage was ill-informed and silly. AIG wanted to keep some people around to help fix the mess it was in. Any sensible person would have one foot out the door of AIG looking around for a more stable employment opportunity. So […]

Read full story · Comments { 4 }

Ways Companies Mismanage Risk

René M. Stulz put together Six Ways Companies Mismanage Risk for the March issue of the Harvard Business Review. Professor Stulz summarizes his thoughts in that “conventional approaches to risk management present many pitfalls. Even in the best of times, if you are to manage risk effectively, you must make extremely good judgment calls involving […]

Read full story · Comments { 4 }

COBRA Expansion and Premium Subsidy Under The 2009 Stimulus Act

Jack Eiferman, Director, Goulston & Storrs, specializes in healthcare and Adrienne Markham, Director, Goulston & Storrs, specializes in employment law gave this webinar and I thought I would share my notes. Adrienne pointed out that federal COBRA is only for companies with more than 20 employees. Massachusetts, like many other states, have a mini-COBRA that […]

Read full story · Comments { 8 }

Compliance and Recommendations on Social Networking Sites

I am an enthusiast of social networking sites and web 2.0. But I realize they have limitations and dangers. I have been very concerned about the Recommendations feature in LinkedIn. That feature allows any of your connections on LinkedIn to post a recommendation or endorsement about you that appears on your profile page. At first, […]

Read full story · Comments { 20 }