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Articles about the work of Andrew Ross Sorkin

Sorkin on SEC-Citi Settlement
futureofcapitalism.com

Andrew Ross Sorkin has an intriguing column in the New York Times about Citigroup's $75 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

On its face, the settlement looked like a victory for the good guys. The S.E.C. was finally holding Wall Street responsible for misleading shareholders. But take a step back and ask this question: Who is paying that $75 million fine?

The answer is Citigroup's shareholders — the same people who were arguably defrauded by its failure to disclose its exposure to subprime mortgages in the first place. And that means you and I are liable, too. Taxpayers own 18 percent of the company.

The government fines a company it owns.

Read More...


Citigroup and the SEC
futureofcapitalism.com

When Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote skeptically about the $75 million proposed settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission, arguing that the people who would pay were "Citigroup's shareholders — the same people who were arguably defrauded by its failure to disclose its exposure to subprime mortgages in the first place," we flagged it here as "intriguing."

Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, a federal judge, Ellen Segal Huvelle, a Clinton appointee, has declined to approve the settlement, asking the SEC, as the Journal puts it, "why Citigroup shareholders should have to pay for the alleged sins of bank executives."

Read More...


Sorkin on Lehman Brothers
futureofcapitalism.com

Andrew Ross Sorkin channels some Wall Street conventional wisdom in a New York Times column arguing that "the decision not to lend to Lehman Brothers" was "perhaps the greatest mistake of the crisis." The most important word in those quotes is "perhaps."

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Wall Street Backs Higher SEC Budget
futureofcapitalism.com

Forty-one "prominent securities lawyers and professionals" have written to Congress asking that the Securities Exchange Commission be allowed to fund itself at whatever level it wants, without congressional appropriations or authorizations, the New York Times reports.

The Times's dispatch leaves out the doubtful constitutionality of this scheme and also omits the possibility that these "securities lawyers and professionals" who support the idea are hoping that SEC officials will remember their position and look kindly upon them then next time they have a matter before the commission. It's one thing to have the regulators captured by industry they regulate; in this case the industry seems to have been captured by the regulators.

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Steve Jobs' Charity
futureofcapitalism.com

Thomas Sowell has a column pushing back against that New York Times column scrutinizing Apple's Steve Jobs for not being more of a prominent philanthropist. Writes Mr. Sowell: "Trying to rope Steve Jobs into this world ignores how many other famous businessmen, whose achievements in business have benefited society, have created philanthropies whose harm has offset those benefits....Let business pioneers do what they do best. And let the rest of us exercise more judgment as to how much charity is beneficial and how much more simply perpetuates dependency, grievances and the polarization of society."

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Buffett's Secret
futureofcapitalism.com

Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times beat me by about two hours last night in getting to the point about the SEC-granted waivers from public disclosure that allowed Warren Buffett to accumulate $10.7 billion worth of IBM stock for Berkshire Hathaway in secret. Mr. Sorkin even, to his credit, asked Mr. Buffett about the issue. From the Sorkin column:

Mr. Buffett, in an interview, asked me, "How would you feel if you had to announce every story idea you had?"

He said that he did not believe that public investors should always be allowed to piggyback on investment ideas made by professional investors, especially before they are finished buying.

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More on Buffett, Secrecy, and the SEC
futureofcapitalism.com

A post here yesterday pointed out a discrepancy between the Wall Street Journal, which said the SEC issues about 60 confidentiality waivers per quarter to investors, and the New York Times, which, paraphrasing a spokesman, said the agency gets about 60 such requests a year. The Times has since corrected its story to 60 a quarter.

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Geithner Book NYT Magazine
smartertimes.com

The Times magazine has a long cover story by Andrew Ross Sorkin about Timothy Geithner, timed to the release of Mr. Geithner's book Stress Test. I'll have a response elsewhere on some of the substance, but there are at least two journalistic points worth mentioning.

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Anonymouse on Ackman's Payroll
smartertimes.com

An anonymous source the New York Times used for coverage of the company Herbalife had a financial agreement with a hedge fund manager who was selling Herbalife short, ABC News reports. Under the agreement, which was not disclosed in the Times article, the "whistleblower" was paid $20,000 a month, and could earn as much as $3.61 million, ABC News says.

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Two Views on Cyprus
smartertimes.com

Andrew Ross Sorkin, editor of the New York Times Dealbook section, has a column in today's Times explaining, as the headline puts it, "why not to worry" about the "irrelevant" and "overblown" matter of a new tax on bank accounts in Cyprus. The continuation of his column appears in the printed paper beneath the continuation (or "jump") of a top-of-the-front-page news article to which seven Times reporters are named contributors. The Times also carries an editorial warning that the tax "could do lasting damage to confidence in banks in other euro-zone countries in financia crisis." Either Mr. Sorkin is correct or the editorial writer and the editor who assigned seven reporters and put the news on the top of the front page are correct. But they can't both be correct, because the stories they tell are at odds.

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More on Buffett, Secrecy, and the SEC
futureofcapitalism.com

A post here yesterday pointed out a discrepancy between the Wall Street Journal, which said the SEC issues about 60 confidentiality waivers per quarter to investors, and the New York Times, which, paraphrasing a spokesman, said the agency gets about 60 such requests a year. The Times has since corrected its story to 60 a quarter.

Read More...


Buffett's Secret
futureofcapitalism.com

Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times beat me by about two hours last night in getting to the point about the SEC-granted waivers from public disclosure that allowed Warren Buffett to accumulate $10.7 billion worth of IBM stock for Berkshire Hathaway in secret. Mr. Sorkin even, to his credit, asked Mr. Buffett about the issue. From the Sorkin column:

Mr. Buffett, in an interview, asked me, "How would you feel if you had to announce every story idea you had?"

He said that he did not believe that public investors should always be allowed to piggyback on investment ideas made by professional investors, especially before they are finished buying.

Read More...


Steve Jobs' Charity
futureofcapitalism.com

Thomas Sowell has a column pushing back against that New York Times column scrutinizing Apple's Steve Jobs for not being more of a prominent philanthropist. Writes Mr. Sowell: "Trying to rope Steve Jobs into this world ignores how many other famous businessmen, whose achievements in business have benefited society, have created philanthropies whose harm has offset those benefits....Let business pioneers do what they do best. And let the rest of us exercise more judgment as to how much charity is beneficial and how much more simply perpetuates dependency, grievances and the polarization of society."

Read More...


Sorkin on SEC-Citi Settlement
futureofcapitalism.com

Andrew Ross Sorkin has an intriguing column in the New York Times about Citigroup's $75 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission:

On its face, the settlement looked like a victory for the good guys. The S.E.C. was finally holding Wall Street responsible for misleading shareholders. But take a step back and ask this question: Who is paying that $75 million fine?

The answer is Citigroup's shareholders — the same people who were arguably defrauded by its failure to disclose its exposure to subprime mortgages in the first place. And that means you and I are liable, too. Taxpayers own 18 percent of the company.

The government fines a company it owns.

Read More...


Citigroup and the SEC
futureofcapitalism.com

When Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote skeptically about the $75 million proposed settlement between Citigroup and the Securities and Exchange Commission, arguing that the people who would pay were "Citigroup's shareholders — the same people who were arguably defrauded by its failure to disclose its exposure to subprime mortgages in the first place," we flagged it here as "intriguing."

Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, a federal judge, Ellen Segal Huvelle, a Clinton appointee, has declined to approve the settlement, asking the SEC, as the Journal puts it, "why Citigroup shareholders should have to pay for the alleged sins of bank executives."

Read More...


Sorkin on Lehman Brothers
futureofcapitalism.com

Andrew Ross Sorkin channels some Wall Street conventional wisdom in a New York Times column arguing that "the decision not to lend to Lehman Brothers" was "perhaps the greatest mistake of the crisis." The most important word in those quotes is "perhaps."

Read More...


Wall Street Backs Higher SEC Budget
futureofcapitalism.com

Forty-one "prominent securities lawyers and professionals" have written to Congress asking that the Securities Exchange Commission be allowed to fund itself at whatever level it wants, without congressional appropriations or authorizations, the New York Times reports.

The Times's dispatch leaves out the doubtful constitutionality of this scheme and also omits the possibility that these "securities lawyers and professionals" who support the idea are hoping that SEC officials will remember their position and look kindly upon them then next time they have a matter before the commission. It's one thing to have the regulators captured by industry they regulate; in this case the industry seems to have been captured by the regulators.

Read More...


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Andrew Ross Sorkin

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