Daily Archives: May 26, 2015

Pension adviser says Ernst & Young was aware of Wal-Mart Mexico bribery allegations

(Reuters) – A labor-affiliated pension fund adviser is seeking an inquest into the auditor of Wal Mart Stores Inc, Ernst & Young LLP, accusing the auditing firm of knowing about possible bribery in Mexico long before the retailer disclosed it to U.S. authorities.

CtW Investment Group, an adviser to union pension funds holding about 0.15 percent of Wal-Mart’s shares, said an internal Wal-Mart memo released during shareholder litigation showed that Ernst & Young was informed by Wal-Mart’s internal audit services, or IAS, unit that a whistleblower had provided evidence of the alleged Mexico bribery scheme to Wal-Mart.

“E&Y was briefed by IAS over the course of the Company’s internal investigation from late 2005 through early 2006,” according to a letter sent last week by CtW to the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, or PCAOB. The board, CtW wrote, should consider “whether E&Y responded appropriately after obtaining evidence of illegal acts and serious internal control deficiencies.”

CtW Executive Director Dieter Waizenegger said the group only realized the significance of the memo in recent months.

Read on.

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf Tells University Of Minnesota Grads To ‘Fall In Love With Mistakes’

Fall in love with your mistakes?? lol Now that is a joke. Wells Fargo falls in love with their mistakes as long as they pay a fine and no jail time for their crimes to the government and the taxpayers bail them out.

Well Fargo CEO John Stumpf told graduates of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota that in order to transition from knowledge to wisdom, they’ll need to make some mistakes.

“I wish I’d been much more aggressive in sharing my mistakes and learning from other people’s mistakes along the way — you’re not going to [get] old enough to make all the mistakes yourself, learn from other’s mistakes,” Stumpf said.

Stumpf earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota and got his MBA from the University of Minnesota. He spoke at the Carlson School’s commencement on May 18.

Stumpf said he had “three quick things with all of you that I wish someone had shared with me when I was in your seat”: The “changing world I was going to go enter,” “the journey of learning,” and a couple of hints on how to develop and build a career. On the last note, he encouraged grads to work for a company that “shares your values, your beliefs, your ethics.”

People who are happiest “fall in love with learning,” Stumpf said, while adding that people should also “fall in love with mistakes.”

Read on.

An important message from a blogger of an ongoing battle with Bank of America

justice-league-task-force-ss01

Passing this along from someone that email me to get the word out. See below:

2015/05/26 at 2:59 am

Dear Justice League,

I’m writing in an attempt to raise awareness of the countless thousands of families nationwide, many of them Military Veterans like myself, who are having their lives destroyed and their homes literally stolen by “Big Banks” through illegal foreclosures and fraudulent mortgage servicing practices that continue to this day.

These banks, on the rare occasions when they are called out for their illegal acts, are slapped on the wrist with small fines which do nothing to make whole the people who have lost their homes, their financial viability, and in many cases their health as a result.

Frankly I’m at a loss for why there isn’t more publicity surrounding this. The media is effectively complicit with their silence.

In addition to our attempt to raise the overall awareness of this national criminal tragedy, we’re trying to publicize our own ongoing Battle with Bank of America.

We’re seeking help in order to raise the money we need to have any chance of winning our case which is currently in the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

We thought perhaps you could help us get the word out.

Great thanks in advance, and please share this story with as many people as you possibly can.

Please contact me via my GoFundMe site with any questions or further information.

The Grey Family

http://www.gofundme.com/Make-The-Bank-Pay

Banks Will Keep Doing FX Stuff That Got Them in Trouble

The definition of insanity….

I mentioned yesterday that, as a condition of their probation, all the banks that pled guilty to a conspiracy to rig foreign-exchange rates have to send sad little “Disclosure Notices” to their clients. Here, for instance, is JPMorgan’s disclosure notice, which on a cursory glance seems to be identical to the one attached to its plea agreement. It’s an interesting little document. There’s an introductory paragraph, and then a paragraph of contrite moaning that “conduct by certain individuals has fallen short of the Firm’s expectations,” specifically by being a massive antitrust conspiracy.

Then there are three bullet points describing other naughtiness that does not rise to the level of antitrust conspiracy. Those bullet points begin:

“We added markup to price quotes using hand signals and/or other internal arrangements or communications.”

“We have, without informing clients, worked limit orders at levels (i.e., prices) better than the limit order price so that we would earn a spread or markup in connection with our execution of such orders.”

“We made decisions not to fill clients’ limit orders at all, or to fill them only in part, in order to profit from a spread or markup in connection with our execution of such orders.”

You might read these sentences as admissions of guilt, or disclosures of crimes, or even apologies. In context — in the context of a disclosure notice sent to clients as part of the bank’s probation for a felony conviction, one paragraph after the apology for the massive antitrust conspiracy — that’s kind of what they look like. And in the banks’ plea agreements, the practices described in those bullet points are listed as “other relevant conduct” for the criminal conspiracy. So Iread the bullet points as confessions yesterday, and was puzzled because, while they seem like sharp practices, they don’t quite seem like crimes.

But those bullet points are actually introduced by the phrase, “The Firm has engaged in other practices on occasion, including:.” These are not crimes, just “practices.” And the disclosure notice just describes them. It stops after the bullet points. It never says “and those practices were wrong.” Or “and we’re sorry we did those things.” Or even: “and we’ll stop doing them.”

Because they won’t! Here’s another letter that JPMorgan is sending to its clients along with the disclosure notice. This one is not a condition of its probation. Here’s how it starts:

The purpose of this letter is to clarify the nature of the trading relationship between you and the Corporate & Investment Bank at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its affiliates (together, “JPMorgan” or the “Firm”) and to disclose relevant practices of JPMorgan when acting as a dealer, on a principal basis, in the wholesale spot foreign exchange (“FX”) markets.  We want to ensure that there are no ambiguities or misunderstandings regarding those practices.

So: That does not sound like an apology. That sounds downright feisty. The disclosure notice, which JPMorgan has to send, starts with an apology and then goes on to list some things that JPMorgan did in the past. The client letter, which JPMorgan wants to send, starts with a defiant “no ambiguities or misunderstandings” and then goes on to list some things that JPMorgan will keep doing in the future.

Did you guess that they’re the same things? Of course you did! (Minus the antitrust conspiracy of course.)

So the Justice Department didn’t like that JPMorgan, and most of the FX-manipulating banks, “added markup to price quotes using hand signals and/or other internal arrangements or communications.” So JPMorgan has to say to clients:

In certain instances, certain of our salespeople used hand signals to indicate to the trader to add markup to the price being quoted to the client on the open telephone line, so as to avoid informing the client listening on the phone of the markup and/or the amount of the markup.

Read on.