Goldman Sachs has long been known for being a sharp trader. And the settlement announced with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday seems like a great trade. Goldman agreed to pay $550 million to settle charges that it had misled investors about mortgage-related products. How is this a smart trade for Goldman, its top executives, and its shareholders? Let us count the ways.
The Federal Reserve doesn't seem to care much about high unemployment. Apparently, very few other people in Washington do, either. The corporate sector has returned to rude health, with improved balance sheets and tons of cash. It has helped lead the recovery. But without paychecks for the mighty American consumer, the recovery will seem anemic.
As we plow through the legislation to figure out the winners and the losers of the new financial rules, it's worth pondering what Wall Street got out of the crisis. Most of the reaction, in fact, nods to it being a boon to the banks. And some of those benefits will remain intact even after the legislation passages. Here's a look at the handouts given to Wall Street.
Despite being awash in red ink, a new survey finds that companies are committed to going green.
Ever since oil began gushing from the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has become as British as Wimbledon, as foreign as football played with a round ball. As a result, it's possible the company will suffer harsher treatment at the hands of consumers and lawmakers.
President Obama's Oval Office speech about the Gulf oil spill was almost enough to make you miss President George W. Bush. Maybe not the actual presidency of George W. Bush, but at least the platonic ideal of the presidency of George W. Bush—the M.B.A. president, the chief executive as CEO.
Americans acted quickly and decisively to the Great Recession, while Europeans seem paralyzed by a preoccupation with the hyperinflation of the 1920s.
How CEO Tony Hayward is making the Gulf oil-spill disaster even worse
Whether you are an economic pessimist or optimist, you have to consider all the data—not just the data you like. The problem is sussing out which data points to trust. Generally, measurements of actual activity are better than surveys about attitudes or behavior. What's more, many data series come out after the fact and are subject to revision, which makes them less reliable when it comes to gauging what's taking place right now.
Thursday afternoon, the markets went on something of a joyride. Actually, it was more like a distress ride. After plummeting more than 900 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down about 3 percent. Why? It's unclear. CNBC said traders warned of a "black hole effect." A chief culprit, as Reuters pointed out, seemed to be fears of financial contagion from Greece, where residents are engaging in the ancient pastime of rioting.