What a Tale!

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During the boom, Wachovia banker Robert Verrone made money by slicing and dicing billions of dollars in commercial real estate loans. After the crash, he made money by restructuring those loans before they blew up. As Wachovia’s No. 1 underwriter of securitized commercial real estate debt between 2002 and 2007, Verrone resigned just months before… Read more »

Star Power Fraud

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Kenneth Starr, a celebrity financial adviser to stars including actors Wesley Snipes and Sly Stallone, was charged with carrying out a massive $30 million fraud on his clients and then spending the money on a luxury apartment and jewelry, federal prosecutors said. Starr, head of the Manhattan-based Starr and Co., was charged with wire fraud,… Read more »

Church Robbed of $600,000 Online

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Over one weekend in August 2010, the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, fell victim to a $600,000 ACH fraud theft, thus, becoming another in the growing list of businesses and entities that have suffered huge losses as a result of these frauds. Questions: 1. Based on the article, what do you calculate as the… Read more »

Can Debt Ruin Your Relationship?

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When Allison Brooke Eastman’s fiancé found out four months ago just how high her student loan debt was, he broke off their engagement within three days. Although she had told him early in their relationship that she had over $100,000 of debt, when she found that the amount was actually about $170,000, he accused her… Read more »

Bollywood on a Budget

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The world’s movie capital is not Hollywood but Bollywood. Bollywood is the nickname for the Indian film industry located in Bombay. Fourteen million Indians go to the movies on a daily basis (about 1.4% of the population of 1 billion) and pay the equivalent to the average Indian’s day’s wages (US $1-3) to see any… Read more »

A Fee to Visit the U.S.

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Starting Wednesday, September 8, 2010, travelers from 36 nations will be required to pay a new two-year entry or travel fee when they visit the United States — part of which will be used to promote tourism. The travelers will pay $14 to register through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), required for those… Read more »

Super Sleuthing at Apple

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Court papers filed by the federal government and Apple against a former manager detail a scheme that allegedly saw confidential Apple data supplied to Asian electronics companies over more than three years in return for kickbacks of more than $1 million.  Apple says that over the course of more than three years, two individuals colluded… Read more »

Happy Birthday! Microsoft is 35 years old!

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From modest beginnings, Microsoft, started by college dropout Bill Gates, gave birth to an entire industry, changing the way we live and work and became one of the largest software companies on the planet. As this article points out, not everything has been notable during its history. In particular, look at this parody video of… Read more »

Saving for the Future

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Did you know that roughly 50 percent of employees have no retirement savings at all?  In an effort to increase the number of Americans who are saving for retirement, a bill known as the Automatic IRA Act of 2010 has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and in the House by… Read more »

Interesting News for IFRS Nay-sayers

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While reviewing the proposed expansion of the International Financial Reporting Standards for accounting, Tim Bush, a member of the “Urgent Issues Task Force” that scrutinises the work of the Accounting Standards Board (ASB), claims to have uncovered “fatal” and “dangerous” flaws in the system.  Mr. Bush alleges the regulations, and specifically the way they have… Read more »