Thursday, November 29, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
According to our partner The New York Times, hundreds of millions of dollars from the Kabul Bank were spirited out of country — some smuggled in airline food trays — to foreign bank accounts. Matt Rosenberg is in Kabul for our partner The New York Times. He's seen all 277 pages of the official audit.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Britain’s Financial Services Authority has fined global financial firm UBS $47.5 million in a "rogue trading scandal." Mark Scott has been reporting on the scandal from London for our partner, The New York Times.
"They didn't have the right controls and mechanisms in place in house to really catch this problem when it first happened," Scott says. "It's a question of the bank itself not having the right checks and balances internally."
"These are multi-million, if not billion dollar trades on a day to day basis," Scott says. When this much money is on the line, it is important that the banks are taking responsibility for the actions of their employees.
No one is naive enough to think a $47 million fine will put a stop to illegal or irresponsible trading practices. As Mark Scott says, "It's never til the next time."
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains how to thrive in an uncertain world. In his new book, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Sandy left behind not only countless disrupted lives, but a cost in dollars that’s hard to quantify and is still being counted.
Friday, November 09, 2012
With President Barack Obama reelected to a second term and Congress set to reconvene after Veterans Day, all eyes in Washington are set on the January 1 fiscal cliff when billions in spending cuts and tax increases will go into effect.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
When it comes to the economy, corporations see the glass as half-empty, while consumers see it as half-full.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Greg Smith, whose Op-Ed titled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs," published in the New York Times in March, hit a nerve and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, tells his story. His new book Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story, picks up where his Op-Ed left off. He describes his career at Goldman, detailing how the most storied investment bank on Wall Street went from taking iconic companies like Ford, Sears, and Microsoft public to becoming a "vampire squid."
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
By Kate Hinds
New York City's Department of Transportation says redesigned streets have been very, very good to small businesses.
A new report says that retail sales are up along city streets that have bike paths, pedestrian plazas, slow zones, or select bus service.
In some cases, the increase is dramatic: on Brooklyn's Pearl Street, where the DOT maintains retail sales have increased by 172 percent since a parking triangle was turned into a pedestrian plaza.
In Measuring the Street, the DOT lays out metrics for evaluating street redesign projects. These include benchmarks like injuries, traffic speed and volume. And now it includes retail sales data along redesigned routes.
The report casts the city's street redesign in a favorable light just as hundreds of planners descend on the city for the Designing Cities conference, happening this week at New York University.
"For the first time, we have years of retail sales that were reported to the Department of Finance, and we were able to look at that data and apply it directly to the SBS corridors, the bike lane projects, etc.," said DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Sadik-Khan ticked off a list of streets that she said economically benefited from being overhauled.
"On Fordham Road [in the Bronx], we saw the growth in the retail sales by local businesses -- and these are not chain stores -- grow 71 percent following the introduction of the SBS route there in 2008, which is three times the borough-wide growth rate."
The report says that along Ninth Avenue, retail sales are up 49 percent -- sixteen times the borough growth rate -- three years after that street's protected bike lane went in. Manhattan's Union Square, which was revamped in 2010, reports a lower commercial vacancy rate.
Sadik-Khan said the reason for increased sales is straightforward: if you build it, the people will come.
And presumably those people have wallets.
"We've seen anywhere between a 10 to 15 percent increase in ridership on all the SBS bus routes," Sadik-Khan said, "amid a citywide decline of 5 percent on bus routes." She said more riders along a route means more people getting on and off the bus, which means more foot traffic.
The DOT looked at sales tax records reported to the city's Department of Finance. The data excludes large chain stores and non-retail businesses.
Friday, October 19, 2012
The sudden departure of Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit has sparked a conversation about where the bank is headed under new leadership and what it says about the so-called "too big to fail" banking behemoths.
Friday, October 12, 2012
As the November election approaches, lawmakers are spending more time campaigning and less time working to avoid the "fiscal cliff," the trigger set to send Americans' taxes higher and slash federal spending by more than a trillion dollars at midnight on December 31. WNYC's Money Talking, examines whether Wall Street executives still have the clout to spur Congress into making a deal.