» A tidy little sum: It’s being reported that Citigroup has agreed to the above settlement, which would bring to an end a civil fraud complaint filed by some of their investors. The story is, as it happens, quite similar to what Goldman Sachs was found to have done (Goldman shelled out $550 million in that case). Citigroup helped structure investment portfolios for their clients without telling them that the bank itself was selecting the assets while betting against their success. In simple terms, a conflict of interest, and one that netted the company nearly $1 billion dollars. That figure, also, says something about the problem of mega-corporations buying out of legal trouble; namely, the amount it costs to satisfy a plaintiff is nearly never enough to such a company to truly dissuade the behavior.
There are big, big holes in that Wall Street financial reform act — holes big enough for Wall Street traders to drive their Ferraris through. … I think we’re going to be left with a Wall Street that continues to grow more and more powerful and richer relative to the rest of the United States economy.Economist (and Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor) Robert Reich • Regarding the economic recovery and financial reform, which he says has not succeeded in helping the middle-class, but has succeeded in allowing the financial industry to get richer. It’s created a disparity that, according to Reich, hasn’t existed since the Great Depression. ”[The middle class] can’t go deeper and deeper into debt. They can’t work longer hours. They’ve exhausted all of their coping mechanisms,” he says. source