Tag: Corporate governance

Bank Shot: Financial Giants’ Return to Manhattan Gives Smaller Businesses Hope

Yves here. One, or in this case, even two robins do not make a spring. But they are indicators. We had warned that the “work at home” trend was not likely to be as durable as many who’d bought homes well away from their former offices would like to think. As we indicated, most CEOs […]

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California Judiciary Committee Gives Blistering Assessment of CalPERS’ Fiduciary Duty Failings in Analysis of Fraud-Friendly Private Debt Secrecy Bill

It appears that at least some people in Sacramento are paying attention to what has been happening at CalPERS and don’t like what they see. Below, we have embedded the California Assembly Judiciary Committee staff analysis for AB 386, a bill providing for secrecy of private debt investments. The analysis calls out some of CalPERS’ […]

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Latest Filings in Devastating Lawsuit Against Bank of America, Credit Suisse, and Bayer Board Members and Executives Over Disastrous Monsanto Acquisition

Even though Covid has produced clogged courts, cases are still moving forward, including a series of cases using similar, novel legal arguments to storm the barricades of incestuously and poorly managed major European companies. We’ve written the most about Bayer, which is in the dock for its disastrous, executive and banker serving acquisition of Monsanto. […]

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Chicago School Economists Got it Wrong. Strong Antitrust Policy Boosts the Economy.

Yves here. Intellectual and public support is necessary but not sufficient for officials and courts to take on companies with excessive market power. One way is to break them up. The other is to regulate them. I’m not at all sympathetic to the whinging of the likes of Facebook that it would be hard to […]

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CalPERS Laughingstock: Marcie Frost, Who Previously Pursued Non-Existent Dual Bachelors/Masters Degree, Designates Herself Law School Grad and Bar Member; Investment Committee Chair Theresa Taylor Admits Not Knowing What SPACs Are

CalPERS continues to demonstrate how far the institution has fallen. It’s not a good look that that key actors are broadcasting the CalPERS’ diminished state by seeming totally clueless when making fools of themselves. Marcie Frost, Now Lawyer Extraordinaire Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France. One must conclude that Marcie Frost has imperial fantasies in […]

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CalPERS Board Member Theresa Taylor Outs that a Staff Member Has Committed Fraud; When Will Giant Pension Come Clean?

CalPERS continues to demonstrate that its board is both generally unwilling to and incapable of performing its duty of overseeing staff. While discussing inadequate “the horse has left the barn and is now in the next county” measures in the wake of Chief Investment Officer Ben Meng’s resignation, Investment Committee Chair Theresa Taylor dropped the […]

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Former Board Member JJ Jelincic Sues CalPERS Over Illegal Secret Board Discussion After CIO Ben Meng’s Abrupt Departure and Hiding of Records Related to $583 Million Overstatement of Real Estate Assets

We seem to be returning to a semblance of the old normal, including CalPERS getting well-deserved public attention for its bad behavior, highlighted in a new lawsuit filed by former board member JJ Jelicic, which we’ve embedded at the end of this post. It’s short and very readable; slightly more than half the pages of […]

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Recent Judge Rakoff Decision May Curb Private Equity Leverage Abuses By Pinning Liability on Directors of Selling Company

For decades, authorities and experts have tried restricting excessive borrowing by private equity investors, since it’s been repeatedly shown that they leave lots of bankruptcies in their wake. And these abuses continue because private equity looting fee structures result in general partners make out handsomely whether or not the business does well. In 1987 (no […]

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Global Coup d’État: Mapping the Corporate Takeover of Global Governance

Yves here. Even though the title of this interview might seem hyperbolic, the top wealthy, who have no strong loyalty to countries or societies, are using both the muscle of international companies and transnational organizations to further hollow out governments and reduce democratic accountability, with a new “global governance” model. It’s the newest flavor of […]

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Working From Home: Too Much of a Good Thing

Yves here. In fairness to this short article, one thing it establishes, whether it intended to or not, is that it’s not easy to divine what the best balance between working at home versus working at the office might be for many enterprises. As a lowly consumer and small business person, it’s clear that there’s […]

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The Dangers of Sustainability Metrics

Yves here. I’m waiting for VoxEU to run the generalized version of the argument it makes here, “The Dangers of Metrics.” A bizarre vogue for metrics started in the late 1990s, and it became even more acute in the dot bomb era. You’d see resumes suddenly claiming that the individual increased sales by x% or […]

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Blockbuster Lawsuit Targets Deutsche Bank Executives and Supervisors for Epic Abuses, Value Destruction

It’s hardly a secret that Deutsche Bank has become a standout in the universe of badly managed big banks. But thanks to news flow overwhelm, we’ve been slow to write up an important suit, Rosenfeld v. Achleitner that lays out the misconduct over the last decade and is out to ding the executives and directors, […]

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“Build Back Better” Needs an Agenda for Upward Mobility

Yves here. While voters should try to get politicians to live up to their campaign promises, Joe Biden has already made clear that his should be taken as nothing more than hot air. We took a quick pass at his electoral promise about what he’d do about Covid, which included substantial income support and rent […]

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Goldman Gets Off Easy in 1MBD Scandal Despite Further $2.9 Billion in Payments, Criminal Charge Against Malaysian Sub

Experts will tell you that a good negotiation leaves both sides feeling a bit bruised. I doubt that Goldman is feeling bruised over yesterdays’s multi-regulator settlement in the 1MBD scandal. Mr. Market certainly thought so; Goldman’s stock held its price on the announcement of the multi-regulator settlements yesterday that included $2.9 billion in fines and […]

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CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost Says She’s Not in Charge and Lies to the Board About Receiving a Warning from the Fair Political Practices Commission

One of our favorite headlines was about the HUD Secretary during the foreclosure crisis: Memo to Shaun Donovan: Your Nose is Getting So Long You Need to Get a Hacksaw. We’ve resisted the temptation to reprise it with CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost as the Pinocchio wannabe. But yet another incident of Frost’s casual lying shows […]

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Shareholder Capitalism’s Ugly Legacy

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1165 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what […]

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Journey into a Libertarian Future: Part V – Dark Realities

Yves here. We’re returning to Andrew Dittmer’s libertarian series after a Labor Day hiatus. His Code Name Cain wrestles with the apparent necessity of lobbying. By Andrew Dittmer, who recently finished his PhD in mathematics at Harvard and is currently continuing work on his thesis topic. He also taught mathematics at a local elementary school. Andrew enjoys […]

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As Boeing Inches Toward 737 MAX Recertification, 787 and Lunar Lander Go Sour, Charleston v. Seattle Looms

By Lamberg Strether With such a ginormous news flow, we haven’t consolidated all the bad news about Boeing for you, dear reader. Hence this round-up. There are four ongoing Boeing stories — I think I should say horror stories — to consider: The 737 MAX recertification process (with accompanying post mortem), two separate 787 manufacturing […]

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CalPERS Cooks Its Books: Grossly Understated Investment Consultant Meketa’s Expenses in Annual Financials; Made a Criminal False Account by Burying the Cost

We stumbled across a troubling anomaly in CalPERS annual financial and investment reports, its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, in public pension speak are called CAFRs. One of CalPERS’ most visible outside advisors is its private equity consultant Meketa Investment Group. Reports to the board about CalPERS’ outside contracts showed payments to Meketa of over $1 […]

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CalPERS’ Bad Numbers: CEO Marcie Frost’s Multi-Hundred Thousand /Year Advisor Randle Communications Missing from Board Reports

CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost is having an exceptional run of luck. This is the second year in a row that the multi-hundred-thousand-dollar price tag of Randle Communications, which has repeatedly described Frost and not CalPERS as their client, has been missing from the annual report to board of contracts with payments in excess of $100,000. […]

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Another Compliance Failure: CalPERS Discussed Recusal of Ex-CIO Ben Meng but Failed To Enforce It; CEO Marcie Frost Says “Not My Job”

As we have pointed out, on January 31, 2019, when new Chief Investment Officer Ben Meng submitted his “Assuming Office” financial disclosure form (Form 700), CalPERS was put on notice that Meng had a serious conflict of interest It’s possible that CalPERS did not bother to look at the filing but that would suggest even […]

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Influential California State University Council Calls for CalPERS CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost to Go on Administrative Leave During Investigation by Inspector General

The California State University Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association (CSU-ERFSA) has called on Governor Gavin Newsom to put CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost on administrative leave in order to investigate a series of management lapses. We have embedded their latest newsletter at the end of this post. This call to action is part of […]

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CalPERS Staff Yet Again Tries to Usurp Board’s Power by Steering Governance Reforms After CIO Ben Meng Departure

The CalPERS board would do well to heed two folk sayings as CalPERS staff is scrambling to put itself in charge of a board campaign, led by State Controller Betty Yee, to reassert the board’s authority over staff. One is “A politician is someone who tries to get in front of a mob and call […]

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State Controller Betty Yee Calls for Public Discussion of CalPERS Governance Reforms Following Sudden Departure of CIO Ben Meng

CalPERS CEO Marcie Frost’s charm offensives appear to be backfiring now that more and more parties are paying attention. CalPERS best-paid officer Ben Meng departing like a bat out of hell appears to have focused a few minds. As we’ll discuss longer form, at a CalPERS “retiree roundtable” on Tuesday, Frost tried claiming that Controller […]

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How CalPERS Staff Keeps the Board in the Dark About Compliance Problems

Recall that in the press reporting on l’affaire Meng, CalPERS in its spin to the press was remarkably open how it intended to bury the matter and not inform the board that its highest-paid officer might have violated the California Political Reform Act.1 From Bloomberg on August 8: But she [Frost} planned to discipline him […]

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Influential CalPERS Retiree Group Demands Resignation of Board President Henry Jones; Calendars Confirm Secret “Board Within Board” Abuse

We’ve been saying for some time that the CalPERS board has been making a credible imitation of potted plants. One of the contributors is the leadership, if you can call it that, of Board President Henry Jones, who seems to think his job consists of making sure nothing happens at board meetings. Some CalPERS beneficiaries […]

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CalPERS Misappropriates Funds, a Violation of the Criminal Code, By Laundering $40,000 Speaker Fee Through Randle Communications, a Nearly $500,000 a Year Advisor to Marcie Frost

As famed short seller David Einhorn would say, “No matter how bad you think it is, it’s worse.” That is particularly true of CalPERS. The results of a new Public Records Act request has exposed that not only has CalPERS paid a $40,000 fee for a single speech to entertain participants in a “stakeholder” event, […]

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Devastating Lawsuit Targets Bank of America, Credit Suisse, and Bayer Board Members and Executives Over Disastrous Monsanto Acquisition

A series of blockbuster cases against some of the very biggest names in European business haven’t gotten the attention they warrant, in part due to Covid-19 throwing a lot of sand into the judicial machinery. Deutsche Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse and Volkswagen are part of this legal march to the sea. But we’ll focus on […]

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CalPERS’ Board Member Theresa Taylor, Under Investigation for Multi-Year Failure to Report Income, Digs Her and CalPERS’ Hole Deeper Via Supporting Conflicted Actions Taken by Ex-Chief Investment Officer Meng

It might behoove CalPERS Vice Chair of the Board and Investment Committee chair Theresa Taylor to heed folk wisdom, like “People in glass houses should not throw stones” and “When you are in a hole, stop digging.” But the saying that appears most fitting for Taylor’s idiotic intervention in the scandalously rapid exit of CalPERS […]

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Looting, American Style: CEOs Get Big Pre-Bankruptcy Bonuses Even When Lenders and Employees Stiffed

Nothing like paying for failure. The Financial Times describes how CEOs who ran their companies into the ground are nevertheless rewarded with “retention bonus” payouts shortly before the business declare bankruptcy, often mere days ahead. The absurd rationale is that it is necessary to keep a failed CEO on in order to reduce disruption. It […]

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