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Disclosure/Conflict of Interest (Organizational)
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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 01, 2013 Cellphone Thefts Grow, but the Industry Looks the Other Way
QUOTE: new nationwide database for stolen cellphones, which tracks a phone’s unique identifying number to prevent it from being activated, theoretically discouraging thefts. But police officials say the database has not helped....Some law enforcement authorities, though, say there is a bigger issue — that carriers and handset makers have little incentive to fix the problem.
New York Times Mar 15, 2013 JPMorgan Executives Face Withering Questions at Senate Hearing
QUOTE: ...[Senator] Levin and a handful of colleagues questioned current and former executives about the bank’s risk management, oversight policies and pricing methods. The lawmakers took aim at JPMorgan for misleading investors and regulators about the disastrous bet, building off a scathing, 300-page Congressional report...
New York Times Mar 04, 2013 Embattled Scottish Cardinal O'Brien apologizes for 'my sexual conduct'
QUOTE: A Scottish cardinal who had earlier challenged allegations of sexual impropriety -- claims that once again shined an international spotlight on alleged sexual abuse involving Roman Catholic clergy -- reversed course Sunday and apologized....Two Italian publications said Benedict, 85, resigned not because of his advanced age but because of a brewing scandal over the blackmail of gay priests by male prostitutes in Rome.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 02, 2013 Selling the Home Brand: A Look Inside an Elite JPMorgan Unit
QUOTE: To bolster sales, said the advisers, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared retribution, JPMorgan largely pushes its own bank-branded investments, which include a mix of mutual funds. While the practice can be legal, competitors have moved away from such investments after facing perceived conflicts. The concern is that, driven by fees, banks will push their own products over lower-cost options with stronger returns.
New York Times Feb 10, 2013 Complex Investments Prove Risky as Savers Chase Bigger Payoff
QUOTE: Regulators across the country are confronting a wave of investor fraud that is saddling retirement savers with steep losses on complex products that until a few years ago were pitched only to the most sophisticated investors. The victims are among the millions of Americans whose mutual funds and stock portfolios plummeted in the wake of the financial crisis, and who started searching for ways to make better returns than those being offered by bank deposits and government bonds with minuscule interest rates.
New York Times Feb 04, 2013 U.S. Accuses S. & P. of Fraud in Suit on Loan Bundles
QUOTE: The Justice Department filed civil fraud charges late on Monday against the nation's largest credit-ratings agency, Standard & Poor's, accusing the firm of inflating the ratings of mortgage investments and setting them up for a crash when the financial crisis struck....From September 2004 through October 2007, S.&P. "knowingly and with the intent to defraud, devised, participated in, and executed a scheme to defraud investors" in certain mortgage-related securities, according to the suit filed against the agency and its parent company, McGraw-Hill Companies. S.&P. also falsely represented that its ratings "were objective, independent, uninfluenced by any conflicts of interest," the suit said.
New York Times Dec 13, 2012 DealBook Conference Was Impressive, Lucrative and Chummy
QUOTE: Here is what the conference did not have going for it: A great deal of distance between sources and those who cover them — something traditionally thought to be a bedrock journalistic idea....DealBook – a blog and print section dedicated to coverage of mergers and acquisitions and other related subjects — is something of an oddity at The Times. A rainmaker for the company, it has garnered its share of critics who see it as too soft on its sources.
New York Times Dec 11, 2012 Scientists Propose Central Database for Disclosing Conflicts of Interest
QUOTE: a lack of standardization in COI disclosures increases the administrative burden on physicians and increases the chances of being accused of incomplete and misleading statements. As a solution, their committee — facilitated by the Institute of Medicine — recommends the creation of a centralize database for the disclosure and reporting of interests.
Scholarly Kitchen Nov 24, 2012 As drug industry’s influence over research grows, so does the potential for bias
QUOTE: What only careful readers of the article would have gleaned is the extent of the financial connections between the drugmaker and the research.Whether these ties altered the report on Avandia may be impossible for readers to know. But while sorting through the data from more than 4,000 patients, the investigators missed hints of a danger that, when fully realized four years later, would lead to Avandia’s virtual disappearance from the United States: The drug raised the risk of heart attacks....
Washington Post Oct 24, 2012 Tax Policy Center in Spotlight for Its Romney Study
QUOTE: No white paper or policy manifesto put out during the presidential campaign has proved more controversial than an August study by the Washington-based Tax Policy Center, a respected nonprofit that issues studiously detailed tax analyses. That study found, in short, that Mr. Romney could not keep all of the promises he had made on individual tax reform...
New York Times Oct 18, 2012 Boy Scout Files Detail Decades of Abuse Accusations
QUOTE: Regrets and recriminations about how the Boy Scouts of America have policed the ranks of its scoutmasters and other volunteers to guard against sexual predators — and how they have often failed — echo through the thousands of pages of internal documents, police files and newspaper clippings....They do not suggest that scouting was riddled with sexual stalkers.
New York Times Aug 17, 2012 Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade, the Atlanta school disclosed Friday, adding its high-profile name to a growing list of
QUOTE: Prestigious Emory University intentionally misreported student data to rankings magazines for more than a decade, the Atlanta school disclosed Friday, adding its high-profile name to a growing list of institutions caught up in scandals over rankings pressure.
Seattle Times Aug 14, 2012 A Giant Hospital Chain Is Blazing a Profit Trail
QUOTE: HCA’s emergence as a powerful leader in the hospital industry is all the more remarkable because only a decade ago the company was badly shaken by a wide-ranging Medicare fraud investigation that it eventually settled for more than $1.7 billion. Among the secrets to HCA’s success: It figured out how to get more revenue from private insurance companies, patients and Medicare by billing much more aggressively for its services than ever before; it found ways to reduce emergency room overcrowding and expenses; and it experimented with new ways to reduce the cost of its medical staff, a move that sometimes led to conflicts with doctors and nurses over concerns about patient care.
New York Times Jul 26, 2012 The Real Problem With Offshore Tax Havens
QUOTE: one doesn’t necessarily have to fly to the Channel Islands with a bag of cash to stash ill-gotten gains or evade the taxman anymore. The past 30 years have seen the evolution of a mainstream financial system that is global in scope and that through secrecy and complexity has enabled itself to profit handsomely off of the tax evasion of the world’s richest citizens.
Time Magazine Jul 25, 2012 Are cruise lines 'dumping' sick passengers?
QUOTE: I asked Royal Caribbean about its policy on dropping off passengers and whether the Claussens could have done anything differently. It declined to answer. Walker says that cruise lines keep their policies on emergency care confidential.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Jul 23, 2012 Why the NCAA’s Sanctions on Penn State are just dead wrong
QUOTE: The punishment levied by Emmert was nothing less than an extra-legal, extra-judicial imposition into the affairs of a publicly funded campus...Take a step back from the hysteria and just think about what took place: Penn State committed no violations of any NCAA by-laws.
Nation Jul 06, 2012 A Fancy Financial Adviser Title Does Not Ensure High Standards
QUOTE: Investors can’t be blamed for failing to recognize the differences between a glorified salesman pushing a particular fund and a true investment adviser who is required to act in your best interest, but there are many.
New York Times May 24, 2012 Beware small investors: Facebook was just a warning
QUOTE: a bipartisan bill, innocuously named the JOBS Act, rolled back these and other investor protections for companies with less than $1 billion in revenue, deemed emerging growth companies. Once again, research analysts can communicate directly with management and if desired share favorable (or unfavorable) reports....Prior to Sarbanes-Oxley, researchers at Cornell and Dartmouth universities found that analysts affiliated with the underwriting bank issued buy ratings to prop up dropping stocks...
CNN (Cable News Network) May 06, 2012 Study Says Broker Rebates Cost Investors Billions
QUOTE: The rules governing Wall Street generally force stockbrokers to seek out the best prices for clients who pay them to buy and sell shares. In recent years, though, brokers have had another enticement that can pull them in a different direction: payments from stock exchanges in return for sending them business.
New York Times Apr 28, 2012 How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes
QUOTE: The growing digital economy presents a conundrum for lawmakers overseeing corporate taxation: although technology is now one of the nation’s largest and most valued industries, many tech companies are among the least taxed, according to government and corporate data. Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index — including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell — reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies’.
New York Times Apr 21, 2012 Vast Mexico Bribery Case Hushed Up by Wal-Mart After Top-Level Struggle
QUOTE: Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters....The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation. Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down.
New York Times Apr 17, 2012 DOJ review of flawed FBI forensics processes lacked transparency
QUOTE: Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh decided to launch a task force to dig through thousands of cases involving discredited agents, to ensure that “no defendant’s right to a fair trial was jeopardized,”...The task force took nine years to complete its work and never publicly released its findings. Not the results of its case reviews of suspect lab work. Not the names of the defendants who were convicted as a result. And not the nature or scope of the forensic problems it found. Those decisions more than a decade ago remain relevant today for hundreds of people still in the U.S. court system, because officials never notified many defendants of the forensic flaws in their cases and never expanded their review to catch similar mistakes.
Washington Post Mar 19, 2012 A Drumbeat on Profit Takers
QUOTE: Their joint crusade, stated repeatedly in editorials for the journal and since expanded in books and dozens of articles in the lay press, is against for-profit medicine, especially its ancillary profit centers of commercial insurance and drug manufacture — in Dr. Relman’s words, “the people who are making a zillion bucks out of the commercial exploitation of medicine.”
New York Times Mar 07, 2012 More Angst Over Pepper Spray
QUOTE: The UC police union and the former officer at the center of the controversy filed for the stay after hearing from a lawyer that the report would contain confidential personnel information, the release of which is prohibited under state penal code....Cruz Reynoso, the law professor emeritus at Davis and former associate justice of the California Supreme Court who was tapped to chair the task force, was outraged at the request – in particular, at its last-minute delivery – and worried that it could prevent the truth of what happened from coming out.
Inside Higher Ed Mar 06, 2012 Female service members sue U.S. military for alleged rape, sexual assault
QUOTE: '"Although defendants testified before Congress and elsewhere that they have 'zero tolerance' for rape and sexual assault, their conduct and the facts demonstrate the opposite: They have a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks, and 'zero tolerance' for those who report rape, sexual assault and harassment," according to the lawsuit...'
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 29, 2012 Stop the ‘Do Not Track’ Madness
QUOTE: There are certainly aspects of our lives where genuinely intrusive practices can have serious detrimental impacts. But with so much in our world that needs attention, a misguided focus on web advertising personalization is not only irrational, but could ultimately undermine the “free services” basis of the web in ways that we could very soon come to severely regret.
Wired Feb 15, 2012 Apple: Apps need 'explicit approval' before collecting user contacts
QUOTE: Apple on Wednesday said it will start requiring mobile apps to get explicit permission from iPhone and iPad owners before the apps collect and store information about users' personal contacts. The statement came after a week of revelations that popular social tools like Twitter and Path were doing just that -- sometimes without the user even knowing it.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 10, 2012 The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read
QUOTE: a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military's top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going.
Rolling Stone Jan 30, 2012 Treasury Investigates Freddie Mac Investment
QUOTE: The Treasury Department is investigating a report that Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant, bet against homeowners’ ability to refinance their loans even as it was making it more difficult for them to do so...
New York Times Jan 29, 2012 Words matter in Penn State perjury case
QUOTE: the story began with an assistant coach at Penn State, Mike McQueary, who testified that nearly 10 years ago he walked in on former coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the football team's locker room showers. McQueary, who was a graduate assistant at the time, said he had no doubt that he witnessed "severe sexual acts" that were wrong and "over the lines." Yet, as a transcript shows, each time McQueary's story was told it became less specific, until others at the end of the line reacted as if what he had seen was no big deal.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 27, 2012 Wanted: Banking App to Monitor Balances (Your Money)
QUOTE: If you want to know how close you are in the middle of any given month to being assessed an $8 or $10 or $20 fee when the month ends, you need to do the math each day yourself. The resulting effect is this: Many banks have built free-checking scoreboards for people who want to avoid fees, but they’re not putting the numbers up until the monthlong game is over.
New York Times Jan 25, 2012 In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad
QUOTE: workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems....More than half of the suppliers audited by Apple have violated at least one aspect of the code of conduct every year since 2007, according to Apple’s reports, and in some instances have violated the law.
New York Times Dec 22, 2011 U.S. Report Faults Two Sides in Deadly Pakistan Strike
QUOTE: mistakes by both American and Pakistani troops led to airstrikes against two Pakistani posts on the Afghan border that killed 26 Pakistani troops. But two crucial findings — that the Pakistanis fired first at a joint Afghan-American patrol and that they kept firing even after the Americans tried to warn them that they were shooting at allied troops — were likely to further anger Pakistan and plunge the already tattered relationship between the United States and Pakistan to new depths.
New York Times Dec 17, 2011 In Strikes on Libya by NATO, an Unspoken Civilian Toll
QUOTE: NATO’s seven-month air campaign in Libya, hailed by the alliance and many Libyans for blunting a lethal crackdown by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and helping to push him from power, came with an unrecognized toll: scores of civilian casualties the alliance has long refused to acknowledge or investigate.
New York Times Dec 08, 2011 Breaking News: Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details...
QUOTE: The US government has effectively admitted that it totally screwed up and falsely seized & censored a non-infringing domain of a popular blog, having falsely claimed that it was taking part in criminal copyright infringement. Then, after trying to hide behind a totally secretive court process with absolutely no due process whatsoever...
Techdirt Nov 30, 2011 Is your phone telling the carrier everything you do?
QUOTE: the XDA-Developer site noticed that a preinstalled mobile app, named CarrierIQ, was logging all smartphone activities with no way to opt out....Although consumers are buying smartphones — and assume they have ownership — are the handsets theirs to do with as they please, without the carriers or handset makers know what they’re doing?
GigaOM Nov 25, 2011 Banks’ Ties to Olympus Scrutinized
QUOTE: A number of European banks are under investigation by Japanese authorities to determine whether they helped the management of Olympus hide irregular payments....many questions remain about how Olympus managed to obscure the losses for so long and how much outside help the company may have received.
New York Times Nov 11, 2011 Arms and the Corrupt Man
QUOTE: Governments protect corrupt and dangerous arms dealers as long as they need them and then throw them behind bars when they are no longer useful.
New York Times Nov 11, 2011 For Disabled Care Complaints, Vow of Anonymity Was False
QUOTE: For years, New York State has assured its employees who care for the developmentally disabled that there was a way they could confidentially report any concerns they had about the treatment of those in their care. And for years the state has been routinely breaking its promise.
New York Times Sep 03, 2011 Vatican rejects Irish criticism over child sex abuse by priests
QUOTE: The Vatican has rejected criticism that church leaders sought to cover up extensive abuse of young people by priests in Ireland...Kenny claimed the report exposed the Vatican as trying to hinder an inquiry into child sex abuse for its own benefit and said it revealed the "dysfunction, the disconnection, the elitism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day."
CNN (Cable News Network) Sep 03, 2011 Arizona Redistricting Panel Is Under Attack, Even Before Its Work Is Done
QUOTE: the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, with two Republican members, two Democratic members and an independent chairwoman, has found itself subject to such fierce attacks that its work is being questioned even before that work has been done. The stakes are high — explosive population growth over the last decade, especially among Latinos, entitles the state to one more Congressional seat, its ninth.
New York Times Aug 12, 2011 Hidden archive exposes WWII slaughters
QUOTE: Between September 1943 and April 1945, the Nazis' calculated campaign of violence spared no one. In some cases, women, children and the elderly were viciously murdered alongside the men, as villages were overrun. "15,000 Italians were killed," said Dr. Gianluca Fulvetti, a historian who has published two books on wartime atrocities in Italy.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 15, 2011 A Tip Becomes a Twitter Torrent
QUOTE: What appears to have happened is this: ESPN benched [Feldman] earlier this week, with pay, as it assessed the damage from excerpts from “Swing Your Sword,” the newly published book that Feldman collaborated on with Mike Leach, the ex-Texas Tech football coach.
New York Times Jul 04, 2011 Think Inside the Box
QUOTE: Bombarded with pharmaceutical ads listing what seems like every conceivable side effect, American consumers might think they are already getting too much information. But they — and their doctors — are not getting what arguably matters most: independent, plain-English facts about the medication. Fortunately, there is a simple model for getting such information across.
New York Times Jun 28, 2011 Lawmakers Seek Inquiry of Natural Gas Industry
QUOTE: Federal lawmakers called Tuesday on several agencies, including the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, the Energy Information Administration and the Government Accountability Office, to investigate whether the natural gas industry has provided an accurate picture to investors of the long-term profitability of their wells and the amount of gas these wells can produce.
New York Times Jun 24, 2011 LulzSec Hackers Make Enemies Online
QUOTE: After six weeks of attacks — and hundreds of sarcastic Twitter posts — a number of people, offended by the exposure of innocent Internet users’ personal information and irritated by the bravado, are working to stop LulzSec by investigating and revealing its members’ identities to the world, and especially to the F.B.I.
New York Times Jun 24, 2011 ‘Safety Myth’ Left Japan Ripe for Nuclear Crisis
QUOTE: Over several decades, Japan’s nuclear establishment has devoted vast resources to persuade the Japanese public of the safety and necessity of nuclear power. Plant operators built lavish, fantasy-filled public relations buildings that became tourist attractions....The belief helps explains why in the only nation to have been attacked with atomic bombs, the Japanese acceptance of nuclear power was so strong that the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl barely registered. Even with the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the reaction against nuclear power has been much stronger in Europe and the United States than in Japan itself.
New York Times Jun 23, 2011 High Court sides with generic drug makers in narrow ruling
QUOTE: The justices in a 5-4 ruling said generic drug companies do not share the same level of responsibility as makers of brand-name equivalents, to update their warning labels when significant new risks emerge.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 15, 2011 Lead Poisoning in China: The Hidden Scourge
QUOTE: thousands of workers, villagers and children in at least 9 of mainland China’s 31 province-level regions have been found to be suffering from toxic levels of lead exposure, mostly caused by pollution from battery factories and metal smelters. The cases underscore a pattern of government neglect seen in industry after industry as China strives for headlong growth with only embryonic safeguards.
New York Times May 20, 2011 States Seeking New Registries for Criminals
QUOTE: Lawmakers around the country are pushing for online registries, like those used for sex offenders, to track the whereabouts of people convicted of a wide variety of crimes, from arson and drunken driving to methamphetamine manufacturing and animal abuse....Critics say that while the registries are attractive to politicians who want to appear tough on crime, they often do little more than spread fear and encourage vigilantism.
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