Before lawmakers grilled SEC Chairwoman Mary L. Schapiro on Thursday on whether she mishandled of a conflict of interest, one of her leading critics chatted amiably with her and shared some sympathetic words.
Members of the audit committee at a company called Point Blank Solutions allegedly discussed some unconventional expenses: The company was paying for prostitutes. But don't look for details in records of the meetings. "In fact, although these payments were discussed at board meetings, these discussions were concealed by omitting them from the official board minutes," the Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday as it charged three former directors with being "willfully blind to numerous red flags signaling accounting fraud."
House Republicans want to know more about Securities and Exchange Commission general counsel David M. Becker's entanglement in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. In a letter to SEC chairman Mary Schapiro Thursday, four senior Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, including Chairman Spencer Bachus of Alabama, asked questions probing whether the matter created any conflict of interest at the agency.
The attorney general of New York, Andrew Cuomo, hit Steve Rattner with two lawsuits Thursday, alleging he paid kickbacks to win $150 million in business from the state's pension fund for his private equity firm. Meanwhile, Rattner has agreed to a $6.2 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over similar allegations of widespread fraud at Rattner's firm, Quadrangle.