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BUSINESS
November 11, 2009
NEW YORK - Two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers were found not guilty of fraud, a decision that could make government prosecutors less likely to bring criminal charges against Wall Street executives for their role in the financial crisis. The case - the first major prosecution arising from the meltdown of major U.S. financial institutions - was seen as a test of whether a jury, presented with evidence from e-mails and other communications, would convict individuals for corporate collapses.
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BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | June 6, 2010
There is a seductive myth that the economic destruction of recent years had nothing to do with the limitless pay dangled like a 10,000-pound jelly doughnut before American CEOs. After all, the argument goes, the annihilation of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers hurt top bosses at those companies just as badly as it hurt shareholders and employees. More, if you count value of their stock and options that was wiped out. So how can anybody argue that pay packages made them take risks that killed the companies?
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BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | September 21, 2007
NEW YORK -- Bear Stearns Cos., rocked by the collapse of two hedge funds in the subprime mortgage crisis, said yesterday that its third-quarter profit plunged 61 percent, hitting the lowest level in five years and topping off a painful summer for the Wall Street brokerage. Bear's bearish news stood in sharp contrast to a superlative performance by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which posted a 79 percent rise in fiscal third-quarter profit, led by strong results in its investment banking, currency and commodities divisions.
BUSINESS
November 11, 2009
NEW YORK - Two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers were found not guilty of fraud, a decision that could make government prosecutors less likely to bring criminal charges against Wall Street executives for their role in the financial crisis. The case - the first major prosecution arising from the meltdown of major U.S. financial institutions - was seen as a test of whether a jury, presented with evidence from e-mails and other communications, would convict individuals for corporate collapses.
BUSINESS
By JAY HANCOCK | March 18, 2008
There are uncountable culprits and dupes in the extraordinary chain of events that finished Bear Stearns, Wall Street's fifth-largest investment bank. But at its heart the crisis is a failure of regulation. If not for the Federal Reserve's and the Bush administration's refusal to stop crazy mortgage lending, former Bear boss James E. Cayne would still be chewing cigars in his Manhattan office, counting his money and complaining about regulators. And the country wouldn't be headed toward what might be the worst recession in decades.
BUSINESS
By WALTER HAMILTON and WALTER HAMILTON,LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 17, 2006
NEW YORK -- Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. yesterday became the third brokerage in as many days to post record first-quarter earnings and revenue, but the news was overshadowed by old problems - illegal market-timing practices that bilked mutual fund investors out of millions. The New York Stock Exchange and Securities and Exchange Commission said yesterday that they fined Bear Stearns $250 million - nearly half of its first-quarter profit - for helping hedge funds and other customers to illegally trade mutual fund shares.
BUSINESS
By Bloomberg News | November 29, 2007
Bear Stearns Cos., the biggest underwriter of U.S. mortgage bonds, will eliminate 650 jobs in the firm's fourth round of cuts this year amid mounting losses on subprime home loans. "We're going to rationalize our business, monitor staffing needs and align our infrastructure with current market conditions," said Russell Sherman, a spokesman for the New York firm. "We continue to hire strategically." Bear Stearns, led by Chief Executive Officer James Cayne, had announced about 900 job cuts since August, when the credit crunch hit. After the reductions, the firm will have winnowed out 10 percent of its employees.
BUSINESS
By Kevin G. Hall and Kevin G. Hall,McClatchy-Tribune | April 4, 2008
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department orchestrated the "fire sale" price for the quick purchase of investment bank Bear Stearns, the chief executive officers of the banks involved told Congress yesterday, while disagreeing about whether such a rushed deal was necessary. During a gripping five-hour hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, the chief executive officers of Bear Stearns Cos. and JPMorgan Chase gave their versions of events that led to the government-brokered sale of the venerable bank March 16, with $29 billion in taxpayers' money at stake in the deal.
BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson and Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF | February 8, 1997
Shares of Alex. Brown Inc. and Legg Mason Inc. surged to new highs this week on speculation that one or both of them could be acquired by large financial services companies.Alex. Brown's stock raced to a 52-week high yesterday of $57 a share, up 62.5 cents, and Legg Mason's stock closed at $48.875 a share, down 12.5 cents, after setting a 52-week high of $50 on Thursday.The latest jump in stock prices follows Wednesday's announcement that Morgan Stanley Group Inc. and Dean Witter, Discover & Co. would merge to create the country's largest asset management company with a market capitalization of $23 billion and $270 billion in assets under management.
BUSINESS
By Los Angeles Times | June 20, 2008
NEW YORK - The former managers of two Bear Stearns hedge funds that have been centerpieces of the subprime mortgage crisis were indicted yesterday, marking the first criminal charges against Wall Street figures stemming from the historic subprime meltdown. The collapse in June 2007 of the now-infamous funds, which invested in securities backed by subprime home loans, sent a shudder through global financial markets and helped trigger a credit crunch that still afflicts the housing market and the overall economy.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com | March 18, 2009
Bruce Sherman, whose once-top-performing unit at Legg Mason Inc. was ravaged by losses on investments in Bear Stearns Inc. and several newspaper companies, is retiring at the end of the month. Sherman, 60, co-founded Private Capital Management, a money manager catering to wealthy investors that Legg bought in 2001 for nearly $1.4 billion. Sherman said in a brief interview yesterday that retirement was a difficult decision. "I sold the firm in 2001, and there was an inevitability of retirement at some point in time," Sherman said, noting March 31 was a logical time, since it is the end of Legg's fiscal year.
BUSINESS
October 11, 2008
NEW YORK - Morgan Stanley Inc. shares plunged more than 22 percent yesterday as investors questioned the investment bank's future even with a major investment from Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. Yesterday marked the fifth straight day that shares of the nation's second-largest investment bank have been pummeled. The latest round of selling was triggered on renewed fear that Morgan Stanley's credit ratings might be cut, a move that threatens earnings power. The potential for a downgrade heightens pressure on chief executive John Mack, who spent most of yesterday meeting with major investors to reassure them about the firm.
BUSINESS
By KEN HARNEY and KEN HARNEY,kenharney@earthlink.net | September 21, 2008
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Bros. may be dominating the financial headlines, but a little-noticed $28 million settlement this month between the Federal Trade Commission and what's left of Bear Stearns symbolizes the housing-boom era products - and practices - that started a lot of the trouble. Once the fifth-largest investment bank on Wall Street, Bear Stearns was a major funding source for subprime and exotic mortgages: payment-option plans that allowed borrowers to buy expensive houses and run up their debts while making minimal monthly payments.
NEWS
By Jim Jaffe | September 19, 2008
A few weeks ago, when our government nationalized Fannie Mae, which Forbes magazine last year ranked as the 57th-largest firm in the world, and Freddie Mac (No. 104), one lesson allegedly learned was that it was bad policy to allow companies to become "too big to fail," requiring the government to step in to curtail the damage. Analysts then said reforms should include changes that would preclude allowing firms to become big and powerful. That was then. This week, there were sighs of relief - if not cheers - when Bank of America (No. 2)
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | September 15, 2008
NEW YORK - Fear and greed are the stuff that Wall Street is made of. But inside the great banking houses, those high temples of capitalism, fear came to the fore this weekend. As Lehman Brothers, one of oldest names on Wall Street, appeared to unravel yesterday, anxiety over the bank's fate - and over what might happen next - gripped the nation's financial industry. By late afternoon, Merrill Lynch, under mounting pressure, entered into talks to sell itself to Bank of America. Dinner parties were canceled.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | September 6, 2008
WASHINGTON - Senior officials from the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve informed top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants, that the government was preparing to seize the two companies and place them in a conservatorship, officials and company executives briefed on the discussions said yesterday. The plan, effectively a government bailout, was outlined in separate meetings that the chief executives were summoned to attend yesterday at the office of the companies' new regulator.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com | March 18, 2009
Bruce Sherman, whose once-top-performing unit at Legg Mason Inc. was ravaged by losses on investments in Bear Stearns Inc. and several newspaper companies, is retiring at the end of the month. Sherman, 60, co-founded Private Capital Management, a money manager catering to wealthy investors that Legg bought in 2001 for nearly $1.4 billion. Sherman said in a brief interview yesterday that retirement was a difficult decision. "I sold the firm in 2001, and there was an inevitability of retirement at some point in time," Sherman said, noting March 31 was a logical time, since it is the end of Legg's fiscal year.
BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | October 20, 2001
Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc. has hired investment banker Bear Stearns to look for ways to benefit from expected changes in television-station ownership rules, the Baltimore-based Sinclair said yesterday. "Our overall objective is to end up a stronger company at the end of the day," said David B. Amy, Sinclair's chief financial officer. According to Amy, three major television-ownership rules are expected to change, or to at least become less stringent. And those changes are projected to touch off a flurry of deals for TV stations.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | August 10, 2008
A reader asks: "I read your recent blog about Merrill Lynch's sale of mortgage securities for a fraction of their face value. I have a sizable (for me) investment portfolio at Merrill. Fortunately, I do not own any Merrill stock. Should I be concerned about a Bear Stearns-type collapse?" My reply: I know of no reason why investments held/managed by Merrill Lynch would be in jeopardy. The only Bear Stearns clients who lost money in connection with the firm's collapse were the ones who invested in its ill-fated hedge funds, Bear Stearns stock or directly in subprime mortgage bonds.
BUSINESS
By Bloomberg News | July 16, 2008
The Securities and Exchange Commission is adopting a temporary rule that will limit the ability of traders to bet on a drop in the shares of brokerage firms, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the agency's chairman, Christopher Cox, told the Senate Banking Committee yesterday. The SEC will require traders to hold shares of the two mortgage buyers and the brokerages before they execute a short sale. The emergency order, to be in effect for 30 days, will bar a practice called naked short-selling, in which traders avoid the financial cost of borrowing shares - the way short-selling ordinarily is done - when betting that the share prices will fall.
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