Wall Street

52 articles
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On then-agent, now-congressman Michael Grimm and what happens when an F.B.I. informant turns out to be a con man.

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Working within Andalusia’s impoverished farming communities, a ragtag pair of longtime union leaders have been leading raids on local supermarkets.

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JPMorgan Chase’s $6 billion mistake and the woman who took the fall.

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An assessment of the former Secretary of the Treasury.

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How Wall Street got addicted to trading at the speed of light.

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"Before I met Ayn Rand, I was a logical positivist, and accordingly, I didn’t believe in absolutes, moral or otherwise. If I couldn’t prove a proposition with facts and figures, it was without merit. In the midst of a conversation, she said to me, “Do I understand the thrust of your position? You are not certain you exist?” I hesitated a moment, and I said, “I can’t be sure.” And she then said to me, “And who, by chance, is answering that question?” With that little exchange, she undermined the philosophical structure I had built for myself. "
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“Jon Corzine had never had anything to do with the futures business, had never run a public company, and hadn’t worked on Wall Street for a decade. His time there had ended badly. But by any reasonable standard, the former Goldman chief seemed almost embarrassingly overqualified. Says Flowers: ‘It seemed like we had more CEO than company.’”

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A Yale student on why nearly a quarter of her classmates will end up working for Wall Street.

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A profile of Jamie Dimon as he became CEO of JP Morgan Chase.

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Con man turned pastor turned con man; a profile of a serial scammer and the movie he tried to make about himself.

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The Occupy Wall Street origin story.

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Who simultaneously did business with the U.S. government, the besieged Syrian regime, and the Libyan rebels last month? The group of 16 trading houses that collectively are “worth over a trillion dollars in annual revenue and control more than half the world’s freely traded commodities.”

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How Warren Buffett’s public image has aided his success.

As a successful investor, he merely moved markets; but as the charismatic, reassuring, quotable prototype of the honest capitalist (a sort of J. P. Morgan with a moral sense), he's capable of influencing elections, galvanizing rock-concert-size crowds, and in general defining how we Americans feel about the system that underlies our wealth.

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“It’s striking that for all the talk about polarization in the US, the Tea Party Movement and Occupy Wall Street are entirely non-violent. Overseas, no one expected the Arab Spring protests to be as nonviolent as they were,” Pinker wrote in an email. The threat of overwhelming reprisal from authorities may have brought some peace to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, but Pinker also pointed to research that, today, “nonviolent protest movements achieve their aims far more often than violent ones.” Still, the story of violence’s decline contains much violence, and America is no exception.
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A profile of Elizabeth Warren.

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On the constantly evolving definition of insider trading and the lingering question of how inside traders should be punished.

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The CEO of the US’s biggest bank doesn’t have much charisma or a track record, but he’s “doing as well as any little Dutch boy can—sticking his fingers in the dike.”

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On September 11, 2001, three out of every four people who worked for Howard Lutnick died. The story of a recovery.

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According to a whistleblower, the SEC has been systematically destroying records of investigations for the last twenty years:

By whitewashing the files of some of the nation's worst financial criminals, the SEC has kept an entire generation of federal investigators in the dark about past inquiries into insider trading, fraud and market manipulation against companies like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and AIG. With a few strokes of the keyboard, the evidence gathered during thousands of investigations – "18,000 ... including Madoff," as one high-ranking SEC official put it during a panicked meeting about the destruction – has apparently disappeared forever into the wormhole of history.

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On William H. McMasters, who ten days after being hired as Charles Ponzi’s publicist wrote a scathing exposé in The Boston Post that revealed the biggest fraud, at the time, in American history.

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By 2006, S&P was making its own study of such loans' performance. It singled out 639,981 loans made in 2002 to see if its benign assumptions had held up. They hadn't. Loans with piggybacks were 43% more likely to default than other loans, S&P found. In April 2006, S&P said it would raise by July the amount of collateral underwriters must include in many new mortgage portfolios. For instance, S&P could require that mortgage pools have extra loans in them, since it now expected a larger number to go bad. Still, S&P didn't lower its ratings on existing securities, saying it had to further monitor the performance of loans backing them. It thus helped the market for these loans hold up through the end of 2006.
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In anonymous warehouses in Detroit, Goldman Sachs has hoarded a quarter of the world’s supply of aluminum, placing them firmly in control of trading on the London Metal Exchange.

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A profile of under-fire Goldman Sachs Ceo Lloyd Blankfein.

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How Ray Dalio built the world’s richest and strangest hedge fund.

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On the prosecution of former hedge fund star Raj Rajaratnam.

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Bob Rodriguez, the oracular mutual fund manager with the best record over the last quarter century and two correctly-predicted crashes under his belt, says another spectacular crash is on its way within five years.

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The downfall of a Goldman Sachs director:

"Now from, for the last three or four, I mean four or five years, I've given him a million bucks a year, right?" says Rajaratnam. "Yeah, yeah," says Gupta, who doesn't appear taken aback at all by Rajaratnam's next remark: "After taxes. Offshore. Cash."

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A field trip to the video gamey world of the modern trader.

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While much of the Levin report describes past history, the Goldman section describes an ongoing? crime — a powerful, well-connected firm, with the ear of the president and the Treasury, that appears to have conquered the entire regulatory structure and stands now on the precipice of officially getting away with one of the biggest financial crimes in history.
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How automated ‘execution algorithms’ are taking the world’s markets on a wild ride that few economists can even understand, much less control.

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The story of $220M in bailout money.

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On Ray Dalio, who built the world’s biggest hedge fund by running it like a cult.

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On billionaire financier Lynn Tilton and her quest to become a public figure.

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In the late ’80s, Lewis went to Japan to research a hypothetical: what would the economic fallout be if a major quake hit?

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“The entire system set up to monitor and regulate Wall Street is fucked up. Just ask the people who tried to do the right thing.”

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A look at the legislative lobbying efforts of Michael Bloomberg’s $7 billion-per-year company. While the mayor has no specific day-to-day role at Bloomberg LP, he maintains “the type of involvement that he believes is consistent with his being the majority shareholder.”

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A primer on income inequality in America.

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On the gap between how the world sees Goldman Sachs and how Goldman Sachs sees itself.

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How Cantor Fitzgerald is bringing the principles of day trading to sports betting in Vegas.

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“For years, the most profitable industry in America has been one that doesn’t design, build, or sell a single tangible thing.” The case for why investment banking is socially useless.

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The bizarre tale of how the hiring of a reality TV contestant to greet high-end customers led to the firing of a successful CEO. Plus: a follow-up article.

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On Ayn Rand becoming a cult hero to Wall Street insiders and others items that make Matt Taibbi angry.

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In an elaborate FBI sting to expose corruption, four agents pose as futures traders in Chicago. The plan works–if you don’t count the hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars the agents lost in the process.

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A just-barred Pakistani-American attorney attempts to save a young family’s home from foreclosure and glimpses the contradiction-rich bureaucracy that has emerged in response to the housing crisis.

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The author wanted to give up her day job but keep her lifestyle. So she turned to Seeking Arrangement, a site that pairs rich, older men interested in “companionship” with 20-somethings interested in “gifts.”

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Using several email addresses and a lot of exclamation points, teenager Jonathan Lebed worked finance message boards in the morning before school and made almost a million bucks. Then he made the head of the S.E.C. look like a fool.

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Sitting alone in his San Jose office, Michael Burry saw the bubble in the subprime-mortgage market before anyone else. So he convinced Wall Street to let him bet on it, even though few were betting on him.

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A recent episode of This American Life was put together by reporters from Pro Publica based on this original reporting about the the bubble-profiteering hedge fund Magnetar.