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Dick Fuld: Scapegoat or villain?

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Nearly a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a failure that triggered the global economic crisis, the much-lambasted chief executive Richard Fuld seemed burdened — but not crushed — by the pressure of the upcoming annivesary.

“You know what, the anniversary’s coming up,” he told Reuters. “I’ve been pummeled, I’ve been dumped on, and it’s all going to happen again. I can handle it. You know what, let them line up.”

Fuld, a nearly 40-year veteran of the company, took Lehman’s reins in 1994 at one of its darkest hours and rebuilt it into the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank, a Wall Street powerhouse whose massively profitable mortgage banking machine inspired rivals’ envy.

But after filing the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history, Fuld was vilified and humiliated before a Congressional panel last October and named in nearly 40 different legal actions.

Bailout bonuses: Does the public have a right to know?

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Is it anybody’s business how much money you make?

When it comes to Wall Street and the meltdown that whacked financial markets and emptied investors’ pockets, the normal rules of etiquette don’t seem to apply.

Wall Street salaries seem to be everybody’s business lately. Nevertheless, the Obama administration’s pay czar may try to keep a large portion of the compensation plans he is reviewing under wraps.

from Global Investing:

Why are analysts so wrong?

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Is there something faulty about the way Wall Street analysts look at the companies they cover?  Once again, with the latest quarterly earnings season about to end, the analysts have been wrong. This time, they have been way off the board wrong.

With 480 of the Standard & Poor's index of 500 leading companies having reported, Thomson Reuters research has found that some 73 percent came in better than expected. Only 9 percent of consensus projections were right and 19 percent came in worse than expected.

Jobs: Bad news or good sign?

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If you’re one of the 539,000 people who lost their job last month, do you have reason to be hopeful today? The stock market seems to think so. And many of those who work in the financial sector say the April jobless report, which included an unemployment rate at a quarter-century high around 9 percent, indicates the economy is near bottom. One analyst said, “May looks much more favorable”; said another: “You can make the case that the panic layoffs that we saw at the turn of the year are starting to ease.”

Not everyone was optimistic. “The big question is has the peak in job losses hit? I am somewhat skeptical that we have seen the absolute worst of it, but you can’t rule that out,” said Jay Mueller, a senior portfolio manager at Wells Capital Management.

Feeling squeezed?

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In the past year, consumers have been battered by the housing market downturn, surging food and fuel costs, a credit crunch, and a weakening job market.

A Lehman Brothers employee (L) receives a hug outside the office of Lehman Brothers in the Canary Wharf district of London, September 15, 2008.   REUTERS/Andrew Winning

On Monday, Wall Street had its worst day since markets reopened after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, as Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy

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