Reuters Investigates

Insight and investigations from our expert reporters

Ethics in economics? Who cares?

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Back in December, a Reuters investigation examined the ties between economists who testify to Congress on financial regulation and big financial institutions.

A Reuters review of 96 testimonies given by 82 academics to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee between late 2008 and early 2010 — as lawmakers debated the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s — found no clear standard for disclosure.

In fact, roughly a third did not reveal their financial affiliations in their testimonies, based on a comparison of the text of their testimonies available on the Congressional committees’ websites with their resumes available online.

Similar issues had been raised in the 2010 documentary “Inside Job” which vilified a number of big-name economists for arguing in favor of deregulation while on Wall Street’s payroll.

Jamie Dimon: Good banker? Bad banker?

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The U.S. mortgage business is a “mess” in need of overhaul, JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon reckons.

(See our special report on Dimon today: “Jamie Dimon wants some R-E-S-P-E-C-T”)

Let’s be ethical, economists say

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Last month’s special report “For some professors, disclosure is academic” has been making waves in the academic world, as this story shows:

Economists urge AEA to adopt ethics code: letter

By Kristina Cooke

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Almost three hundred economists have signed a letter to the American Economic Association “strongly” urging it to adopt a code of ethics requiring disclosure of potential conflicts of interests.

Flash crash fallout

From Europe to India, policymakers are grappling with the fallout from the harrowing, 20-minute stock market meltdown in May that was quickly dubbed the “flash crash”. Electronic markets are suddenly suspect. But will regulators try to reign in modern trading advances?

Jonathan Spicer examines the likely impact on exchanges around the world in our latest special report: “Globally, the flash crash is no flash in the pan.”

Club Fed: the ties that bind at the Fed

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USA-FED/BERNANKE We’re getting a lot of good feedback on our special report on cozy ties between Wall Street and the Fed. As one Wall Street economist put it: “I’ve never seen the ‘Fed Alumni Association’ used more extensively for back-channel communications with the Street than has been the case since June.”

The story pulls back the veil on the privileged access that Federal Reserve officials give to big investors, former Fed officials, money market advisers and hedge funds.