Tales from the Trail

Lessons in ignoring red flags from the SEC

September 2, 2009

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which has the power to strike fear into the hearts of financial types, is the one getting beaten up today by its own inspector general.

The First Draft: Sovereignty Day

June 30, 2009

IRAQWashington is a town of euphemisms, where “mistakes were made” but nobody takes responsibility, where lawmakers routinely refer to each other as “my good friend” before questioning their buddies’ sanity or moral character.

Obama urges graduates not to follow Madoff’s path

May 14, 2009

91TEMPE, Arizona – President Barack Obama warned graduating students on Wednesday not to follow in the footsteps of swindler Bernard Madoff as they enter the workforce and look for jobs.
 
The U.S. president, delivering a commencement address at Arizona State University, told a crowd of tens of thousands that big money and fancy titles should not be a priority while the country faced recession and two wars.
 
“The leaders we revere, the businesses and institutions that last — they are not generally the result of a narrow pursuit of popularity or personal advancement, but of devotion to some bigger purpose,” Obama said.
 
“The trappings of success may be a by-product of this larger mission, but it can’t be the central thing. Just ask Bernie Madoff.”
 
Madoff, 71, pleaded guilty in March to operating a huge Ponzi scheme in which early investors are paid with money from new clients. He is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The First Draft: Down to business

March 12, 2009

The White House puts its focus back on the economy today, with a day-long conference to talk about how the money from the economic stimulus package is being spent.

The First Draft: what about the pork?

March 11, 2009

So the Democratic-controlled Congress finally sent President Barack Obama a $410 billion bill to fund the government through the rest of the year. But it’s full of “earmarks” — billions of dollars earmarked for lawmakers’ pet projects.ROMANIA/