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+ - Fired NY Fed Regulator's Secret Audio Recordings Inside Goldman Sachs 2

Submitted by maynard
maynard (3337) writes "Carmen Segarra used to work as a regulator for the New York Federal Reserve Bank, one of twelve regional banks that make up the US central banking system. In her capacity as regulator, Ms. Segarra was assigned to a team overseeing investment banking giant Goldman Sachs. There, while investigating a case of Goldman having advisied a client about a buyout offer by another company in which the firm held significant investment holdings, she determined that Goldman didn't even have a conflict of interest policy. Her supervisor initially backed the investigation, until it became clear she meant to file a written report detailing her findings of fact. Then they abruptly fired her.

And all this would have been another unfortunate case of 'she-said / institution-said' ineffective whistleblowing were it not for the fact that Ms. Segarra saw what was coming and had bought a keychain audio recorder. With it, she collected 46 hours of internal discussion and meetings, including statements by Goldman Sachs principles admitting the firm didn't have a conflict of interest policy and that the deal under investigation had been "shady." Additionally, she collected reams of documents and testimony. She thought her case iron clad.

However, when it came time to reveal her findings in full to superiors, though initially supportive of the investigation, her boss quickly shifted gears and worked to squelch the report. This culminated in a recorded meeting where her boss made clear his supervisors at the Fed insisted she downplay those findings. Then, a week later, before she could formally file the report, they fired her.

While bits of the story have been out in print for about a year, the radio show This American Life just published actual excerpts from those audio recordings. They make for harrowing listening. As the producer says in the introduction, her recordings show: "Repeated examples of pervasive regulatory capture by the industry regulators are meant to oversee."

In other words, whereas before we could all surmise just how bad banking regulation must be, what with the Financial Crisis having nearly tanked the world economy and all, with this audio we can hear first hand and in minute detail what it's like for an honest regulator to try to do the job properly: You get fired. Quickly. Then your embarrassing work is buried and reputation smeared. And if she'd just kept her mouth shut, she coulda gotten rich! This, at the very heart of the global financial system.

Is it any wonder why the public has lost faith in our political and economic institutions?"

Comment: Re:All that packaging (Score 1) 511

by peccary (#47844251) Attached to: If Java Wasn't Cool 10 Years Ago, What About Now?

I'm perplexed - with a low id# like 122034 I'd imagine you must be old enough to have been around when Java was still new. The JVM was developed in 1991, before Mosaic, and long before the notion of applets. The goal was portability across a wide range of hardware platforms. Had nothing to do with browsers.

+ - Police ask blogger to remove tweet about Ukip-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Police have asked a blogger to remove a tweet that fact-checked Ukip policies but did not break any laws after receiving a complaint from a Ukip councillor, prompting concern over attempts to stifle debate.

Michael Abberton was visited by two Cambridgeshire police officers on Saturday. He was told he had not committed any crimes and no action was taken against him, but he was asked to delete some of his tweets, particularly a tongue-in-cheek one on 10 reasons to vote for Ukip, such as scrapping paid maternity leave and raising income tax for the poorest 88% of Britons."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:After 30 years of programming (Score 1) 598

by peccary (#45077021) Attached to: What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming?

A big reason why estimates tend to be low is that when you make your best estimate, then you add 100% buffer for "all the little problems", your management insists that you must be goldbricking and surely that's not a reasonable estimate. So you learn to make your estimates "what you think your management will accept without busting your balls over", and then about half the time they're too low.

Comment: Re:What does IT run on .. (Score 1) 516

by peccary (#45076915) Attached to: Administration Admits Obamacare Website Stinks

No, the designers of HTTP were dumb - they totally ignored the state of the art of distributed applications design, and set the Internet back by at least a decade. In their defence, they really were trying to solve a dumb problem, and people abused it to do things it was never meant to do. It was meant to deliver mainly static content, not to be a glorified terminal service for remote applications, but that's what it's become.

Science

+ - Rats Ate Easter Island->

Submitted by kgeiger
kgeiger (1339271) writes "The Wall Street Journal reviews a new book about Easter Island. Contrary to Jared Diamond's 2005 book Collapse, Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo's The Statues that Walked (Free Press, 2011) posits that brown rats deforested Rapa Nui, that slavers decimated the population, and that the phosphate-poor soils limited both agriculture and population. Because palm trees are soft and fibrous, they make poor rollers; the moai were in fact "walked" into position the same way one person can move a heavy, upright refrigerator by rocking and shifting it."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Study: Internet Explorer Users Have Lower IQ->

Submitted by
fysdt
fysdt writes "Users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser have lower IQ than their counterparts who use other browsers, a study from a web consulting firm reveals.

According to a large study conducted by Vancouver, Canada-based AptiQuant, those who use the Internet Explorer web browser scored lower in an IQ test they conducted.

The large study which involved 100,000 participants says Internet Explorer users scored lower than average in the IQ test."

Link to Original Source

+ - Tracking Service That Can't Be Dodged->

Submitted by Worf Maugg
Worf Maugg (585507) writes "Researchers at U.C. Berkeley have discovered that some of the net’s most popular sites are using a tracking service that can’t be evaded — even when users block cookies, turn off storage in Flash, or use browsers’ “incognito” functions.

The service, called KISSmetrics, is used by sites to track the number of visitors, what the visitors do on the site, and where they come to the site from — and the company says it does a more comprehensive job than its competitors such as Google Analytics."

Link to Original Source
The Military

+ - Lockheed Experimental Blimp crashes in PA->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Lockheed Martin launched and experimental Airship on Wednesday morning in Akron,OH. It ascended to 30,0000 feet and the an anomaly occurred and the plan mission to go to 60,0000 feet was aborted. It crashed in a wooded area south of Pittsburgh and then caught on fire a few days later"
Link to Original Source

+ - Norway takes the high road in fight against terror->

Submitted by bakayoko
bakayoko (570822) writes "Glenn Greenwald's latest column addresses the difference between American and Norwegian responses to domestic terror attacks after the horrifying recent violence in Oslo. While attacks on American soil have almost inevitably resulted in moves to clamp down on individual rights, leaders in Norway have been resolutely opposed to such restrictions, and remain committed to fighting terror without surrendering their people's liberty. Something which, once upon a time, was a distinctly American stance to security."
Link to Original Source

+ - Matlab Integrate GPU Support for UberMath Computat->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Matlab now comes with GPU native support in the 2010b version. This means loads of Matlab commands can be parallelized onto the GPU without having to re-code things in C++ or Fortran using CUDA. Pretty sweet for the HPC community."
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