Sunday, December 04, 2011

"60 Minutes" on December 4, 2011

The first story was on "Prosecuting Wall Street." Eileen Foster at Countrywide Financial was interviewed at the beginning and suggested she would talk to a grand jury. The fraud at Countrywide appeared systemic. In late 2008 Countrywide merged with BankofAmerica, and Foster was later fired shortly before she was to speak to federal regulators. She was asked to sign a 14 page document in return for money. She didn't sign. She spent three years trying to clear her name. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was discussed. There are strict rules for corporate governance. Prof. Partnoy commented. Angelo Mazzilo of Countrywide. Dual nature of prosecution: DoJ and SEC. The head with "no teeth" (SEC) went after Angelo. Lanny A. Breuer of DoJ [Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division ] was interviewed. He said US Attorney's Office in Los Angeles interviewed a number of people. Brewer: Sarbanes-Oxley is a tool, but it is not the only tool. [For those who don't remember, Lanny A. Breuer represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment hearings as well as numerous corporations that were the subject of Congressional investigations, as well as Roger Clemens.]

In the next segment, Richard Bowen of Citigroup was interviewed. He was a Senior Vice President in charge of evaluating the quality of mortgages, and make sure that the mortgages met Citigroup's standards. Warnings were raised in June, 2006. CMALT. In early Nov. 2007, Bowen notified among others, Robert Rubin, Chairman of the Executive Committee. After sending the email, Bowen was relieved of most of his responsibility at Citigroup. The CEO and CFO signed Sarbanes-Oxley letters. Lanny Breuer was asked about Citigroup. The last words from Breuer: "Stay tuned."

The second story was on Michael Buble. "Rat Pack" style. New life into old classics. "I've got the world on a string." "Twist and Shout." Buble: I stole from every person. I was an imitator. "Mack the Knife." Going on tour is like a summer camp. Buble talked to Tony Bennett: be nervous before every show. Buble grew up in Vancouver, BC. Passion for swing music came from his grandfather, Mitch. Mitch took him to auditions. Wedding in Sept. 2000; David Foster heard him. Finally got a meeting with head of Warner Brothers Records. He was sent away without an answer. A week later he got the deal. [Mitch called him "Sunshine."] Mention of his album: Christmas, currently the number one album in the country.


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