Refresh this page for the latest updates. Times are given in US EST
By Alan Rappeport
3:13pm – The committee has excused the witnesses after an exhaustive array of questioning. The Goldman witnesses appeared to hold their own, often frustrating the Senators who probed aggressively. There will be a 10 minute recess before David Viniar, CFO, and Craig Broderick, chief risk officer, take the stage. We’ll return for the third panel featuring Lloyd Blankfein.
3:03pm – Mr Levin is returning to the bigger question of conflicts of interest. “For heavens sake, clients should know that when you are selling securities, that you are betting against those securities. I think it is intolerable and it needs to be addressed,” he said. Read more
From the FT’s tech blog
How would you rather see the internet – strained through a filter or mangled by a censor?
With its attempt to score an end-run round the Chinese authorities today, Google is betting on the former. But Chinese officials, who are only now waking up to Google’s middle-of-the-night gambit, don’t sound so happy about the idea.
The Google calculation is straightforward. Redirecting all the search traffic from its local Google.cn site to Hong Kong, beyond the reach of the censors, then bouncing the results back into mainland China, has two benefits. Read more
By Richard McGregor, the FT’s former Beijing bureau chief
The long-running case involving the four executives of mining giant, Rio-Tinto, arrested in China last year reached a dramatic climax in Shanghai today. According to an Australian diplomat given access to the trial, the executives had made “admissions” about receiving bribes in the process of their jobs, which involved marketing iron ore from Rio’s mines in the state of Western Australia to Chinese steel mills.
Such admissions, of course, should be taken with a grain of salt. The lawyer who had been representing Stern Hu, the Chinese-born Australian Rio executive, did not appear in court. He was replaced by other, unnamed lawyers. The trial was “public”, according to the Chinese government, but the media and Hu’s family were not allowed in.
From the FTdotcomment blog:
For those baffled by all the talk of repos, accounting rules and hidden leverage, a quick round-up of those against whom the court-appointed Anton Valukas, “examiner” of Lehman Brothers, found that legal claims would have “sufficient credible evidence to support a finding by a trier of fact” – what he calls “colorable claims”. You can read the full 2,200 page report here.
At Lehman, thanks to the discovery of “repo 105″, used to hid borrowing and make levels of leverage look lower:
- Dick Fuld, chief executive
- Christopher O’Meara, former chief financial officer
- Erin Callan, former chief financial officer and until recently at Credit Suisse
- Ian Lowitt, chief financial officer
By Maija Palmer, writing on the FT’s tech blog
It was only a matter of time before Brussels began looking at an antitrust complaint against Google. Murmurings of discontent about the dominant search engine have been going on for several years now, and recently there have been a rash of smaller cases against the company.
Three particular cases are being considered by the European Commission. A complaint by Foundem, a UK vertical search company, one from ejustice.fr, a French legal search site, and a complaint made initially in Germany by Ciao!, a vertical search site recently bought by Microsoft. Read more
Hector Sants has resigned as head of the UK’s Financial Services Authority. Brooke Masters, the FT’s chief regulation correspondent, talks about the future of regulation in the UK.
My colleague Martin Wolf has addressed the guilty plea of the NatWest Three to wire fraud, possibly in return for serving jail sentences in Britain, with a spendidly coruscating attack on the plea bargaining in the US judicial system.
I have nothing to add but I am intrigued by the notion of wire fraud, which crops up all the time in US white-collar crime cases such as the recent conviction of Conrad Black. It has always seemed odd to me that the US treats wire fraud and mail fraud as separate offences from fraud itself, as if the method by which the crime is committed trumps the crime itself.