Mary Manney resigned as deputy director of the Minnesota Racing Commission in June, several months after a state investigation faulted her oversight of the Running Aces harness track in Anoka County, the Star Tribune reports. She landed a job days later — at Running Aces. Her employment at a track she once regulated is legal, part of the revolving-door pattern of public officials taking private sector jobs in areas they once oversaw. But it is also the latest trouble for the Racing Commission, the governor-appointed group responsible for ensuring Minnesota’s multimillion-dollar horse racing industry is transparent and above reproach.
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A Bloomberg News investigation reveals how the bank lobby prevented the U.S. from seizing authority over derivatives, financial instruments the investigation states "helped push the global economy to the brink in 2008, taking down American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and igniting the worst recession since the 1930s."
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has produced about 60 rules for derivatives, and Bloomberg News details how the banking industry and allies forced the retreat on three of the most consequential ones for Wall Street with "one of the largest sustained lobbying attacks on a single Washington ...Read more ...
“Many businesses no longer want long-term relationships with their employees, who must now work harder without getting financial and psychological rewards that were once routine.”
EnergyWire reports: "A little-known company called Halek Operating ND LLC is facing the largest fine North Dakota has ever levied against an oil and gas producer -- $1.5 million -- for jeopardizing drinking water near Dickinson. But even before the company drilled its first well in North Dakota, federal officials say the man behind it had swindled $22 million out of 300 investors in a Texas oil and gas project."
As long ago as 1900, a leading manufacturer of lead paint described lead as a ''deadly cumulative poison." Yet despite powerful evidence showing that paint makers knew for decades about the risks of household use of lead paint, the companies have scored dozens of courtroom victories over public agencies seeking funds for lead paint removal, according to a FairWarning investigation. Now the industry could be on the verge of a final victory in the trial of a marathon case brought by California cities and counties.
About 17 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic, and 13 percent is black, but ratios for federal small-business contracts to those groups are in the single digits, according to a report from Bloomberg News. Experts told Bloomberg that "the needle hasn't moved," possibly the result of stiffer competition for contracts as agencies cut spending.
“More and more elderly Americans are choosing to spend their later years in assisted living facilities, which have sprung up as an alternative to nursing homes. But is this loosely regulated, multibillion-dollar industry putting seniors at risk? In a major investigation with ProPublica, Frontline examines the operations of the nation’s largest assisted living company, raising questions about the drive for profits and fatal lapses in care.”
“An investigation that began three years ago has found that at least half of Florida’s community banks failed because their leaders were greedy, arrogant, incompetent or sometimes corrupt. The (Sarasota Herald-Tribune) obtained previously confidential state records that show how failed bankers broke the law, manipulated financial documents and gorged themselves on insider deals. These bank records had never before been collected by an American newspaper.”
9/6 Investigates at KWTV in Oklahoma City and KOTV in Tulsa, Okla., looked into a state law that is supposed to protect Oklahomans from shady roofers.
The team found that the law is no deterrent to storm-chasers and is unenforced.
Arizona has failed to pass along tens of millions of dollars in federal aid to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure, despite being one of the states hit hardest by the housing bust. The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona had the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate during much of the housing crisis. Yet from mid-2011 through the end of 2012, it spent only 6 percent of $268 million allocated to help Arizona homeowners through the worst housing crash in the country’s history. And a large portion of Arizona’s money was spent setting up the program — at one point making ...Read more ...