Bank of America Could Care Less About Making the World Dance but Does Really Care About The Money, Money, Money and The Price Tag…

UPDATE 11/1/2011: Bank of America has announced it is scrapping this fee.

Slate.com is reporting that Bank of America is planning new debit card fees. The proposed  fee would be $5/month(usd) for customers who use their debit card to buy stuff.

*DISCLAIMER: I am not a licensed financial adviser and I have never even actually balanced a checkbook.  However, I still feel 91.37% confident in recommending that Bank of America customers are best served by immediately canceling their accounts with BoA.

Whether you are a Bank of America customer or not, please contact BoA CEO Brian T. Moynihan at brian.t.moynihan@bankofamerica.com to help in some way to prevent these fees from spreading.

Thanks.

CorporateMal.com

Human Rights Violations, Environmental Destruction & A Coke With A Smile!

According to a Politico.com report of an article in the Financial Times, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent had a few choice words to say about US tax laws and how the US does business.

After reading the Financial Times article, CEO Muhtar Kent seems to be inferring that the United States should model its business laws and practices after China.

Coke CEO Kent stated, “It’s like a well-managed company, China,”.

Does Mr. Kent think that human rights abuses, and lax enforcement of environmental and labor laws is part of what makes a company well managed?

Please enjoy a lukewarm glass of tap water while looking over some articles and sites that discuss Coca-Cola’s presence in China and the rest of the world.

http://KillerCoke.org/: NO, NOT THAT KIND OF COKE! Rather it is the dangerous kind of coke, the one you drink out of a can.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6675343.stm: Discusses allegations of prison labor used in China by Coca-Cola.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/18/coca-cola-china_n_930204.html:  Always follow the money. Coke CEO Muhtar Kent is talking up China while also discussing more investment in China.

http://www.chinastakes.com/2009/4/coca-cola-emphatically-denies-human-rights-violations-in-its-china-businesses.html: An interesting, i.e. depressing article regarding the alleged use of prison labor by Coca-Cola in China.

http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/Coca-Cola-Human-Rights20jul01.htm: Reports on  Coca-Cola’s alleged human rights violations in Colombia.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Coca-Cola: “Criticism from Wikipedia”. Drink some more of that now tepid tap water as it is a long but interesting read.

Please submit any links, news or info on the Coca-Cola Corporation, CEO Muhtar Kent, or most importantly a cola I can drink and not feel like a bad person.

I hope that this CEO understands that “Coke Points” don’t constitute a living wage nor do they pay the mortgage(or if they do in your situation, please contact me as I am trying to pitch some stories for a revival of the eighties hit show “That’s Incredible!“).

Mr. Kent, even if you don’t want to do the patriotic thing, please do the humanitarian thing and rethink your position regarding the way you speak of and act when doing business in China.

CorporateMal.com

Are Poor Business Practices Standard At S&P?

The NYTimes.com is reporting that Standard & Poors received a “Wells” notice from the SEC. A Wells notice is apparently just a letter from the SEC to say hi and to let a company know that it is under investigation. Such a notice does not mean that there are currently or will ever be any official charges.

This “just having a look  around” by the SEC is apparently related to a mortgage security  S&P rated in 2007.

In S&P’s defense they had no incentive to give companies/securities high ratings, other than for the fact that client companies might stop using S&P if they received bad ratings. But I ramble, as such a scenario would mean that Standard & Poors was only in it for the money.

Groupon Offers a Groupon For Its IPO. Get Half Off All Their Reported Revenue!

CNN Money is reporting that Groupon has again revised revenue figures before its IPO. Groupon has lowered its revenue for the first half of 2011 from $1.5 billion to $688 million. That’s more than half off! I guess they do offer more than just a $80 mani/pedi for $40.

Of course the mistake is quite simple. They included the money they owed their partner  merchants for coupons they sold as part of their revenue. Now I’m sure some of you corporate accounting whizzes out there could make the argument that this is legit, but common sense would indicate that it is probably best they revised their numbers.

Anyone have the odds as to whether this IPO will actually happen in 2011? I’m going 2 to 1 against. But I also like to cut my own nails no matter how cheap it is for a stranger to do it.

525,600 Minutes Would Have Equaled $94,765,680 for Former HP CEO Leo Apotheker

Seasons of Love, maybe, Season of Giving, most definitely. Of course Mr. Apotheker didn’t work five hundred twenty-five thousand
six hundred minutes. He worked around 198,000 minutes.*

According to MarketWatch.com, Leo Apotheker, the now former CEO of HP, could pocket 35.7 million dollars for his 11 month’s work at HP. In fairness, during this time, he did manage to oversee an over 40%  drop in the HP stock price. So at least he did something. A 40% drop can’t be easy, unless of course you do things like sell TouchPad tablets that cost $300 to manufacture for $150.

For those of you who don’t make tens of millions for less than a year’s work, I’ve broken down just what $35,700,000 looks like.

The numbers below assume Mr. Apotheker worked 7 days a week, 10 hours a day for the almost 11 months he was with HP. I can only hope he didn’t actually take a vacation during this time and kept his lunch break to 45 minutes tops.

$35,700,000 for 11 Months Work:

330 Days Worked
$108,181.82/Day

3300 Hours Worked
$10,818.18/Hour

198,000 Minutes Worked
$180.30/Minute

11,880,000 Seconds Worked
$3.00/Second

In fairness, Leo Apotheker did what we would all probably do, that is, “take the money and run.” It is the HP board members who should accept the blame and anger of the public, shareholders and most importantly the workers at HP. It is the HP board members who continually structure these absurd compensation packages. For more information Google: “HP and Mark Hurd”, “HP and Severance”, or HP and Rich, Incompetent, Entitled Board Members.

Perhaps Leo Apotheker is a genuis, or a least possesses basic life skills.

Entering Leo Apotheker’s Mind:
“This is a tough job. If I work here for ten years I will become very tired and bored of this job. Or, I could make terrible decisions, get fired and take my 35 million and go kick it on a beach with a bunch of supermodels.”

Mr. Apotheker may end up being the smartest man who ever worked for HP.**

CorporateMal.com
Bad Business News and Views

*I apologize to the good folks at Rent for dragging them in to this.
**That is not necessarily meant as a compliment.

Insider Trading: Like Father, Like Son, Like Goldman Sachs

The WSJ.com is reporting that Spencer D. Mindlin allegedly misused his position at Goldman Sachs to let his father, Alfred, know of some information that they used to net $57,000.

Goldman Sachs released a statement claiming that since the trades were conducted using a TD Ameritrade account they had nothing to do with it:

“All of the trading was conducted in private, undisclosed accounts held outside of Goldman Sachs and none of the trading involved client information.”

Not really the strongest defense, but I’ll leave it to the experts at Goldman Sachs to explain the intricacies of insider trading and how they are never involved.

UBS Trader Loses 2 Billion. That’s Billion With a….. “F*(k What Just Happened!”

The BBC.co.uk reports that UBS trader Kweku Adoboli is accused of creating fraudulent accounts and then, not surprisingly, being less than honest when it came to the accounting side. Total loss around $2,000,000,000 (usd) give or take a few million.

Although there is a “feel good” side to this story since it was actually Mr. Adoboli who finally let his employers know what he was up to.  As such, if you have any accounting experience, can balance a checkbook, or even work an abacus it might be worthwhile to send your resume to the UBS oversight and accounting department.

The Former SEC General Counsel and Bernie Madoff Get Real Cozy, But Claim They Are “Just Friends”

According to Reuters.com, in a newly released report from the Securities and Exchange Commission Inspector General, former General Counsel David Becker had a conflict of interest regarding his work on the Bernie Madoff case. The IG report states that David Becker:

“…participated personally and substantially in particular matters in which he had a personal financial interest by virtue of his inheritance … and that the matters on which he advised could have directly impacted his financial position.”

It is a bit of a complicated and depressing situation, so I suggest reading the whole article.  Although READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED when you get to the part where SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro actually describes Mr. Becker as a “talented, highly skilled lawyer.”

Full Tilt Poker Is A Ponzi Scheme. Not Surprising That Jesus Was On Top

According to CNN.com the Justice Department has charged Full Tilt Poker(FTP) with diverting over $400 million in player winnings to board members and celebrity players including Chris “Jesus” Ferguson and Howard Lederer.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara states:

Full Tilt Poker and its board, including Lederer and Ferguson, “defrauded players by misrepresenting that their funds on deposit in online gambling accounts were safe, secure, and available for withdrawal at any time.”

Now Mr. Ferguson, I’ve lost the faith, as this doesn’t sound very “Christ Like”. Did Judas know all along that Jesus was a cheat? Sign up now at JudasPoker.com(enter code: “whoisthebackstabbernow” for a 50% bonus).

Feds Charge 17 Banks With A Touch of the “Fraud” RE: Subprime Mortgage Securities

Or as the FHFA explains it, these loans simply had:

“different and more risky characteristics than the descriptions contained in the marketing and sales materials provided to the Enterprises for those securities.”

I think it is great that the government is finally going after these banks, although, the language they use sounds mostly like someone complaining about a less than truthful Match.com profile.

“Cheryl was nice and all, but to call her build ‘athletic’(see different) was definitely a stretch. Can you be athletic at 5’4″ 217lbs? Plus, what she referred to as an outgoing personality, definitely ended up being more on the manic depressive side(see risky characteristics).”

Civil complaints are a start, but when are the criminal charges going to be filed?