In the echoes-of-2008 department, the World Bank just hired a former Lehman Brothers risk manager to run its finances.
The bank, which lends money to developing countries in a bid to curb poverty, said Madelyn Antoncic will "be responsible for maintaining the World Bank's high standing in financial markets."
It is tempting here to make a joke about Antoncic's qualifications for that task. After all, you could hardly have a lower standing in financial markets than Lehman, whose September 2008 collapse nearly brought down the world economy.
Antoncic was for a spell the chief risk manager at Lehman, reporting to the peerless perfect-storm skipper Dick Fuld. For whatever reason the firm's success in risk management was, let's say, less than total.
But according to one account, published two years ago in the U.K. Guardian, Antoncic was indeed one of the few people wearing white hats at Lehman. Her second thoughts about the bank's leverage crusade led to her being sidelined into a policy job a year before the bank went belly-up. The bank still sank, but hey, it wasn't like Antoncic was the one screaming full steam ahead.
World Bank chief Robert Zoellick made a nod to this accomplishment, such as it is, in his comments Thursday.
"Known for her forthrightness, I am delighted Madelyn is taking up this important role," said Zoellick. "She brings to the Bank an extensive background in the financial industry and a demonstrated record of leadership, innovation, and integrity."
Perhaps the bright side is that the World Bank isn't making any loans to Greece or any other place that looks certain to blow up soon. At least not yet.
You may have assumed the government couldn't come up any emptier in bringing the rich guys behind the financial crisis to justice. But think again.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has so whiffed on its investigation of what brought down Lehman Brothers that it may resort to issuing a paper listing the allegations surrounding the firm rather than charging anyone with civil securities fraud.
The news that Dick Fuld, Erin Callan and the MOREColin Barr - Jun 6, 2011 12:00 PM ET
Regulators slapped UBS with a $2.5 million fine for pushing some Lehman Brothers debt as safe just months before the brokerage collapsed.
The Swiss-based financial services giant also agreed to restore more than $8 million to customers who bought the structured notes, whose returns were tied to stock market indexes but were billed as "principal protected," between March and June 2008.
Finra said UBS literature played up the notion of principal protection MOREColin Barr - Apr 11, 2011 1:30 PM ET
When Warren Buffett gets the markets wrong -- as in the case of insuring against junk bond defaults and owning GE -- he often still makes money because he gets the right price.
One of the secrets of successful investing is price. Sell dear enough or buy cheap enough, and you can make money even if the market moves against you.
Today's example involves Warren Buffett, who MOREAllan Sloan, senior editor-at-large - Mar 8, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Can an embattled accounting firm turn the New York attorney general's greatest strength against him?
Ernst & Young may try to do just that as it braces against a civil fraud suit claiming it helped conceal Lehman Brothers' accounting games in the years before its 2008 collapse.
Ernst promised in a statement this week to defend itself vigorously in the complaint, which seeks at least $150 million in damages. The firm said it MOREColin Barr - Dec 23, 2010 6:42 AM ET
New York sued the giant accounting firm Ernst & Young Tuesday, saying it helped Lehman Brothers deceive investors about its true health for seven years.
The complaint, filed in state Supreme Court, seeks the repayment of at least $150 million in fees the audit firm collected between 2001, when Lehman's aggressive accounting began, and 2008, when the venerable bank collapsed, precipitating a global bank run.
"Our lawsuit seeks to recover the fees collected by MOREColin Barr - Dec 21, 2010 11:31 AM ET
"Auditors who can't say no" sounds like a support group in the making. But one embattled audit firm isn't getting a terribly sympathetic hearing.
So says a quickie survey conducted Monday by the Argyle Executive Forum. The electronic poll of 498 members finds that nearly half of respondents -- 48% -- believe New York should move forward on civil fraud charges against Ernst & Young over its role in the MOREColin Barr - Dec 21, 2010 6:26 AM ET
One of the toothless accounting watchdogs that did so much to bring us the financial crisis is about to get an overdue scolding.
New York's attorney general is pursuing a civil suit against Ernst & Young, the Big 4 accounting firm that signed off on Lehman Brothers' financial reports in the years leading up to the investment bank's panic-inducing September 2008 collapse.
The case comes nine months after the bankruptcy examiner in the Lehman MOREColin Barr - Dec 20, 2010 11:47 AM ET
Troubled homeowners aren't the only ones having their issues with Bank of America.
A federal bankruptcy judge ruled Tuesday that BofA (BAC) must return $500 million in collateral it seized without cause from Lehman Brothers two years ago, just after the investment bank collapsed in the biggest-ever U.S. bankruptcy.
Bank of America's actions were "brazen…unauthorized and impermissible," U.S. bankruptcy judge James Peck wrote in a ruling Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
BofA MOREColin Barr - Nov 17, 2010 1:49 PM ET
Finally, some good news for a change: Dick Fuld is getting $10 million!
No, the guy who raked in nearly half a billion over 15 years while running Lehman Brothers into the ground didn't win the lottery.
Instead, he will get the money from Lehman's insurers to settle a suit filed by the Booth Foundation, a Florida charity that sank $22 million into Lehman debt in 2006. It hasn't received a payment MOREColin Barr - Oct 28, 2010 4:53 PM ET
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