Assuming prosecutors can clear legal challenges against applying retroactively the law's longer statute of limitations -- from five years to six -- the next step will be deciding whether to reopen the investigative files of top banking executives.
U.S. prosecutors are showing new resolve in pursuing cases against the financial institutions that sold the shoddy mortgages that caused the housing crisis that crippled the financial system in 2007-08 and wreaked global economic damage.
Dan Loeb, the billionaire founder and principal owner of Third Point LLC, the $14 billion activist hedge fund, has made about $1 billion for himself and his investors from a two-year crusade to increase Yahoo! Inc.’s stock price. He’s been extraordinarily successful; the shares trade for about $33 these days, up from about $13.50 when Loeb started buying them in September 2011.
There is no shortage of billionaires -- the Koch brothers, Carl Icahn, Dan Loeb and, yes, Mike Bloomberg, to name a handful -- who are willing to use their vast wealth to push a particular political agenda or to advocate for a specific social reform. That’s hardly a revelation.
The word on Wall Street is that Bill Ackman, the billionaire hedge-fund manager, has jumped the shark. Between a $500 million loss on an almost $1 billion investment in J.C. Penney Co., and more than $300 million in losses on a billion-dollar-plus short position in Herbalife Ltd., Ackman has wigged out, the whisperers say.
We have argued that if banks had much more equity, the financial system would be safer, healthier and less distorted. From society’s perspective, the benefits are large and the costs are hard to find; there are virtually no trade-offs.