Audit Notes: Criminal Query, Ritholtz on McKinsey; Obama’s Jobs Panel

— The Financial Times reports that the SEC is investigating whether Las Vegas Sands bribed foreign officials.

The headline:

Sands China shares hit by SEC probe of parent

But down in the fifth paragraph we learn that the Justice Department is also investigating Las Vegas Sands.

The DOJ prosecutes criminal cases, while the SEC prosecutes (or more like: settles) civil ones. Criminal cases are more important, so it’s unclear why the FT leads with the SEC here instead of the Justice Department inquiry.

— Barry Ritholtz points out that the former Goldman Sachs director Raj Gupta was also, for nearly a decade, head of McKinsey, the firm famed for hiring 22 year olds Ivy grads to swoop in and consult businesses on how they should be run (lay off lots of workers seems to be the usual answer), for ten years.

He asks half-jokingly, “Is McKinsey & Co. the Root of All Evil?”

When the Securities and Exchange Commission brought insider trading charges against Gupta, it did more than merely accuse him of being a crook. It shined a long overdue light on a company that has successfully dodged responsibility for some of the worst financial ideas in history.

Ritholtz pulls a list of scandals and failures the company has had a significant role in. The biggie is Enron. It’s an interesting list.

— Several weeks after naming Jeffrey Immelt of GE to head his jobs advisory panel, Obama has now added Richard Parsons, chairman of Citigroup, among others, to the panel.

Zero Hedge says:

We expect someone to tell us that between the two, their respective companies have seen headcuts well into the tens of thousands. As a reminder, under Immelt alone, GE’s track record of employment of US workers has been an utter and complete disaster.

And quotes a Dow Jones Newswires piece on that:

[Immelt] runs a big company, but Immelt has shown more skill at cutting jobs, frankly, than creating. GE finished 2009 with 18,000 fewer US workers than it had at the end of 2008, and US headcount is down 31,000 since Immelt’s first full year in 2002. During his tenure, GE workers based in the US as a percentage of total employees has fallen to 44% from 52%.

Neither Immelt nor Parsons would have a company if the government hadn’t given their firms tens of billions of dollars in bailouts, and Parsons was instrumental in the catastrophic AOL/Time Warner merger. Multimillionaire corporate welfare recipients who’ve cut and/or offshored tens of thousands of jobs advising a “liberal” president on jobs: What a farce.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum. Tags: , , ,