Easy Street

Easy Street May 25: The Great Oil-Market Manipulation Outcry

Heidi Moore May 25, 2011

Easy Street is our daily roundup of the most interesting news stories and commentary about Wall Street, Washington and the curious world of finance. You can see more of what we think are the biggest stories of the day on our News in Brief page. Every day, you can download Marketplace’s daily show on iTunes and follow us for more headlines at twitter.com/mktplaceradio. If you want to listen to Marketplace on the radio, find your local station and time here.

Bankers & Finance

Young “quants” – super-smart engineering students who create fancy financial products like derivatives – have a starting salary of $94,000 a year – which really, is nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars they’ve spent on education.

Two items for our “In Video Veritas” day in which financiers get chatty – Dick Parsons of Citigroup says more financial crises will probably occur

Fadel Gheit, Oppenheimer analyst, says that the oil market is manipulated.

Fund Managers & Investing

AR Magazine examines how well – or not – some famous hedge fund managers have done on their 2010 stock tips.

Markets & Traders

Bond managers are losing faith in the U.S. dollar.

Corporate America

Private equity firms plunked down $17.6 billion for Freescale Semiconductor in 2006. The company is now worth 47% less than it was then, according to the value of its new IPO.

Politicians & Regulation

SEC chair Mary Schapiro talks about what the SEC learned from the financial crisis: accounting is very important. “computers make things easier now, and the numbers are a whole lot bigger than they used to be. But I think there’s a misperception that the accounting profession is still putting figures into columns in just about the same way its been done since the adding machine was invented.”

A new study shows that House members earn 6% more on their stock investments than regulator people, building on a previous study that Senators earn 10% more.

From the Huffington Post: “Ever since 2006, a small coterie of Democrats has been trying to officially prohibit members of Congress and their staffs from using non-public information to enrich their personal portfolios. The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act was most recently re-introduced in March by Reps. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) and Tim Walz (Minn.). It has not been heard from since.”

Unfortunately, the study only looks at 1985 to 2001. Surely Congress has been up to more since then?

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.