Weil's View on Finance: Green Mountain Numbers and Crisis Recaps

Jonathan Weil joined Bloomberg News as a columnist in 2007, and his columns on finance and accounting won Best in the Business awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2009 and 2010.
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Hello, View fans. Here is a look at some of my breakfast reading this morning.

Green Mountain Coffee's numbers under the microscope

Jesse Eisinger of ProPublica has lots of questions about Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. For instance: "What explains the unusual movements of Green Mountain inventory described by some former company workers and associates?" Also, what happened to the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation of the company's accounting practices? The stock is flying high, more than tripling the past year. There isn't much room for error.

No more austerityfor Greece next year?

That's what the country's finance minister, Yannis Stournaras, said, according to the Athens newspaper Kathimerini. There will be no more austerity measures, and of this he's absolutely certain, he said. Of course, the country still has a huge funding gap that he'll have to worry about. And Greeks have heard this kind of talk many, many times before.

Morgan Stanley five years after the crisis

The Wall Street Journal uses the five-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers' collapse to look at Morgan Stanley, which came close to disaster in 2008. The company gets praise from Sheila Bair, former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., for making itself a safer place. "They're not perfect, but there's been real progress at that bank," she said.

What has and hasn't changed since September 2008

Bloomberg News explains why the financial system is still at risk of another meltdown: "While the amount of capital at the six largest U.S. lenders has almost doubled since 2008, policy makers and some Wall Street veterans say that's not enough. They see a system still too leveraged, complicated and interconnected to withstand a panic, and regulators ill-equipped to head one off -- the same conditions that led to the last crisis."

Harsh words for the SEC's enforcement record

William Black, a law professor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, rips yesterday's New York Times story about the Securities and Exchange Commission's decision not to file claims against former Lehman Brothers executives. "In the NYT's account a pathetic failure of competence, integrity, and courage at the SEC is re-imagined as a fantastic triumph of vigor and ethics on the part of the SEC enforcement attorney who refused to seek to hold Lehman's senior officers accountable for their violations but otherwise became the scourge of elite frauds," he writes today at New Economic Perspectives.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the author on this story:
Jonathan Weil at jweil16@bloomberg.net