Weil on Finance: So Is This the Real Bitcoin Guy or Not?
Happy Friday, View fans. Here are your annotated morning links.
Newsweek thinks it found the inventor of Bitcoin , probably.
But it's a weird story, because we really don't know for sure. The article by Leah McGrath Goodman puts forth a reasonable theory that the guy in California she found is the real Satoshi Nakamoto. That's even the guy's real name. But she never establishes definitively that he's the same guy, which -- again -- is a little weird. There was a parade of journalists chasing him yesterday in their cars, too, and that also was bizarre. So was the wording of this sentence from the Newsweek article: "While Bitcoin lets its users conduct transactions anonymously, all transactions can be viewed transparently online -- and everyone is watching Nakamoto's Bitcoin to see if he spends it." Huh?
Playboy makes bad corporate governance sexy again.
So if I started a story by telling you about a former controller who "reported to company management 'actual and suspected frauds and improprieties' after refusing to prepare $1 million in bonuses for top executives without proper approvals" -- and filed a lawsuit under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act after she got fired for doing so -- you might think that's pretty boring. But there's a catch: The company was Playboy Enterprises. The 56-year old woman who filed that lawsuit was just awarded $6 million by a federal jury. And she might get more in punitive damages. The jury also found that Playboy discriminated against her because of her age, which blows my mind. I'll never think of Hugh Hefner's pride and joy the same way again. Who can imagine a company that publishes pictures and videos of naked models ever doing something like that?
Finra is having a tough week .
On the heels of this week's Wall Street Journal investigation showing that lots of stockbrokers weren't disclosing their bankruptcies and criminal convictions for their background reports on Finra's website, now comes a study that says, "the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority `routinely' strips out some possible red flags on brokers from its database in the information it makes available to investors." And right now is about the time that Finra probably should hire itself a crisis-management firm, if it hasn't already.
China's first corporate bond default .
Now what? Nobody knows. Maybe it will be a non-event. It looks like the government is trying it out as a test case. Nice capitalism there, China.
The SAT is changing again, and the Onion counts the ways.
Here are a few: "In order to reduce the emphasis on writing style over critical thinking, the test will replace traditional essay portion with new multiple-choice essay section." Also: "In response to accusations of cultural bias, all questions to now only refer to 13th-century Mongolia." Plus: "Eliminates stress by reminding test takers that whatever college they're admitted to, they still won't be able to get a job."
(Jonathan Weil is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter at @JonathanWeil.)
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.
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