The euro crisis, the revolutions in the Arab world and the killing of Osama bin Laden are dominating the headlines for now. Yet there is still a lot to be said about the Fukushima disaster and corruption in the financial sector. We look at media comment on these never-ending stories.
... A New York jury has found the head of the Galleon Group Hedge Fund, Raj Rajaratnam, guilty of 14 counts of insider trading. This is good news, writes the Financial Times. It is high time for authorities — on both sides of the Atlantic — to pursue insider-trading cases more aggressively.
In the UK, the Financial Services Authority’s measure of lack of “market cleanliness” (the number of announcements preceded by unusual price movements) has stuck at between 20 and 30 per cent for a decade, and the US figures are thought similar.
... Only by pursuing prosecutions will it be possible to increase the “fear factor” for miscreants. With professional investors becoming ever more aggressive about pursuing informational advantage, it is surely time for the authorities to toughen up.
... Disaster-stricken Japan is moving in the opposite direction, and it is brutally clear why. Over 80,000 people living within 12 miles of Fukushima have been forced out of their homes and it is far from clear when they will be able to return. Farmers have been forced to abandon their cows, or dump their milk. The compensation bill alone for the 50,000 families forced to leave the exclusion zone could be astronomical. Tepco may apologise deeply and profusely, but Japan's nuclear industry has lost the stranglehold it once had over the energy debate. There are no votes in trying to defend it now. ...