Articles by Barnaby J. Feder



ABN Amro to Pay $80M Fine for Breaking Rules

  • 21 December 05
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
ABN Amro, a global banking giant based in the Netherlands, has agreed to pay a total of $80 million in fines for violating regulations to prevent money laundering, regulators and the bank said Monday.

Reports Detail WorldCom Execs' Fraud

  • 11 June 03
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Bernard Ebbers, the former chairman and chief executive of WorldCom, ran the company in a manner that fostered a long and extensive fraud executed by other senior executives, according to findings of two detailed investigations released early this week.

Pentagon Sails on the Trailing Edge of Technology

  • 02 April 03
  • NEW YORK TIMES SERVICE
Although satellite-guided missiles, the B-2 stealth bomber and the pilotless Global Hawk surveillance plane being deployed in Iraq are flagships of modern weaponry, nothing in the military is quite as up to date as it looks.

Y2K Gurus Quit Before Dawn 2000

NEW YORK -- They have devoted months and sometimes years to raising consciousness about potential year 2000 computer disruptions. Now, many of the most prominent worriers are folding their tents. Jay Golter and his fellow advocates at the Northern Virginia Year 2000 Community Action Group wrapped up their group efforts with a ""New Year's Eve"" party on Dec. 18. Peter de Jager, the Canadian programmer who became a year 2000 Paul Revere in 1993, said he would be on the interview circuit through next weekend. But Year2000.com, the popular Internet site he set up with the Tenagra Corp., is already on the auction block at eBay.com. ""The crusade part of this is just about over,"" said Edward Yardeni, a Wall Street economist who still believes there is a 70 percent chance that year 2000 breakdowns will usher in a worldwide recession. ""Now it's just a matter of what happens. There's no point in being alarmist anymore."" Apparently, though, it is time to send in the clowns.

Glitches Occur Daily Without Millennium Bug

NEW YORK -- In the first few days of next year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are likely to discover that they cannot get cash from a teller machine. Others will suddenly lose power or be greeted with silence when they pick up their telephones. There will be neighborhood pharmacies asking customers to pay in full for medicines because insurers' computers do not recognize their names. And thousands of business and home computers are likely to be penetrated by vandals or thieves. Year 2000 computer problems? Although many people who encounter such technology potholes will naturally assume so, they may well be wrong. ""If we watched the world tomorrow as closely as we will watch Jan. 1, we'd see a whole set of things not working,"" said John Koskinen, chairman of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion.

Firms Escape Weighty Y2K Suits

NEW YORK -- A trickle of new lawsuits in recent months is expanding the legal landscape of the Year 2000 computer problem. But so far, the cases offer little support for the dire predictions that courts will be choked by litigation over Y2K, as the problem is known. Some major equipment vendors, including IBM, AT&T and Lucent Technologies Inc., for example, have joined the ranks of those being sued for not forewarning customers that equipment they sold in recent years cannot handle Year 2000 dates and for not supplying free upgrades. A California suit claims that Circuit City Stores Inc., CompUSA Inc. and other mass-market retailers violated the state's unfair business practices law by not warning customers about Year 2000 problems in computers and other equipment they sold. And an Alabama lawyer sued the state of Alabama on behalf of two welfare recipients, asking that the state be ordered to set aside money to upgrade its computers to ensure that benefits will be delivered without interruption.

Internet's Yahoo Reports Profit

NEW YORK -- Rare for an Internet company, Yahoo has reported actual earnings. Not that such things matter. Yahoo Inc., a bellwether Internet stock, released earnings Tuesday confirming that it had surpassed Wall Street's financial expectations. But does it matter? The recent surge in share prices for Internet companies has analysts wondering whether financial performance is irrelevant for many of the small investors jumping in. ""I don't know how people are getting to these valuations,'' said Paul Noglows, an analyst at Hambrecht & Quist in San Francisco. ""What's going on has nothing to do with fundamentals, good or bad.'' Noglows considers Yahoo - a gateway for web surfers for information, e-mail, shopping and other Internet services - one of the stars of his sector. He likes its strategy and management. In normal times, an announcement like Tuesday's might lead him to urge investors to buy more shares. Yahoo, based in Santa Clara, California, said that earnings in the last quarter of 1998 jumped to $25.