Was This Whistle-Blower Muzzled?

Unlike those other conversations, though, Mr. Bowen’s Feb. 27 interview, a transcript of which I have read, is not publicly available. Instead, the document, along with the commission’s other records, was sealed and sent off to the National Archives, where it may be reviewed beginning in 2016. “Why five years?” Mr. Bowen wondered. “I don’t know. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that five years is the statute of limitation for fraud.”

.. Mr. Bowen says the F.C.I.C. wanted him to delete his concern that Citi may have materially misrepresented its certifications of internal controls, which require corporate officers to certify the accuracy of their financial statements under Sarbanes-Oxley.

Remove the names of people at Citi, he says he was told. Take out his post-Rubin denouement, his conversations with the bank’s internal lawyers  and the fact that Citigroup’s outside attorneys at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP were conducting an investigation of his charges.


Scribes in the Time of Steroids

The steroid era was a moment of deception but also of starry-eyed self-deception; if it was a breakdown of integrity on the part of baseball’s stars it was also, in some measure, a failure of sports journalism.

.. I remember watching Mark McGwire transform into a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float version of himself and hit nine-thousand-foot home runs every other game and thinking that something was amiss. In that very same moment, I also somehow shelved my doubts so that I could enjoy the spectacle or, when I was feeling fancy, “witness history.” The sportswriting of that period, too, reveals a curious human talent for simultaneously knowing and not knowing.

I Flirt and Tweet. Follow Me at #Socialbot.

Now come socialbots. These automated charlatans are programmed to tweet and retweet. They have quirks, life histories and the gift of gab. Many of them have built-in databases of current events, so they can piece together phrases that seem relevant to their target audience. They have sleep-wake cycles so their fakery is more convincing, making them less prone to repetitive patterns that flag them as mere programs. Some have even been souped up by so-called persona management software, which makes them seem more real by adding matching Facebook, Reddit or Foursquare accounts, giving them an online footprint over time as they amass friends and like-minded followers.