Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
NOW on PBS
Civics & Politics The Environment Health Economics Social Issues Full Archive
NOW on Demand
Act NOW
Week of 4.13.07

Stock Alert

This week, NOW takes a close look at hedge funds—sometimes secretive and often very risky investment accounts that have brought incredible wealth and power to some, but with the potential to spell dire consequences for ordinary Americans. Hundreds of billions of dollars are invested in hedge funds, which are not regulated, and there's a good chance some of your retirement money's in one. But many hedge fund managers say they won't tell anyone how they make their money—not even the government.

In its investigation, NOW interviews former SEC lawyer-turned whistleblower Gary Aguirre. As part of his job, Aguirre investigated hedge funds and says he was banned from probing a Wall Street titan with close ties to the Bush Administration.

Program Resources
» Video
» Audio [mp3, 48kbps]:
Stream, Download, Podcast
» Transcript
» Print
» Feedback
»
"I was just following an evidence trail, and it led to that door," Aguirre tells NOW. "The logical thing was to knock on the door and try to find out what was behind it."

Related Resources:

» Congressional Record Transcript of Senators Grassley and Specter Speaking on Their SEC Investigation Findings [pdf]

» Senate Judiciary Committee: Testimony by Mr. Gary J. Aguirre, Former Investigator U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission

» Government Accountability Project: Statement Regarding Gary Aguirre

» House Committee on Financial Services: Congressional Hearing on Hedge Funds and Risk in Financial Markets

» Sen. Chuck Grassley: Grassley Seeks Hedge Fund Registration, Says Congress Needs to Bring About Transparency

» The Hedge Fund Association

» NOW Topic Search: Business/Corporate Ethics

Related Articles:

» American Public Media—Marketplace: "Hedge Funds Leaning Blue"

» Bloomberg: "Hedge Funds, Buyout Firms Favor Democrats with Campaign Money"

» New York: "Hedge Funds All-Stars"



NOW Interview: Allan Sloan

Allan Sloan David talks with Allan Sloan, Newsweek's Wall Street editor, about legislation to get rid of the alternative minimum tax for all but the richest tax payers. The alternative minimum tax was created in 1969 to prevent very rich individuals from using loopholes to avoid federal income taxes. But the tax is expanding at a rapid pace, partly because it is not adjusted for inflation. It can hit people with incomes as low as $50,000 and, if left unchecked, is expected to affect 23 million households during the 2007 tax year—up from 3.4 million last year.

About Allan Sloan

Allan Sloan, Newsweek's Wall Street editor, has won numerous awards and honors in his 30-year business writing career. Sloan, who joined Newsweek in March of 1995, is a six-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award, business journalism's highest honor. In 2001, he received the Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award for business and financial journalism. Sloan also won the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in 2001, and had previously won the John Hancock Award for excellence in business and financial journalism.

Sloan is a contributor to Public Radio International's "Marketplace." His "Sloan Sessions" are broadcast on Monday mornings. He also frequently appears as a commentator on the PBS television program "Nightly Business Report."

Before joining Newsweek, Sloan was a columnist at Newsday, where his column was syndicated nationally to top newspapers around the country, including the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Dallas Morning News, and the Los Angeles Times. From 1984 to 1988 he was a senior editor for Forbes magazine. Prior to that, he was a staff writer for Money magazine (1982-84), an associate editor for Forbes (1979-81) and a business reporter for the Detroit Free Press (1972-78). His business writing career began at the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer in 1969, where he also worked briefly as a sports writer.

Sloan, a native of Brooklyn, received an M.S. from the Columbia Journalism School in 1967 and a B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1966. He attended the Seminary College of the Jewish Theological Seminary for two years while he was an undergraduate at Brooklyn College. He and his wife live in New Jersey. They have three grown children.