The Lookout
  • Insider trading probe yields first charges

    Dragnet croppedWe've told you about the wide-ranging federal investigation of possible insider trading by hedge funds, investment bankers, consultants and others. Now that probe has yielded its first charges.

    Four consultants have been charged with passing on inside information about prominent technology companies, including Apple, Dell and others, reports the Wall Street Journal.

    The consultants worked for Primary Global Research, a Silicon Valley firm that hooks up hedge funds and investment banks with industry experts -- often former corporate employees -- who can provide trading tips.

    Read More »from Insider trading probe yields first charges
  • Another judge may reject health-care overhaul

    constitutionCould President Obama's health-care overhaul be struck down by a second federal judge?

    That's a distinct possibility. Roger Vinson, a federal district court judge in Florida, said yesterday it would take "a giant leap" to accept the Obama administration's argument that requiring almost all Americans to buy health care is constitutional, reports the New York Times.

    "People have always exercised the freedom to choose whether to buy or not buy a commercial product," Vinson added.

    Read More »from Another judge may reject health-care overhaul
  • Screen shot 2010-12-17 at 10.35.43 AMThe National Organization for Women has filed a complaint with California police and prosecutors alleging that local Hooters restaurants are breaking the law by serving to minors.

    San Francisco Chronicle reporter Bob Egelko writes that NOW -- best known for pursuing legal remedies for sexism and promoting women as candidates for public office -- is accusing the restaurant of luring minors into its franchises, which are designed for maximum display of decolletage. The complaint points out that the Hooters chain supplies "child menus, high chairs and booster seats, and sells T-shirts in children's sizes that identify the wearer as a 'Future Hooters Girl.' " The businesses are classified as "adult," so they cannot legally serve minors, the complaint says.

    Attorney Mona Lisa Wallace, president of NOW's San Francisco chapter, told news station KTVU that the complaint is an attempt to expose hypocrisy inherent in Hooters' legal and marketing strategy. In order to skirt equal-opportunity employment laws that bind restaurants, Hooters calls itself an adult business that provides "vicarious sexual entertainment." Hooters is thus allowed to hire primarily young and attractive women without having to fear discrimination suits from men or older women the company refuses to hire.

    But, Wallace says, by serving children as if it were a normal restaurant, Hooters is trying to (illegally) have its cake and eat it too.

    Read More »from Women’s group says Hooters breaking law by serving minors

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