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Play by the rules? What rules?

   On the cover of the Business Today section of The Buffalo News, some big time businessmen say it is time for business, government and the government regulation of business to have some good rules to play by, and have them enforced.

- Wilmers faults Congress on financial reform - Jonathan D. Epstein/The Buffalo News
   M&T Bank Corp. Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers [right] has elevated his target this year, taking on Wilmers Congress and the federal government in his annual letter to shareholders....
   Wilmers, the unofficial dean of Buffalo’s banking industry, praised the accomplishments of the Federal Reserve and regulators worldwide, as well as the U.S. Treasury under two administrations, for returning “some degree of normalcy” to the markets.
   But he criticized the inaction in Congress on reform legislation, noting that “another year has passed since the crisis began, and little if anything has been done to restructure the financial services industry.” 
   He had a similar message last year.
 - For All His Trouble, Dodd Stands Alone Again - Stacy Kaper/American Banker
   Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd's decision to try to negotiate a bipartisan regulatory reform deal with Republican Sen. Bob Corker was a mistake. The Connecticut Democrat found he had to negotiate away so much to gain just one GOP vote that he would jeopardize support from his own party.
- Sen. Corker calls claims he rewarded payday lenders 'cheap shot' - Michael Collins/Knoxville News Sentinel
   U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Thursday it was a "cheap shot" to suggest he had sought to reward payday lending companies that have contributed thousands of dollars to his political campaigns by pushing to exempt them from new financial regulations.
- Report Details How Lehman Hid Its Woes - The New York Times
   It is the Wall Street equivalent of a coroner’s report — a 2,200-page document that lays out, in new and startling detail, how Lehman Brothers used accounting sleight of hand to conceal the bad investments that led to its undoing.

- Delaware North back in running for Aqueduct casino - Tom Precious/The Buffalo News
   Buffalo’s Delaware North Cos. is back in the hunt for a deal to run a lucrative casino at Aqueduct racetrack following the state’s decision Thursday to scuttle a tentative contract for the facility.
Paterson administration announced it is rescinding the deal to award the casino rights at the racetrack in Queens to a consortium of gambling and finance interests after the state Lottery Division said it could not issue a gambling license to the team. Two investigations are under way into the process that the state used in recently awarding the pact.
Aqueduct Entertainment Group, which won, then lost the deal, threatened legal action for what its lawyer called an “arbitrary and capricious” decision by the state....
   The Aqueduct selection process had been criticized for at least six months because the terms of the bidding kept changing through the process.
- N.Y.’s Cuomo Appoints Former Judge to Oversee Probes - Henry Goldman/Bloomberg
   New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo removed himself and appointed Judith Kaye, the state’s former chief judge, as an independent counsel to oversee investigations related to the conduct of Governor David Paterson....
   The U.S. Attorney’s office has opened a third investigation, Cuomo said, into the governor’s dealings with Aqueduct Entertainment Group, a consortium that had been chosen to operate video lottery terminals at Aqueduct racetrack. The governor announced today he removed the group because it can’t qualify for a gaming license.

 -- George Pyle/The Buffalo News  

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