Settlement splurge

Settlement Splurge
NEW YORK - Two years ago, the nation's big investment banks agreed to pay $1.4 billion to regulators to
settle conflict-of-interest charges in their stock research departments. But since then, little of the money made its way into the hands of jilted shareholders. And most of it never will.
Instead, federal and state regulators are engaged in an increasingly public skirmish over how best to spend the money meant for investor education. Some $52 million earmarked for federal programs remains in legal limbo, awaiting a court ruling, as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the administrator for investor education funds step aside, leaving the states to take pot shots at one another.
Meanwhile, out of the $30 million in state investor education funds, grants have gone for things like film documentaries, lecture series and, in the case of Georgia, a $4.3 million television ad campaign that critics have said helped raise the profile of Secretary of State Cathy Cox, who is now running for governor. (See:
How The Banking Settlement Got Spent In Georgia) The settlement with the original ten firms--Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs
(nyse: GS - news - people ), JPMorgan Chase (nyse: JPM - news - people ), Lehman Brothers (nyse:
LEH - news - people ), Merrill Lynch (nyse: MER - news - people ), Morgan Stanley (nyse: MWD -
news - people ), Citigroup (nyse: C - news - people ), UBS Warburg and Piper Jaffray (nyse: PJC - news
- people )--(two joined later) didn't even total one-quarter of Citigroup's investment banking profits for 2003--$5.7 billion. Citi paid the highest penalty of any firm telecommunications analysts, Jack Grubman, was banned from the securities industry for life.
But investor restitution was important enough to former SEC Enforcement Chief Stephen Cutler that he
asked state securities administrators if they might consider making $413 million in state settlement funds part of the pool of federal funds that was to be distributed to shareholders. "The distribution payments will be more meaningful if the states make their portions of the relief available to investors," is how Cutler put it, in a letter dated April 25, 2003. He recently left the SEC for private practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr, and declined to comment through a spokeswoman for
The states' response: No way. They contend that it's too hard to figure out who is owed what, and that the money can be put to better use. Plus, they said, there isn't enough to go around. "The penalties imposed are not enough to return meaningful restitution to investors," said Maine's securities administrator at the time, Christine Bruenn, in a response, two years ago, to Cutler's letter.
Bruenn sticks to that story today. "The likelihood we could identify who had been harmed, link the harm with the inappropriate recommendations and figure out the amounts they were owed, was bleak," she said in a telephone interview. "The states wanted to take the money upfront." The global settlement, announced in April 2003, came in four parts: funds to repay investors, funds for the states, funds for independent research and funds for investor education. Now the federal administrator of about $433 million set aside to repay investors is getting ready to distribute those funds. The deadline for filing a claim was July 29. Still, with losses estimated at $7 trillion from the stock scandals of recent years, it's likely successful claimants will get just pennies on the dollar. Most of the $413 million that went to the states, based on population, went to help balance state budgets (or close big gaps). California had the largest share $43 million. It put $40 million into its general fund and reserved $3 million for investor education. So far, it has spent $150,000 on a campaign to teach military personnel and their families how to avoid financial scam artists. Only in a few cases were states able to keep the money from disappearing into their treasuries. In Virginia, legislators facing a huge budget crunch tried and failed to get its $8.9 million sent to the general fund. Instead, as state law demands, the funds went to a special pool reserved for building schools. Oddly, much of the political squabbling has been over what to do with the $82 million in investor education funds, and the debate has laid bare differences of opinion on what exactly investor education entails. Two years ago, the New York judge overseeing the settlement approved a plan to form a non-profit entity to ration out $52 million for federal programs. The SEC named Charles Ellis, an expert on money
The Ellis group met only once and called it quits earlier this year, after Ellis clashed with the SEC over strategic vision. Ellis had advocated a hard push on getting more workers to sign up for 401(k)'s and to use lifecycle-style funds. He argued that focusing the fund's strategy on one or two things would pack a greater Instead, the SEC has asked the court to approve a new administrator called the NASD Foundation, which is a more traditional non-profit that takes proposals and makes grants. It was founded in 2003 with $10 million. U-050919
Sensing opportunity, the administrator at Investor Protection Trust, which oversees the $30 million of investor education funds for the states, is actively trying to grab some of the federal money away from the In court documents, IPT's Don Blandin says the NASD Foundation is too close to the securities industry,
with its chairman being the CEO of the National Association of Securities Dealers, as well as two of its other four board members being officers of NASD. The NASD Foundation is changing its board to include more outside members who have no ties to the securities industry, and it has asked the SEC and other regulators for nominations. In a June 10 letter to the court, it added, "The foundation assures the court that its investor education grants are not directed to any particular type of investment, and do not promote one type of investing over another." Blandin also points out that the SEC has already tried and failed to get a program running. "As events have demonstrated, it is not sound or realistic policy for the SEC once again to ask that all the eggs be placed in a single basket," he wrote in a June 3 letter to the court. Blandin was traveling out of the country and could The SEC has a few choice words for the IPT as well. In court papers, it says IPT has lost money on its investments this year, and it also accuses IPT of lacking transparency. IPT's financial statements, posted on its Web site, indicate it lost $75 million on its investments in the first four months of 2005. "The IPT's proposal would result not only in usurping the SEC's recognized investor protection role, but it would lead to confusion and delay," the SEC said in a letter to the court. Now it's up to Judge William Pauley of the Federal District Court in New York to decide. "It's
counterproductive to be looking back at what happened," says Sheila Bair, a professor at University of Massachusetts and a board member of the Ellis group. "The SEC has made a very good and defensible What exactly does investor education entail? For many states, the money goes to promote existing telephone hotlines, Web sites and other resources for reporting financial fraud. Other states are teaching teachers to incorporate financial literacy into their classroom work. U-050926
As countries worldwide step up measures to hold down healthcare expenditures, while greater time and investments are required for development of new drugs, the ethical pharmaceuticals industry, which is Takeda’s core business, is witnessing even more intense competition. In the United States, the world’s largest pharmaceuticals market, double-digit growth in pharmaceuticals sales is unlikely to last much longer. One reason is that the expiration of patents on major drugs is often followed by rapid growth in sales of generic drugs. Also restraining growth are a variety of measures to limit the cost of drugs by thefederal government, states, and insurance companies. Moreover, Medicare reforms, imports of less expensive drugs from Canada, and other events indicate that the United States is about to enter a period of fundamental change. Japan has the lowest growth rate of pharmaceuticals sales in the industrialized world due to declining consultation rates associated with an increased co-payment ratio for healthcare services, measures to promote the use of generic drugs, and periodic revisions in National Health Insurance (NHI) drug prices. In Europe as well, growth is slow as every country steps up initiatives to cap drug prices and In this environment, Takeda remained focused on fulfilling the goals of its 2001–2005 Medium-term Management Plan. Actions target raising sales of mainstay products, especially international strategic products, and enhancing the R&D pipeline. In fiscal 2003, net sales increased ¥40.3 billion, or 3.9%, to ¥1,086.4 billion. The transfer of the agricultural chemicals and latex businesses and the discontinuation of sales of products of Shimizu Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., both of which occurred during fiscal 2002, together with the yen’s appreciation relative to the U.S. dollar, had a negative impact of ¥10.1 billion on sales. Nevertheless, Takeda was able to record higher sales for the thirteenth consecutive year because of a rise of ¥66.8 billion, or 8.2%, in net sales in the ethical drug business in Japan and overseas. Domestic sales decreased ¥11.7 billion, or 1.8%, to ¥624.5 billion as domestic growth in ethical drug sales was insufficient to offset the impact of the transfer of the agricultural chemicals businesses and the discontinuation of sales of products of Shimizu Pharmaceutical. Overseas sales expanded ¥52.1 billion, or 12.7%, to ¥461.9 billion as growth in ethical drug sales outweighed the negative effect of foreign exchange rates. Overseas sales were 42.5% of total Through fiscal 2002, Takeda’s operations were divided into four segments based primarily on similarities of the type and nature of products. Now that the restructuring of non-pharmaceuticals businesses has been largely completed, Takeda is, beginning in fiscal 2003, dividing its operations into two business segments: “Pharmaceuticals” and “Other.” Segment information for the previous fiscal year has been restated in accordance with the new classifications. U-0501003
In the pharmaceuticals segment, which is made up of the ethical drugs and consumer healthcare (OTC products) businesses, the main activities are the manufacture and sale of ethical drugs, OTC products, and others. Segment sales increased ¥61.1 billion, or 7.0%, to ¥935.3 billion. Ethical drug sales rose ¥66.8 billion to ¥877.1 billion. This includes royalty income of ¥50.0 billion, ¥6.3 billion more than in the previous fiscal year. In Japan, Takeda placed priority on expanding sales of mainstay products, and as a result, sales increased ¥10.2 billion, or 2.4%, to ¥429.7 billion despite the negative impact on sales of ¥20.0 billion from the discontinuation of sales of products of Shimizu Pharmaceutical. Sales of the hypertension treatment Blopress increased ¥22.6 billion to ¥92.7 billion. Other mainstay drugs also posted steady growth. Sales of the peptic ulcer treatment Takepron increased ¥8.2 billion, sales of Basen, which improves postprandial hyperglycemia in diabetes, rose ¥5.9 billion, and sales of the osteoporosis treatment Benet Outside Japan, consolidated subsidiary Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. (TPNA) reported a U.S.$238 million increase in sales of the anti-diabetic drug Actos to U.S.$1,364 million. In Europe, lansoprazole (Japanese brand name: Takepron), a treatment for peptic ulcers, candesartan cilexetil (Japanese brand name: Blopress), a treatment for hypertension, and other mainstay products posted higher sales. As a result, overseas sales rose ¥56.6 billion, or 14.5%, to ¥447.4 billion despite a negative impact of ¥10.0 billion from the yen’s appreciation relative to the U.S. dollar. With the goal of positioning Takeda as a world-class pharmaceuticals company, the 2001–2005 Medium-term Management Plan sets a target of achieving single-year sales* of in-house ethical drugs of at least ¥1 trillion. This target was reached in fiscal 2002. In fiscal 2003, growth in sales of international strategic products and other factors lifted sales of in-house ethical drugs by ¥27.7 billion, or 2.6%, to ¥1,081.0 billion. By region, sales were down ¥23.9 billion in the Americas. However, sales increased ¥26.0 billion after excluding the negative effect of approximately ¥50.0 billion due to the yen’s appreciation relative to the U.S. dollar. Sales were up ¥21.8 billion in Europe and Asia and ¥29.9 billion in Japan. Overall, sales continued to climb in all regions with growth driven primarily by international In the consumer healthcare business, there were higher sales from Actage AN Jo (tablets), an oral medication for joint and nerve pain that went on sale in March 2003, and Nicorette, a smoking cessation aid that saw the March 2004 introduction of a mint-flavored version to enhance the product line. However, a weakened market brought down sales of Alinamin health tonics. Furthermore, sales of Benza cold remedies were impacted by the discontinuation of the manufacture and sale of cold remedies and nasal decongestants containing phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride (PPA). As a result, consumer healthcare sales decreased ¥5.7 billion, or 8.9%, to ¥58.2 billion.


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