Corporate Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles from Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These corporate corruption articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Corporate Corruption Media Articles


Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

How to Charge $546 for Six Liters of Saltwater
2013-08-25, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/health/exploring-salines-secret-costs.html?...

It is one of the most common components of emergency medicine: an intravenous bag of sterile saltwater. Luckily for anyone who has ever needed an IV bag to replenish lost fluids or to receive medication, it is also one of the least expensive. The average manufacturer’s price, according to government data, has fluctuated in recent years from 44 cents to $1. Yet there is nothing either cheap or simple about its ultimate cost, as [revealed by] the commercial path of IV bags from the factory to the veins of more than 100 patients struck by a May 2012 outbreak of food poisoning in upstate New York. Some of the patients’ bills would later include markups of 100 to 200 times the manufacturer’s price, not counting separate charges for “IV administration.” And on other bills, a bundled charge for “IV therapy” was almost 1,000 times the official cost of the solution. At every step from manufacturer to patient, there are confidential deals among the major players, including drug companies, purchasing organizations and distributors, and insurers. These deals so obscure prices and profits that even participants cannot say what the simplest component of care actually costs, let alone what it should cost. And that leaves taxpayers and patients alike with an inflated bottom line and little or no way to challenge it. The real cost of a bag of normal saline, like the true cost of medical supplies from gauze to heart implants, disappears into an opaque realm of byzantine contracts, confidential rebates and fees that would be considered illegal kickbacks in many other industries.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing medical corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.




Facial Scanning Is Making Gains in Surveillance
2013-08-21, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/us/facial-scanning-is-making-gains-in-surve...

The federal government is making progress on developing a surveillance system that would pair computers with video cameras to scan crowds and automatically identify people by their faces, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with researchers working on the project. The Department of Homeland Security tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System — or BOSS — last fall after two years of government-financed development. Although the system is not ready for use, researchers say they are making significant advances. That alarms privacy advocates, who say that now is the time for the government to establish oversight rules and limits on how it will someday be used. In a sign of how the use of such technologies can be developed for one use but then expanded to another, the BOSS research began as an effort to help the military detect potential suicide bombers. But in 2010, the effort was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security to be developed for use instead by the police in the United States. The effort to build the BOSS system involved a two-year, $5.2 million federal contract given to Electronic Warfare Associates, a Washington-area military contractor with a branch office in Kentucky. Significant progress is already being made in automated face recognition using photographs taken under ideal conditions, like passport pictures and mug shots. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is spending $1 billion to roll out a Next Generation Identification system that will provide a national mug shot database to help local police departments verify identities.

Note: For more on government and corporate threats to privacy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




5 companies that make money by keeping Americans scared
2013-08-19, Salon
http://www.salon.com/2013/08/19/5_companies_that_make_money_by_keeping_americ...

Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency, has invaded America’s television sets in recent weeks to warn about Edward Snowden’s leaks and the continuing terrorist threat to America. But what often goes unmentioned, as the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald pointed out, is that Hayden has a financial stake in keeping Americans scared and on a permanent war footing against Islamist militants. And the private firm he works for, called the Chertoff Group, is not the only one making money by scaring Americans. Post-9/11 America has witnessed a boom in private firms dedicated to the hyped-up threat of terrorism. The drive to privatize America’s national security apparatus accelerated in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and it’s gotten to the point where 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is now spent on private contractors, as author Tim Shorrock reported [in Spies for Hire: the Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing]. The private intelligence contractors have profited to the tune of at least $6 billion a year. In 2010, the Washington Post revealed that there are 1,931 private firms across the country dedicated to fighting terrorism. What it all adds up to is a massive industry profiting off government-induced fear of terrorism, even though Americans are more likely to be killed by a car crash or their own furniture than a terror attack. Here are five private companies cashing in on keeping you afraid. 1. The Chertoff Group 2. Booz Allen Hamilton 3. Science Applications International Corp. 4. Center for Counterintelligence and Security Studies 5. Security Solutions International.

Note: For more on government and corporate corruption in pushing the terror hoax, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Toxic Fukushima fallout threatens fishermen's livelihoods
2013-08-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/09/fukushima-fallout-threatens-fish...

Despite his age, 63-year-old Kazuo Niitsuma believes there are many more years of fishing ahead of him. The sea is in his family's blood, he says. His octogenarian father began working on boats when he was 12, and only retired three years ago. But ... Niitsuma knows he may never again get the chance to board his boat and head out into the Pacific in search of sole, whitebait, flounder and greenling. The greatest threat to Niitsuma's livelihood, and that of other fishermen in Hisanohama ... lies just up the coast at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The environment ministry recently announcement that 300 tonnes of contaminated groundwater from Fukushima Daiichi is still seeping over or around barriers into the Pacific every day, more than two years after it was struck by a tsunami in March 2011. Government officials said they suspected the leaks had started soon after the accident. The admission by the ministry, confirmed by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), which runs the plant, is likely to keep Hisanohama's 40 fishing boats in port for the foreseeable future. Tepco's failure to handle the contaminated water – and accusations that it tried to cover up the leaks – is a serious setback to attempts to clean up Fukushima Daiichi, 18 months after the government declared it had reached a "safe" state known as cold shutdown. "I haven't been able to fish since the tsunami," Niitsuma said. "People want to be reassured that they are buying fish that is safe to eat, and we can't give them that guarantee at the moment."

Note: Declaring the situation an "emergency", the Japanese government has stepped in to take over control of the response from Tepco. For more on this, click here. For a National Geographic article on what you need to know about the radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean by the Fukushima disaster, click here. It reports that scientists have estimated that contaminated seawater could reach the West Coast of the United States in five years or less. For more on the environmental devastation of nuclear power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




New Leaks Into Pacific at Japan Nuclear Plant
2013-08-07, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/world/asia/leaks-into-pacific-persist-at-ja...

Tons of contaminated groundwater from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have overwhelmed an underground barrier and are emptying daily into the Pacific, creating what a top regulator has called a crisis. The water contains strontium and cesium, as well as tritium. The plant was already struggling to store hundreds of thousands of tons of contaminated water that flowed through the buildings housing three reactors where [three] meltdowns occurred in 2011. But the contamination in this new groundwater problem is from different sources, Tepco said. The company has admitted that it failed to respond quickly enough to the latest groundwater contamination, saying it was preoccupied with more pressing issues like cooling the damaged reactors. “Tepco appears overwhelmed in dealing with what is a very serious problem,” said Akio Yamamoto, a professor of nuclear engineering at Nagoya University, who serves as outside expert for the Nuclear Regulation Authority, Japan’s nuclear watchdog. Critics contend that the plant has emitted far more radioactive materials than it is saying, based in part on levels of contaminants discovered in the harbor, which are well above safe levels in some places. The contamination appears to be spreading, with tests last month by Tepco showing high levels of tritium and other radioactive elements like strontium starting at other locations near the two other crippled reactors.

Note: Declaring the situation an "emergency", the Japanese government has stepped in to take over control of the response from Tepco. For more on this, click here. For a National Geographic article on what you need to know about the radioactive contamination of the Pacific Ocean by the Fukushima disaster, click here. It reports that scientists have estimated that contaminated seawater could reach the West Coast of the United States in five years or less. For more on the environmental devastation of nuclear power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Banks hate Richmond homeowners' bailout plan
2013-08-05, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/johnson/article/Banks-hate-Richmond-homeow...

Richmond [CA] city officials took a giant leap forward for everyday people last week when they announced a program to purchase ailing residential mortgages and refinance them through a financial partnership and a bold new initiative that's already begun. To accomplish the task, the city said it will use its eminent domain powers in reverse: To save a home instead of condemn it. Much to the displeasure of the banking industry, the city sent offer letters to more than 600 homeowners whose mortgages are held by nongovernment lending institutions. The program offers to pay lenders the current market value of the property, not the higher value of the mortgage. Under the Richmond program, a bank that approved a $500,000 mortgage would be paid roughly 80 percent of its investment. Already, some lenders contend that such a law violates constitutionally protected property rights and sets a precedent that could open the floodgates for other cities in the same predicament. The mere exploration of similar programs in a half-dozen California cities and counties provoked a strong reaction from the banking industry. Financial experts have warned that the Richmond policy is certain to spawn legal challenges and a backlash from lenders who recalculate higher mortgages in Richmond to offset the risk of the city using a local law to claim a foreclosed property. That's interesting, because no measure was too extreme, no taxpayer sacrifice too great to come up with and fund a new financial model to bail out the bankers and brokerage firms in 2008. But that's what the federal government - and American taxpayers did.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




California duped on energy buys again
2013-08-01, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/California-duped-on-ene...

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay federal regulators $410 million to settle allegations that the giant bank manipulated energy markets in California and Michigan. About $285 million of the settlement will go to the U.S. Treasury for civil penalties, and about $124 million will be refunded to California ratepayers. The remainder will be refunded to Michigan ratepayers. If this story sounds familiar, that's because it is. Californians who remember the Enron energy debacle of 2000-01 won't be surprised to learn that JPMorgan's traders have been accused of fraudulent behavior. Once again, the fraud was performed by manipulating the auction system that was developed by a quasi-state agency, the California Independent System Operator, to handle California's electricity needs. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission found that JPMorgan engaged in 12 manipulative bidding strategies, which wound up forcing ratepayers to pay higher amounts than they should have - all because the bank wanted to find a cheap way to profit off of aging power plants in Southern California. JPMorgan used a variety of bait-and-switch strategies - duping Cal-ISO into paying exorbitant fees for running the plants at a low level, for instance, or manipulating the bidding system so that Cal-ISO was forced to pay rates that were many times higher than market rate. The fact that this kind of manipulation is still happening is upsetting. And while $410 million is a record settlement for the FERC, it's a drop in the bucket to JPMorgan, which reported $6.5 billion in quarterly profits this month.

Note: Remember Enron, which scammed millions and then went bankrupt, wiping out pensions of its many employees? To read CBS reports on how Enron purposely shut down power plants so they could cause and then cash in on the energy crisis, click here.




The Stench of the Potomac
2013-08-01, New York Magazine
http://nymag.com/news/frank-rich/this-town-washington-lobbyists-2013-8/

The tale of how the Obama economic team was recruited en masse from Robert Rubin acolytes who either facilitated Wall Street’s pre-crash recklessness while in the Clinton administration or cashed in on it later (or, like Rubin, did both) never loses its power to shock. Michael Froman, Rubin’s chief of staff as Clinton Treasury secretary, not only served as the Obama transition team’s personnel director but moonlighted as a Citigroup managing director while doing so. “Obama essentially entrusted the repairing of the china shop to the bulls who’d helped ransack it,” [Jeff] Connaughton writes [in The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins]. [In This Town Mark] Leibovich updates the story of the tacky prehistory of the Obama White House with its aftermath—the steady parade of Obama alumni who traded change we can believe in for cash on the barrelhead as soon as they left public service. The starry list includes, among many others, Peter Orszag (director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, now at Citi), Jake Siewert (the Treasury Department counselor turned chief flack for Goldman Sachs), and David Plouffe (the campaign manager and senior presidential adviser who did consulting for Boeing and General Electric). “When I am president,” Obama had said in 2008, “I will start by closing the revolving door in the White House that’s allowed people to use their administration job as a stepping-stone to further their lobbying careers.” Puzzling over how so many colleagues have strayed from this credo, the former press secretary Robert Gibbs has theorized that either “somehow we have all changed” or, alternatively, “maybe Washington changed us.”

Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The Public-Private Surveillance Partnership
2013-07-31, Bloomberg News
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-31/the-public-private-surveillance-part...

Computers and networks inherently produce data, and our constant interactions with them allow corporations to collect an enormous amount of intensely personal data about us as we go about our daily lives. Sometimes we produce this data inadvertently simply by using our phones, credit cards, computers and other devices. Sometimes we give corporations this data directly on Google, Facebook, [or] Apple’s iCloud ... in exchange for whatever free or cheap service we receive from the Internet in return. The NSA is also in the business of spying on everyone, and it has realized it’s far easier to collect all the data from these corporations rather than from us directly. The result is a corporate-government surveillance partnership, one that allows both the government and corporations to get away with things they couldn’t otherwise. There are two types of laws in the U.S., each designed to constrain a different type of power: constitutional law, which places limitations on government, and regulatory law, which constrains corporations. Historically, these two areas have largely remained separate, but today each group has learned how to use the other’s laws to bypass their own restrictions. The government uses corporations to get around its limits, and corporations use the government to get around their limits. This partnership manifests itself in various ways. The government uses corporations to circumvent its prohibitions against eavesdropping domestically on its citizens. Corporations rely on the government to ensure that they have unfettered use of the data they collect.

Note: For more on government and corporate privacy invasions, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Volkswagen stops academics from revealing car hack
2013-07-30, NBC News/Associated Press
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52620905#.Uf0oE6zfKSo

A British university is delaying the release of an academic paper on how the anti-theft systems of millions of Volkswagen vehicles are at risk of being hacked after the German carmaker took legal action against it. In a statement, the University of Birmingham said it would "defer publication" of the paper — which explains how researchers were able to subvert Volkswagen's security system — after an interim injunction issued by England's High Court. It said it was "disappointed with the judgment which did not uphold the defense of academic freedom and public interest, but respects the decision." The paper ... revealed three ways to bypass a brand of computer chip used by several auto manufacturers to fight vehicle theft. Often referred to as immobilizers, such chips use a secret algorithm to ensure that a car can only be started with the right key, and they've been a mandatory in all new vehicles sold in Britain over the past 15 years. Crucially, the researchers planned to reveal how they were able to reverse-engineer the algorithm — and publish a copy of it in their paper. Volkswagen said that publishing the formula would be "highly damaging" and "facilitate theft of cars," according to a ruling handed down last month by High Court Justice Colin Birss. The judge said that millions of Volkswagen vehicles were issued with the chip, including high-end cars such as Porsches, Audis, Bentleys, and Lamborghinis. The researchers countered that Volkswagen's claim that the paper would be a boon to car thieves was overblown, that they had warned the chip's manufacturer about the vulnerability six months ago, and that a gag order would interfere with their legitimate academic work.

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Is Big Pharma Addicted To Fraud?
2013-07-29, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikakelton/2013/07/29/is-big-pharma-addicted-to-...

Recent news out of China raises the question once again of whether any aspect of the pharmaceutical business can be trusted. First, Chinese authorities announced they were investigating GlaxoSmithKline and other pharma companies for bribing doctors, hospitals and government officials to buy and prescribe their drugs. Glaxo is accused of using a Shanghai travel agency to funnel at least $489 million in bribes. Then the New York Times revealed last week the alarming news that an internal Glaxo audit found serious problems with the way research was conducted at the company’s Shanghai research and development center. Last year Glaxo paid $3 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations of, among other things, marketing widely used prescription drugs for unapproved treatments and using kickbacks to promote sales. Glaxo is a leader in pharma fraud and wrongdoing, with other industry heavyweights close behind. Over the past decade, whistleblowers and government investigations in the US have exposed a never-ending series of problems by numerous pharma companies in all facets of the industry, starting with fraudulent “research” papers used to bolster marketing and continuing through to the manufacture of contaminated and defective products, the marketing of drugs for unapproved and life-threatening uses and the mispricing of prescription drugs. Pharma ... has paid more than $30.2 billion in civil and criminal penalties to the US and state governments and continues to face more allegations of wrongdoing. The industry – despite huge penalties and a long string of public mea culpas – has a fraud habit that is just too profitable to kick. Finding a cure should be a top priority of regulators worldwide.

Note: For more on pharmaceutical industry corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying evidence in BP oil spill
2013-07-25, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-halliburton-guilty-plea...

Oil-field services giant Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Justice Department announced. Halliburton has been charged with one count of destruction of evidence in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. Under a plea agreement that is subject to court approval, Halliburton agreed “to pay the maximum-available statutory fine, to be subject to three years of probation and to continue its cooperation in the government’s ongoing criminal investigation,” the Justice Department said. The April 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was the largest offshore oil disaster in U.S. history, killing 11 workers and spewing nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the gulf. The Macondo well was owned by a consortium of energy companies, led by BP. Transocean owned the drilling rig that BP was leasing for the venture. Halliburton was contracted by BP to do the cement work on the well. The plea agreement was the third that the Justice Department has obtained in the criminal investigation of the disaster. Transocean agreed to pay $400 million as part of its criminal plea, and BP, $4 billion. A civil suit against the three companies brought by the Justice Department and others is continuing. The Halliburton plea involves the destruction of results of internal tests the company conducted after the drilling rig sank. The Justice Department said, “In agreeing to plead guilty, Halliburton has accepted criminal responsibility for destroying the aforementioned evidence.”

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




A Black Box for Car Crashes
2013-07-22, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/22/business/black-boxes-in-cars-a-question-of-...

[There is] a growing debate over a little-known but increasingly important piece of equipment buried deep inside a car: the event data recorder, more commonly known as the black box. About 96 percent of all new vehicles sold in the United States have the boxes, and in September 2014, if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has its way, all will have them. Data stored in the devices is increasingly being used to identify safety problems in cars and as evidence in traffic accidents and criminal cases. And the trove of data inside the boxes has raised privacy concerns, including questions about who owns the information, and what it can be used for, even as critics have raised questions about its reliability. To consumer advocates, the data is only the latest example of governments and companies having too much access to private information. Once gathered, they say, the data can be used against car owners, to find fault in accidents or in criminal investigations. “These cars are equipped with computers that collect massive amounts of data,” said Khaliah Barnes of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington-based consumer group. “Without protections, it can lead to all kinds of abuse.” In [14] states, lawyers may subpoena the data for criminal investigations and civil lawsuits, making the information accessible to third parties, including law enforcement or insurance companies that could cancel a driver’s policy or raise a driver’s premium based on the recorder’s data.

Note: For more on government and corporate privacy invasions, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




G-20 Nations ‘Fully Endorse’ OECD Action Plan on Tax Evasion
2013-07-20, Bloomberg News
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-20/g-20-nations-fully-endorse-oecd-acti...

Group of 20 nations, [which account] for almost 90 percent of the global economy, “fully endorse the ambitious and comprehensive” plan presented by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to prevent the largest companies from using complicated ownership structures and transfer pricing to avoid paying taxes where they do most of their business. Strategies used at U.S. companies including Google, Apple and Yahoo! have been targeted in legislative hearings as governments look to improved tax collection to fill state coffers. Low tax rates paid by large multinational companies means smaller businesses and individuals are left with a disproportionately larger burden, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria told reporters yesterday. The OECD published its 40-page report as deficit-laden governments attempt to increase revenue collected from profitable enterprises. It follows hearings in the U.S. and U.K. that revealed how companies have avoided billions in taxes by attributing profits to mailbox subsidiaries in places like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Under current law, such offshore subsidiaries can take credit for profits arising from patents developed in countries like the U.S. and U.K. -- generally with cash the parent companies provided. Mountain View, California-based Google has avoided as much as $2 billion in worldwide income taxes annually by attributing profits to a subsidiary in Bermuda that holds the rights to its intellectual property for sales outside the U.S..

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




ACLU warns of mass tracking through license plate scanners
2013-07-18, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57594179/aclu-warns-of-mass-tracking-thro...

The American Civil Liberties Union is warning that law enforcement officials are using license plate scanners to amass massive and unregulated databases that can be used to track law-abiding citizens as their go about their daily lives. In a new report, "You Are Being Tracked: How License Plate Readers Are Being Used to Record Americans' Movements," the ACLU discusses the data culled from license plate scanners - cameras mounted on patrol cars, overpasses and elsewhere to record your license plate number and location at a given time. There are tens of thousands such cameras now in operation, according to the group, with the data in some cases being stored indefinitely. The ACLU report is the result of an analysis of 26,000 pages of documents from police departments around the country, obtained through nearly 600 [FOIA] requests. It finds that while some jurisdictions keep the information gleaned from the scanners for a short time ... many hold onto the data for years. The organization complains that there are "virtually no rules in place" to keep officials from tracking "everybody all the time." The ACLU also warns that the data is being fed into larger databases, with the private National Vehicle Location Service now holding more than 800 million license plate records. The group's database is used by more than 2,200 law enforcement customers. The [ACLU] report warns that the data can be used in an official capacity to spy on protesters or target communities based on their religious beliefs, or unofficially by a police officer who wants to keep an eye on a romantic rival.

Note: For more on privacy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Apple, Google, Facebook and others urge government surveillance disclosure
2013-07-18, NBC News/Reuters
http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/apple-google-facebook-others-urge-surveilla...

Dozens of companies, non-profits and trade organizations including Apple, Google, and Facebook sent a letter [on July 18] pushing the Obama administration and Congress for more disclosures on the government's national security-related requests for user data. Together with LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter and many others, the companies asked for more transparency of secret data gathering in the letter. Tech companies have been scrambling to assert their independence after documents leaked last month by former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden suggested they had given the government direct access to their computers as part of the NSA's secret surveillance program called Prism. The classified nature of the data gathering has barred the participating companies from disclosing even their involvement, let alone the content of the requests. Some companies, including Facebook and Apple, in June struck an agreement with the government to release some information about the number of surveillance requests they receive. But they were limited to disclosing aggregate government requests for data without showing the split between surveillance and criminal requests, and only for a six-month period.

Note: For more on government and corporate privacy invasions, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The Bar Keeps Going Up for Venerable Entrepreneurs
2013-07-12, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/martinzwilling/2013/07/12/the-bar-keeps-going-up-...

It’s always been tough to start a new business, even when the bottom line was just making a profit to stay alive. A few years ago, a second focus of sustainability (“green”) was added as a requirement for respectability. Now I often hear a third mandate of social responsibility. Entrepreneurs are now measured against the “triple bottom line” (TBL or 3BL) of people, planet, and profit. The real challenge with the triple bottom line is that these three separate accounts cannot be easily added up. It’s difficult to measure the planet and people accounts in any quantifiable terms, compared to profits. How does any entrepreneur define the right balance, and then measure their performance against real metrics? Lots of people are trying to help. Current examples include the Conscious Capitalism movement led by John Mackey, The B Team, led by Sir Richard Branson, the 1% for the Planet organization, and the Benefit Corporation (B Corp) now available in 14 States. The reality is that you can’t help people or the environment, or yourself, if you don’t have any money. Businesses run by ethical people create value and prosperity based on voluntary exchange, while reducing poverty. The whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. The real opportunity for entrepreneurs is to provide solutions that solve a problem better than the competition, while also providing sustainability and social responsibility. Responsibility and integrity are still the key. A responsible entrepreneur promotes both loyalty and responsible consumption by educating consumers so they can make more informed decisions about their purchases, based on ecological footprints, and other sustainability criteria. That’s a win-win business for the customer and the entrepreneur.

Note: For more on the inspiring B Team, see the great three-minute video here and click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.




What the Government Pays to Snoop on You
2013-07-10, CNBC/Associated Press
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100876701

In the era of intense government surveillance and secret court orders, a murky multimillion-dollar market has emerged. Paid for by U.S. tax dollars, but with little public scrutiny, surveillance fees charged in secret by technology and phone companies can vary wildly. AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap. But snoop on a Verizon customer? That costs the government $775 for the first month and $500 each month after that. Regardless of price, the surveillance business is growing. The U.S. government long has enjoyed access to phone networks and high-speed Internet traffic under the U.S. Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act to catch suspected criminals and terrorists. More recently, the FBI has pushed technology companies like Google and Skype to guarantee access to real-time communications on their services. As the number of law enforcement requests for data grew and carriers upgraded their technology, the cost of accommodating government surveillance requests increased. AT&T, for example, said it devotes roughly 100 employees to review each request and hand over data. Likewise, Verizon said its team of 70 employees works around the clock, seven days a week to handle the quarter-million requests it gets each year.

Note: For more on government and corporate attacks on privacy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Sen. Warren Leads Charge to Break Up Big Banks
2013-07-07, CNBC
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000182337

CNBC’s BRIAN SULLIVAN: Is there anyone else in the Senate that is a professor? ELIZABETH WARREN: I don't think so. ... We had the big crash in 2008. What does everyone say about it? They say too much concentration in financial services creates too big to fail. It puts us at bigger risk. And what's happened since 2008? The four biggest financial institutions are now 30% bigger than they were in 2008. The central premise behind a 21st century Glass-Steagall is to say if you want to get out there and take risks, go ahead and do it. But ... you can't get access to FDIC insured deposits when you do. That way ... at least one portion of our banking sector stays safe. From 1797 to 1933, the American banking system crashed about every 15 years. In 1933, we put good reforms in place, for which Glass-Steagall was the centerpiece, and from 1933 to the early 1980s, that’s a 50 year period, we didn’t have any of that – none. We kept the system steady and secure. And it was only as we started deregulating, [you hit] the S&L crisis, and what did we do? We deregulated some more. And then you hit long-term capital management at the end of the 90s, and what did we do as a country? This country continued to deregulate more. And then we hit the big crash in 2008. You are not going to defend the proposition that regulation can never work, it did work. SULLIVAN: I didn’t say regulation never worked, Senator. By far and away, and I agree, there were fewer bank failures in that time after Glass-Steagall. ELIZABETH WARREN: “Fewer,” as in, of the big ones, zero.

Note: Sen. Warren is one of the few bright lights in Congress. Watch this interview to see why. To read about later censorship of this interview by NBC, click here.




Why Our Health Care Lets Prices Run Wild
2013-07-01, Time Magazine
http://swampland.time.com/2013/07/01/why-our-health-care-lets-prices-run-wild/

Of all the oddities of the U.S. health care system, one stands out: we spend far more on health care per person than other industrialized nations yet have no better health outcomes. Understanding why isn’t easy. A 2012 paper by the Commonwealth Fund found that among 13 industrialized countries studied, the U.S. has the highest rate of obesity, which is usually a factor in higher health care costs. Yet, the U.S. ranks far behind many other countries in our rates of citizens who smoke or are over 55, two other strong indicators of increased spending. So why is our health care spending more than 17% of our gross domestic product, far more than any other country? A central reason U.S. health care spending is so high is that hospitals and doctors charge more for their services and there’s little transparency about why. There is no uniformity to the system, in which public and private insurers have separate, unrelated contracts with hospitals and doctors. The result is a tangled, confusing and largely secretive collection of forces driving health care prices higher and higher. This isn’t possible in many other countries either because governments set prices for health care services or broker negotiations between coalitions of insurers and providers. Known as “all-payer rate setting,” insurers in these systems band together to negotiate as groups. In contrast, U.S. insurers closely guard the secrecy of their contracted prices with health care providers and negotiate individually. This is why a hospital hosting five patients for knee replacements might get paid five different amounts for the surgeries.

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