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.

Historic smoking report marks 50th anniversary
2014-01-04, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/historic-smoking-report-marks-50th-ann...

Fifty years ago, ... more than 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked, and there was a good chance your doctor was among them. The turning point came on Jan. 11, 1964 [when] U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released an emphatic and authoritative report that said smoking causes illness and death — and the government should do something about it. The report’s bottom-line message was hardly revolutionary. Since 1950, head-turning studies that found higher rates of lung cancer in heavy smokers had been appearing in medical journals. A widely read article in Reader’s Digest in 1952, “Cancer by the Carton,” contributed to the largest drop in cigarette consumption since the Depression. In 1954, the American Cancer Society announced that smokers had a higher cancer risk. But the tobacco industry fought back. Manufacturers came out with cigarettes with filters that they claimed would trap toxins before they settled into smokers’ lungs. And in 1954, they placed a full-page ad in hundreds of newspapers in which they argued that research linking their products and cancer was inconclusive. It was a brilliant counter-offensive that left physicians and the public unsure how dangerous smoking really was. Cigarette sales rebounded. In the decades that followed, warning labels were put on cigarette packs, cigarette commercials were banned, taxes were raised and new restrictions were placed on where people could light up. While the U.S. smoking rate has fallen by more than half to 18 percent, that still translates to more than 43 million smokers. Smoking is still far and away the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S.

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




Even After Volcker, Banks Aren't Safe Enough
2013-12-30, Time Magazine
http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2160950,00.html

Despite the hoopla over the approval of the Volcker rule, which restricts banks from making certain types of speculative investments, our financial system isn't much safer than it was before 2008. A major reason for the continued complexity and risk in the financial system is lobbying power. The Volcker rule as it stands now has been turned into Swiss cheese by bank lobbyists, who represent the second biggest corporate special-interest bloc after the health care complex, spending nearly half a billion dollars a year on lobbying, according to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. So while the rule limits federally insured banks from trading for its own sake, they are still allowed to hedge their portfolios, which opens up a lot of gray territory for trading. Certainly having more lenders rather than fewer would help other kinds of businesses, and having trading walled off from lending would encourage that. The fact that the five largest U.S. financial holding companies control 55% of industry assets--compared with 20% in 1990--keeps competition low and credit constrained. In the next two to five years, there will likely be another crisis or trading loss of the kind that reignites the debate over closing trading loopholes and creating a truly safer financial system. Right now, banks complain about rules that would require them to hold a mere 5% of their assets in high-quality, low-risk capital (known as Tier 1 capital), despite the fact that in any other industry, doing business with less than 50% of your own cash would be considered extreme.

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




100 Years Later, The Federal Reserve Has Failed At Everything It's Tried
2013-12-20, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhendrickson/2013/12/20/100-years-later-the-fe...

On Dec. 23, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Owen Glass Act, creating the Federal Reserve. As we note its centennial, what has the Fed accomplished during the last 100 years? The stated original purposes were to protect the soundness of the dollar and banks and also to lessen the jarring ups and downs of the business cycle. Oops. Under the Fed’s supervision, boom and bust cycles have continued. Three of them have been severe: the Great Depression, the stagflationary period of 1974-82, and the current “Great Recession.” Bank failures have occurred in alarmingly high numbers. Depending on what measurements are used, the dollar has lost between 95 and 98 percent of its purchasing power. (Amazingly, the Fed’s official position today is that inflation is not high enough, so the erosion of the dollar continues as a matter of policy.) Having failed to achieve its original goals, the Fed also has had a miserable record in accomplishing later goals. The 1970 amendments to the Federal Reserve Act stipulated that the Fed should “promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” In baseball parlance, the Fed has been “0-for-three.” So, what has the Fed accomplished during its century of existence? Well, it has become adept at bailing out mismanaged banks. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed orchestrated the big bailout of Wall Street. Politically, the Fed is repugnant. Its chairman is commonly referred to as the second most powerful person in the country. In a democratic republic, should the second most powerful policymaker be unelected?

Note: How remarkable for Forbes to publish an article chastising the Fed! The times are a changin'! For an essay by noted financial researcher Ellen Brown on this occasion, click here. For more on the collusion between government and the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer
2013-12-20, CNBC/Reuters
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101290438

As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry. Documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden show that the NSA created and promulgated a flawed formula for generating random numbers to create a "back door" in encryption products, the New York Times reported in September. Reuters later reported that RSA became the most important distributor of that formula by rolling it into a software tool called Bsafe that is used to enhance security in personal computers and many other products. Undisclosed until now was that RSA received $10 million in a deal that set the NSA formula as the preferred, or default, method for number generation in the BSafe software, according to two sources familiar with the contract. Although that sum might seem paltry, it represented more than a third of the revenue that the relevant division at RSA had taken in during the entire previous year. The RSA deal shows one way the NSA carried out what Snowden's documents describe as a key strategy for enhancing surveillance: the systematic erosion of security tools. NSA documents released in recent months called for using "commercial relationships" to advance that goal, but did not name any security companies as collaborators.

Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Four Kaupthing bankers sentenced to prison for market abuses in 2008
2013-12-12, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/12/kaupthing-bankers-prison-mark...

An Icelandic court has sentenced four former Kaupthing bankers to jail for market abuses related to a large stake taken in the bank by a Qatari sheikh just before it went under in late 2008. Weeks before the country's top three banks collapsed under huge debts as the global credit crunch struck, Kaupthing announced that Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani had bought 5 of its shares in a confidence-boosting move. A parliamentary commission later said the shares had been bought with a loan from Kaupthing itself. A Reykjavik district court sentenced Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, Kaupthing's former chief executive, to five and a half years in prison while former chairman Sigurdur Einarsson received a five-year sentence. Magnus Gudmundsson, former chief executive of Kaupthing Luxembourg, was given a three-year sentence and Olafur Olafsson – the bank's second largest shareholder at the time – received three and a half years. None of the bankers, now based in London and Luxembourg, were present [at the sentencing].

Note: Yet not a single executive of US or multinational banks has been jailed for funneling billions of dollars into their own pockets and crashing the entire global economy. For more on this, click here. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Trans-Pacific Partnership: a guide to the most contentious issues
2013-12-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/10/trans-pacific-partnership-a-guid...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement is being negotiated in Singapore this week between Australia, New Zealand, the US, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan. The countries have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$28,136bn on 2012 figures, which represents almost 40% of the world’s GDP. There have been many contentious issues around the TPP: critics are particularly concerned about the secrecy around the agreement given it has the capacity to change many local laws and regulations. The majority of public criticism has centred on arguments relating to intellectual property and the cost of medicines, though many have concerns about environmental issues including climate change, investment, e-commerce and labour laws. The US has been rigid in its demands for stronger intellectual property protection to champion the rights of its global giants such as IT companies and its film and music industries. The US position on [the] investor-state dispute settlement provision ... grants foreign companies the right to sue [a] government under international law. All countries accepted there needed to be agreement on privacy obligations with regard to information-sharing, apart from the US, which reserved its position on privacy. The US position has left people wondering whether the TPP will undermine privacy, particularly in the wake of the NSA revelations from the Snowden documents. There appear to be deep divisions on environment and climate change, with the US and Australia opposing any extension of the text on climate matters.

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




EU fines banks record $2.3B over Libor
2013-12-04, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2013/12/04/news/companies/libor-europe-fines

The European Union has levied a record antitrust fine of €1.71 billion ($2.3 billion) on six European and U.S. banks and brokers for rigging benchmark interest rates. Deutsche Bank was hit with the single biggest penalty of €725.4 million for participating in illegal cartels to manipulate the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, or Euribor, and London interbank offered rate, or Libor. "What is shocking about the Libor and Euribor scandals is ... the collusion between banks who are supposed to be competing with each other," said Joaquin Almunia, Europe's top antitrust official. Other banks fined [were] Societe Generale (€446 million), Royal Bank of Scotland (€391 million), JP Morgan (€79.9 million) and Citigroup (€70 million). U.K.-based broker RP Martin was fined €247,000 for facilitating one infringement. EU investigators said the Euribor cartel operated for nearly three years between 2005 and 2008, as traders discussed submissions used to calculate the benchmark rate, and compared trading and pricing strategies. They also discovered illegal collusion in the setting of Libor in Japanese yen between 2007 and 2010. UBS and Barclays, [which] have already been fined by regulators in the U.K. and U.S. for Libor rigging, were spared further punishment because they cooperated with the European Commission investigation. They dodged new fines of €2.5 billion and €690 million respectively. The scandal broke in the middle of 2012 when Barclays admitted trying to manipulate Libor, which together with related rates is used to price trillions of dollars of financial products around the world.

Note: Notice that no one is going to jail and no one is being personally fined for these incredibly outrageous manipulations. For an analysis that argues the "record fines" are really just a "slap on the wrist" for the big banks, click here. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




ALEC calls for penalties on 'freerider' homeowners in assault on clean energy
2013-12-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/04/alec-freerider-homeowners-assaul...

An alliance of corporations and conservative activists is mobilising to penalise homeowners who install their own solar panels – casting them as "freeriders" – in a sweeping new offensive against renewable energy. Over the coming year, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will promote legislation with goals ranging from penalising individual homeowners and weakening state clean energy regulations, to blocking the Environmental Protection Agency, [the government's] main channel for climate action. Details of ALEC's strategy to block clean energy development at every stage – from the individual rooftop to the White House – are revealed as the group gathers for its policy summit in Washington this week. About 800 state legislators and business leaders are due to attend the three-day event, which begins ... with appearances by the Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson and the Republican budget guru and fellow Wisconsinite Paul Ryan. Other ALEC speakers will be a leading figure behind the recent government shutdown, US senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and the governors of Indiana and Wyoming. For 2014, ALEC plans to promote a suite of model bills and resolutions aimed at blocking Barack Obama from cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and state governments from promoting the expansion of wind and solar power through regulations known as Renewable Portfolio Standards. ALEC [wants] to lower the rate electricity companies pay homeowners for direct power generation – and maybe even charge homeowners for feeding power into the grid.

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




As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500
2013-12-03, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch...

In a medical system notorious for opaque finances and inflated bills, nothing is more convoluted than hospital pricing, economists say. Hospital charges represent about a third of the $2.7 trillion annual United States health care bill, the biggest single segment, according to government statistics, and are the largest driver of medical inflation, a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found. A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries, according to the International Federation of Health Plans, a global network of health insurance industries. The most expensive hospitals charge more than $12,500 a day. And at many of them ... emergency rooms are profit centers. That is why one of the simplest and oldest medical procedures — closing a wound with a needle and thread — typically leads to bills of at least $1,500 and often much more. At Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, Daniel Diaz, 29, a public relations executive, was billed $3,355.96 for five stitches on his finger after cutting himself while peeling an avocado. At a hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., Arch Roberts Jr., 56, a former government employee, was charged more than $2,000 for three stitches after being bitten by a dog. Insurers and patients negotiated lower prices, but those charges were a starting point. The main reason for high hospital costs in the United States, economists say, is fiscal, not medical: Hospitals are the most powerful players in a health care system that has little or no price regulation in the private market.

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




Grocers' group spends record lobbying amid food-labeling fights
2013-12-03, Chicago Tribune/Bloomberg News
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-news-bc-grocers03-20131203,0,75...

A proposal to require labeling of genetically engineered foods and seeds in Washington state enjoyed broad public support in polls this summer. That was before some of the largest food companies swooped in to spend more so consumers would know less about what they are eating. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, a Washington-based trade group that represents companies such as ConAgra Foods and Kraft Foods, was responsible for $11 million of the $22 million campaign against the initiative, compared with about $9 million by pro-labeling advocates. The GMA's campaign made the difference. The initiative, which had 66 percent support in a September survey, was defeated by 51 percent to 49 percent. The grocers, who opposed the proposal as arbitrary and costly for businesses, raised more than $2.3 million from PepsiCo Inc. and about $1.5 million each from Coca-Cola Co., [and] Nestle USA. Those groups also were part of a $45 million campaign that defeated a labeling initiative in California last year. "Spending is not a problem" for organizations opposed to labeling requirements, said Colin O'Neil, director of government affairs for the Center for Food Safety, which backed the Washington state initiative. "These companies will spend whatever it takes to defeat labeling at the state level." If that's the case, the trade associations and their members will be issuing a lot more checks as fights over labeling food are breaking out in other states and advocates are pressing the matter in Congress with proposed legislation from both sides awaiting action.

Note: For more on the risks from genetically-modified organisms in food and the environment, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The lies behind this transatlantic trade deal
2013-12-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/02/transatlantic-free-trade...

[The European Commission's] plans to create a single market incorporating Europe and the United States, progressing so nicely when hardly anyone knew, have been blown wide open. All over Europe people are asking why this is happening; why we were not consulted; for whom it is being done. The Commission insists that its Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership should include a toxic mechanism called investor-state dispute settlement. Where this has been forced into other trade agreements, it has allowed big corporations to sue governments before secretive arbitration panels composed of corporate lawyers, which bypass domestic courts and override the will of parliaments. This mechanism could threaten almost any means by which governments might seek to defend their citizens or protect the natural world. Already it is being used by mining companies to sue governments trying to keep them out of protected areas; by banks fighting financial regulation; by a nuclear company contesting Germany's decision to switch off atomic power. No longer able to keep this process quiet, the European commission has instead devised a strategy for lying to us. The message is that the trade deal is about "delivering growth and jobs" and will not "undermine regulation and existing levels of protection in areas like health, safety and the environment". Just one problem: it's not true. From the outset, the transatlantic partnership has been driven by corporations and their lobby groups, who boast of being able to "co-write" it.

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




Are Prisons Bleeding Us Dry?
2013-12-01, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/01/are-prisons-bleeding-us-dry....

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to introduce a mandatory prison sentence for anyone caught with an illegal firearm. But reams of data shows that incarceration creates more crime. One in 100 adults in the U.S. lives behind bars. One in nine African-American men are imprisoned. This country’s addiction to incarceration has not made us safer, but has instead imposed upon us an untenable, senseless tax while unfairly targeting poor communities of color and perpetuating crime and violence in our neighborhoods. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and activists on the left and the right are taking action to roll back imprisonment rates. Chicago’s communities have been ravaged by mass imprisonment. The U.S. currently has the dubious distinction of having the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. And communities on Chicago’s West and South sides have incarceration rates that are double—and sometimes triple—the national average. This is not because more crime occurs in these neighborhoods. A National Institute of Health study that focused on the effects of mass incarceration on Chicago’s neighborhoods found that communities marked by poverty and racial segregation experience incarceration rates that are more than three times higher communities with similar crime rates.

Note: For more on the devastating impacts on society of the government-prison-industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Corporate Espionage Undermines Democracy
2013-11-26, MSN/Reuters
http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&Date=20131127&ID=171...

It’s not just the NSA that has been caught spying on Americans. Some of our nation’s largest corporations have been conducting espionage as well, against civic groups. That’s the lesson of a new report on corporate espionage against nonprofit organizations by ... Essential Information. The title of the report is Spooky Business, and it is apt. Spooky Business is like a Canterbury Tales of corporate snoopery: Hiring investigators to pose as volunteers and journalists. Hacking. Wiretapping. Information warfare. Physical intrusion. Investigating the private lives of nonprofit leaders. Dumpster diving using an active duty police officer to gain access to trash receptacles. Electronic surveillance. Many different types of nonprofit civic organizations have been targeted by corporate spies: environmental, public interest, consumer, food safety, animal rights, pesticide reform, nursing home reform, gun control and social justice. A diverse constellation of corporations has planned or executed corporate espionage against these nonprofit civic organizations. Food companies like Kraft, Coca-Cola, Burger King, McDonald’s and Monsanto. Oil companies like Shell, BP and Chevron. Chemical companies like Dow and Sasol. Also involved are the retailers (Wal-Mart), banks (Bank of America), and, of course, the nation’s most powerful trade association: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Plenty of mercenary spooks have joined up to abet them, including former officials at the FBI, CIA, NSA, Secret Service and U.S. military. Sometimes even government contractors are part of the snooping.

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




The Charity Swindle
2013-11-26, New York Times
"http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/opinion/the-charity-swindle.html

By all outward indications, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association was a leader in the charitable community. Founded in 2002 to provide support to Navy veterans in need, the charity recorded astonishing financial success. In its first eight years, it raised around $100 million in charitable contributions, almost all of it through a direct marketing campaign. The organization, headed by Jack L. Nimitz, boasted of 41 state chapters and some 66,000 members. [But] virtually everything about the association turned out to be false: no state chapters, no members, no leader with the name redolent of naval history. Instead, there was one guy: a man calling himself Bobby Thompson. But the money raised was real enough, generated by a series of for-profit telemarketers. The victims, by and large, were unsuspecting small-money donors who received urgent solicitations asking for support for needy naval veterans. Most of the money raised stayed with the fund-raisers, though plenty apparently dripped through to Mr. Thompson and a succession of Republican lawmakers who received generous contributions from the association’s political arm. But little ever made it to the intended beneficiaries. From June 2010, Mr. Thompson was on the run, the search for him hamstrung by the fact that no one had any real idea of who he was. Finally, on April 30, 2012, federal marshals tracked him down in Portland, Ore., finding him with a card to a storage unit containing $981,650 in cash and almost two dozen fake identity cards. Authorities have identified him as John Donald Cody, a former Army intelligence officer and Harvard Law graduate.

Note: As we enter the annual giving season, donors should look to sources like the GiveWell website to find organizations with a track record of effectiveness. Seeking them out — instead of donating to charities that are first to call or that sound familiar or that we’ve heard are good — is the only way to ensure that money reaches those in need. For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Here's why Wall Street has a hard time being ethical
2013-11-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/nov/25/wall-street-hard-time-ethical

My first year on Wall Street, 1993, I was paid 14 times more than I earned the prior year and three times more than my father's best year. For that money, I helped my company create financial products that were disguised to look simple, but which required complex math to properly understand. That first year I was roundly applauded by my bosses, who told me I was clever, and to my surprise they gave me $20,000 bonus beyond my salary. When I did ask, rather naively, if this was all kosher, I would be assured multiple times that multiple lawyers and multiple managers had approved the sales. One senior trader, consoling me late at night, reminded me, “You are playing in the big leagues now. If a customer wants a red suit, you sell them a red suit. If that customer is Japanese, you charge him twice what it costs. ”Being paid very well also helped ease any of my concerns. Feeling guilty, kid? Here take a big check. I was, for the first time in my life, feeling valued for my math skills. Ego and money are nice salves for any potential feeling of guilt. After a few years on Wall Street it was clear to me: you could make money by gaming anyone and everything. The more clever you were, the more ingenious your ability to exploit a flaw in a law or regulation, the more lauded and celebrated you became. Nobody seemed to be getting called out. No move was too audacious. Traders got more and more audacious, and corruption became more and more diffused through the system. By 2006 you could open up almost any major business, look at its inside workings, and find some wrongdoing.

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




Elizabeth Warren: The contender
2013-11-21, Boston Globe
http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2013/11/21/elizabeth-warren-the-contender/...

Senator Elizabeth Warren, the champion of Main Street versus Wall Street, just got another boost to the presidential campaign she said she isn’t running. It lies in the $13 billion deal that JP Morgan Chase reached with the US Justice Department. The settlement, which ends the government’s probe into the bank’s risky mortgage business, reportedly represents the largest amount a single company has ever committed to pay Uncle Sam. That’s significant — but so is the bank’s unusual admission that it failed to disclose the risks of buying its mortgage securities. Warren was a force in both aspects of JP Morgan’s day of reckoning. After the economic collapse of 2008 — and before her election as senator — Warren led the charge for Wall Street accountability while overseeing the government response to the banking crisis. As senator from Massachusetts, she ... isn’t shy about acknowledging her role in achieving them. In September, Warren [said] that her lobbying of Mary Jo White, the newly installed chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, played a key role in getting government regulators to require more companies to admit wrongdoing, not just pay fines — which is what happened in JP Morgan’s case. The JP Morgan headlines play out as the stock market surges and unemployment ticks up. The gap between America’s rich and poor is growing bigger. The divide creates an opening for a Democrat who speaks to the shrinking middle class, as well as to those already squeezed out of it. Warren could be that candidate, if she chooses.

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




JPMorgan settlement is a payout to victims
2013-11-20, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/editorials/article/JPMorgan-settlement-is-a-pay...

When the fires from the 2007-08 financial crisis were still being fought, JPMorgan Chase looked like a winner. Not only was JPMorgan Chase able to scoop up former rivals Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns for bargain basement prices, but its stock value shot up by nearly 31 percent over the past 4 1/2 years. But this year has been a little less kind to JPMorgan Chase. On [November 20) JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13 billion settlement with the federal government over selling toxic mortgage investments. It also admitted to wrongdoing in knowingly peddling the instruments. Both settlements are for the "incomplete information" JPMorgan Chase gave to the pension funds for their purchases of toxic securities during the years 2004 to 2008. Even for a colossus such as JPMorgan Chase, $13 billion is a lot of money - about half of its annual profit. Forcing JPMorgan to admit wrongdoing - a rare concession - may open the door to more headaches for the company, especially because the government is continuing a criminal probe into its mortgage prices. The scale of the devastation is still so enormous that the only question left for the Justice Department to answer is why no one from any of the big banks has yet to go to jail. Wall Street's wrongdoing was about more than a dollar cost - it was about the widespread human suffering that remains with us today. Jail time would be more than appropriate, but so far the banks have been able to pay their way out of it.

Note: Because JP Morgan Chase can write off $11 billion of the fine as tax deductible, the real fine is actually reduced by $4 billion to about $7 billion, just one-third of Chase's $21 billion profit in the year 2012. For more on financial fraud, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




WikiLeaks publishes secret draft chapter of Trans-Pacific Partnership
2013-11-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/nov/13/wikileaks-trans-pacific-partners...

WikiLeaks has released the draft text of a chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a multilateral free-trade treaty currently being negotiated in secret by 12 Pacific Rim nations. Negotiations for the TPP have ... been conducted behind closed doors. Even members of the US Congress were only allowed to view selected portions of the documents under supervision. The 30,000 word intellectual property chapter contains proposals to increase the term of patents, including medical patents, beyond 20 years, and lower global standards for patentability. It also pushes for aggressive measures to prevent hackers breaking copyright protection, although that comes with some exceptions: protection can be broken in the course of "lawfully authorised activities carried out by government employees, agents, or contractors for the purpose of law enforcement, intelligence, essential security, or similar governmental purposes". WikiLeaks claims that the text shows America attempting to enforce its highly restrictive vision of intellectual property on the world – and on itself. "The US administration is aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly," says Julian Assange, the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. "If instituted," Assange continues, "the TPP’s intellectual property regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs."

Note: To read the Wikileaks release of the secret agreements from the TPP, click here. For further critical analysis of the TPP text, click here.




Leaked treaty is a Hollywood wish list. Could it derail Obama’s trade agenda?
2013-11-12, Washington Post Blog
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/11/13/leaked-treaty-is...

Officially, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade treaty that will ease the flow of goods and services among the United States ... and other nations along the Pacific Rim. But it has attracted criticism for its secrecy, and for the inclusion of controversial provisions related to copyright, patent, and trademark protections. Wikileaks released an August draft of the "intellectual property" chapter of the treaty. The United States has been using the treaty as a vehicle to pressure its negotiating partners to make their laws more favorable to the interests of U.S. filmmakers, drug companies, and other large holders of copyright and patent rights. Several proposed items are drawn from Hollywood's wish list. The United States has also pushed for a wide variety of provisions that would benefit the U.S. pharmaceutical and medical device industries. The Obama administration wants to require the extension of patent protection to plants, animals, and medical procedures. It wants to require countries to offer longer terms of patent protection to compensate for delays in the patent application process. The United States also wants to bar the manufacturers of generic drugs from relying on safety and efficacy information that was previously submitted by a brand-name drug maker — a step that would make it harder for generic manufacturers to enter the pharmaceutical market and could raise drug prices.

Note: Why was this vitally important, yet little-reported news relegated to a blog? Read an October, 2014 update on the secret trade deal in The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers). The Environment Chapter of the TPP has also been leaked. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about government secrecy.




Japan Ex-Leaders Join Calls Against Nuclear Power
2013-11-12, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/japan-leaders-join-calls-nuclea...

Japan's flagging anti-nuclear movement is getting a boost from two former prime ministers who are calling for atomic power to be phased out following the Fukushima disaster. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said [on November 12] that the current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, ... "should use the power given to him to do what the majority of the people want," Koizumi said in a speech at the Japan Press Club. "It can be achieved. Why miss this chance?" Koizumi, who supported nuclear power during his 2001-2006 term in office, said that with Japan's nuclear plants all offline for safety checks it would be easiest to begin the phase-out soon. Polls have shown the majority of the public ... prefers to shift away from the nuclear plants that provided nearly a third of Japan's power generation capacity before the accident at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. Three [former prime ministers], including Koizumi, have said they support ending use of nuclear power. Their support could help reinvigorate the anti-nuclear movement, which has lost some of its vitality nearly three years after the Fukushima accident. Another former prime minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, said in an interview ... that he also favors an end to reliance on nuclear power. "I can't understand why they want restarts of the nuclear plants when there is no place to discard the nuclear waste," said Hosokawa, who served as prime minister for eight months in 1993-94. "It would be a crime against future generations for our generation to restart nuclear plants without resolving this issue," he said. Experts have questioned whether earthquake-prone Japan can safely store nuclear waste under any scenario.

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