Corporate Corruption Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles in Major Media
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.
Did you know that when you buy an airline ticket and make other travel reservations, the federal government keeps a record of the details in a file called Passenger Name Record or PNR? If airlines don’t comply, they can’t fly in the U.S., explains Ed Hasbrouck, a privacy expert with the Identity Project who has studied the records for years and is considered the nation’s top expert. Before each trip, the system creates a travel score for you, generated by your PNR. Before an airline can issue you a boarding pass, the system must approve your passage, Hasbrouck explains. That’s one way people on the No Fly List are targeted. The idea behind extensive use of PNRs, he says, is not necessarily to watch known suspects but to find new ones. Want to appeal the process? “It’s a secret administrative process based on the score you don’t know, based on files you haven’t seen,” Hasbrouck says. The program collects seemingly trivial details. If you have an argument with an airline gate agent and that agent enters a notation ... that record stays in your PNR. “The U.S. government is getting the data and sharing it in ways we don’t fully know about with other governments,” Hasbrouck says. The information collected by the airlines is shared with third-party data companies who store it. Where? In the cloud. Make you feel safer? In Canada and the European Union, the collection of this information spurred public debate. But not here.
Note: Read this excellent article for lots more details on how the government spies on your travels. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable sources.
Did anyone ever doubt that the New York Fed was in hock to Wall Street? Or that Fed bank examiners ... might fear alienating the powerful financiers on whom they depend for information or future jobs? It’s one thing to know and another to hear in painful, crackling detail how the Fed’s financial cops slip on their velvet gloves to deal with Goldman Sachs. Or how Segarra, one of a group of examiners brought in after the financial crisis to keep a closer watch on the till, was fired, perhaps for doing her job. Consider one of the shady deals highlighted on the secret tapes of New York Fed meetings, which Segarra made with a spy recorder before she was let go and which were made public on Sept. 26. The Fed employees, who work inside the banks they examine (yes, it’s literally an inside job), knew the deal was dodgy. Numerous experts believe that the size of the financial sector is slowing growth in the real economy by sucking the monetary oxygen out of the room. Banks don’t want to lend; they want to trade, often via esoteric deals that do almost nothing for anyone outside Wall Street. This disconnect between the real economy and finance is now being closely studied by policymakers and academics. Adair Turner, a former British banking regulator, thinks that only about 15% of U.K. financial flows go to the real economy; the rest stay within the financial system, propping up existing corporate assets, supporting trading and enabling $40 million briefcase-watching fees. If the New York Fed really wants to redeem itself, it might consider commissioning a similar study to look at Wall Street’s contribution to the U.S. economy.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial news articles from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Banking Corruption Information Center.
Zipping cross-country in a super-high speed train has become commonplace in many countries these days, but it was unheard of when Japan launched its bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka 50 years ago Wednesday. The Shinkansen, as it's called in Japan, gave a boost to train travel in Europe and Asia at a time when the rise of the automobile and the airplane threatened to eclipse it. The first bullet train, with its almost cute bulbous round nose, traveled from Tokyo to Osaka in four hours, shaving two and a half hours off the 513-kilometer (319-mile) journey. The latest model, with a space-age-like elongated nose, takes just two hours and 25 minutes. The first Shinkansen had a maximum speed of 210 kilometers (130 miles) per hour. The fastest trains previously, in Europe, could reach 160 kph. Today's bullet trains, in Japan and elsewhere, have reached and in some cases exceeded 300 kph (186 mph). By average speed, China has the fastest train in the world, averaging 284 kph. Turkey last year became the ninth country to operate a train at an average speed of 200 kph. South Korea and Taiwan also operate high-speed systems in Asia. The fastest train in the U.S., Amtrak's Acela Express, averages 169 kph (105 mph) on a short stretch between Baltimore and Wilmington, Delaware. Shanghai launched a German-built maglev train in 2004 on a 30-kilometer route between the city and the airport. It can hit 430 kph (267 mph). A Japanese maglev train in development has topped 500 kph (310 mph) in tests.
Note: Gas and oil interests have lobbied hard to keep Americans wedded to their cars and stop the development of high-speed trains. For more on this, see this excellent article and concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on suppressed energy inventions from reliable major media sources.
Monsanto is donating $4.7 million to the campaign to oppose GMO labeling in Colorado. The St. Louis-based agriculture company is a primary producer of genetically modified seeds. The No on 105 committee has raised almost $10 million through Sept. 24, with Pepsico and Kraft Foods also giving more than $1 million each. The group begins running TV ads against the initiative this week. Meanwhile, the supporters of the labeling initiative, Right to Know GMO, have raised about $323,000, including almost $120,000 in the most recent two weeks. That groups top donors are Food Democracy Action at $140,000 total and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps at $25,000.
Note: In every election where GMO labeling was on the ballot, big industry has poured in many times more money that those in favor of disclosure. This is a very good example of how in the US, it is much more a democracy of every dollar gets one vote rather than every person gets one vote. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
Led by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the biggest U.S. defense companies are trading at record prices as shareholders reap rewards from escalating military conflicts around the world. Investors see rising sales for makers of missiles, drones and other weapons as the U.S. hits Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Chicago-based BMO Private Bank. “As we ramp up our military muscle in the Mideast, there’s a sense that demand for military equipment and weaponry will likely rise,” said Ablin, who oversees $66 billion including Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) and Boeing Co. (BA) shares. “To the extent we can shift away from relying on troops and rely more heavily on equipment -- that could present an opportunity.” Bombardments of Islamic State strongholds added to tensions this year that include U.S.-led sanctions on Russia for backing Ukrainian rebels. The U.S. also is the biggest foreign military supplier to Israel, which waged a 50-day offensive against the Hamas Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip. A Bloomberg Intelligence gauge of the four largest Pentagon contractors ... rose 19 percent this year through yesterday, outstripping the 2.2 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Industrials Index. Lockheed, the world’s biggest defense company, reached an all-time high of $180.74 on Sept. 19, when Northrop, Raytheon Co. (RTN) and General Dynamics Corp. (GD) also set records. That quartet and Chicago-based Boeing accounted for about $105 billion in federal contract orders last year. U.S. lawmakers including Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, have suggested that the new global threats could prompt Congress to reconsider planned reductions in defense spending.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.
Together, Charles and David Koch control one of the world's largest fortunes, which they are using to buy up our political system. The Kochs [have] cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year's midterms. Koch ... is larger than IBM, Honda or Hewlett-Packard and is America's second-largest private company. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. But what they don't want you to know is how they made all that money. The company's stock response to inquiries from reporters: "We are privately held and don't disclose this information." The company's troubled legal history – including a trail of congressional investigations ... civil lawsuits and felony convictions ... combine to cast an unwelcome spotlight on the toxic empire. The company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute, only three companies rank among the top 30 polluters of America's air, water and climate: ExxonMobil, American Electric Power and Koch Industries. Koch Industries dumps more pollutants into the nation's waterways than General Electric and International Paper combined. Koch has profited precisely by dumping billions of pounds of pollutants into our waters and skies. The Koch brothers get richer as the costs of what Koch destroys are foisted on the rest of us – in the form of ill health, foul water and a climate crisis that threatens life as we know it on this planet.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A massive, $7.2 billion Army intelligence contract signed just 10 days ago underscores the central role to be played by the National Security Agency and its army of private contractors in the unfolding air war being carried out by the United States and its Gulf States allies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. INSCOM’s “global intelligence support” contract will place the contractors at the center of this fight. Under its terms, 21 companies, led by Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, will compete over the next five years to provide “fully integrated intelligence, security and information operations” in Afghanistan and “future contingency operations” around the world. INSCOM announced the global intelligence contract two days after President Obama, in a speech to the nation, essentially declared war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria and outlined a campaign of airstrikes and combat actions to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group. The top contractors on the INSCOM contract are already involved in the war. Lockheed Martin, for example, makes the Hellfire missiles that are used extensively in U.S. drone strikes. Northrop Grumman makes the Global Hawk surveillance drone. Both companies have large intelligence units. 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget is spent on private contractors. This spending [is] estimated at around $70 billion a year. [There is a] revolving door between INSCOM and its contractors. The system is corrupted by the close relationships between the companies and their agencies, said [Tom] Drake, who as a whistle-blower was nearly sent to prison for exposing the waste, fraud and abuse in a contracted program at the NSA that ended up losing over $7 billion.
Note: Read a powerful essay written by a top US general showing how he was fooled into supporting wars that were generated by the powerful global elite who want never-ending war in order to keep their profits flowing.
NutraSweet says it will no longer make the artificial sweetener aspartame as a result of foreign competition. The privately held company said Wednesday it expects to shut down a major portion of a plant that employs about 210 workers, including contractors, by year-end as a result. That will leave it with only about 10 to 20 employees to focus on its two other smaller sweeteners, the company said. "Low-cost imports now dominate the aspartame market, making it impossible for us to sustain a profitable business while maintaining our unmatched standard of quality," NutraSweet CEO William DeFer said in a statement. Aspartame is more commonly known as the ingredient used in Equal, the blue packets of sweetener often found on tables at restaurants. NutraSweet spokesman Hud Englehart said the company started facing competition as a supplier of aspartame once its patents on the artificial sweetener expired.
Note: This article fails to mention anything about the serious risks and dangers of aspartame which have been exposed by top doctors and scientists. See the powerful documentary "Sweet Misery" on this which has saved many lives. For more on health corruption and manipulation, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
John D. Rockefeller built a vast fortune on oil. Now his heirs are abandoning fossil fuels. The family whose legendary wealth flowed from Standard Oil is planning to announce on Monday that its $860 million philanthropic organization, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, is joining the divestment movement that began a couple years ago on college campuses. In recent years, 180 institutions — including philanthropies, religious organizations, pension funds and local governments ... have pledged to sell assets tied to fossil fuel companies from their portfolios and to invest in cleaner alternatives. In all, the groups have pledged to divest assets worth more than $50 billion from portfolios. Some say they are taking action to align their assets with their environmental principles. Others want to shame companies that they believe are recklessly contributing to a warming planet. Ultimately ... their actions, like those of the anti-apartheid divestment fights of the 1980s, could help spur international debate, while the shift of investment funds to energy alternatives could lead to solutions to the carbon puzzle. At the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, there is no equivocation. The fund has already eliminated investments involved in coal and tar sands entirely while increasing its investment in alternate energy sources. The family has also engaged in shareholder activism with Exxon Mobil, the largest successor to Standard Oil. Members have met privately with the company ... in efforts to get it to moderate its stance on issues pertaining to the environment and climate change. They acknowledged that they have not caused the company to greatly alter its course.
Note: Read through a rich collection of energy news articles with inspiring and revealing news on energy developments. Then explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
China has fined the British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) $488.8 million (3 billion Yuan) for a "massive bribery network" to get doctors and hospitals to use its products. Five former employees were sentenced to two to four years in jail, but ordered deported instead of imprisoned, according to state news agency Xinhua today. The fine was the biggest ever imposed by a Chinese court. The court gave Mark Reilly, former head of GSK Chinese operations, a three-year prison sentence with a four-year reprieve, which meant he is set to be deported instead of serving his time in a Chinese jail. Reilly was accused of operating a “massive bribery network” in May. The police said it is believed Reilly authorized his salespeople to pay doctors, hospital officials and health institutions to use GSK’s products since 2009. Throughout 2012 a stream of anonymous emails alleging bribery authorized by senior staff at GSK were sent to Chinese regulators. At the beginning of 2013, the anonymous emails began to arrive at GSK headquarter in London, along with a sex tape of Mark Reilly and his Chinese girlfriend. The charges claim that GSK hired Shanghai-based investigator Peter Humphrey and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, to locate the whistleblower. The Humphreys were detained and charged with illegally obtaining phone logs, travel records and other data which then they put in a report to GSK. GSK released a statement of apologies to the Chinese government and people on its website. "GSK Plc has reflected deeply and learned from its mistakes, has taken steps to comprehensively rectify the issues identified at the operations of GSKCI, and must work hard to regain the trust of the Chinese people," the statement said.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Retired General Anthony Zinni [has demanded] up to 10,000 American boots on the ground to battle ISIS. Retired General Jack [Keane has made] more vague demands, such as for “offensive” air strikes and the deployment of more military advisers to the region. Many of these former Pentagon officials [have a vested interest] as paid directors and advisers to some of the largest military contractors in the world. Ramping up America’s military presence in Iraq and directly entering the war in Syria, along with greater military spending more broadly, is a debatable solution to a complex political and sectarian conflict. But those goals do unquestionably benefit one player in this saga: America’s defense industry. Keane is a great example of this phenomenon. His think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, ... has provided the data on ISIS used for multiple stories by The New York Times, the BBC and other leading outlets. Keane has appeared on Fox News at least nine times over the last two months to promote the idea that the best way to stop ISIS is through military action—in particular, through air strikes deep into ISIS-held territory. Left unsaid during his media appearances ... are Keane’s other gigs: as special adviser to Academi, the contractor formerly known as Blackwater; as a board member to tank and aircraft manufacturer General Dynamics; a “venture partner” to SCP Partners, an investment firm that partners with defense contractors, including XVionics, an “operations management decision support system” company used in Air Force drone training; and as president of his own consulting firm, GSI LLC. Retired General Anthony Zinni, perhaps the loudest advocate of a large deployment of American soldiers into the region to fight IS, is a board member to BAE Systems’ US subsidiary, and also works for several military-focused private equity firms.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Corporations in the U.S. today are hoarding about $2 trillion in profits overseas, arguing that the U.S. corporate tax rate of 35% makes it too difficult to bring this cash home and invest it here–better to keep the money abroad and pay lower taxes in other countries. Yet the truth is that legions of tax lawyers make sure that most big American corporations never pay anywhere close to that rate. FORTUNE 500 companies on average pay more like 19.4%, and a third pay less than 10%, chiefly because of all the generous loopholes Congress has afforded corporations over the years. Partly as a result, U.S. firms are enjoying record profit margins, making more money than ever before yet paying a lower share of the overall U.S. tax pie than they have in decades. They want the benefits of U.S. talent and markets but not the responsibilities. Taxpayer-funded, early-stage investments in areas like the Internet, transportation and health care research are the reason many of the largest U.S. companies got so big and successful to begin with. As the academic Mariana Mazzucato argues in her excellent book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, many of the most lauded corporate innovations, including the parts of smartphones that make them smart (Internet, GPS, touchscreen display and voice recognition), came out of state-funded research. Ditto any number of pharmaceutical, biotech and cybersecurity innovations. “In so many cases, public investments have become business giveaways, making individuals and their companies rich but providing little return to the economy or the state,” says Mazzucato. Tax [dodges] that expatriate the gains of American corporations to enrich a tiny managerial caste symbolize a whole new genre of selfish capitalism.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Zephyr Teachout took only 34 percent of the vote in [2014's] Democratic primary against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but she succeeded in bringing her old-fashioned populist platform to the attention of the media and a broad audience of voters. Outside of New York, of course, it's still only a few people who have had exposure to Teachout's unusual political views. The Fordham University law professor has consistently argued -- on the stump and in her academic work -- that the government should do more to ensure free competition, both in elections and in the economy. She is calling for more aggressive government in these areas, but to the end of decentralizing political and financial power. Public financing of campaigns was one of two main planks in her platform. The other plank was a renewed commitment to preventing monopolies and oligopolies in business. She argues that in industries from health care to banking to meat processing, policies adopted during the Reagan administration have permitted mergers and acquisitions resulting in the concentration of market power in the hands of a few firms. As a result ... consumers pay higher prices and workers are paid less, and large firms can lobby in a coordinated way for legislative protection from would-be competitors. As Democrats decide on a compelling agenda to rally voters in 2016 ... the ideas Teachout has advocated could be appealing.
Note: Learn how Teachout spent 1/40th of what her opponent did in the elections, yet she still gained over 30% of the vote. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections news articles from reliable major media sources.
Did Merck use false pretenses to monopolize the market for mumps vaccines? A pair of lawsuits – one of which is filed by former employees and the other by doctors – make this allegation and a federal judge is allowing both claims to proceed. The former employees – virologists who filed a whistleblower lawsuit four years ago – charge Merck knew its vaccine was less effective than the purported 95% efficacy level. And they alleged that senior management was aware, complicit and in charge of testing that concealed the actual effectiveness. They claim to have witnessed fIrsthand what they describe as “improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged in order to conceal what the drug maker knew about the vaccine’s diminished efficacy. In fact, their Merck superiors and senior management pressured them to participate in the fraud and subsequent cover up when they objected to and tried to stop it,” according to their lawsuit. The feds declined to join the lawsuit, which was unsealed two years ago. Shortly afterwards, the physicians subsequently filed the other lawsuit charge the vaccine was mislabeled and was not the product for which the government or other purchasers paid, which meant that Merck violated the False Claims Act. Both lawsuits note that Merck held an exclusive license to sell a mumps vaccine and its actions discouraged competition. “The ultimate victims here are the millions of children who, every year, are being injected with a mumps vaccine that is not providing them with an adequate level of protection,” the lawsuit filed by the virologists states. Meanwhile, the mumps vaccine was ringing the register at Merck, which reported that sales reached $621 million last year.
Note: Read a CBS News article which shows how Merck literally created a hit list for doctors who opposed use of the deadly drug Vioxx, which was responsible for thousands of deaths. A second CBS article shows how Merck created a fake medical journal to support Vioxx and harassed reporters revealing the truth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Throughout the last year, the U.S. government has repeatedly insisted that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage, in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets. [But] the NSA was caught spying on plainly financial targets such as the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras; economic summits; international credit card and banking systems; the EU antitrust commissioner investigating Google, Microsoft, and Intel; and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In response, the U.S. modified its denial to acknowledge that it does engage in economic spying, but unlike China, the spying is never done to benefit American corporations. But a secret 2009 report issued by [Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's] office explicitly contemplates doing exactly that. The document, the 2009 Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review—provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—is a fascinating window into the mindset of America’s spies. One of the principal threats raised in the report is a scenario “in which the United States’ technological and innovative edge slips”— in particular, “that the technological capacity of foreign multinational corporations could outstrip that of U.S. corporations.” How could U.S. intelligence agencies solve that problem? The report recommends “a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means), and counterintelligence”.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency operations news articles from reliable major media sources.
Senator Elizabeth Warren ... believes the most important [problem] to solve is how to get the American economy working for someone other than billionaires. It's a message she's been taking all over the country, and she isn't afraid to call banks, credit card companies and some employers cheats and tricksters. "The biggest financial institutions figured out they could make a lot of money by cheating people on mortgages, credit cards and payday loans," she told a packed auditorium at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she spoke alongside New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. The biggest applause of the night was on three issues that come up frequently in Warren's speeches. 1) Financial regulation: Warren was the driving force behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the 2008 financial crisis. The agency has returned billions of dollars to Americans who were wronged. 2) Reducing student loans: Last summer Warren made headlines for arguing that student loans should have the same interest rates that banks get when they borrow money from the Federal Reserve. As she likes to remind people, "Student loans issued from 2007 to 2012 are on target to produce $66 billion in profit for the United States government." 3) Raising the minimum wage: "No one should work full time and still live in poverty," Warren said. Her other big push is for basic worker rights.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
One of North Carolina's longest-serving death-row inmates and his half brother are being freed after three decades in prison after another man's DNA was discovered on a cigarette butt left near the body of a girl the siblings were convicted of killing. On Tuesday, a judge overturned the convictions of Henry McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46, in the 1983 rape and murder of Sabrina Buie, citing the new evidence that they didn't commit the crime. The ruling is the latest twist in a notorious legal case that began with what defense attorneys said were coerced confessions from two scared teenagers with low IQs. McCollum was 19 at the time and Brown was 15. Defense lawyers petitioned for their release after a recent analysis from the butt pointed to another man who lived near the soybean field where Buie's body was found in Robeson County. That man is already serving a life sentence for a similar rape and murder that happened less than a month later. The DNA from the cigarette butts doesn't match Brown or McCollum, and fingerprints taken from a beer can at the scene aren't theirs either, attorneys say. No physical evidence connects them to the crime. Ken Rose, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, has represented Henry McCollum for 20 years. "It's terrifying that our justice system allowed two intellectually disabled children to go to prison for a crime they had nothing to do with, and then to suffer there for 30 years," Rose said.
Note: How many thousands of innocent people have been executed or given life sentences like this? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing prisons news articles from reliable major media sources.
Halliburton has wrapped up most of its lingering liability for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill with a $1.1 billion settlement announced on [September 2]. The pact will resolve accusations that Halliburton’s cement work on the ill-fated Macondo well contributed to a disaster that killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of barrels of crude into the gulf. First off, the timing of the settlement announcement may signal that U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is nearing a decision on the Big Question of how to apportion overall blame for the spill—and, more specifically, what kind of additional legal bill faces BP as the main operator of the well. The British company has already paid out more than $28 billion and faces additional liability that could total an additional tens of billions. The $1.1 billion settlement represents Halliburton’s biggest payout yet in the disaster. Transocean, owner of the drilling rig, settled a batch of claims last year for $1.4 billion. Beyond settlement payouts, the Gulf spill litigation is costing the various companies implicated in the disaster enormous legal fees—or, more precisely, it’s costing their insurance carriers large amounts. Prior to settlement, Halliburton had incurred fees and expenses of $294 million, $263 million of which was covered by insurance, according to a filing in July. Halliburton had set aside reserves of $1.3 billion for costs related to the spill.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Who runs the world’s most lucrative shakedown operation? If you are a big business ... America’s regulatory system. The formula is simple: find a large company that may (or may not) have done something wrong; threaten its managers; force them to use their shareholders’ money to pay an enormous fine to drop the charges in a secret settlement. Repeat with another large company. In many cases, the companies deserved some form of punishment: BNP Paribas ... abetted genocide, American banks fleeced customers. BP despoiled the Gulf of Mexico. But justice should not be based on extortion. Regulators and prosecutors are in effect conducting closed-door trials. The agencies that pocket the fines have become profit centres: Rhode Island’s bureaucrats have been on a spending spree courtesy of a $500m payout by Google, while New York’s governor and attorney-general have squabbled over a $613m settlement from JPMorgan. Not only are regulators in effect judge and jury as well as plaintiff in the cases they bring; they can also use the threat of the criminal law. The public never finds out the full facts of the case, nor discovers which specific people — with souls and bodies — were to blame. Since the cases never go to court ... it is unclear what exactly is illegal. That enables future shakedowns. Nor is it clear how the regulatory booty is being carved up. This ... risks the prospect of a selective — and potentially corrupt — system of justice in which everybody is guilty of something and punishment is determined by political deals.
The US telecom industry called on the Federal Communications Commission ... to block two cities’ plans to expand high-speed internet services to their residents. USTelecom, which represents telecom giants Verizon, AT&T and others, wants the FCC to block expansion of two popular municipally owned high-speed internet networks. Chattanooga has the largest high-speed internet service in the US, offering customers access to speeds of 1 gigabit per second – about 50 times faster than the US average. The service, provided by municipally owned EPB, has sparked a tech boom in the city and attracted international attention. EPB is now petitioning the FCC to expand its territory. Comcast and other companies have previously sued unsuccessfully to stop EPB’s fibre optic roll out. Wilson [North Carolina], a town of a little more than 49,000 people, launched Greenlight, its own service offering high-speed internet, after complaints about the cost and quality of Time Warner cable’s service. Time Warner lobbied the North Carolina senate to outlaw the service and similar municipal efforts. In January this year, the FCC issued the “Gigabit City Challenge”, calling on providers to offer gigabit service in at least one community in each state by 2015. The challenge has come amid intense lobbying from cable and telecoms firms to stop municipal rivals and new competitors including Google from building and expanding high speed networks.
Important 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.