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.

Modified food will be on voters' menu
2012-08-10, Houston Chronicle (One of Houston's leading newspapers)
http://www.chron.com/business/article/Modified-food-will-be-on-voters-menu-37...

In November, voters will decide whether to make California the first state in the nation to require labels on most genetically modified food products. At least 18 states, including California, have tried to pass similar laws through their legislatures and failed. This time, however, the measure made it to the statewide ballot with 1 million citizen signatures; recent polls show Proposition 37 winning by a significant margin. Food activists across the country are watching the California battle closely, with opponents of genetic modification hoping to make the proposition a model for other states. Supporters of the law, including organic trade groups and environmentalists, say consumers have a right to know if the food they're eating contains genetically modified material - particularly when the long-term health effects are unclear. Seventy percent to 80 percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. are made with genetically engineered ingredients, including corn, soybeans, sugar beets and cotton oil. If the California measure passes, processed genetically engineered food products would include the words "Partially produced with genetic engineering" on the front or back label. For whole foods such as sweet corn or salmon, grocers would be required to have a sign on the shelf. Alcohol, most meat, eggs and dairy products would be exempt. Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology based in Iowa, said "Based on the evidence - damage to virtually every organ evaluated and immune and gastrointestinal problems - labels are needed."

Note: If you read this entire article, you will detect a clear bias against GMO labelling. It quotes a UCLA professor stating, "There is not one credible scientist working on this that would call it unsafe." Yet the article fails to mention the many scientists who have provided solid evidence that GMOs are unsafe. For a powerful essay showing the grave risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For a New York Times article listing several scientists who raised serious questions about GMOs, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on genetically modified foods, click here.




CNBC Reports Financial System Changeover: “They’re Going to Put the Old System In a Coma”
2012-08-10, CNBC
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000108212

Kevin Ferry: There are Libor subpoenas raining down on the New York branches of these foreign banks today. So I think you really have to watch it. The [British Bankers' Association] is now saying they are going to go into ‘overhaul’ mode. So as if we don’t have enough things going on, you’re going to start opening up a Pandora’s Box here in the Libor sector of the market. I think what they’re going to do ... is basically put the old system in a coma, and work to devise something that’s a little bit better, and it’s going to be tricky. Doug Dachille: So what are they going to do with the euro/dollar futures and all the outstanding notion of principal of contracts linked to Libor? I mean is everybody going to convert their Libor interest rate swaps to cost of fund funds or Fed fund basis swaps or some other index? KF: Are you asking me? I’ve asked that question as high as I could ask it and I get blank stares. DD: It’s not clear that every bank has exactly the same Libor exposure, so it’s not clear that that cartel, in setting Libor and manipulating it, actually is as powerful as the cartel that manages oil prices. Yet I don’t hear any outrage of people routinely trading commodity derivatives and commodity futures, as much as I hear the outrage over euro/dollar futures and Libor-based interest rate swaps. Everybody assumes that’s what goes on when you trade commodity futures, but nobody ever really thought that was going on when you were trading euro/dollar futures.

Note: The text above is an excerpt from a CNBC news video. Click on the link above for the full report. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the financial sector, click here.




Nuclear waste issues freeze permits for U.S. power plants
2012-08-09, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/09/news/economy/nuclear-plants-waste/index.htm

The U.S. government said it will stop issuing permits for new nuclear power plants and license extensions for existing facilities until it resolves issues around storing radioactive waste. The government's main watchdog, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, believes that current storage plans are safe and achievable. But a federal court said that the NRC didn't detail what the environmental consequences would be if the agency is wrong. There are 14 reactors awaiting license renewals at the NRC, and an additional 16 reactors awaiting permits for new construction. Nuclear waste disposal has been a daunting political question that is still unanswered after decades of study. Nuclear watchdog groups -- which don't agree with the NRC's assertion that the waste is currently safely stored -- are hoping the new review will provide an opportunity to push for stricter standards at nuclear power plants. There are currently 104 operating nuclear reactors at 64 plants across the country. Half are over 30 years old. '"The court is ordering them to do this analysis that should have been done a long time ago," said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In particular, UCS and others want less of the waste to be stored in pools of water, which they believe are vulnerable to sudden draining and possible meltdown.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the nuclear power industry, click here.




Company once known as Blackwater settles arms case
2012-08-08, Boston Globe
http://articles.boston.com/2012-08-08/nation/33081023_1_blackwater-arms-case-...

The international security contractor formerly known as Blackwater [and now called Academi LLC] has agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine to settle federal criminal charges related to arms smuggling and other crimes. The list of 17 violations includes possessing automatic weapons in the United States without registration, lying to federal firearms regulators about weapons provided to the king of Jordan, passing secret plans for armored personnel carriers to Sweden and Denmark without US government approval, and illegally shipping body armor overseas. Federal prosecutors said the company, which has held billions in US security contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, repeatedly flouted US laws. ‘‘Compliance with these laws is critical to the proper conduct of our defense efforts and to international diplomatic relations,’’ said Thomas G. Walker, the US attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. ‘‘This prosecution is an important step to ensuring that our corporate citizens comply with these rules in every circumstance.’’ Blackwater was founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince. The company rose to national attention after winning massive no-bid security contracts from the US government at the Iraq War’s start. In 2010, after several high-profile controversies, the company reached a $42 million settlement with the Department of State over repeated violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.




Wal-Mart OK with selling genetically modified sweet corn
2012-08-03, Chicago Tribune
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-03/news/chi-walmart-to-sell-geneti...

Rejecting entreaties from consumers and activists, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it has no objection to selling a new crop of genetically modified sweet corn created by biotech giant Monsanto. Environmental and health activists expressed surprise and disappointment at Wal-Mart’s decision. Earlier this year, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and General Mills said they would not carry or use the genetically modified sweet corn. “A lot of people who were their customers explicitly said we don’t want you to carry this product, and I think it’s unfortunate that they chose not listen to that feedback,” said Patty Lovera, assistant director of the consumer group Food and Water Watch. In March, the group presented Wal-Mart with a petition signed by 463,000 people asking it to boycott the product, she said. Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn is resistant to a common herbicide, which allows farmers to kill weeds without killing the corn. It also contains a toxin that fends off certain pests. Critics say they would like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require some pre-market safety testing and labeling of genetically modified foods, saying the lack of study makes it impossible to know whether they pose health risks. “There has been a doubling of food allergies in this country since 1996,” said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports. “Is it connected to genetically engineered foods? Who knows when you have no labeling? That is the problem.”

Note: Strangely, this article was taken down from the Tribune website shortly after its original posting. To read the complete article, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the dangers of genetically modified foods, click here.




French Lawmakers Pass Trading Transaction Tax
2012-08-01, Bloomberg Businessweek
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-31/french-lawmakers-pass-budget-bill...

France’s parliament passed President Francois Hollande’s revised 2012 budget, including a 0.2 percent transaction tax on share purchases that takes effect today. The bill’s passage into law marks “the first step toward fiscal reform and a move toward justice,” Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said in a statement. With the vote, France becomes the first European country to impose a transaction tax on share purchases. The Hollande government is doubling the levy to 0.2 percent from the 0.1 percent tax initially advocated by former President Nicolas Sarkozy. Many institutional investors may escape the tax using so-called contracts for difference, or CFDs, offered by prime brokers that let them bet on a stock’s gain or loss with owning the shares. The transaction tax, aimed at curbing market speculation, will be paid on the purchase of 109 French stocks with market values of more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), including Pernod Ricard SA and Vivendi SA. The new budget law will be applied to transactions resulting in “a transfer of property” of companies trading in Paris, regardless of where the buyer or seller is based, and may be expanded next year along with some European partners. France estimated that the doubling of the tax will bring in an additional 170 million euros in 2012 and 500 million euros next year. The state will start collecting the tax in November, Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac’s press office said. The government estimated that the doubling of the tax will cut the volume of stock purchases to 800 billion euros from 1.05 trillion euros with a 0.1 percent levy and 1.3 trillion euros with no transaction tax.

Note: This exciting news is one of the most underreported events of the year. A universal FTT would stop much of the craziness in the derivatives market. The EU is also seriously considering implementing an FTT. Click here for more.




Twitter undermines free speech
2012-07-31, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/technology/dotcommentary/article/Twitter-undermines-fre...

In a welcome about-face Tuesday morning, Twitter restored the account of journalist Guy Adams, who posted a series of critical comments about NBC's handling of the Olympics. While it's encouraging to hear NBC backed away - even if it required an enormous online backlash - it remains disturbing that Twitter revoked the account in the first place. Let's be perfectly clear: Twitter suspended a user for committing an act of journalism. The mind-boggling move undermines the San Francisco startup's credibility as a supposed advocate of open communications, and whittles away the goodwill of professional and citizen journalists who are the lifeblood of the service. In a series of tweets in recent days, Adams colorfully assailed, among other things, NBC's ridiculous decision to force West Coast viewers to watch the Olympics on a time delay, presumably so the network could charge prime-time advertising rates. It's been an infuriating experience for fans who can't duck the spoilers blasting at them from all quarters of the Internet. Adams, a correspondent for London's Independent newspaper, simply supplied them an appropriate outlet for those frustrations in the tweet that supposedly got his account deactivated.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.




Wall Street Legend Sandy Weill: Break Up the Big Banks
2012-07-25, CNBC
http://www.cnbc.com/id/48315170

Former Citigroup Chairman & CEO Sanford I. Weill, the man who invented the financial supermarket, called for the breakup of big banks in an interview on CNBC Wednesday. “What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail,” Weill told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” He added: “If they want to hedge what they’re doing with their investments, let them do it in a way that’s going to be mark-to-market so they’re never going to be hit.” He essentially called for the return of the Glass–Steagall Act, which imposed banking reforms that split banks from other financial institutions such as insurance companies. He said banks should be split off entirely from investment banks, and they should operate with a leverage ratio of 12 times to 15 times of what they have on their balance sheets. Banks should also be completely transparent, Weill said, with everything on balance sheet. “There should be no such thing as off balance sheet,” he said.

Note: For deeply revealing and reliable major media reports on corruption and criminality in the operations and regulation of the financial sector, click here.




Sean FitzPatrick is third ex-Anglo Irish Bank executive to be arrested in 24 hours
2012-07-24, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18965510

The former head of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean FitzPatrick, has been arrested by Irish police in connection with alleged financial irregularities at the bank. He is the third former senior executive from Anglo Irish Bank to appear in court within the past 24 hours. All three men face 16 charges in relation to an alleged failed attempt to prop up Anglo's share price after a stock market collapse. Anglo was nationalised at a cost of about 30bn euros (£23.4bn) to Irish taxpayers. Anglo was badly exposed by the bursting of the Irish property bubble and suffered the largest corporate loss in the history of the Republic of Ireland. It is the third time Mr FitzPatrick has been arrested as part of the three-and-a-half year long investigation into the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank. Willie McAteer - the second in command at the bank before his resignation in January 2009 - appeared in court alongside Pat Whelan, a former head of lending and operations at the bank. The former bank is being wound down and is currently being run by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (IBRC).

Note: For deeply revealing and reliable major media reports on corruption and criminality in the operations and regulation of the financial sector, click here.




Frackers Fund University Research That Proves Their Case
2012-07-23, Bloomberg Businessweek
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-23/frackers-fund-university-research...

Pennsylvania remains the largest U.S. state without a tax on natural gas production, thanks in part to a study released under the banner of the Pennsylvania State University. The 2009 report predicted drillers would shun Pennsylvania if new taxes were imposed, and lawmakers cited it the following year when they rejected a 5 percent tax proposed by then-Governor Ed Rendell. What the study didn’t do was note that it was sponsored by gas drillers and led by an economist with a history of producing industry-friendly research on economic and energy issues. As the U.S. enjoys a natural-gas boom from a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, producers are taking a page from the tobacco industry playbook: funding research at established universities that arrives at conclusions that counter concerns raised by critics. Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors, who made the tobacco analogy, said companies and their trade associations are “buying the prestige” of universities that are sometimes not transparent about funding nor vigilant enough to prevent financial interests from shaping research findings. The Penn State report is not the only example. A professor at the University of Texas at Austin led a February study that found no evidence of ground-water contamination from fracking. He did not reveal that he is a member of the board of a gas producer. Company filings examined by Bloomberg indicate that in 2011, he received more than $400,000 in compensation from the company, which has fracking operations in Texas.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government and corporate corruption, click here and here.




Wealth doesn't trickle down – it just floods offshore, research reveals
2012-07-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/21/offshore-wealth-global-economy...

The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32tn, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy. James Henry, a former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has conducted groundbreaking new research for the Tax Justice Network campaign group – sifting through data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and private sector analysts to construct an alarming picture that shows capital flooding out of countries across the world and disappearing into the cracks in the financial system. "This offshore economy is large enough to have a major impact on estimates of inequality of wealth and income; on estimates of national income and debt ratios; and – most importantly – to have very significant negative impacts on the domestic tax bases of 'source' countries," Henry says. John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network [commented] "Inequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people. This new data shows the exact opposite has happened: for three decades extraordinary wealth has been cascading into the offshore accounts of a tiny number of super-rich." In total, 10 million individuals around the world hold assets offshore, according to Henry's analysis; but almost half of the minimum estimate of $21tn – $9.8tn – is owned by just 92,000 people.

Note: Henry's report, entitled The Price of Offshore Revisited, is available here. For more on this, click here.




TSA defies the courts
2012-07-18, Washington Times
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/18/editorial-tsa-defies-courts/

The days of secrecy at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be coming to an end. It’s a widely held belief that the agency’s hasty embrace of expensive, X-rated x-ray machines has more to do with closed-door lobbying efforts of manufacturers than a deliberate consideration of the devices’ merits. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [has] pushed for some transparency by asking the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to compel the agency to hold a public notice-and-comment period on the use of pornographic scanners, as the law requires. EPIC has a good case because on July 15, 2011, the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling insisting TSA “promptly” come into compliance with Administrative Procedure Act requirements regarding public hearings. TSA believed it wasn’t subject to such rules because the virtual strip-searching of women, children and the elderly is an essential security operation. The last thing TSA wants is the public-relations disaster of having to collect and publish the horror tales from Americans subjected to humiliation from the nude photography and intrusive “pat-down” groping sessions. It’s time to admit the post-Sept. 11 experiment in having the government take over airport screening duties has been a colossal flop. TSA has defied the Administrative Procedures Act, an appellate court, the public will and common decency. It’s not enough just to pull the plug on the scanners; the plug should be pulled on TSA itself.

Note: According to this PBS report, "European Union regulators recently banned any body scanner that uses X-rays, 'in order not to risk jeopardizing citizens' health and safety.'" It also states, "The TSA tested the devices behind closed doors, without scrutiny from independent scientists." For lots more on this topic important to all air travelers, click here.




U.S. must do more to fight false ads
2012-07-18, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/U-S-must-do-more-to-fight-fal...

The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement in the largest health care fraud case in U.S. history. The ruling, which included accusations of false advertising, forced the once widely respected British drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline ... to pay a record-shattering $3 billion to various plaintiffs and the Department of Justice. Despite this $3 billion settlement, advertising fraud is on the rise in the United States. Expert public relations teams are called in to spin stories and confuse consumers. It is clear there is not enough being done to prevent, stop or resolve matters of false advertising in this country. The effect of the GlaxoSmithKline case has yet to be fully seen. If GlaxoSmithKline is [creative and deceptive] then we might see it roll out ads that skew the $3 billion loss in its favor - blatantly distorting the ruling as an endorsement of its products. At this point, even as regulators secure record-breaking settlements, the American people are losing, and the corporate spin teams are winning, the fight. Record settlements mean little if the deception continues. While winning lawsuits is a first step, what really matters is changing corporate behavior.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on corporate corruption, click here.




Stand-off looms over U.S. plans to cut GMO crop oversight
2012-07-17, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-usa-agriculture-biotechbre86...

Efforts to write benefits for biotech seed companies into U.S. legislation, including the new Farm Bill, are sparking a backlash from groups that say the multiple measures would severely limit U.S. oversight of genetically modified crops. From online petitions to face-to-face lobbying on Capitol Hill, an array of consumer and environmental organizations and individuals are ringing alarm bells over moves they say will eradicate badly needed safety checks on crops genetically modified to withstand herbicides, pests and pesticides. The measures could speed the path to market for big biotech companies like Monsanto and Dow Chemical that make billions of dollars from genetically altered corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops. "They are trying to change the rules," said George Kimbrell, senior attorney at the Center for Food Safety, which has lawsuits pending against government regulators for failing to follow the law in approving certain biotech crops. "It is to the detriment of good governance, farmers and to the environment." As early as next week the U.S. House of Representatives could take up one of the more controversial measures - a provision included in the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill known as Section 733 that would allow biotech crops to be planted even if courts rule they were approved illegally. Opponents call it the "Monsanto Rider" because Monsanto's genetically altered alfalfa and sugar beets have been subject to court challenges for illegal regulatory approvals.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the dangers of genetically modified organisms, click here. Multiple reliable sources show that you may be eating genetically modified food daily which scientific experiments have repeatedly demonstrated can cause sickness and even death in lab animals. Click here to verify.




Regulators and HSBC Faulted in Report on Money Laundering
2012-07-16, New York Times
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/scathing-report-details-money-launderi...

The global bank HSBC has been used by Mexican drug cartels looking to get cash back into the United States, by Saudi Arabian banks that needed access to dollars despite their terrorist ties and by Iranians who wanted to circumvent United States sanctions, a Senate report says. The 335-page report released [on July 16] also says that executives at HSBC and regulators at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ignored warning signs and failed to stop the illegal behavior at many points between 2001 and 2010. The problems at HSBC, Europe's largest financial institution, [are] indicators of a broader problem of illegal money flowing through international financial institutions into the United States. The report on HSBC is the latest of several scandals that have recently rocked global banks and highlighted the inability of regulators to catch what is claimed to be widespread wrongdoing in the financial industry. The British bank Barclays recently admitted that its traders tried to manipulate a crucial global interest rate, and multiple major banks are under investigation. JPMorgan Chase disclosed last week that its employees may have tried to hide trades that are likely to cost the bank billions of dollars. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has come under particularly harsh criticism for showing too much deference to the banks it regulates.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on regulatory and financial corruption and criminality, click here. For our highly revealing Banking Corruption Information Center, click here.




Libor: They all knew – and no one acted
2012-07-14, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/libor-they-all-knew--and-no-o...

Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic failed to act on clear warnings that the Libor interest rate was being falsely reported by banks during the financial crisis, it emerged last night. A cache of documents released yesterday by the New York Federal Reserve showed that US officials had evidence from April 2008 that Barclays was knowingly posting false reports about the rate at which it could borrow in order to assuage market concerns about its solvency. An unnamed Barclays employee told a New York Fed analyst, Fabiola Ravazzolo, on 11 April 2008: "So we know that we're not posting, um, an honest Libor." He said Barclays started under-reporting Libor because graphs showing the relatively high rates at which the bank had to borrow attracted "unwanted attention" and the "share price went down". The verbatim note of the call released by the Fed represents the starkest evidence yet that Libor-fiddling was discussed in high regulatory circles years before Barclays' recent £290m fine. The New York Fed said that, immediately after the call, Ms Ravazzolo informed her superiors of the information, who then passed on her concerns to Tim Geithner, who was head of the New York Fed at the time. Mr Geithner investigated and drew up a six-point proposal for ensuring the integrity of Libor which he presented to the British Bankers Association, which is responsible for producing the Libor rate daily. Mr Geithner, who is now US Treasury Secretary, also forwarded the six-point plan to the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on regulatory and financial corruption and criminality, click here. For our highly revealing Banking Corruption Information Center, click here.




Wall Street sleaze keeps growing
2012-07-14, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/Wall-Street-sleaze-keeps-growing-...

Just when you thought Wall Street couldn't sink any lower - when its excesses are still causing hardship to millions of Americans and its myriad abuses of public trust have already spread a miasma of cynicism over the entire economic system - an even deeper level of public-be-damned greed and corruption is revealed. Libor is the benchmark for trillions of dollars of loans worldwide - mortgage loans, small-business loans, personal loans. It's compiled by averaging the rates at which the major banks say they borrow. So far, the scandal has been limited to Barclays, a big, London bank that just paid $453 million to U.S. and British bank regulators, whose top executives have been forced to resign, and whose traders' e-mails give a chilling picture of how easily they got their colleagues to rig interest rates in order to make big bucks. But Wall Street has almost surely been involved in the same practice, including the usual suspects - JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America - because every major bank participates in setting the Libor rate, and Barclays couldn't have rigged it without their witting involvement. In fact, Barclays' defense has been that every major bank was fixing Libor in the same way, and for the same reason. And Barclays is "cooperating" (i.e., providing damning evidence about other big banks) with the Justice Department and other regulators in order to avoid steeper penalties or criminal prosecutions, so the fireworks have just begun.

Note: The author of this article, Robert Reich, is former U.S. secretary of labor, professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.




Wells Fargo to pay $175 million to settle lending bias allegations
2012-07-13, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-wells-bias-settlement-201207...

Wells Fargo & Co.'s settlement of allegations that it overcharged minorities for home loans and wrongly steered them into subprime mortgages requires the bank to pay $125 million in damages, including about $10 million to African Americans and Latinos in the Los Angeles area. The settlement ... also requires the San Francisco company, by far the nation's largest home lender, to provide $50 million in down-payment assistance to residents of areas where the alleged discrimination had a significant effect. The $175-million total is the second-largest fair-lending settlement by the civil rights arm of the Justice Department. The largest, reached in December, requires Bank of America Corp. to pay $335 million to settle claims against Countrywide Financial Corp., the aggressive Calabasas lender it acquired in 2008. Another former Wells Fargo unit — the now-defunct subprime storefront lender Wells Fargo Financial Inc. — was the target of a separate investigation by the Federal Reserve. Wells Fargo agreed last year to pay $85 million to settle allegations that Wells Fargo Financial employees improperly pushed borrowers into more expensive subprime loans and exaggerated income information on mortgage applications. The agreement covers lending from 2004 through 2009 in the wholesale section of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, which made loans of all kinds, including prime and subprime mortgages, through independent brokers.

Note: For key investigative reports on the criminality and corruption in the financial industry and biggest banks, click here.




Auditors say billions likely wasted in Iraq work
2012-07-13, MSNBC/Associated Press
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48177878

After years of following the paper trail of $51 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars provided to rebuild a broken Iraq, the U.S. government can say with certainty that too much was wasted. But it can't say how much. In what it called its final audit report, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Funds ... spelled out a range of accounting weaknesses that put "billions of American taxpayer dollars at risk of waste and misappropriation" in the largest reconstruction project of its kind in U.S. history. "The precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known," the report said. The office has spent more than $200 million tracking the reconstruction funds, and in addition to producing numerous reports, his office has investigated criminal fraud that has resulted in 87 indictments, 71 convictions and $176 million in fines and other penalties. These include civilians and military members accused of kickbacks, bribery, bid-rigging, fraud, embezzlement and outright theft of government property and funds. Of the $51 billion that Congress approved for Iraq reconstruction, about $20 billion was for rebuilding Iraqi security forces and about $20 billion was for rebuilding the country's basic infrastructure.

Note: For lots more from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




Was the petrol price rigged too?
2012-07-12, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fuel/9401934/Libor-scandal-Was-the-pe...

Motorists may have been paying too much for their petrol because banks and other traders are likely to have tried to manipulate oil prices in the same way they rigged interest rates, an official report has warned. Concerns are growing about the reliability of oil prices, after a report for the G20 found the market is wide open to “manipulation or distortion”. Traders from banks, oil companies or hedge funds have an “incentive” to distort the market and are likely to try to report false prices, it said. Petrol retailers use oil price “benchmarks” to decide how much to pay for future supplies. The rate is calculated by data companies based on submissions from firms which trade oil on a daily basis – such as banks, hedge funds and energy companies. However, like Libor ... the market is unregulated and relies on the honesty of the firms to submit accurate data about all their trades. This is one of the major concerns raised in the G20 report, published last month by the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). In the study for global finance ministers, including George Osborne, the regulator warns that traders have opportunities to influence oil prices for their own profit. It points out that the whole market is “voluntary”, meaning banks and energy companies can choose which trades to make public. IOSCO says this “creates opportunity for a trader to submit a partial picture in order to influence the [price] to the trader’s advantage”.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on regulatory and financial corruption and criminality, click here.





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