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.

Bank scandals: Somebody must go to jail
2012-08-18, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Bank-scandals-Somebody-must-go-to-jail-...

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies." - Thomas Jefferson, 1816. When Thomas Jefferson spoke those words, banks were local and very small compared with the financial behemoths of today. Banks are more dangerous now than in Jefferson's time, and they are totally out of control. During the Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt referred to banks as the "money changers in the temple of our civilization," and little has been done since. It is well past the time that people on Wall Street live by the rule of law - not just pay fines - and some executives go to jail for their conduct. In 2008, the much-publicized Troubled Assets Relief Program bailed out banks and Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion with taxpayer money. While the banks were bailed out of the trouble they caused, they continued to pay out enormous executive bonuses with taxpayers' money in multimillion-dollar year-end gifts. JPMorgan received $25 billion from the government in 2008 and gave out nearly $9 billion in bonus money that year. When the derivative-driven housing market collapsed in 2008, Citigroup and Bank of America, the major banks in that market, and eight other top Wall Street firms got $1.2 trillion in then-secret loans of taxpayer money from the Federal Reserve. The Fed even went to court in an attempt to hide the identities of those banks from the public. Regulating the banks and bringing the rule of law to Wall Street banks is necessary now. Sending a few Wall Street banksters to jail would stop some of the abuse as well.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the corrupt relationship between government and the financial sector, click here.




The unrepentant and unreformed bankers
2012-08-18, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/The-unrepentant-and-unreformed-bankers-...

Money laundering. Price fixing. Bid rigging. Securities fraud. Talking about the mob? No, unfortunately. Wall Street. These days, the business sections of newspapers read like rap sheets. GE Capital, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Wells Fargo and Bank of America tied to a bid-rigging scheme to bilk cities and towns out of interest earnings. ING Direct, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank facing charges of money laundering. Barclays caught manipulating a key interest rate, costing savers and investors dearly, with a raft of other big banks also under investigation. Not to speak of the unprecedented wrongdoing that precipitated the financial crisis of 2008. Yet, it's clear that the unrepentant and the unreformed are still all too present within our banking system. A June survey of 500 senior financial services executives in the United States and Britain turned up stunning results. Some 24 percent said that they believed that financial services professionals may need to engage in illegal or unethical conduct to succeed, 26 percent said that they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, and 16 percent said they would engage in insider trading if they could get away with it. That too much of Wall Street remains unchanged is not surprising. Simply stated, the banks and their leaders have paid no real economic, legal or political price for their wrongdoing and thus have not felt compelled to change.

Note: The author of this article, Phil Angelides, is a former state treasurer of California and the chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the corrupt relationship between government and the financial sector, click here.




Ag Giants Spend Big to Defeat Labeling Initiative
2012-08-15, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ag-giants-spend-big-defeat-labeling-initia...

The nation's largest agribusiness and biotech companies are pouring millions of dollars into California to stop the first-ever initiative to require special labels on foods made with genetically modified ingredients, a sign of their determination to keep the measure from sparking a nationwide movement. So far, farming giants such as Monsanto, Dupont Pioneer and Cargill have contributed nearly $25 million to defeat the proposal, with much of that cash coming in the past few days. Monsanto, the largest contributor, gave $4.2 million this week. It's nearly 10 times the amount raised by backers of the ballot measure who say California's health-conscious shoppers want more information about the food they eat. With nearly three months to go before the November election, the measure's opponents appear to be following the previous blueprint developed by major industries to defeat ballot initiatives in the nation's largest consumer market: Raise large sums of money to swamp the airwaves with negative advertising. The food initiative, known as Proposition 37, ... would require most processed foods to bear a label by 2014 letting shoppers know if the items contain ingredients derived from plants with DNA altered with genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria. "It's an epic food fight between the pesticide companies and consumers who want to know what's in their food," said Stacy Malkan, media director for the California Right to Know campaign.

Note: For a powerful essay showing the grave risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on genetically modified foods, click here.




Why Goldman Sachs, Other Wall Street Titans Are Not Being Prosecuted
2012-08-14, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/14/why-goldman-sachs-other-wall...

On [August 9] the Department of Justice announced it will not prosecute Goldman Sachs or any of its employees in a financial-fraud probe. Despite the Obama administration’s promises to clean up Wall Street in the wake of America’s worst financial crisis, there has not been a single criminal charge filed by the federal government against any top executive of the elite financial institutions. Why is that? In a word: cronyism. Take Goldman Sachs, for example. In 2008, Goldman Sachs employees were among Barack Obama’s top campaign contributors, giving a combined $1,013,091. [Attorney General] Eric Holder’s former law firm, Covington & Burling, also counts Goldman Sachs as one of its clients. Furthermore, in April 2011, when the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a scathing report detailing Goldman’s suspicious Abacus deal, several Goldman executives and their families began flooding Obama campaign coffers with donations, some giving the maximum $35,800. The individuals the DOJ’s “Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force” has placed in its prosecutorial crosshairs seem shockingly small compared with the Wall Street titans the Obama administration promised to bring to justice. To be sure, financial fraud of any kind is wrong and should be prosecuted. But locking up “pygmies” is hardly the kind of financial-fraud crackdown Americans expected in the wake of the largest financial crisis in U.S. history. Increasingly, there appear to be two sets of rules: one for the average citizen, and another for the connected cronies who rule the inside game.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corporations' control over government, see our Banking Bailout archive here.




Washington's Wall Street Sugar Daddies
2012-08-14, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/washingtons-wall-street-sugar-daddies

How much is democracy worth to you? If you’re like most people, it’s priceless. But for the hedge funds and insurance companies on Wall Street, it does have a price tag: approximately $4.2 billion. That’s how much the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (F.I.R.E.) sector has invested in political influence through campaign contributions and lobbying since 2006. That comes to $1,331 a minute spent on political power. The new report is called “Meet the F.I.R.E. Sector: How Wall Street Is Burning Democracy.” It was developed by Elect Democracy, a nonpartisan effort ... to expose and challenge the impact of corporate money in U.S. politics. The report ... analyzes exactly how Wall Street has secured ... “industry-loyal voting practices” in Congress: by shoveling stacks of campaign cash in the direction of Congressional hopefuls from both major political parties. That money lets these industries get what they want in Washington. The F.I.R.E. sector contributed $879 million to members of Congress since 2006, and took positions on 383 bills during the 112th Congress. For instance, they supported Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Panama, and Colombia in 2007, and backed the bailout in 2008. Bills they opposed include the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, the Limited Homeowner and Investor Loss in Foreclosure Act of 2010, and the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2011. At every turn, the F.I.R.E. sector demands special treatment for Wall Street while consumers, homeowners, and students get stuck with the bills.

Note: Though not a major media source, Yes! Magazine is one of the very few media working towards positive, sustainable solutions to the problems of our world. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the corrupt relationship between government and the financial sector, click here.




'Severe abnormalities' found in Fukushima butterflies
2012-08-13, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19245818

Exposure to radioactive material released into the environment has caused mutations in butterflies found in Japan, a study suggests. Scientists found an increase in leg, antennae and wing shape mutations among butterflies collected following the 2011 Fukushima accident. By comparing mutations found on the butterflies collected from the different sites, the team found that areas with greater amounts of radiation in the environment were home to butterflies with much smaller wings and irregularly developed eyes. Six months later, they again collected adults from the 10 sites and found that butterflies from the Fukushima area showed a mutation rate more than double that of those found sooner after the accident. The team concluded that this higher rate of mutation came from eating contaminated food, but also from mutations of the parents' genetic material that was passed on to the next generation, even though these mutations were not evident in the previous generations' adult butterflies. The findings from their new research show that the radionuclides released from the accident had led to novel, severely abnormal development, and that the mutations to the butterflies' genetic material [were] still affecting the insects, even after the residual radiation in the environment had decayed away. "This study is important and overwhelming in its implications for both the human and biological communities living in Fukushima," explained University of South Carolina biologist Tim Mousseau, who studies the impacts of radiation on animals and plants.

Note: Read the complete report, with numerous color photos, here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the nuclear power industry, click here.




Democracy falling prey to big money
2012-08-10, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/reich/article/Democracy-falling-prey-to-big-mon...

Who's buying our democracy? Wall Street financiers, the Koch brothers, and casino magnates Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, among others. And they're doing much of it in secret. It's a perfect storm - the combination of three waves that are about to drown government as we know it. The first is the greatest concentration of wealth in America in more than a century. The 400 richest Americans are richer than the bottom 150 million Americans put together. The trend started 30 years ago, and it's related to globalization and technological changes that have stymied wage growth for most people, "trickle-down economics," ... tax cuts and the steady decline in the bargaining power of organized labor. The second is the wave of unlimited political contributions, courtesy of ... one of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 ruling that held that corporations are people under the First Amendment, [meaning] that virtually any billionaire can contribute as much to a political campaign as he wants. The third is complete secrecy about who's contributing how much to whom. Political fronts posing as charitable, nonprofit "social welfare" organizations ... don't have to disclose their donors. As a result, outfits like the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS are taking in hundreds of millions from corporations that don't even tell their own shareholders what political payments they're making. Separately, any one of these three would be bad enough. Put the three together, and our democracy is being sold down the drain.

Note: The author of this article, Robert Reich, is a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and former U.S. secretary of labor, and author of the newly released Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong With Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix It.




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.





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.


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