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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 should fail to function, click here. These corporate corruption articles are listed by article date. For the same list by order of importance, click here. For the list by date posted, click here. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.



Note: For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here.

Pollution, Poverty and People of Color: Dirty Soil and Diabetes
2012-06-13, Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=pollution-poverty-people-col...

For four decades, from 1929 until 1971, a Monsanto plant in West Anniston produced chemicals called PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls. Somehow – even today no one is quite sure how – the chemicals got into the soil and waterways. As the Environmental Protection Agency's oversight of the cleanup of this neighborhood stretches into its eighth year, new research has linked PCBs exposure to a high rate of diabetes in this community of about 4,000 people, nearly all African American and half living in poverty. It's the latest chapter in a saga that this poverty-stricken, powerless community feels has dragged on far too long. PCBs were one of the most widely used industrial substances on Earth until they were banned in the United States, and most other developed countries, in the late 1970s. PCBs are stubborn chemicals. They persist in soil and sediment for decades, perhaps centuries, and are locked away in the fatty tissues of animals, building up in food webs. Seventy percent of all the PCBs ever made are still in the environment. In Anniston, class action lawsuits were filed and settled. The national media came and went. Monsanto split up and left town. Some residents took buyouts and moved. Other houses were abandoned and with fenced off. In 2003, Solutia and Monsanto paid a $600 million settlement to more than 20,000 people based on their exposure to PCBs. An additional $100 million was to be spent on cleanup and other programs. Anniston’s PCBs contamination qualifies as a Superfund site, making it one of the most contaminated places in the country.




The Austerity Agenda
2012-06-01, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/opinion/krugman-the-austerity-agenda.html

Slashing spending while the economy is deeply depressed is a self-defeating strategy, because it just deepens the depression. So why is Britain doing exactly what it shouldn’t? Unlike the governments of, say, Spain or California, the British government can borrow freely, at historically low interest rates. So why is that government sharply reducing investment and eliminating hundreds of thousands of public-sector jobs, rather than waiting until the economy is stronger? The great American economist Irving Fisher explained it all the way back in 1933, summarizing what he called “debt deflation” with the pithy slogan “the more the debtors pay, the more they owe.” Recent events, above all the austerity death spiral in Europe, have dramatically illustrated the truth of Fisher’s insight. So why have so many politicians insisted on pursuing austerity in [the] slump? And why won’t they change course even as experience confirms the lessons of theory and history? When you push “austerians” ... they almost always retreat to assertions along the lines of: “But it’s essential that we shrink the size of the state.” These assertions often go along with claims that the economic crisis itself demonstrates the need to shrink government. So the austerity drive in Britain isn’t really about debt and deficits at all; it’s about using deficit panic as an excuse to dismantle social programs. And this is, of course, exactly the same thing that has been happening in America.

Note: For lots more on the devastating impacts created by the corruption of governments and financial corporations, click here.




Japan’s plutonium glut: Plan to make more raises red flag as country reassesses nuclear future
2012-06-01, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/japans-plutonium-glut-plan-t...

Last year’s tsunami disaster in Japan clouded the nation’s nuclear future, idled its reactors and rendered its huge stockpile of plutonium useless for now. So, the industry’s plan to produce even more has raised a red flag. Nuclear industry officials say they hope to start producing a half-ton of plutonium within months, in addition to the more than 35 tons Japan already has stored around the world. That’s even though all the reactors that might use it are either inoperable or offline while the country rethinks its nuclear policy after the tsunami-generated Fukushima crisis. “It’s crazy,” said Princeton University professor Frank von Hippel, a leading authority on nonproliferation issues and a former assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology. “There is absolutely no reason to do that.” Japan’s nuclear industry produces plutonium — which is strictly regulated globally because it also is used for nuclear weapons — by reprocessing spent, uranium-based fuel in a procedure aimed at decreasing radioactive waste that otherwise would require long-term storage. Fuel reprocessing remains unreliable and it is questionable whether it is a viable way of reducing Japan’s massive amounts of spent fuel rods, said Takeo Kikkawa, a Hitotsubashi University professor specializing in energy issues. “Japan should abandon the program altogether,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of a respected anti-nuclear Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. “Then we can also contribute to the global effort for nuclear non-proliferation.”

Note: For a state-of-the-art analysis revealing that radioactive fallout from the Fukushima meltdown is at least as big as Chernobyl and more global in reach, click here.




Chevron-Ecuador Fight Comes to Canada
2012-05-31, Bloomberg/Businessweek
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-31/chevron-ecuador-fight-comes-t...

A peripatetic, two-decade-old pollution lawsuit against Chevron has bounced from New York to Ecuador, back to New York, and now on to the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, Canada. There is no end in sight for the highly mobile litigation. The case began in federal court in New York in 1993, when lawyers representing residents of the rainforest in eastern Ecuador filed suit against Texaco, blaming the multinational oil company for contamination of the Amazon beginning in the late 1960s. Texaco fought for nine years to get the case dismissed based on the argument that it ought to have been brought in Ecuador. In 2001, near the end of Texaco’s ultimately successful campaign to avoid a U.S. legal battle, Chevron acquired Texaco. Having promised the U.S. judiciary it would abide by the dictates of the Ecuadorian courts, Chevron discovered itself on a slippery slope toward legal disaster. In February 2011, a trial judge in Lago Agrio [Ecuador] entered an $18 billion verdict against Chevron, the largest environmental judgment ever. Chevron had declared that the Ecuadorian judicial proceedings were shot through with fraud and that it would not pay a dime to the plaintiffs or their team of American and Ecuadorian lawyers. Now the plaintiffs have launched a fresh suit in Toronto, asking a Canadian judge to enforce the Ecuadorian verdict against Chevron in Canada, where the company has a subsidiary and ample assets.

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




Rothschild and Rockefeller families team up for some extra wealth creation
2012-05-30, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9300784/Roths...

The Rothschild and Rockefeller families have teamed up to buy assets from banks and other distressed sellers in a union between two of the best-known names in financial history. RIT Capital Partners, which is chaired by Lord Rothschild, has taken a 37pc stake in Rockefeller Financial Services, the family’s wealth advisory and asset management wing. It has snapped up the holding from French bank Société Générale for less than £100m. The transatlantic alliance cements a five-decade acquaintance between the now ennobled Jacob Rothschild, 76, and David Rockefeller, 96, the grandson of the ruthlessly acquisitive American oilman and philanthropist John D Rockefeller. The two patricians now plan to capitalise on their family names to buy other asset managers or their portfolios, using their networks of top-notch contacts to ensure they get a seat at the table for any deal. The Rockefeller group goes back to 1882, set up to invest the family money made by John D Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, the forerunner for today’s Exxon Corporation, which he built with a Darwinian aggression. “Do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in,” he once said. The Rothschild banking dynasty has its roots in the 18th century when Mayer Amschel Rothschild set up a business in Frankfurt. That sprang to fame in 1815 when it bought government bonds in anticipation of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

Note: Why is that these two hugely wealthy families get so little press coverage? Could it be that their wealth and influence exerts control over the major media? For more on secret societies which command huge hidden power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Spent Fuel Rods Drive Growing Fear Over Plant in Japan
2012-05-27, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/world/asia/concerns-grow-about-spent-fuel-r...

Fourteen months after the accident [at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant], a pool brimming with used fuel rods and filled with vast quantities of radioactive cesium still sits on the top floor of a heavily damaged reactor building, covered only with plastic. The public’s fears about the pool have grown in recent months as some scientists have warned that it has the most potential for setting off a new catastrophe ... as frequent quakes continue to rattle the region. The jury-rigged cooling system for the pool has already malfunctioned several times, including a 24-hour failure in April. Had the outages continued, they would have left the rods at risk of dangerous overheating. “The No. 4 reactor is visibly damaged and in a fragile state, down to the floor that holds the spent fuel pool,” said Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute and one of the experts raising concerns. “Any radioactive release could be huge and go directly into the environment.” The worst-case situations for Reactor No. 4 would be for the pool to run dry if there is another problem with the cooling system and the rods catch fire, releasing enormous amounts of radioactive material, or for fission to restart if the metal panels that separate the rods are knocked over in a quake. That would be especially bad because the pool, unlike reactors, lacks containment vessels to hold in radioactive materials.

Note: For extensive coverage from reliable sources on corruption in the nuclear power industry, click here.




National debt: Will the U.S. be like Japan?
2012-05-24, CNN
http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/24/news/economy/national-debt-us-japan/index.htm

Political gridlock. High national debt. Rock-bottom bond rates. An aging population. Warnings about more downgrades. Sound like the United States? Indeed. But those characteristics also describe Japan -- the country that fiscal experts often point to as a cautionary tale about the risk of carrying too much national debt for too long. Ever since a stock market crash and banking crisis more than 20 years ago, Japan has suffered from anemic growth for much of that time and its debt has soared. The country's debt is projected to be 239% of the size of its economy by the end of this year. U.S. gross debt, by contrast, is a little over 100% of GDP. On almost every economic and demographic measure, U.S. fiscal problems are still less urgent than the ones facing Japan today, said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Global Insight. In his view, the biggest debt-related problem facing Americans today is gridlock in Washington. "We have a political crisis in the United States," he said. There are plenty of ideas for how Washington could curb the growth in debt without undermining the economy. For example, lawmakers could phase in tax increases and spending cuts over time. They could agree on a credible plan that puts off serious fiscal restraint until the economy is stronger. What's missing though is political cooperation. But, Behravesh said, "If we're careful, we can resolve this sensibly."

Note: For an alternative analysis by Paul Craig Roberts, click here. He notes that "Unlike Japan, whose national debt is the largest of all, Americans do not own their own public debt. Much of US debt is owned abroad, especially by China, Japan, and OPEC, the oil exporting countries. This places the US economy in foreign hands." Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week, and professor of economics.




Heist of the century: Wall Street's role in the financial crisis
2012-05-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/may/20/wall-street-role-financial-crisis

Wall Street bankers could have averted the global financial crisis, so why didn't they? In this exclusive extract from his book Inside Job: The Financiers Who Pulled Off the Heist of the Century, Charles Ferguson argues that they should be prosecuted: The Securities and Exchanges Commission has been deservedly criticised for not following up on years of complaints about [Bernard L.] Madoff. But not a single bank that had suspicions about Madoff made such a call. Instead, they assumed he was probably a crook, but either just left him alone or were happy to make money from him. It is no exaggeration to say that since the 1980s, much of the global financial sector has become criminalised, creating an industry culture that tolerates or even encourages systematic fraud. The behaviour that caused the mortgage bubble and financial crisis of 2008 was a natural outcome and continuation of this pattern, rather than some kind of economic accident. This behaviour is criminal. We are talking about deliberate concealment of financial transactions that aided terrorism, nuclear weapons proliferation and large-scale tax evasion; assisting in major financial frauds and in concealment of criminal assets; and committing frauds that substantially worsened the worst financial bubbles and crises since the Depression. And yet none of this conduct has been punished in any significant way.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on corruption and criminality in the finance industry, click here.




JPMorgan's top-down role in risky investments
2012-05-20, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/19/BUD41OJUG3.DTL

Congress gets into the JPMorgan Chase affair Tuesday with the first in a series of hearings into how a federally insured bank incurred [huge] losses on the kind of risky bets some, mistakenly, thought were a thing of the past. The losses, as suspected, look to be far higher than the $2 billion initially estimated. As of Friday, the number was $5 billion. What did CEO Jamie Dimon know, and when did he know it? "Dimon personally approved the concept behind the disastrous trades," according to the Wall Street Journal. Reportedly, similar trades, involving credit derivatives, date to 2006, ramping up with ever bigger bets as risk controls were eased in 2011.On the one hand, JPMorgan and other U.S. corporations are banking record profits and ever-growing piles of cash - $2 trillion at last count. On the other, U.S. unemployment remains unacceptably high, people are still losing their homes, small businesses are screaming for credit, local governments are cutting services left and right, and the nation's infrastructure is crumbling. Tons of money [are] sloshing around, courtesy of the Federal Reserve, but banks and corporations ... are hoarding it.

Note: For lots more from reliable sources on corruption and criminality in the finance industry, click here.




Video Reveals Torture of Horses Trained to Win Championships
2012-05-16, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/tennessee-walking-horses-abused/story?id=163608...

Large numbers of the famed Tennessee Walking Horses have been tortured and beaten in order to make them produce the high-stepping gait that wins championships, an ABC News investigation has found. "All too often, you have to cheat to win in this sport," said Keith Dane of the Humane Society of the United States. In the most recent example, an undercover video made by an investigator for the Humane Society documents the cruelty of one of the sport's leading trainers, Jackie McConnell of Collierville, Tennessee. The tape shows McConnell and his stable hands beating horses with wooden sticks and using electric cattle prods on them as part of a training protocol to make them lift their feet in the pronounced gait judges like to see. In another scene, McConnell oversees his hands as they apply caustic chemicals to the ankles of the horses and them wrap them with plastic wrap so the chemicals eat into the skin. "That creates intense pain and then the ankles are wrapped with large metal chains so the horses flinch, or raise their feet even higher," said Dane. Leaders of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry maintain that such brutality is rare and that trainers do not have to cheat to win championships, which can add millions of dollars to the value of horses. But a random inspection by the agents of the Department of Agriculture at last year's annual championship found that 52 of 52 horses tested positive for some sort of foreign substance around front hooves, either to cause pain or to hide it.

Note: The good news is that as a result of this report, Pepsi has dropped its support of the annual Tennessee Walking Horse championship. For more on this, click here.




Dimon's Unshakable Hubris
2012-05-16, MSNBC
http://powerwall.msnbc.msn.com/politics/dimons-unshakable-hubris-1718428.story

Jamie Dimon was reelected chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase yesterday afternoon. He got to keep his $23 million pay package, too. This means that at ... three of the top five bank holding companies dominating U.S. derivatives exposure, loans, assets, and deposits, the same man holds the chairman and CEO positions -— at Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, and JPM Chase. At the shareholders meeting there was no mention of the details behind the “mistake” that cost the bank $2 billion, just that it “should never have happened.” The fact that after a formal announcement, a friendly Meet the Press chat, and a face-to-face with the firm's shareholders, Dimon can still call it a mistaken hedge is ludicrous. It was a directional bet on the health of North American corporate bonds that the firm got wrong, enacted via the synthetic derivatives market, to worsen the blow. To the extent that it's betting wrong, it's a mistake, but it's not a hedge. Included in the proxy materials in the shareholder package that went out before the vote was ... a wealth of negativity about regulations. The letter stressed that ... two regulations would actively hurt the bank's “competitive ability, the Volker Rule and the derivatives rules.” JPM Chase holds nearly $70 trillion of derivatives exposure on $1.8 trillion of assets. Bank chairmen, like Jamie Dimon ... claim that regulation is too complex, too anti-competitive, and too un-American (putting U.S. banks at a disadvantage against other global banks). [Yet] pretending that it's okay to allow dormant volcanoes of risk to remain embedded in big bank balance sheets, supported by customer money and taxpayer guarantees is not sensible.

Note: For a treasure trove of revealing reports from reliable sources on the criminality and corruption of major financial corporations and their "regulators" in government, click here. For disturbing news articles on the derivatives market time bomb, click here.




Goldman, Merrill E-Mails Show Naked Shorting, Filing Says
2012-05-16, Businessweek/Bloomberg News
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-15/goldman-merrill-e-mails-show-nake...

Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch employees discussed helping naked short-sales by market-maker clients in e-mails the banks sought to keep secret, including one in which a Merrill official told another to ignore compliance rules, Overstock.com ... said in a court filing. The online retailer accused Merrill, now part of Bank of America and Goldman Sachs of manipulating its stock from 2005 to 2007, causing its shares to fall. Lawyers for Overstock ... asked a judge to make public e-mails sent in 2005 and 2006 that it said “reflect business decisions to put profits and corporate ambition over compliance” at Goldman Sachs and Merrill. The banks’ decisions to intentionally fail to deliver Overstock shares caused large-scale naked short selling of the company’s stock, according to the filing. Four media organizations, including Bloomberg, the New York Times, Wenner Media and The Economist, intervened in the Overstock case and joined the company’s request to unseal court files. Bloomberg News obtained a copy of the filing describing the e-mails.

Note: For more on this from reporter Matt Taibbi, click here.




JPMorgan losses look familiar to Phil Angelides
2012-05-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/14/BUOO1OHO2G.DTL

What strikes Phil Angelides the most about the $2 billion (and counting) loss sustained by JPMorgan Chase on a big trade gone bad, is how little has changed since the financial crash of 2008. "The big banks continue to be casinos," said the chairman of the government-appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which laid out how such trades, referred to in some quarters as "bets," contributed to the crash that the country is still struggling to pull itself out of. "It has to be stopped," he said. Trouble is - as Angelides, the former California state treasurer, and others point out - no one is stopping them. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan's CEO, dismissed initial concerns about the trades last month as a "complete tempest in a teapot." His main concern, he told analysts, was how the affair "plays right into the hands of a bunch of pundits out there." Dimon was referring to those who have been pushing for regulations to prevent federally insured banks like JPMorgan from indulging in such trades in the first place. "They've been fighting a ferocious rear-guard, no-holds-barred action," said Angelides, referring to the army of lobbyists hired and millions of dollars spent to beat back the regulations. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the trades, which involved the use of complex financial instruments called credit default swaps as a hedge against the value of U.S. bonds.

Note: For a most excellent two-minute video of former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich presenting five of the most urgent problems with the economy and an easy solution all in two minutes, click here. For an enlightening five-minute TED talks video further showing how the rich getting richer while they pay increasingly less taxes is at the root of most economic woes, click here. For a treasure trove of revealing reports from reliable sources on the criminality and corruption of major financial corporations and their "regulators" in government, click here.




Before Loss, JPMorgan Was One of Volcker Rule's Fiercest Foes
2012-05-11, New York Times
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/before-big-loss-jpmorgan-was-one-of-vo...

The $2 billion trading loss that JPMorgan Chase disclosed late on Thursday provided ample ammunition for supporters of the Volcker Rule, which would restrict government-backed banks' ability to conduct proprietary trading. But it also prompted a fair amount of finger-wagging toward the company, given JPMorgan's stance as one of the rule's fiercest opponents. JPMorgan has been among the most outspoken detractors of the proposed financial regulation that is making its way through Washington. The firm has laid bare its feelings about the Volcker Rule several times, including in a Feb. 13 comment letter to the Federal Reserve. In that document, JPMorgan argued that the proposal would restrict its efforts to rein in risk-taking and would harm the firm's ability to compete against foreign rivals that did not face the same restrictions. In the letter, JPMorgan specifically mentions its chief investment office, the trading group which caused the $2 billion trading loss. JPMorgan also happens to run one of the most active and best-financed lobbying operations within the commercial banking industry. In the first four months of 2012, the firm has spent $1.92 million, barely trailing Wells Fargo in terms of banks' lobbying expenses. Last year, JPMorgan spent $7.62 million; two years ago, it spent $7.41 million, the most in its industry. And JPMorgan's chief, Jamie Dimon has been among the most frequent visitors to Washington to press his case.

Note: For lots more from major media sources on the corruption of major financial corporations, click here.




Genetically modified crops' results raise concern
2012-04-30, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/29/MN1O1O5SS0.DTL

Biotechnology's promise to feed the world did not anticipate "Trojan corn," "super weeds" and the disappearance of monarch butterflies. In the Midwest and South - blanketed by more than 170 million acres of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton - an experiment begun in 1996 with approval of the first commercial genetically modified organisms is producing questionable results. Those results include vast increases in herbicide use that have created impervious weeds now infesting millions of acres of cropland, while decimating other plants, such as milkweeds that sustain the monarch butterflies. More than a million people have signed a petition to the Food and Drug Administration to require labeling of genetically engineered food. The stakes on labeling such foods are huge. The crops are so widespread that an estimated 70 percent of U.S. processed foods contain engineered genes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved more than 80 genetically engineered crops while denying none. Genetically engineered crops ... have spawned an infestation of "super weeds" now covering at least 13 million acres in 26 states. The crops led to a 400-million-pound net increase in herbicide applications. Dave Mortensen, a weed ecologist at Pennsylvania State University, said the number of "super weed" species grew from one in 1996 ... to 22 today. Last month, scientists definitively tied heavy use of glyphosate to an 81 percent decline in the monarch butterfly population. It turns out that the herbicide has obliterated the milkweeds on Midwest corn farms where the monarchs lay their eggs after migrating from Mexico. Iowa State University ecologist John Pleasants, one of the study's authors, said the catastrophic decline in monarchs is a consequence of the genetically engineered crops that no one foresaw.

Note: Multiple reliable sources have shown that you may be eating genetically modified food daily which scientific experiments have repeatedly demonstrated can cause sickness and even death in lab animals. For key reports from major media sources on hidden facts on the dangers of genetically modified food, click here.




Report: Apple legally sidesteps billions in taxes
2012-04-29, Sacramento Bee/Associated Press
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/29/4451423/report-apple-legally-sidesteps.html

A published report says Apple Inc. uses subsidiaries in Ireland, the Netherlands and other low-tax nations as part of a strategy that enables the technology giant to cut its global tax bill by billions of dollars every year. The New York Times on [April 29] outlined legal methods used by Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple to avoid paying billions of dollars in federal and state taxes. One approach highlighted in the report: Even though the company is based in California, Apple has set up a small office in Reno, Nev. to collect and invest its profits. The corporate tax rate in Nevada is zero. In California, it's 8.84 percent. While many major corporations try to reduce their tax bills, technology companies like Apple, Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and others have more options to do so. That's because some of their revenue comes from digital products or royalties on patents, which makes it easier for them to move profits to tax-friendly states or countries. Apple has legally allocated about 70 percent of its profits overseas, where tax rates are often much lower than in the U.S., according to company filings. The Times cites a study by former Treasury Department economist Martin A. Sullivan that estimates Apple's federal tax bill would have been $2.4 billion higher last year without such tactics.

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




Protesters air grievances at Wells Fargo meeting
2012-04-25, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/24/MN881O8BCL.DTL

Protesters enraged about the country's economic miasma disrupted Wells Fargo's annual summit [on April 24], as shareholders celebrated the bank's record profit and awarded its chief executive a pay package of nearly $20 million. Hundreds of activists - including union members, Occupy activists and people whose homes have been foreclosed - surrounded the Merchants Exchange Building in downtown San Francisco, where about 250 shareholders gathered on the 15th floor to hear details of the bank's 28 percent profit increase last year. Fifteen protesters, allowed into the meeting because they own stock in Wells Fargo, shouted over CEO John Stumpf as he presented a PowerPoint slide show about the bank's $15.9 billion profit last year. Police escorted out the protesters, who were cited for disrupting the meeting and released. It was the bank's involvement in foreclosures ... that brought hundreds of protesters to the meeting. Some came from as far away as Minnesota. They filled the air with lively chants, led by people using loudspeakers set up on a flatbed truck alongside an 8-foot-high, inflated rat smoking a cigar. A protester-built, 10-foot-high mockup of Wells Fargo's signature stagecoach stood in the street, covered with slogans denouncing the bank.

Note: For key reports from reliable sources on Occupy and other protests against the criminal profiteering of banks and other financial corporations, click here.




Novartis takes legal action in UK to make hospitals use $1,000 eye drug over $97 alternative
2012-04-24, Washington Post/Associated Press
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/novartis-takes-legal-action-in-uk-...

Drug maker Novartis is taking legal action in Britain to make state-run hospitals use an eye drug that costs about 700 pounds ($1,130) per shot instead of a cheaper one that costs 60 pounds ($97). In a statement, Novartis said it was calling for a judicial review “as a last resort” because it believed patient safety was being potentially compromised. According to the U.K.’s health watchdog, Novartis’ Lucentis is the only drug recommended to treat the eye problem macular degeneration in the country’s state-run National Health Service hospitals. However, several NHS hospitals have been prescribing the much cheaper Avastin, a cancer drug made by Genentech Inc., a subsidiary of Roche, for the same problem even though it has not been officially approved. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year showed Avastin worked just as well as Lucentis for treating the eye disorder. Lucentis and Avastin act on the same biological protein in the body to spur blood vessel growth. In the U.S., eye doctors have often used tiny amounts of Avastin and billed the government for the cost, rather than buying Lucentis. Patient groups called for an independent analysis to determine which drug should be used.

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




The Best-Selling Drugs In America
2012-04-19, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2011/04/19/the-best-selling-drugs-i...

Why is a me-too drug for which there are much cheaper alternatives the second-best selling medicine in the United States? Today, IMS Health released its annual look at the sales of prescription drugs in America. It is the first year in which all of the top ten medicines in America are generics. This year, cancer drugs passed antipsychotic medicines as the top revenue generators. The biggest surprise ... is in the second-place spot: Nexium, ... from AstraZeneca, which generated $6.3 billion in sales. Abilify, from Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb, passed Seroquel from Astra as the top-selling antipsychotic drug for disease like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Crestor, AstraZeneca’s cholesterol drug, has delivered a pretty stunning 5-year sales increase of 190%, apparently grabbing patients for whom Lipitor, from Pfizer, is not powerful enough. Sales do not equal popularity. Only three of these drugs (Lipitor, Plavix, and Singulair) rank among the top 25 most popular medicines. Price is often as big a component in making money as volume.




Illinois lawmakers target practice of jailing debtors
2012-04-19, CBS News/Associated Press
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505247_162-57416794/ill-lawmakers-target-practice...

Jailed for unpaid debts? It happened to breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay. She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn't have to pay it. But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs. Debt collectors have become so aggressive in some parts of Illinois that they commonly use taxpayer-financed courts, sheriff's deputies and county jails to squeeze poor people who fall behind on small payments of $25 or $50 a month, according to supporters of the proposed legislative reforms. Lawmakers in Springfield are pushing to make it harder to jail poor people who miss court dates or are found in contempt of court as they struggle with unpaid debts — an aggressive practice that got worse, some say, during the recession. Lindsay, a teaching assistant from Herrin in southern Illinois, ended up paying more than $600 because legal fees had been added to the original amount. "I paid it in full so they couldn't do it to me again," Lindsay said. The Illinois bill would require court appearance notices to be served to a debtor's home, rather than merely mailed. It would require arrest warrants to expire after a year, and it would return most bail money to the debtor, rather than allow it to be used to pay off the debt.

Note: For more on this, click here.





 

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