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.
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Congress: Trading stock on inside information?
2011-11-13, CBS News 60 Minutes
Washington, D.C. is a town that runs on inside information - but should our elected officials be able to use that information to pad their own pockets? Members of Congress and their aides have regular access to powerful political intelligence, and many have made well-timed stock market trades in the very industries they regulate. For now, the practice is perfectly legal, but some say it's time for the law to change. Few of them are doing it for the salary and all of them will say they are doing it to serve the public. But there are other benefits: Power, prestige, and the opportunity to become a Washington insider with access to information and connections that no one else has, in an environment of privilege where rules that govern the rest of the country, don't always apply to them. Most former congressmen and senators manage to leave Washington - if they ever leave Washington - with more money in their pockets than they had when they arrived. Congressional lawmakers have no corporate responsibilities and have long been considered exempt from insider trading laws, even though they have daily access to non-public information and plenty of opportunities to trade on it.
Note: According to a New York Times article, U.S. "Senators' stocks beat the market by 12 percent," while "the average household's portfolio underperformed the market by 1.44 per cent a year." To watch this revealing 15-minute piece on CBS 60 Minutes, click here. For key reports from reliable sources on government corruption, click here.
Cost, need questioned in $433-million smallpox drug deal
2011-11-13, Los Angeles Times
Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work. Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men. Siga ... was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation's biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government's specialists had earlier said was reasonable. Once feared for its grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of 1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific institute and the U.S. government. There is no credible evidence that any other country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox. If there were an attack, the government could draw on $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine it already owns to inoculate the entire U.S. population and quickly treat people exposed to the virus. The vaccine, which costs the government $3 per dose, can reliably prevent death when given within four days of exposure.
Note: This is pure and blatant corruption to pad the pockers of Siga and those involved. For key reports from reliable sources on government corruption, click here. For more on corrupt drug companies, click here.
MF Global customers who pulled funds before bankruptcy might face clawback attempt
2011-11-11, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Former MF Global customers like Koch Industries, which pulled billions of dollars out of the stricken broker's accounts weeks or months before its collapse, have counted their blessings in recent days. But their relief may prove premature depending on the outcome of a separate, 4-year-old bankruptcy case involving Sentinel Management Group Inc. The lawyer overseeing that case has gone to court to try to force some of Sentinel's former clients to take a share of the losses. Many customers pulled out a large sum of cash before the company declared bankruptcy Oct. 31, regulatory data and exchange estimates show. At issue is MF Global's "segregated accounts," client money meant to be kept strictly separate from the broker's own funds, but which regulators say is $600 million short. That pot of money shrank by $1.5 billion in August alone, government data showed. Another $1.8 billion fled during the following two months, according to preliminary estimates. In total, customers pulled out more than a third of their accounts in the three months leading up to MF Global's downfall, much of that in the frenzied final days, traders reckon. For instance, privately held Koch Industries, whose businesses make it a leading commodities trader, sent a letter to trading partners Oct. 3 saying it was switching eight accounts from MF Global to Mizuho Securities USA. Koch Industries did not comment on the reason for its move.
Note: For evidence that the Koch brothers and others were warned to move their money before the bankruptcy, click here.
Abramoff: Lobbying reforms haven't fixed 'flawed' system
Ethics reforms put in place since the influence-peddling scandal surrounding high-rolling lobbyist Jack Abramoff haven't cleaned up the system "at all," a now-free Abramoff says.
Abramoff served three and a half years in prison for conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion before his release last December. In an interview ... on CBS News' "60 Minutes," he said the reforms imposed after his guilty plea have little effect while campaign finance remains untouched. "You can't take a congressman to lunch for $25 and buy him a hamburger or a steak or something like that," he said. "But you can take him to a fund-raising lunch and not only buy him that steak, but give him $25,000 extra and call it a fund-raiser -- and have all the same access and all the same interactions with that congressman." Abramoff's interview with "60 Minutes" aired the night before a memoir, Capitol Punishment, is scheduled to hit shelves. Abramoff describes some of the techniques he employed as a lobbyist as "evil," "terrible" and, at the same time, "effective" for his firm, his clients and Republican politicians he usually worked with. Abramoff said the best way to get what he wanted to was to offer high-ranking congressional aides a job when they left public office. Once that was done, he told CBS, "We owned them." "Everything that we want, they're going to do. Not only that, they're going to think of things we can't think of to do," Abramoff said, estimating his office had "very strong influence" on 100 of the 535 congressional offices.
Note: For a powerful, six-minute analysis of legalized corruption based on Abramoff's comments on CBS 60 Minutes, click here. A petty thief steals three times for a total value of a few thousand dollars and by the "three strikes" law ends up in jail for life. Abramoff, along with his assistants, successfully corrupt U.S. Senators and Congress members and serve less than four years in jail. Some of his assistants got off with no jail time. Is the US justice system biased towards the rich?
Jack Abramoff: The lobbyist's playbook
2011-11-06, CBS News 60 Minutes
Jack Abramoff may be the most notorious and crooked lobbyist of our time. He became a master at showering gifts on lawmakers in return for their votes on legislation. Five years ago ... Jack Abramoff pled guilty ... and served three and a half years in prison. Abramoff: I think most congressmen don't feel they're being bought. [They] can in their own mind justify the system. The "best way" to get a congressional office ... was to offer a staffer a job that could triple his salary. The moment I [offered] that to them ... we owned them. Most of the people ... on Capitol Hill wanted ... to be lobbyists. Republican Congressman Bob Ney was ambitious and looked at Abramoff as a way to build alliances with the White House and the majority leader. Neil Volz, his former chief of staff, by then a lobbyist for Abramoff .. asked Ney to insert some language into a reform bill that would give a backdoor license to an Indian casino. Abramoff: We crafted language that was so obscure ... but so precise to change the U.S. code. "Public law 100-89 is amended by striking section 207 101 stat. 668, 672." Members don't read the bills. Ney: It was a great big shell game. Ney would eventually serve 17 months in federal prison, the only congressman who was ever charged. But Abramoff says that there were many other members that did his bidding that could have been charged. Abramoff: I'm talking about giving a gift to somebody who makes a decision on behalf of the public. That's really what bribery is. But it is done everyday. There were very few members who ... didn't at some level participate in that. Our system is flawed and has to be fixed. He says the most important thing that needs to be done is to prohibit members of Congress and their staff from ever becoming lobbyists in Washington.
Note: To watch this incredibly revealing interview, click here. For a powerful, six-minute analysis of legalized corruption based on Abramoff's comments, click here. A petty thief steals three times for a total value of a few thousand dollars and by the "three strikes" law ends up in jail for life. Abramoff, along with his assistants, successfully corrupt U.S. Senators and Congress members and serve less than four years in jail. Many get off with no jail time. Is the US justice system biased towards the rich?
$3 billion settlement expected in GlaxoSmithKline drug-marketing probe
2011-11-03, Washington Post
The British drugmaker Glaxo-SmithKline has tentatively agreed to pay the U.S. government $3 billion to settle multiple civil and criminal investigations, the largest settlement in the federal government’s recent crackdown on the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing practices. If the deal is finalized, it will mark the latest success in the federal government’s push to rein in drug companies’ promotional efforts. Of the 165 settlements reached between pharmaceutical companies and federal and state governments in the past two decades, about three-quarters took place between 2006 and 2010, according to a report by Public Citizen. Before the Glaxo agreement, the largest federal settlements took place in 2009: Pfizer paid $2.3 billion to settle federal investigations tied to the promotion of the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra and other drugs, and Eli Lilly & Co. paid $1.4 billion related to the marketing of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. Still, consumer advocates said the penalties are not enough. “The size of the penalties, although large, are not as large as the money [the drug companies] make and so they keep doing it over again,” said Sidney M. Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s health research group. “The only way this is going to stop, or get reversed, is to greatly increase the size of the penalties or to start sending some of the executives to jail.”
Note: For insight into corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.
Banking on the people
2011-11-02, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Why give our money to Bank of America, only to have it lend us our own money at high interest rates or with ridiculous fees? We could hold onto our money, save quite a bit in fees, and lend it back to ourselves and to the businesses and people ... at more affordable rates. In 2008, Ellen Brown authored The Web of Debt, an analysis of the U.S. banking system that now is even more pertinent in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The thesis is that the power to create money has been usurped by a private international banking cartel [the Federal Reserve], which issues our money as debt and lends it back to us at interest. The cartel makes it appear that governments are creating our money, and governments get blamed when things go wrong; but they are just pawns of the cartel. We ... can regain our government and our republic only by reclaiming the power to create our own money. We can use the same credit system that private banks use, but administer it as a public utility - that is, monitored and overseen by public servants on the model of libraries and courts. To be a sustainable system, profits need to be returned to the community rather than siphoned off into private coffers.
Note: Few people realize that money in the U.S. is created by an entity privately owned by the largest banks – the Federal Reserve. For lots more important information on this, click here. For lots more from major media sources on the collusion between financial interests and government, click here.
Japan: signs of possible nuclear fission at Fukushima plant
2011-11-02, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The radioactive gas xenon, which is often the byproduct of unexpected nuclear fission, was detected at the Fukushima Daiichi plant during tests. Officials were today injecting boric acid as an emergency precautionary measure to stem any accidental chain reactions which could result in further radiation leakages. The discovery of such a gas is likely to be regarded as an unwelcome setback among operators who are keen to achieve cold shutdown by the end of the year. Officials both from Tokyo Electric Power Co, which operates the plant, and from Japan Atomic Energy Agency, were today (WED) reexamining the gases to double check their identity. The discovery of the gases coincided with the controversial reopening of a nuclear reactor in southern Japan – the first to be put back online since the March 11 Fukushima disaster. The Genkai plant in Kyushu was restarted despite strong public opposition, after officials confirmed it had passed safety tests following its closure over technical problems last month. Anti-nuclear public sentiment has been growing across Japan since the nation was caught up in the on-going atomic crisis, the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Around 40 of Japan's 54 reactors currently remain offline for testing, with the Genkai plant widely regarded as a symbolic first step in restarting dozens more across the country.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
Governments turn to hacking techniques for surveillance of citizens
2011-11-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In a luxury Washington, DC, hotel last month, governments from around the world gathered to discuss surveillance technology they would rather you did not know about. The annual Intelligence Support Systems (ISS) World Americas conference is a mecca for representatives from intelligence agencies and law enforcement. But to the media or members of the public, it is strictly off limits. Behind the cloak of secrecy at the ISS World conference, tips are shared about the latest advanced ... methods used to spy on citizens – computer hacking, covert bugging and GPS tracking. The use of such methods is more commonly associated with criminal hacking groups, who have used spyware and trojan viruses to infect computers and steal bank details or passwords. But as the internet has grown, intelligence agencies and law enforcement have adopted similar techniques. "The current method of choice would seem to be spyware, or trojan horses," said Chris Soghoian, a Washington-based surveillance and privacy expert. "When there are five or six conferences held in closed locations every year, where telecommunications companies, surveillance companies and government ministers meet in secret to cut deals, buy equipment, and discuss the latest methods to intercept their citizens' communications – that I think meets the level of concern," he said. "Decades of history show that surveillance powers are abused – usually for political purposes."
Note: For more on corporate and government threats to privacy and civil liberties, click here and here.
The medieval, unaccountable Corporation of London is ripe for protest
2011-10-31, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
It's the dark heart of Britain, the place where democracy goes to die, immensely powerful, equally unaccountable. But I doubt that one in 10 British people has any idea of what the Corporation of the City of London is and how it works. As Nicholas Shaxson explains in his fascinating book Treasure Islands, the Corporation exists outside many of the laws and democratic controls which govern the rest of the United Kingdom. The City of London is the only part of Britain over which parliament has no authority. This is ... an official old boys' network. In one respect at least the Corporation acts as the superior body: it imposes on the House of Commons a figure called the remembrancer: an official lobbyist who sits behind the Speaker's chair and ensures that, whatever our elected representatives might think, the City's rights and privileges are protected. The mayor of London's mandate stops at the boundaries of the Square Mile. The City has exploited this remarkable position to establish itself as a kind of offshore state, a secrecy jurisdiction which controls the network of tax havens housed in the UK's crown dependencies and overseas territories. This autonomous state within our borders is in a position to launder the ill-gotten cash of oligarchs, kleptocrats, gangsters and drug barons. It has also made the effective regulation of global finance almost impossible.
Note: To understand how democracy is easily circumvented, read this full article. For lots more from reliable sources on the hidden background to the control over governments held by financial powers, click here.
Did You Hear the One About the Bankers?
2011-10-30, New York Times
Citigroup had to pay a $285 million fine to settle a case in which, with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers — securities that it knew were likely to go bust — and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities — that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust. It doesn’t get any more immoral than this. James Stewart, a business columnist for The [New York] Times, noted that Citigroup’s flimflam made “Goldman Sachs mortgage traders look like Boy Scouts.” This gets to the core of why all the anti-Wall Street groups around the globe are resonating. Our financial industry has grown so large and rich it has corrupted our real institutions through political donations. Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry, including real estate, spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined. Why are there 61 members on the House Committee on Financial Services? So many congressmen want to be in a position to sell votes to Wall Street.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the collusion between financial interests and government, click here.
Ex-Abramoff associate Ring sentenced to 20 months in 1 of scandal’s harshest punishments
2011-10-26, Washington Post/Associated Press
A former lobbyist who was a rising star under Jack Abramoff’s tutelage was sentenced ... to nearly two years in prison for giving public officials meals and event tickets. Kevin Ring argued up until his emotional sentencing hearing that he was operating in a corrupt Washington environment controlled by people with money and that he did not break the law. U.S. District [Judge] Ellen Segal Huvelle said Ring’s conduct was not nearly as egregious as ringleader Abramoff or some of the others involved in a scandal that resulted in stricter lobbying rules in Washington. But the judge gave Ring a sentence of 20 months, one of the stiffest terms among the 21 defendants in the investigation. Most others involved cooperated with prosecutors and got plea deals that avoided prison. Huvelle said she did not consider Ring’s conduct [nearly as] bad as that of Abramoff and his business partner, Michael Scanlon, who bilked their American Indian tribal clients out of $20 million in fees, or former Rep. Bob Ney, who accepted golf and gambling trips, tickets to sporting events, free meals and campaign donations. But Abramoff, Scanlon and Ney all reached plea agreements with prosecutors that helped cut their sentences while Ring fought at trial. His sentence ranks with theirs — Abramoff got 48 months, Ney 30 months and Scanlon also was sentenced to 20 months.
Note: A petty thief steals three times for a total value of a few thousand dollars and by the "three strikes" law ends up in jail for life. Abramoff, along with his assistants, successfully corrupt U.S. Senators and Congress members and serve less than four years in jail. Many get off with no jail time. Is the US justice system biased towards the rich?
Fukushima Fallout Was Almost Twice as Bad as Official Estimates, New Study Says
2011-10-26, Popular Science magazine
This spring’s nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant released almost double the amount of radiation the Japanese government has claimed, according to a new analysis. The authors say the boiling pools holding spent fuel rods played a role in the release of some of the contaminants, primarily cesium-137 — and that this could have been mitigated by an earlier response. Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Air Research ... say the amount of cesium-137, a long-lived isotope that persists in the atmosphere, was about twice as high as the Japanese government’s official estimate. The researchers also say about 20 percent of the total fallout landed over Japan, but the vast majority fell over the Pacific Ocean. (The effects of this fallout on fisheries and aquatic wildlife are still being determined.) Cesium-137 emissions peaked three or four days after the quake and tsunami, remaining high until March 19, according to this new study. That’s the day authorities started spraying water on the spent-fuel pool at reactor unit 4, the researchers note. “This indicates that emissions were not only coming from the damaged reactor cores, but also from the spent-fuel pool of unit 4 and confirms that the spraying was an effective countermeasure,” they say. This contradicts Japanese government reports claiming the pools released no radiation.
Note: According to the French nuclear agency, the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN, Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire), even the higher estimate of radiation release described in this article is too low. The agency estimates that 20 times more cesium-137 was released than has been admitted by Tepco.
Founder Says WikiLeaks, Starved of Cash, May Close
2011-10-25, New York Times
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said ... that his controversial website could be forced to shut down by the end of the year because a 10-month-old "financial blockade" had sharply reduced the donations on which it depends. Calling the blockade a "dangerous, oppressive and undemocratic" attack led by the United States, Assange said at a news conference that it had deprived his organization of "tens of millions of dollars," and warned, "If WikiLeaks does not find a way to remove this blockade, we will not be able to continue by the turn of the new year." Since the end of 2010, financial intermediaries - including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and Western Union - have refused to allow donations to WikiLeaks to flow through their systems, he said, blocking "95 percent" of the website's revenue and leaving it to operate on its cash reserves for the past 10 months. An aide said that WikiLeaks was now receiving less than $10,000 a month in donations. Assange said that WikiLeaks had been forced to halt work on the processing of tens of thousands of secret documents that it has received, and to turn its attention instead to lawsuits it has filed in the United States, Australia, Scandinavian countries and elsewhere, as well as to a formal petition to the European Commission to try to restore donors' ability to send it money through normal channels.
Note: For more on this from BBC, click here.
The bankers' blockade of WikiLeaks must end
2011-10-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In December 2010 three of the world's biggest payment providers, Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, cut off funding to WikiLeaks. Ten months later, Julian Assange has announced the whistleblowing site will suspend operations until the blockade is lifted – and warned WikiLeaks does not have the money to continue into 2012 at current levels of funding. The banking blockade against WikiLeaks is one of the most sinister developments in recent years, and perhaps the most extreme example in a western democracy of extrajudicial actions aimed at stifling free speech. Payment companies representing more than 97% of the global market have shut off the funding taps between WikiLeaks and those who would donate to it. Unlike many of the country's leading corporations, WikiLeaks has neither been charged with, nor convicted of, any crime at either state, federal, or international level. Visa and Mastercard are already inescapable. As the world becomes ever-more digital ... they will become still more pervasive. If they are allowed to cut off payment to lawful organisations with whom they disagree, the US's first amendment, the European convention on human rights' article 10, and all other legal free speech protections become irrelevant. Those who value free expression, whether they like WikiLeaks or loathe it, should hope it wins its current battle.
Note: For more on this from BBC, click here.
Citigroup to Pay $285 Million to Settle Fraud Charges
2011-10-20, Wall Street Journal
Wall Street's total price tag on settlements with U.S. securities regulators for allegedly misleading investors about mortgage bonds churned out ahead of the financial crisis surged past $1 billion with a deal by Citigroup Inc. to pay $285 million ... to end civil-fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC claimed Citigroup sold slices of the $1 billion mortgage-bond deal without disclosing to investors that the bank was shorting $500 million of the deal, or betting its assets would lose value. Several Wall Street firms have settled similar claims by the SEC, which has generally stuck to the strategy used by the agency to get a $550 million settlement last year with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.. And the SEC's investigation of the Wall Street mortgage machine isn't over yet. Lorin Reisner, deputy enforcement director at the SEC, said civil mortgage-related cases against Goldman, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Countrywide Financial Corp., New Century Financial Corp. and other companies "read like an index to unlawful conduct in connection with the financial crisis." The SEC has collected a total of $1.03 billion through mortgage-bond-deal settlements. In addition to Citigroup, the total includes Goldman, J.P. Morgan, Royal Bank of Canada, Wells Fargo & Co. and Credit Suisse Group AG.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the illegal profiteering of major financial corporations, click here.
Faith in the 99 percent: What drives Occupy Wall Street?
2011-10-20, Washington Post
“We are the 99 percent!” The chant thunders through the streets, from Wall Street in New York City, where the Occupy movement began, to K Street in Washington, where high-paid lobbyists influence government, to streets in cities and small towns all across the nation. In hundreds of Occupations, ordinary people have been moved to fill parks and streets and squares with signs, tents, impromptu soup kitchens, intense conversations and lengthy meetings. What’s going on? All share a common heart, a revulsion against an economy and a politics that increasingly say, “You don’t count, except as something to exploit. Your voice is drowned out by money, your labor is expendable, your needs must be sacrificed to the gods of profit.” The Occupy movement demonstrates a very different model of organizing: emergent, decentralized, without a command and control structure. At its essence, the message of the Occupations is simply this: “Here in the face of power we will sit and create a new society, in which you do count. Your voice carries weight, your contributions have value, whoever you may be. We say that love and care are the true foundations for the society we want to live in. We’ll stand with the poor and sleep with the homeless if that’s what it takes to get justice. We’ll build a new world.”
Note: Find your nearest occupation at: http://www.occupytogether.org/ . For lots more from major media sources on the reasons why people worldwide are occupying the financial centers of their cities, check out our "Banking Bailout" news articles.
Beltway Earnings Make U.S. Capital Richer Than Silicon Valley
Federal employees whose compensation averages more than $126,000 and the nation’s greatest concentration of lawyers helped Washington edge out San Jose as the wealthiest U.S. metropolitan area, government data show. The U.S. capital has swapped top spots with Silicon Valley, according to recent Census Bureau figures, with the typical household in the Washington metro area earning $84,523 last year. The national median income for 2010 was $50,046. The figures demonstrate how the nation’s political and financial classes are prospering as the economy struggles with unemployment above 9 percent and thousands of Americans protest in the streets against income disparity, said Kevin Zeese, director of Prosperity Agenda, a Baltimore-based advocacy group trying to narrow the divide between rich and poor. “There’s a gap that’s isolating Washington from the reality of the rest of the country,” Zeese said. “They just get more and more out of touch.”
In recent years Washington has attracted more lobbyists and firms with an interest in the health-care overhaul and financial regulations signed into law by President Barack Obama. “Wall Street has moved to K Street,” said Barbara Lang, president and chief executive officer of the DC Chamber of Commerce, referring to the Washington street that’s home to prominent lobbying firms.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
BofA Said to Split Regulators Over Moving Merrill Contracts
Bank of America Corp., hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits. Derivatives are financial instruments used to hedge risks or for speculation. They’re derived from stocks, bonds, loans, currencies and commodities, or linked to specific events such as changes in the weather or interest rates. Keeping such deals separate from FDIC-insured savings has been a cornerstone of U.S. regulation for decades, including last year’s Dodd-Frank overhaul of Wall Street regulation. Three years after taxpayers rescued some of the biggest U.S. lenders, regulators are grappling with how to protect FDIC-insured bank accounts from risks generated by investment-banking operations. “The concern is that there is always an enormous temptation to dump the losers on the insured institution,” said William Black, professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a former bank regulator. “We should have fairly tight restrictions on that.” Bank of America’s holding company -- the parent of both the retail bank and the Merrill Lynch securities unit -- held almost $75 trillion of derivatives at the end of June. That compares with JPMorgan’s deposit-taking entity, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, which contained 99 percent of the New York-based firm’s $79 trillion of notional derivatives.
Note: Remember that the GDP of the entire world is estimated at around $60 trillion, less than JPMorgan or BofA own in derivatives. For an excellent article laying out the incredible risk this creates of a major economic collapse, click here. For more on the high risk and cost to taxpayers of BofA moving its massive amount of derivatives to its subsidiary, click here. For lots more from major media sources on the illegal profiteering of major financial corporations enabled by lax government regulation, click here.
Tepco: radiation from Fukushima plant declines further
2011-10-17, Scientific American/Reuters
The operator of Japan's tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant [Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco)] said the amount of radiation being emitted from the complex has halved from a month ago, in the latest sign that efforts to bring the plant under control are progressing. In light of the progress being made in cooling its damaged reactors, which suffered nuclear fuel meltdowns in the first days of the crisis, Tepco formally brought forward its plan to bring the plant to a state of "cold shutdown" within this year. Technically, a cold shutdown is a state in which water used to cool nuclear fuel rods remains below 100 degrees Celsius, preventing the fuel from reheating. Declaring a cold shutdown will have repercussions well beyond the plant as it is one of the criteria the government said must be met before it begins allowing about 80,000 residents evacuated from within a 20 km (12 mile) radius of the plant to go home. Japan faces a massive cleanup task if these residents are to be returned home -- the environmental ministry says about 2,400 square km (930 square miles) of land surrounding Daiichi may need decontamination. Even if a cold shutdown is declared Tepco has acknowledged that it may not be able to remove the fuel from the reactors for another 10 years and that the cleanup at the plant could take several decades.
Note: For more on the Fukushima situation from the standpoint of the tens of thousands of evacuees, click here.