Corporate Corruption News Articles
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption News Articles in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption news articles from the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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Derivatives the new 'ticking bomb'
2008-03-10, MarketWatch (Part of the Wall Street Journal's digital network)
"In our view, however, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal." That warning was in [Warren] Buffett's 2002 letter to Berkshire shareholders. He saw a future that many others chose to ignore. Wall Street didn't listen to Buffett. Derivatives grew into a massive bubble, from about $100 trillion to $516 trillion by 2007. Despite Buffett's clear warnings, a massive new derivatives bubble is driving the domestic and global economies, a bubble that continues growing today parallel with the subprime-credit meltdown triggering a bear-recession. Data on the five-fold growth of derivatives to $516 trillion in five years comes from the most recent survey by the Bank of International Settlements, the world's clearinghouse for central banks in Basel, Switzerland. Keep in mind that while the $516 trillion "notional" value (maximum in case of a meltdown) of the deals is a good measure of the market's size, the 2007 BIS study notes that the $11 trillion "gross market values provides a more accurate measure of the scale of financial risk transfer taking place in derivatives markets." The fact is, derivatives have become the world's biggest "black market," exceeding the illicit traffic in stuff like arms, drugs, alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, stolen art and pirated movies. Why? Because like all black markets, derivatives are a perfect way of getting rich while avoiding taxes and government regulations. And in today's slowdown, plus a volatile global market, Wall Street knows derivatives remain a lucrative business.
Note: $516 trillion is equivalent to $75,000 for every man, woman, and child in the world! Do you think the financial industry is out of control? For lots more powerful, reliable information on major banking manipulations, click here. For a powerful analysis describing just how crazy things have gotten and giving some rays of hope by researcher David Wilcock, click here.
Bill Moyers talks with [NY Times reporter] David Cay Johnston about Free Lunch
2008-01-08, PBS Bill Moyers Journal
BILL MOYERS: Why do some of the most powerful and privileged people in the country get a free lunch you pay for? You'll find some of the answers [in]: Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill). The theme of the book as I read it is that not that the rich are getting richer but that they've got the government rigging the rules to help them do it. DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: That's exactly right. And they're doing it in a way that I think is very crucial for people to understand. They're doing it by taking from those with less to give to those with more. We gave $100 million dollars to Warren Buffett's company last year, a gift from the taxpayers. We make gifts all over the place to rich people. Donald Trump benefits from a tax specifically levied by the State of New Jersey for the poor. Part of the casino winnings tax in New Jersey is dedicated to help the poor. But $89 million of it is being diverted to subsidize Donald Trump's casino's building retail space. George Steinbrenner, like almost every owner of a major sports franchise, gets enormous public subsidies. The major sports franchises [make] 100 percent of their profits from subsidies. In fact, if it weren't for these subsidies, the baseball, football, hockey, and basketball enterprises as a whole would be losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year. George Bush owes almost his entire fortune to a tax increase that was funneled into his pocket and into the use of eminent domain laws to essentially legally cheat other people out of their land for less than it was worth to enrich him and his fellow investors.
Note: Watch part of this amazingly revealing interview online at this link. Johnston is a prolific writer with the NY Times; to see a list of his many articles there, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.
Iraq corruption whistleblowers face penalties
2007-08-25, MSNBC/Associated Press
One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted. Or worse. For daring to report illegal arms sales, Navy veteran Donald Vance says he was imprisoned by the American military in a security compound outside Baghdad and subjected to harsh interrogation methods. He had thought he was doing a good and noble thing when he started telling the FBI about the guns and the land mines and the rocket-launchers — all of them being sold for cash, no receipts necessary, he said. The buyers were Iraqi insurgents, American soldiers, State Department workers, and Iraqi embassy and ministry employees. The seller, he claimed, was the Iraqi-owned company he worked for, Shield Group Security Co. “It was a Wal-Mart for guns,” he says. “It was all illegal and everyone knew it.” So Vance says he blew the whistle, supplying photos and documents and other intelligence to an FBI agent in his hometown of Chicago because he didn’t know whom to trust in Iraq. For his trouble, he says, he got 97 days in Camp Cropper, an American military prison outside Baghdad. Congress gave more than $30 billion to rebuild Iraq, and at least $8.8 billion of it has disappeared. “If you do it, you will be destroyed,” said William Weaver, professor of political science at the University of Texas-El Paso and senior advisor to the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition. “Reconstruction is so rife with corruption. Sometimes people ask me, ‘Should I do this?’ And my answer is no. If they’re married, they’ll lose their family. They will lose their jobs. They will lose everything,” Weaver said.
U.S. health care is bad for your health
2007-06-03, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
[A new] study ... finds that not only is the U.S. health care system the most expensive in the world (double that of the next most costly comparator country, Canada) but comes in dead last in almost any measure of performance. Although U.S. political leaders are fond of stating that we have the best health-care system in the world, they fail to acknowledge an important caveat: It is the best only for the very rich. For the rest of the population, its deficits far outweigh its advantages. [The] study compared the United States with Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Although the most notable way in which the United States differs from the other countries is in the absence of universal coverage, the United States is also last on dimensions of access, patient safety, efficiency and equity. The other five countries considered spend considerably less on health care, both per capita and as a percent of gross domestic product, than the United States. The United States spends $7,000 per person per year on health care, almost double that of Australia, Canada and Germany, each of which achieve better results on health status indicators than the United States. The United States also lags behind all industrialized nations in terms of health coverage. 46.6 million Americans (about 15.9 percent of the population) had no health insurance coverage during 2005. It is no wonder, then, that medical bills are overwhelmingly the most common reason for personal bankruptcy in the United States.
Note: For a treasure trove of reliable information on health, click here.
Cars that make hybrids look like gas guzzlers
2007-03-04, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Toyota Prius owners tend to be a proud lot since they drive the fuel-efficient hybrid gas-electric car that's ... one of the hottest-selling vehicles in America. A few, however, felt that good was not good enough. They've made "improvements" even though the modifications voided parts of their warranties. Why? Five words: one hundred miles per gallon. "We took the hybrid car to its logical conclusion," [Felix] Kramer says, by adding more batteries and the ability to recharge by plugging into a regular electrical socket at night. Compared with the Prius' fuel efficiency of 50 mpg, plug-in hybrids use half as much gasoline by running more on cleaner, cheaper, domestic electricity. These trendsetters monkeyed with the car ... to make a point: If they could make a plug-in hybrid, the major car companies could, too. Kramer ... and a cadre of volunteers formed the California Cars Initiative (online at calcars.org). They added inexpensive lead-acid batteries ... giving the car over 100 mpg in local driving and 50 to 80 mpg on the highway. The cost of conversion is about $5,000 for a do-it-yourselfer. Several small companies like EnergyCS ... started doing small numbers of conversions for fleets and government agencies using longer-lasting, more energy-dense lithium-ion batteries. Kramer hired EnergyCS to convert his Prius and reported on a typical day of driving. Compared with driving his Prius before the conversion, he ... spewed out two-thirds less greenhouse gases at a total cost of $1.76 for electricity and gasoline, instead of the $3.17 it would have required on gasoline alone. People want plug-in hybrids but can't get them. Dealers don't sell them yet, and the few conversion services cater to fleets.
Note: For a video and educational package to guide those who want to build a 100 mpg car, see www.eaa-phev.org. For why the car companies with their massive budgets haven't developed cars like this, click here.
Nazis rode to war on GM wheels
2007-01-07, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
In the late spring of 1933, concentration camps such as Dachau were generating headlines reporting great brutality. Nonetheless, GM and Germany began a strategic business relationship. General Motors World, the company house organ, covered [a 1934] May Day event glowingly in a several-page cover story, stressing Hitler's boundless affinity for children. The next day, May 2, 1934, after practicing his sieg heil in front of a mirror, [President of GM Overseas Corp. James] Mooney ... went to meet Hitler. As Mooney traversed the long approach to Hitler's desk, he began to pump his arm in a stern-faced sieg heil. This was ... one of many contacts between the Nazis and GM officials that are spotlighted in thousands of pages of little-known and restricted Nazi-era and New Deal-era documents. The biggest automotive manufacturer in Germany -- indeed in all of Europe -- was General Motors, which since 1929 had owned and operated the longtime German company Opel. A few weeks after the [Hitler meeting], General Motors World effusively recounted ... "Hitler is a strong man, well fitted to lead the German people. He is leading them, not by force or fear, but by intelligent planning." In 1937, almost 17 percent of Opel's Blitz trucks were sold directly to the Nazi military. That military sales figure was increased to 29 percent in 1938. In 1938, just months after the Nazi annexation of Austria, Mooney, head of GM's overseas operations, received the German Eagle with Cross, the highest medal Hitler awarded to foreign commercial collaborators and supporters.
Eli Lilly Said to Play Down Risk of Top Pill
2006-12-17, New York Times
The drug maker Eli Lilly has engaged in a decade-long effort to play down the health risks of Zyprexa, its best-selling medication for schizophrenia, according to hundreds of internal Lilly documents and e-mail messages among top company managers. The documents ... show that Lilly executives kept important information from doctors about Zyprexa’s links to obesity and its tendency to raise blood sugar — both known risk factors for diabetes. Lilly’s own published data, which it told its sales representatives to play down in conversations with doctors, has shown that 30 percent of patients taking Zyprexa gain 22 pounds or more after a year on the drug, and some patients have reported gaining 100 pounds or more. But Lilly was concerned that Zyprexa’s sales would be hurt if the company was more forthright about the fact that the drug might cause unmanageable weight gain or diabetes, according to the documents, which cover the period 1995 to 2004. Zyprexa has become by far Lilly’s best-selling product, with sales of $4.2 billion last year, when about two million people worldwide took the drug. Critics, including the American Diabetes Association, have argued that Zyprexa, introduced in 1996, is more likely to cause diabetes than other widely used schizophrenia drugs. As early as 1999, the documents show that Lilly worried that side effects from Zyprexa, whose chemical name is olanzapine, would hurt sales. “Olanzapine-associated weight gain and possible hyperglycemia is a major threat to the long-term success of this critically important molecule,” Dr. Alan Breier wrote in a November 1999 e-mail message to two-dozen Lilly employees.
Note: For lots more on corporate corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Blowing the Whistle on Big Oil
2006-12-03, New York Times
During a 22-year career, Bobby L. Maxwell routinely won accolades and awards as one of the Interior Department’s best auditors in the nation’s oil patch. “Mr. Maxwell’s career has been characterized by exceptional performance and significant contributions,” wrote Gale A. Norton, then the secretary of the interior, in a 2003 citation. Less than two years later, the Interior Department eliminated his job. That came exactly one week after a federal judge in Denver unsealed a lawsuit in which Mr. Maxwell contended that a major oil company had spent years cheating on royalty payments. Invoking a law that rewards private citizens who expose fraud against the government, Mr. Maxwell has filed a suit [which] contends that the Interior Department ignored audits indicating that Kerr-McGee was cheating. Maxwell says his first serious doubts about the Interior Department originated in 1998, when the agency reluctantly began to investigate accusations of systematic cheating on royalties for oil. Several of the nation’s biggest oil companies eventually settled that investigation by paying nearly $440 million. Mr. Maxwell said, “There have always been people who don’t want to pursue things. But now it’s grown into a major illness.” Broader investigations by Congress and the Interior Department’s own inspector general [are investigating] whether the agency properly collects the money for oil and gas pumped from public land. The Interior Department’s inspector general told a House subcommittee in September that senior officials at the agency had repeatedly glossed over ethical lapses. “Short of crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of the Interior,” declared Earl E. Devaney, the inspector general.
Note: If you want to understand how corruption can grow and fester in large government agencies, this entire article is highly educational and revealing.
Experts Concerned as Ballot Problems Persist
2006-11-26, New York Times
After six years of technological research, more than $4 billion spent by Washington on new machinery and a widespread overhaul of the nation’s voting system, this month’s midterm election revealed that the country is still far from able to ensure that every vote counts. Tens of thousands of voters, scattered across more than 25 states, encountered serious problems at the polls. The difficulties led to shortages of substitute paper ballots and long lines that caused many voters to leave without casting ballots. Voting experts say it is impossible to say how many votes were not counted that should have been. In Florida alone, the discrepancies ... amount to more than 60,000 votes. In Colorado, as many as 20,000 people gave up trying to vote ... as new online systems for verifying voter registrations crashed repeatedly. In Arkansas, election officials tallied votes three times in one county, and each time the number of ballots cast changed by more than 30,000. Election experts say that with electronic voting machines, the potential consequences of misdeeds or errors are of a [great] magnitude. A single software error can affect thousands of votes, especially with machines that keep no paper record. In Ohio, thousands of voters were turned away or forced to file provisional ballots by poll workers puzzled by voter-identification rules. In Pennsylvania, the machines crashed or refused to start, producing many reports of vote-flipping [where] voters press the button for one candidate but a different candidate’s name appears on the screen. In Ohio, even a congressman, Steve Chabot, a Republican, was turned away from his polling place because the address listed on his driver’s license was different than his home address.
Drug Industry Is on Defensive as Power Shifts
2006-11-24, New York Times
Hoping to prevent Congress from letting the government negotiate lower drug prices for millions of older Americans on Medicare, the pharmaceutical companies have been recruiting Democratic lobbyists [and] lining up allies in the Bush administration and Congress. Many drug company lobbyists concede that the House is likely to pass a bill intended to drive down drug prices, but they are determined to block such legislation in the Senate. If that strategy fails, they are counting on President Bush to veto any bill that passes. With 49 Republicans in the Senate next year, the industry is confident that it can round up the 34 votes normally needed to uphold a veto. They began developing strategy last week at a meeting of the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Billy Tauzin, president of that group [and] a former congressman...met with Senator Byron L. Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat who has been trying for six years to allow drug imports from Canada. The industry vehemently opposes such legislation. The 2003 Medicare law prohibits the federal government from negotiating drug prices or establishing a list of preferred drugs. Drug makers have not set a budget for their campaign. They and their trade groups already spend some $100 million a year on lobbying in Washington. Representative Frank Pallone Jr., Democrat of New Jersey [said] “The 2003 Medicare law was essentially written by the drug industry.” Drug companies may be open to some changes in the Medicare drug benefit, but they say they cannot accept any form of price negotiation.
Note: For lots of verifiable information on the power of the drug industry to corrupt Congress, click here.
Getting closer to Uncle Sam
2006-09-20, Toronto Star (One of Canada's top newspapers)
Public kept in dark as business leads talks about North American integration. Away from the spotlight, from Sept. 12 to 14, in Banff Springs, Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day and Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor met with U.S. and Mexican government officials and business leaders to discuss North American integration at the second North American Forum. The guest list included such prominent figures as U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Mexican Secretary of Public Security Eduardo Medina Mora and Canadian Forces chief General Rick Hillier. The event was chaired by former U.S. secretary of state George Schultz, former Alberta premier, Peter Lougheed and former Mexican finance minister Pedro Aspe. Organizers did not alert the media about the event. Our government ... refuses to release any information about the content of the discussions or the actors involved. The event was organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. The media have paid little attention to this far-reaching agreement, so Canadians are unaware that a dozen working groups are currently "harmonizing" Canadian and U.S. regulations on everything from food to drugs to the environment and even more contentious issues like foreign policy. This process ... is about priming North America for better business by weakening the impacts of such perceived obstacles as environmental standards and labour rights. This is why the public has been kept in the dark while the business elite has played a leading role in designing the blueprint for this more integrated North America.
Note: If the above link fails, click here. Why has the U.S. media not covered this key topic? For a second article discussing this secret meeting on a top Canadian TV website, click here. To learn about other secret meetings of the power elite, click here
Protesters challenge the powerful at exclusive California retreat
2006-07-22, San Francisco Chronicle
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside an exclusive California retreat for government and business leaders Saturday to challenge the right of a "ruling elite" to make policy decisions without public scrutiny. The annual Bohemian Grove retreat has attracted powerful men such as Ronald Reagan, George Bush, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, philanthropist David Rockefeller, former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. It's also become a magnet for all types of activists who increasingly use the event to network and organize their campaigns. The men who attend the Bohemian Grove retreat spend two weeks performing plays, eating gourmet camp grub, listening to speakers and power-bonding at the 2,700-acre compound near the Russian River in Sonoma County. The retreat is organized by the exclusive San Francisco-based Bohemian Club. The club and event are shrouded in mystery, much like Yale University's most-famous secret society, Skull and Bones, whose members include President George W. Bush and his presidential rival Sen. John Kerry.
Note: This article strangely has been removed from the San Francisco Chronicle website. To see it in the Internet Archive, click here. For an informative five-minute ABC news clip on the power elite gathering Bohemian Grove reported in 1981, click here. And for reliable information on the most secretive meeting of the world's elite reported by the major media, see our Bilderberg Group compilation available here.
Fans of GM Electric Car Fight the Crusher
2005-03-10, Washington Post
What's at stake, they say, is no less than the future of automotive technology, a practical solution for driving fast and fun with no direct pollution whatsoever. GM agrees that the car in question, called the EV1, was a rousing feat of engineering that could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under eight seconds with no harmful emissions. The market just wasn't big enough, the company says, for a car that traveled 140 miles or less on a charge before you had to plug it in like a toaster. Some 800 drivers once leased EV1s, mostly in California. After the last lease ran out in August, GM reclaimed every one of the cars, donating a few to universities and car museums but crushing many of the rest. Enthusiasts discovered a stash of about 77 surviving EV1s behind a GM training center in Burbank and last month decided to take a stand. Mobilized through Internet sites and word of mouth, nearly 100 people pledged $24,000 each for a chance to buy the cars from GM. On Feb. 16 the group set up a street-side outpost of folding chairs that they have staffed ever since in rotating shifts, through long nights and torrential rains, trying to draw attention to their cause. GM refuses to budge. Toyota is aware of a growing fad among do-it-yourselfers who put a new battery in their Prius so it can be plugged in at home and then travel about 20 miles on electric power alone.
Note: Why would GM simply crush cars for which people are willing to pay $24,000? For a possible answer to this important question, click here. To learn how to convert a Toyota Prius to get 100 mpg, click here.
Indicting the Drug Industry's Practices
2004-09-06, New York Times
Dr. Marcia Angell is a former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine and spent two decades on the staff of that publication. Her new book is a scorching indictment of drug companies and their research and business practices. "Despite all its excesses, this is an important industry that should be saved - mainly from itself," she writes. Dr. Angell's case is tough, persuasive and troubling. "The Truth About the Drug Companies" ... is devoted to assertions of shady, misleading corporate behavior. In the past, drug discoveries made through government research remained in the public domain. Beginning in 1980 those breakthroughs could be patented, even if their research was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. As a consequence, Dr. Angell says, patent shenanigans have reshaped the drug business, as have the recent government regulations that expedite direct-to-consumer drug advertising. "Once upon a time, drug companies promoted drugs to treat diseases," Dr. Angell writes. "Now it is often the opposite. They promote diseases to fit their drugs." Why all the advertising? "If prescription drugs are so good, why do they need to be pushed so hard?" she asks. Dr. Angell is now a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
Note: For an excellent 10-page summary of this revealing book written by the esteemed author, click here. For more reliable information on the health cover-up, click here.
Skull And Bones
2004-06-13, CBS News
As opposite as George Bush and John Kerry may seem to be, they do share a common secret - one they've shared for decades. The secret: details of their membership in Skull and Bones, the elite Yale University society whose members include some of the most powerful men of the 20th century. Bonesmen, as they're called, are forbidden to reveal what goes on in their inner sanctum. Bones has included presidents, cabinet officers, spies, Supreme Court justices, [and] captains of industry. They'd responded to questions with utter silence until an enterprising Yale graduate, Alexandra Robbins, managed to penetrate the wall of silence in her book, Secrets of the Tomb. "I spoke with about 100 members of Skull and Bones. They were members who were tired of the secrecy,” says Robbins. “But probably twice that number hung up on me, harassed me, or threatened me.” Skull and Bones, with all its ritual and macabre relics, was founded in 1832. Since then, it has chosen or "tapped" only 15 senior students a year who become ... lifetime members of the ultimate old boys' club. A lot of Bonesmen have gone on to positions of great power. President Bush ... tapped five fellow Bonesmen to join his administration. Bonesmen have [included] William Howard Taft, the 27th President; Henry Luce, the founder of Time Magazine; and W. Averell Harriman, the diplomat and confidant of U.S. presidents. Mr. Bush, like his father and grandfather before him, has refused to talk openly about Skull and Bones. But as a Bonesman, he was required to reveal his innermost secrets to his fellow Bones initiates. They're supposed to recount their entire sexual histories in ... a dimly-lit cozy room.
Note: For a highly revealing, four-minute CNN News clip on Skull and Bones, click here. For other major media news clips reporting on this powerful secret society, click here. And for lots more reliable information from major media sources on powerful, secret groups like this, click here.
Eugenics and the Nazis -- the California connection
2003-11-09, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a so-called Master Race. But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn't originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power. Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America's most respected scientists from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Yale, Harvard and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics' racist aims. Stanford President David Starr Jordan originated the notion of "race and blood" in his 1902 racial epistle "Blood of a Nation," in which the university scholar declared that human qualities and conditions such as talent and poverty were passed through the blood. The Rockefeller Foundation helped found the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.
Note: Josef Mengele's US-funded eugenics research laid the foundation for his experimentation on human subjects before and during World War II. He went on to participate in CIA-funded mind-control experimentation after that war. For more on Mengele, click here.
Moore Asks Inquiry Into Charges on Preparedness Campaign
1917-02-14, New York Times
A demand for an investigation of charges printed in the Congressional Record by Representative Oscar Callaway of Texas, a pacifist Democrat, that “the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel shipbuilding, and powder interests” had purchased control of twenty-five great newspapers to further the preparedness campaign, was made in the House today by Representative J. Hampton Moore, a Pennsylvania Republican. Mr. Callaway’s speech, as inserted in The Record charged: “In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding and powder interests, and their subsidiary organizations got together twelve men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select from the most influential papers in the United States in sufficient numbers of them to control generally the policy of the daily press of the United States. They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of twenty-five of the greatest newspapers. [An] editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers. The policy also included the suppression of everything in opposition to the wishes of the interests served."
Note: For more showing how the media is controlled by carefully selected people placed by big money and the power elite, click here and here. For a short video of Congressional testimony from the 1970s proving CIA media manipulation, click here. The full text of this revealing article is available free at this link.
Fed knew about Libor rigging in 2008
2014-02-21, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The US Federal Reserve knew about Libor rigging three years before the financial scandal exploded but did not take any firm action, documents have revealed. According to newly published transcripts of the central bank’s meetings in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a senior Fed official first flagged the issue at a policy meeting in April 2008. William Dudley expressed fears that banks were being dishonest in the way they were calculating the London interbank offered rate – a global benchmark interest rate used as the basis for trillions of pounds of loans and financial contracts. Three years after his remarks, it emerged that traders at more than a dozen banks, including Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, had routinely been trying to fix the official Libor rate in order to boost their own bonuses and profits. The transcript of the Fed’s April 2008 meeting raises questions about why the central bank did not move to properly tackle the scandal. There was no official regulator for Libor at the time, and officials at the US Federal Reserve tried to blame British authorities for allowing the benchmark interest rate to get out of control in the first place. The Fed declined to comment on the transcripts or why it had not taken firm action..
Note: For more on government collusion with the biggest banks, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Let Banks Fail Is Iceland Mantra as 2% Joblessness in Sight
2014-01-27, Washington Post/Bloomberg News
Iceland let its banks fail in 2008 because they proved too big to save. Now, the island is finding crisis-management decisions made half a decade ago have put it on a trajectory that’s turned 2 percent unemployment into a realistic goal. While the euro area grapples with record joblessness, led by more than 25 percent in Greece and Spain, only about 4 percent of Iceland’s labor force is without work. Prime Minister Sigmundur D. Gunnlaugsson says even that’s too high. The island’s sudden economic meltdown in October 2008 made international headlines as a debt-fueled banking boom ended in a matter of weeks when funding markets froze. Policy makers overseeing the $14 billion economy refused to back the banks, which subsequently defaulted on $85 billion. The government’s decision to protect state finances left it with the means to continue social support programs that shielded Icelanders from penury during the worst financial crisis in six decades. Of creditor claims against the banks, Gunnlaugsson says “this is not public debt and never will be.” Successive Icelandic governments have forced banks to write off mortgage debts to help households. The government’s 2014 budget sets aside about 43 percent of its spending for the Welfare Ministry, a level that is largely unchanged since before the crisis. Inflation, which peaked at 19 percent in January 2009, ... was 4.2 percent in December. To support households, Gunnlaugsson in November unveiled a plan to provide as much as 7 percent of gross domestic product in mortgage debt relief. The government intends to finance the plan, which the OECD has criticized as being too blunt, partly by raising taxes on banks.
Note: Why is Iceland's major success in letting banks fail getting so little press coverage? For a possible answer, click here. For more on government responses to the banking crisis and their impacts on people, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
China's princelings storing riches in Caribbean offshore haven
2014-01-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
More than a dozen family members of China's top political and military leaders are making use of offshore companies based in the British Virgin Islands, leaked financial documents reveal. The brother-in-law of China's current president, Xi Jinping, as well as the son and son-in-law of former premier Wen Jiabao are among the political relations making use of the offshore havens, financial records show. The documents also disclose the central role of major Western banks and accountancy firms ... in the offshore world, acting as middlemen in the establishing of companies. The Hong Kong office of Credit Suisse, for example, established the BVI company Trend Gold Consultants for Wen Yunsong, the son of Wen Jiabao, during his father's premiership — while PwC and UBS performed similar services for hundreds of other wealthy Chinese individuals. The disclosure of China's use of secretive financial structures is the latest revelation from "Offshore Secrets", a two-year reporting effort led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which obtained more than 200 gigabytes of leaked financial data from two companies in the British Virgin Islands, and shared the information with the Guardian and other international news outlets. In all, the ICIJ data reveals more than 21,000 clients from mainland China and Hong Kong have made use of offshore havens in the Caribbean. Between $1tn and $4tn in untraced assets have left China since 2000, according to estimates.
Note: Read the ICIJ's full report of the latest offshore links. For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.