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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For an index to revealing excerpts of news articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
2013-04-25, Rolling Stone
Conspiracy theorists of the world, ... we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The world is a rigged game. The world's largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything. You may have heard of the Libor scandal, in which ... perhaps as many as 16 ... banks have been manipulating global interest rates, in the process [manipulating] the prices of upward of $500 trillion ... worth of financial instruments. Now Libor may have a twin brother. Word has leaked out that the London-based firm ICAP, the world's largest broker of interest-rate swaps, is being investigated by American authorities for behavior that sounds eerily reminiscent of the Libor mess. Regulators are looking into whether or not a small group of brokers at ICAP may have worked with up to 15 of the world's largest banks to manipulate ISDAfix, a benchmark number used around the world to calculate the prices of interest-rate swaps. Interest-rate swaps are a tool used by big cities, major corporations and sovereign governments to manage their debt, and the scale of their use is almost unimaginably massive. [It's] a $379 trillion market, meaning that any manipulation would affect a pile of assets about 100 times the size of the United States federal budget. It should surprise no one that among the players implicated in this scheme to fix the prices of interest-rate swaps are the same megabanks – including Barclays, UBS, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Scotland – that serve on the Libor panel that sets global interest rates.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the criminal practices of the financial industry, click here.
Big banks 'more dangerous than ever', IMF's Christine Lagarde says
2013-04-10, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Europe needs to recapitalise, restructure or shut down its banks as part of a vital clean-up of the industry, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde said as she warned that the threat from world’s biggest lenders was “more dangerous than ever”. Speaking in New York ahead of next week’s IMF Spring meeting, Ms Lagarde launched a broadside against the financial services industry for resisting urgent reform. “In too many cases – from the United States in 2008 to Cyprus today – we have seen what happens when a banking sector chooses the quick buck ..., backing a business model that ultimately destabilizes the economy. We simply cannot have pre-crisis banking in a post-crisis world. We need reform, even in the face of intense pushback from an industry sometimes reluctant to abandon lucrative lines of business.” Almost five years since Lehman Brothers collapsed, she claimed: “The 'oversize banking’ model of too-big-to-fail is more dangerous than ever. We must get to the root of the problem with comprehensive and clear regulation.” Regulators have forced banks to increase significantly their loss-absorbing capital buffers since the crisis, but are still working on "resolution" mechanisms that will allow giant lenders to fail without hitting the taxpayer and threatening financial stability. Regulators must also work together, she added, amid evidence that some countries are caving into pressure from the banking lobby.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.
The extraordinary range of people using offshore hideaways
2013-04-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The secret records obtained by ICIJ [International Consortium of Investigative Journalists] lay bare an extraordinary range of people using offshore hideaways.
They include ... families of despots, Wall Street swindlers, eastern European and Indonesian billionaires, Russian executives, [and] international arms dealers. The leaks illustrate how offshore financial secrecy has aggressively spread around the globe. The records detail offshore holdings in more than 170 territories; this represents the biggest stockpile of inside information about the offshore system ever obtained by a media organisation. Eighty-six journalists from 46 countries used both hi-tech data crunching and traditional reporting to sift through emails and account ledgers covering nearly 30 years. "Everything is much more geared toward business," David Marchant, publisher of OffshoreAlert, an online journal, said. "If you're dishonest, you can take advantage of that in a bad way." ICIJ's 15-month investigation found that ... the secrecy and lax oversight offered by the offshore world appears to allow fraud, tax-dodging and political corruption to thrive. A study by James S Henry, former chief economist at McKinsey & Company [and a board member of the Tax Justice Network], estimates that wealthy individuals have $21-$32tn tucked away in offshore havens – roughly equivalent to the size of the US and Japanese economies combined.
Note: To learn more about how all of this incredibly revealing data was obtained and processed, click here. For a powerfully revealing documentary showing how huge corporations park profits offshore to avoid taxes, click here.
Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore
2013-04-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Millions of internal records have leaked from Britain's offshore financial industry, exposing for the first time the identities of thousands of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world, from presidents to plutocrats, the daughter of a notorious dictator and a British millionaire accused of concealing assets from his ex-wife. The leak of 2m emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands, has the potential to cause a seismic shock worldwide to the booming offshore trade. The naming project may be extremely damaging for confidence among the world's wealthiest people, no longer certain that the size of their fortunes remains hidden from governments and from their neighbours. As well as Britons hiding wealth offshore, an extraordinary array of government officials and rich families across the world are identified, from Canada, the US, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, China, Thailand and former communist states. The Caribbean micro-state has incorporated more than a million such offshore entities since it began marketing itself worldwide in the 1980s. Owners' true identities are never revealed. Even the island's official financial regulators normally have no idea who is behind them.
The British Foreign Office depends on the BVI's company licensing revenue to subsidise this residual outpost of empire, while lawyers and accountants in the City of London benefit from a lucrative trade as intermediaries.
Note: For profiles of a few leading secret account holders, click here. For a powerfully revealing documentary showing how huge corporations park profits offshore to avoid taxes, click here.
Overseas stashes complicate tax reform
2013-03-28, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
According to a new report, most of the 30 companies listed on the Dow Jones industrial average are paying a far lower proportion of their profits in federal taxes - at a time when the Dow is reaching new highs - than they have in past decades. The main reason: not so much those yawning tax loopholes, but the multinationals' ability to stash more of their money overseas, where it's taxed at a lower rate and the feds can't touch it. Hewlett-Packard, according to the analysis, experienced the steepest percentage reduction in federal taxes - 47 percent since 1969. Intel's share of income paid in taxes has fallen by 29.6 percent since 1973, and Cisco Systems by 24.7 percent since 1989. U.S. multinationals ... often pay far less than the standard 35 percent corporate tax rate - a rate many of these companies are pushing to have significantly lowered. In its year-end report, Intel recorded $13 billion in profit - a record - and said its tax rate was approximately 29 percent. In 2010 HP paid $1.75 billion in income taxes on $9.4 billion of pretax income, a tax rate of 18.6 percent. As a share of the nation's GDP, U.S. corporate income tax has fallen by more than half, from 5.5 percent in 1946 to 2.6 percent in 2011.
Note: The statement about corporate income tax falling from 5.5 percent of GDP in 1946 to 2.6 percent in 2011 is quite misleading, making it appear that corporate taxes are a small percentage of total income. It is much more accurate to compare the total annual amount of corporate taxes to individuals' taxes. As this historical tax chart clearly shows, in 1946 corporate income tax receipts were 74% of the amount received from individual income taxes. By 2011, corporate taxes dropped to less than 17% of the amount paid in individual income taxes. That is a huge percentage drop in corporate taxes.
Court Docs Reveal Blackwater’s Secret CIA Past
2013-03-14, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
Last month a three-year-long federal prosecution of Blackwater collapsed. The government’s 15-felony indictment—on such charges as conspiring to hide purchases of automatic rifles and other weapons from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—could have led to years of jail time for Blackwater personnel. In the end, however, the government got only misdemeanor guilty pleas by two former executives, each of whom were sentenced to four months of house arrest, three years’ probation, and a fine of $5,000. Prosecutors dropped charges against three other executives named in the suit and abandoned the felony charges altogether. But the most noteworthy thing about the largely failed prosecution wasn’t the outcome. It was the tens of thousands of pages of documents—some declassified—that the litigation left in its wake. These documents illuminate Blackwater’s defense strategy: to defeat the charges it was facing, Blackwater built a case not only that it worked with the CIA—which was already widely known—but that it was in many ways an extension of the agency itself. [CEO Erik] Prince [said] recently, “Blackwater’s work with the CIA began when we provided specialized instructors and facilities that the Agency lacked. In the years that followed, the company became a virtual extension of the CIA because we were asked time and again to carry out dangerous missions, which the Agency either could not or would not do in-house.”
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the growing privatization of intelligence agency functions, click here.
Sugar industry's secret documents echo tobacco tactics
2013-03-08, CBC News (Canada's public broadcasting company)
When Cristin Couzens went on the hunt for evidence that Big Sugar had manipulated public opinion, she had no idea what she was doing. She was a dentist, not an investigative reporter. But she couldn't let go of the nagging suspicion that something was amiss. Her obsession started in an unlikely place, at a dental conference in Seattle in 2007 about diabetes and gum disease. When one speaker listed foods to avoid, there was no mention of sugar. "I thought this was very strange," Couzens said. She quit her job, exhausted her savings and spent 15 months scouring library archives. Then one day she found what she was looking for, in a cardboard box at the Colorado State University archives. What Couzens found was something food industry critics have been seeking for years — documents suggesting that the sugar industry used Big Tobacco tactics to deflect growing concern over the health effects of sugar. "So I had lists of their board reports, their financial statements, I had names of their scientific consultants, I had a list of research projects they funded, and I had these memos where they were describing how their PR men should handle conflict of interest questions from the press," she said. As Couzens sorted through the documents, the full extent of that campaign to forge public opinion emerged. The documents describe industry lobby efforts to sponsor scientific research, silence media reports critical of sugar, and block dietary guidelines to limit sugar consumption.
Note: Cristin Couzens publicized secret sugar industry documents in a magazine article titled "Big Sugar's Sweet Little Lies." For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Elizabeth Warren Wants HSBC Bankers Jailed for Money Laundering
2013-03-07, ABC News
Elizabeth Warren has a question: How much money does a bank have to launder before people go to jail? Warren ... posed that question numerous times to financial regulators at a Senate Banking Committee hearing [on] banks and money laundering. In December, U.S. Justice Department officials announced that HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, would pay a $1.92 billion fine after laundering $881 million for drug cartels in Mexico and Colombia. The two regulators, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome H. Powell, deflected Warren’s questions, saying that criminal prosecutions are for the Justice Department to decide. An exasperated Warren said, as she wrapped up her questioning, “If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night — every single individual associated with this — and I just think that’s fundamentally wrong.”
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collusion between government and finance, click here.
Why Americans are dying earlier than their international peers
Despite spending more per person on health care than any other country, Americans are getting sicker and dying younger than our international peers -- a problem persisting across all ages and both genders. [The National Research Council and Institute Of Medicine] panel released its report, titled "U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health," on [January 9]. "Our panel was unprepared for the gravity of the finding we uncovered," chair Steven Woolf wrote in the report's preface. Data from 2007 show Americans' life expectancy is 3.7 years shorter for men and 5.2 years shorter for women than in the leading nations -- Switzerland for men and Japan for women. As of 2011, 27 countries had higher life expectancies at birth than the United States. "The tragedy is not that the United States is losing a contest with other countries," the report states, "but that Americans are dying and suffering from illness and injury at rates that are demonstrably unnecessary." The report outlines nine health areas where the United States lags behind other rich nations, including infant mortality, homicides, teen pregnancy, drug-related deaths, obesity and disabilities. And our children are less likely than children in peer countries to reach their fifth birthday. "Many of these conditions have a particularly profound effect on young people, reducing the odds that Americans will live to age 50," the report states.
Note: For a much deeper analysis of the reasons behind this, see Dr. Mercola's insightful comments at this link.
The coming drone attack on America
2012-12-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
With the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here. In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by … the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds. Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them. An unclassified US Air Force document reported by CBS News expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil. This document accompanies a major federal push for drone deployment this year in the United States, accompanied by federal policies to encourage law enforcement agencies to obtain and use them locally, as well as by federal support for their commercial deployment. That is to say: now HSBC, Chase, Halliburton etc can have their very own fleets of domestic surveillance drones.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
The Bribery Aisle: How Wal-Mart Got Its Way in Mexico
2012-12-18, New York Times
After years of study, [San Juan Teotihuacán]’s elected leaders had just approved a new zoning map. The leaders wanted to limit growth near the pyramids, and they considered the town’s main entrance too congested already. As a result, the 2003 zoning map prohibited commercial development [there]. But 30 miles away in Mexico City, at the headquarters of Wal-Mart de Mexico, executives were not about to be thwarted by an unfavorable zoning decision. Instead, records and interviews show, they decided to undo the damage with one well-placed $52,000 bribe. The plan was simple. The zoning map would not become law until it was published in a government newspaper. So Wal-Mart de Mexico arranged to bribe an official to change the map before it was sent to the newspaper. Sure enough, when the map was published, the zoning ... was redrawn to allow Wal-Mart’s store. Problem solved. Wal-Mart de Mexico broke ground months later, provoking fierce opposition. The Times’s examination reveals that ... Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited. It used bribes to subvert democratic governance — public votes, open debates, transparent procedures. It used bribes to circumvent regulatory safeguards that protect Mexican citizens from unsafe construction. It used bribes to outflank rivals. Through confidential Wal-Mart documents, The Times identified 19 store sites across Mexico that were the target of Wal-Mart de Mexico’s bribes.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
Push to step up domestic use of drones
2012-11-27, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspapers)
Are unmanned aircraft, known to have difficulty avoiding collisions, safe to use in America's crowded airspace? And would their widespread use for surveillance result in unconstitutional invasions of privacy? Experts say neither question has been answered satisfactorily. Yet the federal government is rushing to open America's skies to tens of thousands of the drones - pushed to do so by a law championed by manufacturers of the unmanned aircraft. The 60-member House of Representatives' "drone caucus" - officially, the House Unmanned Systems Caucus - has helped push that agenda. And over the last four years, caucus members have drawn nearly $8 million in drone-related campaign contributions. Domestic use of drones began with limited aerial patrols of the nation's borders by Customs and Border Patrol authorities. But the industry and its allies pushed for more, leading to provisions in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, signed into law on Feb. 14 of this year. The law requires the FAA to fully integrate the unmanned aerial vehicles into national airspace by September 2015. The FAA has predicted that 30,000 drones could be flying in the United States in less than 20 years. House members from California, Texas, Virginia and New York on the bipartisan "drone caucus" received the lion's share of the funds channeled to lawmakers from dozens of firms that are members of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on drone killings and other war crimes committed by the US in its wars of aggression in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, click here.
Once-jailed banker gets $104 million whistleblower payout
2012-09-11, NBC News
Attorneys for jailed former Swiss banker Bradley Birkenfeld announced [on September 11] that the IRS will pay him $104 million as a whistleblower reward for information he turned over to the US government. The information Birkenfeld revealed detailed the inner workings of the secretive private wealth management division of the Swiss bank UBS, where the American-born Birkenfeld helped his US clients evade taxes by hiding wealth overseas. Tuesday's announcement represents an astonishing turn of fortune for Birkenfeld, who was released from federal prison in August after serving 31 months on charges relating to his efforts to help a wealthy client avoid taxes. Birkenfeld attorney Stephen Kohn said the information the former Swiss banker turned over to the IRS led directly to the $780 million fine paid to the US by his former employer, UBS, as well as leading over 35,000 taxpayers to participate in amnesty programs to voluntarily repatriate their illegal offshore accounts. That resulted in the collection of over $5 billion dollars in back taxes, fines and penalties that otherwise would have remained outside the reach of the government. Birkenfeld's disclosures also led to the first cracks in the legendarily secretive Swiss banking system, and ultimately the Swiss government changed its tax treaty with the United States. UBS turned over the names of more than than 4,900 U.S. taxpayers who held illegal offshore accounts. Investigations into those accounts are ongoing.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collusion between financial corporations and government regulators, click here.
Freedom of Choice Includes the Right to Know
2012-08-26, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (One of Seattle's leading newspapers)
In California ... voters will decide in the November election whether consumers should have the right to know what goes in their food. Proposition 37, if it passes, will require food manufacturers to disclose whether their products contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). It is estimated that 40 to 70 percent of foods currently sold in grocery stores in California contain some genetically altered ingredients. The [FDA] does not require safety studies, and no long-term research on potential health effects has been conducted yet, although there are reports of preliminary studies that have linked GMOs to allergies and other health risks. Proposition 37 does not intend to impose any bans. “It’s simply saying: Let’s give consumers information so we can choose for ourselves whether or not we want to eat genetically engineered foods. Consumers in 50 other countries – including all of Europe, Japan, China and Russia – all have this right,” argued Grant Lundberg, the CEO of Lundberg Family Farms, and Kathryn Phillips, Director of the Sierra Club California. Having started as a grassroots movement, Proposition 37 has a good chance of succeeding. A whopping 65 percent of registered voters in California say they support the measure. But so far, less than 3 million dollars have been raised by the organizers. Opponents, mainly chemical and food-processing companies, including Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow, Nestle, Coca Cola and Pepsico, have raised more than nine times as much. Ignoring facts and keeping information secret is not a sustainable strategy in the long run. California’s Right-to-Know movement could morph into something like that with the potential of spreading across the whole country.
Note: This article neglects to mention scientific studies which have shown that lab animals got very sick and some even died after being fed GM food. For a well researched and footnoted paper on this, click here. For a great collection of past major media articles revealing the serious risks and dangers of genetically modified foods, click here.
USDA panel gets altered-crops pay plan
2012-08-24, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
California voters this fall will decide a ballot measure that would require labeling of foods containing genetically engineered material. But the Department of Agriculture is already tied in knots over how to deal with the contamination of organic and conventional foods by biotech crops. On [August 27], a USDA advisory panel will consider a draft plan to compensate farmers whose crops have been contaminated by pollen, seeds or other stray genetically engineered material. The meeting is expected to be contentious, pitting the biotechnology and organic industries against each other. The draft report acknowledged the difficulty of preventing such material from accidentally entering the food supply and concerns that the purity of traditional seeds may be threatened. It also cited fears on both sides that official action to address contamination could send a signal to U.S. consumers and export markets in Europe, Japan and elsewhere that the purity and even safety of U.S. crops are suspect. Bioengineered crops dominate U.S. commodities, including 90 percent of U.S. corn. In some states, penetration is all but complete, including 99 percent of the Arkansas cotton crop. Most processed foods contain genetically engineered material. The organic industry said biotech companies should be responsible for containing their own genes and that contamination threatens the right of farmers to choose how to farm.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the dangers of genetically-modified foods, click here. For more on the California ballot measure to require GM labelling called the "right to know," click here.
Why Goldman Sachs, Other Wall Street Titans Are Not Being Prosecuted
2012-08-14, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
On [August 9] the Department of Justice announced it will not prosecute Goldman Sachs or any of its employees in a financial-fraud probe. Despite the Obama administration’s promises to clean up Wall Street in the wake of America’s worst financial crisis, there has not been a single criminal charge filed by the federal government against any top executive of the elite financial institutions. Why is that? In a word: cronyism. Take Goldman Sachs, for example. In 2008, Goldman Sachs employees were among Barack Obama’s top campaign contributors, giving a combined $1,013,091. [Attorney General] Eric Holder’s former law firm, Covington & Burling, also counts Goldman Sachs as one of its clients. Furthermore, in April 2011, when the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a scathing report detailing Goldman’s suspicious Abacus deal, several Goldman executives and their families began flooding Obama campaign coffers with donations, some giving the maximum $35,800. The individuals the DOJ’s “Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force” has placed in its prosecutorial crosshairs seem shockingly small compared with the Wall Street titans the Obama administration promised to bring to justice. To be sure, financial fraud of any kind is wrong and should be prosecuted. But locking up “pygmies” is hardly the kind of financial-fraud crackdown Americans expected in the wake of the largest financial crisis in U.S. history. Increasingly, there appear to be two sets of rules: one for the average citizen, and another for the connected cronies who rule the inside game.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corporations' control over government, see our Banking Bailout archive here.
Modified food will be on voters' menu
2012-08-10, Houston Chronicle (One of Houston's leading newspapers)
In November, voters will decide whether to make California the first state in the nation to require labels on most genetically modified food products. At least 18 states, including California, have tried to pass similar laws through their legislatures and failed. This time, however, the measure made it to the statewide ballot with 1 million citizen signatures; recent polls show Proposition 37 winning by a significant margin. Food activists across the country are watching the California battle closely, with opponents of genetic modification hoping to make the proposition a model for other states. Supporters of the law, including organic trade groups and environmentalists, say consumers have a right to know if the food they're eating contains genetically modified material - particularly when the long-term health effects are unclear. Seventy percent to 80 percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. are made with genetically engineered ingredients, including corn, soybeans, sugar beets and cotton oil. If the California measure passes, processed genetically engineered food products would include the words "Partially produced with genetic engineering" on the front or back label. For whole foods such as sweet corn or salmon, grocers would be required to have a sign on the shelf. Alcohol, most meat, eggs and dairy products would be exempt. Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology based in Iowa, said "Based on the evidence - damage to virtually every organ evaluated and immune and gastrointestinal problems - labels are needed."
Note: If you read this entire article, you will detect a clear bias against GMO labelling. It quotes a UCLA professor stating, "There is not one credible scientist working on this that would call it unsafe." Yet the article fails to mention the many scientists who have provided solid evidence that GMOs are unsafe. For a powerful essay showing the grave risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For a New York Times article listing several scientists who raised serious questions about GMOs, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on genetically modified foods, click here.
French Lawmakers Pass Trading Transaction Tax
2012-08-01, Bloomberg Businessweek
France’s parliament passed President Francois Hollande’s revised 2012 budget, including a 0.2 percent transaction tax on share purchases that takes effect today. The bill’s passage into law marks “the first step toward fiscal reform and a move toward justice,” Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said in a statement. With the vote, France becomes the first European country to impose a transaction tax on share purchases. The Hollande government is doubling the levy to 0.2 percent from the 0.1 percent tax initially advocated by former President Nicolas Sarkozy. Many institutional investors may escape the tax using so-called contracts for difference, or CFDs, offered by prime brokers that let them bet on a stock’s gain or loss with owning the shares. The transaction tax, aimed at curbing market speculation, will be paid on the purchase of 109 French stocks with market values of more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), including Pernod Ricard SA and Vivendi SA. The new budget law will be applied to transactions resulting in “a transfer of property” of companies trading in Paris, regardless of where the buyer or seller is based, and may be expanded next year along with some European partners. France estimated that the doubling of the tax will bring in an additional 170 million euros in 2012 and 500 million euros next year. The state will start collecting the tax in November, Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac’s press office said. The government estimated that the doubling of the tax will cut the volume of stock purchases to 800 billion euros from 1.05 trillion euros with a 0.1 percent levy and 1.3 trillion euros with no transaction tax.
Note: This exciting news is one of the most underreported events of the year. A universal FTT would stop much of the craziness in the derivatives market. The EU is also seriously considering implementing an FTT. Click here for more.
Jamie Dimon, welfare recipient
When JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testified in the U.S. House today, he presented himself as a champion of free-market capitalism in opposition to an overweening government. His position would be more convincing if his bank weren't such a beneficiary of corporate welfare. JPMorgan receives a government subsidy worth about $14 billion a year, according to research published by the International Monetary Fund. The money helps the bank pay big salaries and bonuses. More important, it distorts markets, fueling crises such as the recent subprime-lending disaster and the sovereign-debt debacle that is now threatening to destroy the euro and sink the global economy. In recent decades, governments and central banks around the world have developed a consistent pattern of behavior when trouble strikes banks that are large or interconnected enough to threaten the broader economy: They step in to ensure that all the bank's creditors, not just depositors, are paid in full. With each new banking crisis, the value of the implicit subsidy grows. JPMorgan's share of the subsidy is $14 billion a year, or about 77% of its net income for the past four quarters. In other words, U.S. taxpayers helped foot the bill for the multibillion-dollar trading loss that is the focus of today's hearing. When Dimon pushes back against capital requirements or the Volcker rule, it's worth remembering that he's pushing for a form of corporate welfare that, left unchecked, could lead to a crisis too big for the government to contain.
Note: For more vitally important information on this, explore the excellent, reliable information in our Banking Corruption Information Center available here. For other key major media articles showing blatant financial corruption, click here.
Chevron-Ecuador Fight Comes to Canada
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.