Corporate Corruption News Stories
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption News Stories in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These corporate corruption news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Corporate Corruption News stories


Note: This comprehensive list of corporate corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

Europe's Secret Success
2014-05-26, New York Times
Posted: 2014-06-02 11:04:04
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/26/opinion/krugman-europes-secret-success.html

European economies, France in particular, get very bad press in America. Our political discourse is dominated by reverse Robin-Hoodism — the belief that economic success depends on being nice to the rich, who won’t create jobs if they are heavily taxed, and nasty to ordinary workers, who won’t accept jobs unless they have no alternative. And according to this ideology, Europe — with its high taxes and generous welfare states — does everything wrong. So Europe’s economic system must be collapsing, and a lot of reporting simply states the postulated collapse as a fact. The reality, however, is very different. Yes, Southern Europe is experiencing an economic crisis thanks to [a money muddle caused by Europe's premature adoption of a single currency]. But Northern European nations, France included, have done far better [than America]. French adults in their prime working years (25 to 54) are substantially more likely to have jobs than their U.S. counterparts. France’s prime-age employment rate overtook America’s early in the Bush administration. Other European nations with big welfare states, like Sweden and the Netherlands, do even better. On the core issue of providing jobs for people who really should be working, at this point old Europe is beating us hands down despite social benefits and regulations that, according to free-market ideologues, should be hugely job-destroying.

Note: For more on the collusion of the US government with financial corporations to maintain their profitability, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Why both sides of the political aisle are turning against Wall Street
2014-05-07, Christian Science Monitor
Posted: 2014-05-26 10:34:54
http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Robert-Reich/2014/0507/Why-both-sides-of-th...

More Americans than ever believe the economy is rigged in favor of Wall Street and big business and their enablers in Washington. We’re five years into a so-called recovery that’s been a bonanza for the rich but a bust for the middle class. “The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get it right down to their toes,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren. Which is fueling a new populism on both the left and the right. While still far apart, neo-populists on both sides are bending toward one another and against the establishment. And it’s not only the rhetoric that’s converging. Populists on the right and left are also coming together around six principles: 1. Cut the biggest Wall Street banks down to a size where they’re no longer too big to fail. 2. Resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act, separating investment from commercial banking and thereby preventing companies from gambling with their depositors’ money. 3. End corporate welfare – including subsidies to big oil, big agribusiness, big pharma, Wall Street, and the Ex-Im Bank. 5. Scale back American interventions overseas. 6. Oppose trade agreements crafted by big corporations. Two decades ago Democrats and Republicans enacted the North American Free Trade Agreement. Since then populists in both parties have mounted increasing opposition to such agreements. Left and right-wing populists remain deeply divided over the role of government. Even so, the major fault line in American politics seems to be shifting, from Democrat versus Republican, to populist versus establishment — those who think the game is rigged versus those who do the rigging.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Credit Suisse Pleads Guilty to Aiding Tax Evasion
2014-05-20, NBC News/Reuters
Posted: 2014-05-26 10:27:51
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/55216700#.U4CjcHbRl9Q

Credit Suisse has agreed to pay a $2.5 billion fine to authorities in the United States for helping Americans evade taxes, after becoming the largest bank in 20 years to plead guilty to a U.S. criminal charge. Switzerland's second largest bank escaped what could have been the worst outcome for its business - its top management stayed in place and it will not have to hand over client data, protected by Swiss secrecy laws. And the New York state bank regulator decided not to revoke the bank's license in the state. U.S. prosecutors said the bank helped clients deceive U.S. tax authorities by concealing assets in illegal, undeclared bank accounts, in a conspiracy that spanned decades, and in one case began more than a century ago. The Justice Department has not often pursued such convictions of financial companies, especially large ones that could become destabilized following an indictment. Credit Suisse will pay the penalties to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Reserve and New York's banking regulator, the New York State Department of Financial Services. It had already paid just under $200 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some analysts said clients and counterparties could pull their business due to the guilty plea. The United States has been trying to wrest client data from Swiss banks in a long-standing fight with Switzerland and its bank secrecy laws. The standoff has already forced Wegelin & Co, the oldest Swiss private bank, to close shop after a guilty plea to charges of helping U.S. clients evade taxes.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Fracking is depleting water supplies in America's driest areas, report shows
2014-02-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-05-19 07:31:13
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/05/fracking-water-america-dro...

America's oil and gas rush is depleting water supplies in the driest and most drought-prone areas of the country, from Texas to California, new research has found. Of the nearly 40,000 oil and gas wells drilled since 2011, three-quarters were located in areas where water is scarce, and 55% were in areas experiencing drought, the report by the Ceres investor network found. Fracking those wells used 97bn gallons of water, raising new concerns about unforeseen costs of America's energy rush. "Hydraulic fracturing is increasing competitive pressures for water in some of the country's most water-stressed and drought-ridden regions," said Mindy Lubber, president of the Ceres green investors' network. Without new tougher regulations on water use, she warned industry could be on a "collision course" with other water users. "It's a wake-up call," said Prof James Famiglietti, a hydrologist at the University of California, Irvine. "[I]t is time to have a conversation about what impacts there are, and do our best to try to minimise any damage." It can take millions of gallons of fresh water to frack a single well, and much of the drilling is tightly concentrated in areas where water is in chronically short supply, or where there have been multi-year droughts. Half of the 97bn gallons of water was used to frack wells in Texas, which has experienced severe drought for years. "Shale producers are having significant impacts at the county level, especially in smaller rural counties with limited water infrastructure capacity," the report said.

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




The Koch Attack on Solar Energy
2014-04-27, New York Times
Posted: 2014-05-05 11:33:35
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/27/opinion/sunday/the-koch-attack-on-solar-ene...

At long last, the Koch brothers and their conservative allies in state government have found a new tax they can support. Naturally it’s a tax on something the country needs: solar energy panels. For the last few months, the Kochs and other big polluters have been spending heavily to fight incentives for renewable energy, which have been adopted by most states. They particularly dislike state laws that allow homeowners with solar panels to sell power they don’t need back to electric utilities. So they’ve been pushing legislatures to impose a surtax on this increasingly popular practice, hoping to make installing solar panels on houses less attractive. Oklahoma lawmakers recently approved such a surcharge at the behest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that often dictates bills to Republican statehouses and receives financing from the utility industry and fossil-fuel producers, including the Kochs. [The] group is trying to repeal or freeze Ohio’s requirement that 12.5 percent of the state’s electric power come from renewable sources like solar and wind by 2025. Twenty-nine states have established similar standards that call for 10 percent or more in renewable power. These states can now anticipate well-financed campaigns to eliminate these targets or scale them back. The coal producers’ motivation is clear: They see solar and wind energy as a long-term threat to their businesses.

Note: For more on the growth of the solar energy industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Koch brothers, big utilities attack solar, green energy policies
2014-04-19, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2014-05-05 11:31:50
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-solar-kochs-20140420,0,7412286.story#axzz...

The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states. Alarmed environmentalists and their allies in the solar industry have fought back, battling the other side to a draw so far. Both sides say the fight is growing more intense as new states, including Ohio, South Carolina and Washington, enter the fray. At the nub of the dispute are two policies found in dozens of states. One requires utilities to get a certain share of power from renewable sources. The other, known as net metering, guarantees homeowners or businesses with solar panels on their roofs the right to sell any excess electricity back into the power grid at attractive rates. Net metering forms the linchpin of the solar-energy business model. Without it, firms say, solar power would be prohibitively expensive. The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates. The group's campaign in [Kansas] compared the green energy mandate to Obamacare, featuring ominous images of Kathleen Sebelius, the outgoing secretary of Health and Human Services, who was Kansas' governor when the state adopted the requirement.

Note: For more on the growth of the solar energy industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic
2014-04-24, New York Times
Posted: 2014-04-29 11:42:40
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html

The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead. The Federal Communications Commission said on [April 23] that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers. The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality — the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose. The proposal comes three months after a federal appeals court struck down, for the second time, agency rules intended to guarantee a free and open Internet. The regulations could radically reshape how Internet content is delivered to consumers. The rules are also likely to eventually raise prices as the likes of Disney and Netflix pass on to customers whatever they pay for the speedier lanes, which are the digital equivalent of an uncongested car pool lane on a busy freeway. Consumer groups immediately attacked the proposal, saying that not only would costs rise, but also that big, rich companies with the money to pay large fees to Internet service providers would be favored over small start-ups with innovative business models.

Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Elizabeth Warren’s ‘A Fighting Chance’: An exclusive excerpt on the foreclosure crisis
2014-04-26, Boston Globe
Posted: 2014-04-29 11:35:54
http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2014/04/26/elizabeth-warren-new-memoir-ex...

In fall 2009, Secretary Timothy Geithner invited people working on TARP oversight to a meeting. After we had listened to the secretary go on and on about his department’s cheery projections for recovery, I finally interrupted with a question about a new topic. Why, I asked, had Treasury’s response to the flood of foreclosures been so small? The Congressional Oversight Panel had been sharply critical of Treasury’s foreclosure plan. We thought that the program was poorly designed and poorly managed and provided little permanent help, and we worried that it would reach too few people to make any real difference. The secretary ... quickly launched into a general discussion of his approach to dealing with foreclosures, rehashing the plan that the Congressional Oversight Panel had already reviewed. Next, he explained why Treasury’s efforts were perfectly adequate. Then he hit his key point: The banks could manage only so many foreclosures at a time, and Treasury wanted to slow down the pace so the banks wouldn’t be overwhelmed. And this was where the new foreclosure program came in: It was just big enough to “foam the runway” for them. There it was: The Treasury foreclosure program was intended to foam the runway to protect against a crash landing by the banks. Millions of people were getting tossed out on the street, but the secretary of the Treasury believed the government’s most important job was to provide a soft landing for the tender fannies of the banks.

Note: Adapted from A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren. For more on the government's collusion with the big banks before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis brought about by fraudulent mortgage sales, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Tamiflu: drugs given for swine flu 'were waste of £500m'
2014-04-10, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:19:22
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/swine-flu/10756200/Tamiflu-drugs-given-for-...

The drug Tamiflu, given to tens of thousands of people during the swine flu pandemic, does nothing to halt the spread of influenza and the [UK] Government wasted nearly £500 million stockpiling it, a major study has found. The review, authored by Oxford University, claims that Roche, the drug’s Swiss manufacturer, gave a “false impression” of its effectiveness and accuses the company of “sloppy science”. The study found that Tamiflu, which was given to 240,000 people in the UK at a rate of 1,000 a week, has been linked to suicides of children in Japan and suggested that, far from easing flu symptoms, it could actually worsen them. Roche claimed at the time of the 2009 swine flu outbreak that trials had shown that it would reduce hospital admissions and complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis or sinusitis. Based on [these claims], the Department of Health bought around 40 million doses of Tamiflu at a cost of £424 million and prescribed it to around 240,000 people. In 2009, 0.5 per cent of the entire NHS budget was spent on the drug. However, researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration, a not-for-profit organisation which carries out reviews of health data, found that Tamiflu only cut flu-like symptoms from seven days to 6.3 days and there was no evidence of a reduction in hospital admissions. Eight children who took the drug in Japan ended up committing suicide after suffering psychotic episodes. Other side effects included kidney problems, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Many people reported feeling anxious or depressed when taking the drug.

Note: We sent out numerous messages at the time of all the fear-mongering around the avian and swine flu scares that this was wasting huge amounts of money. Of course the money wasn't just wasted, much of it went into the pockets of Donald Rumsfeld and others, as reported in this newspaper article. For the revealing news articles we compiled showing the blatant greed and corruption involved, click here.




Canadian Brad Katsuyama in spotlight over 'rigged' markets allegation
2014-04-01, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Posted: 2014-04-21 08:12:39
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/canadian-brad-katsuyama-in-spotlight-over-rig...

A Canadian who works on Wall Street is emerging in some quarters as a hero for revealing the inner workings of high frequency traders who critics have accused of rigging the stock market and taking investors for billions. Brad Katsuyama now runs IEX – the Investors Exchange – a new Wall Street trading platform he founded. But it was in his former capacity as the head trader in New York for RBC Capital Markets that he caught the attention of popular financial writer Michael Lewis. Katsuyama gets star billing in Lewis’s new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. Katsuyama told Lewis that he had uncovered the methods high frequency traders use to get what he considers to be an unfair advantage over other investors. Katsuyama noticed that when he would send a large stock order to the market, it would only be partially filled, and then he would have to pay a higher price for the rest of the order. When he investigated, he found that his orders travelled along fibre-optic lines and hit the closest exchange first, where high frequency traders would use their speed advantage to buy the shares he wanted and then sell them to him at a slightly higher price – all in milliseconds. "They are able to identify your desire to buy shares in Microsoft and buy them in front of you and sell them back to you at a higher price," Lewis told 60 Minutes. “The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism, is rigged.” The main thrust of Lewis’s new book is that high-frequency traders use their speed advantage in predatory ways that end up cheating market participants small and large.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Is the U.S. stock market rigged?
2014-03-30, CBS News
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:49:49
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-the-us-stock-market-rigged/

In the last two weeks, the New York attorney general and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission in Washington have both launched investigations into high-frequency computerized stock trading that now controls more than half the market. The probes were announced just ahead of a much anticipated book on the subject by best-selling author Michael Lewis called Flash Boys. In it, Lewis argues that the stock market is now rigged to benefit a group of insiders that have made tens of billions of dollars exploiting computerized trading. The story is told through an unlikely cast of characters who figured out what was going on and have devised a plan to correct it. It could have a huge impact on Wall Street. Tonight, Michael Lewis talks about it for the first time. Steve Kroft: What's the headline here? Michael Lewis: Stock market's rigged. The United States stock market, the most iconic market in global capitalism is rigged. Steve Kroft: By whom? Michael Lewis: By a combination of these stock exchanges, the big Wall Street banks and high-frequency traders. Steve Kroft: Who are the victims? Michael Lewis: Everybody who has an investment in the stock market. If it wasn't complicated, it wouldn't be allowed to happen. The complexity disguises what is happening. If it's so complicated you can't understand it, then you can't question it. Steve Kroft: And this is all being done by computers? Michael Lewis: All being done by computers. It's too fast to be done by humans. Humans have been completely removed from the marketplace. The insiders are able to move faster than you.

Note: For an amazing story of greed and manipulation exposed on Wall Street, see the New York Times article on Flash Boys at this link.




Monsanto: The Enemy Of Family Farmers
2014-04-02, Huffington Post
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:36:39
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-kucinich/the-enemy-of-family-farmers_...

Consumers around the world are becoming aware of the dangers of industrial, chemical-based agriculture. The most legitimate science and research bodies recommend turning toward organic and sustainable agriculture, shunning genetically engineered (GE or GMO) products and the chemicals they are designed to promote. With the growth and power of the food movement, corporate giants are beginning to take action. After decades of employing a "block-us-and-we'll-sue-you" approach, Monsanto recently began an intense makeover PR campaign: popularity by association. Monsanto is cozying up to the reputation, authenticity and wholesomeness of family farmers -- and hoping the all-American nostalgia many associate with the small scale farmer rubs off on them. During the Super Bowl, key media markets saw Monsanto's "It Begins with a Farmer" commercials, which were intended to demonstrate that the company shares the same values as family farmers and the consumers they feed and clothe. In reality, Monsanto is no friend to the family farmer or the communities they live in and support. In fact, Monsanto (and other chemical companies like Dow Chemical, Syngenta, BASF, Pioneer/Dupont, and Bayer) have forced small farmers into a dying breed. The cost of industrial agriculture forces farmers to get big or get out. This is particularly true of GE herbicide-resistant seeds, which USDA economists tell us have contributed to increased consolidation of farmland in fewer hands. In the end, family farmers get squeezed out by the mammoth farms enabled by biotechnology.

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




10 things wrong with what kids learn in school
2014-04-02, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2014-04-14 07:35:13
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/04/02/10-things-wron...

Mainstream media, cued by corporate press releases, routinely claim that America’s schools are markedly inferior to schools in other developed nations. The claim is part of an organized, long-running, generously funded campaign to undermine confidence in public schools to “prove” the need to privatize them. Educators have been handicapped for more than a century by a curriculum adopted to serve a too-narrow purpose—admission to college—and failure to address that curriculum’s problems has made the institution vulnerable to destructive corporate and political manipulation. Below are brief descriptions of some of the more obvious of those problems. 1. The standard core curriculum is stuck in the past. Adopted in the late 19th Century, the curriculum now shaping America’s schools reflects the “big idea” of that earlier era—the factory system, standardization of parts, mass production, centralized decision making, and passive worker compliance. None of those fit the present era. 2. The standard core curriculum is so inefficient it leaves little or no time for apprenticeships, internships, co-op programs, projects, and other ways of “learning by doing” (which is how most of us learned most of what we know). 3. The standard core curriculum gives thought processes other than recall short shrift, or no attention at all. The ability to remember is, of course, important, but the main educational challenge—making better sense of real-world experience—requires the ability not merely to recall but to infer, generalize, hypothesize, relate, synthesize, value, and so on. 4. The standard core curriculum ignores vast and important fields of knowledge.




Raging Against Hacks With Muckraker Turned Magazine-Maker Matt Taibbi
2014-03-09, New York Magazine
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:14:28
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/03/matt-taibbi-on-wall-street-first...

In mid-February, [reporter Matt] Taibbi announced he was leaving Rolling Stone, where he has worked for almost a decade, to start a digital magazine for First Look Media, the company owned by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar. The last few weeks have been consumed with business matters—hiring editorial staff, signing off on designs. Taibbi won’t discuss the exact format of the new venture, nor its name—that’s still being worked out, too—but he sees it focusing, in part, on the same matters of corporate malfeasance he’s been covering for years. What people expect, of course, is the ribald, loudly antagonistic voice of a writer who is, in his own words, “full of outrage.” The guy who compared Goldman Sachs to a “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” None of Taibbi’s anger at the “toothlessness” of the media has dissipated. Taibbi says his decision to leave Rolling Stone was predicated in part on ... his desire to “be on Glenn’s side.” Glenn being Glenn Greenwald, who, along with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, is currently editing another First Look property, the national-security-centric The Intercept, which has been live since February. “Glenn’s in this position of being a reporter trying to put out material that came from a whistle-blower, and now they’re both essentially in exile. It’s crazy. If the press corps that existed in the ’60s and ’70s had seen this situation, they’d be rising as one and denouncing the government for it,” Taibbi says.

Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Health conspiracy theories are widely believed
2014-03-19, USA Today
Posted: 2014-03-31 08:12:19
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/19/health-conspiracy-theori...

Nearly half of American adults believe the federal government, corporations or both are involved in at least one conspiracy to cover up health information, a new survey finds. Conspiracy theories on everything from cancer cures to cellphones to vaccines are well known and accepted by sizable segments of the population, according to a research letter published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. The findings reflect "a very low level of trust" in government and business, especially in pharmaceutical companies, says study co-author Eric Oliver, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. The online survey of 1,351 adults found: • 37% agree the Food and Drug Administration is keeping "natural cures for cancer and other diseases" away from the public because of "pressure from drug companies." • 20% believe health officials are hiding evidence that cellphones cause cancer. • 20% believe doctors and health officials push child vaccines even though they "know these vaccines cause autism and other psychological disorders." • Smaller numbers endorse theories involving fluoride, genetically modified foods and the deliberate infection of African Americans with HIV. • 49% believe at least one of the theories and 18% believe at least three. The beliefs also go along with certain health behaviors, the survey found. Those who believe at least three health conspiracy theories are less likely to use sunscreen, get flu shots or get check-ups and are more likely to use herbal remedies and eat organic foods.

Note: For an intriguing list of 10 major health cover-ups with evidence to back it up, click here.




U.S. Criticized for Lack of Action on Mortgage Fraud
2014-03-13, New York Times
Posted: 2014-03-25 10:30:39
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/03/13/u-s-overstates-efforts-to-prosecute-mo...

Four years after President Obama promised to crack down on mortgage fraud, his administration has quietly made the crime its lowest priority and has closed hundreds of cases after little or no investigation, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog said on [March 13]. The report by the department’s inspector general undercuts the president’s contentions that the government is holding people responsible for the collapse of the financial and housing markets. The administration has been criticized, in particular, for not pursuing large banks and their executives. The inspector general’s report ... shows that the F.B.I. considered mortgage fraud to be its lowest-ranked national criminal priority. In several large cities, including New York and Los Angeles, F.B.I. agents either ranked mortgage fraud as a low priority or did not rank it at all. The F.B.I. received $196 million from the 2009 to 2011 fiscal years to investigate mortgage fraud, the report said, but the number of pending cases and agents investigating them dropped in 2011. Mortgage fraud was one of the causes of the 2008 financial collapse. Mortgage brokers and lenders falsified documents, sometimes to make mortgages look safer, other times to make the property look more valuable.

Note: For more on government collusion with the banking industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




10 Things Elizabeth Warren's Consumer Protection Agency Has Done for You
2014-03-14, Mother Jones
Posted: 2014-03-25 10:28:50
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/elizabeth-warren-consumer-financi...

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the watchdog agency conceived of and established by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in the wake of the financial crisis, ... has issued dozens of protections shielding consumers from shady practices by mortgage lenders, student loan servicers, and credit card companies. Here are ten things the CFPB, which was created in 2011, has done to protect the little guy: 1. Mortgage lenders can no longer push you into a high-priced loan. 2. New homeowners are less likely to be hit by foreclosure. 3. If you are are delinquent on your mortgage payments, loan servicers have to try harder to help you avoid foreclosure. 4. Millions of Americans get a low-cost home loan counselor. 5. Borrowers with high-cost mortgages get an outside eye. 6. Fly-by-night financial players will be held accountable. 7. Folks scammed by credit card companies get refunds. 8. Student lenders face scrutiny. 9. Service members get extra protection. 10. Consumers get a help center: If your bank or lender does anything you think is unfair, the bureau has a division dedicated to fielding consumer complaints. The agency promises to work with companies to try to fix consumers' problems.

Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




It’s Official, Secret Money Corrupts
2014-03-18, New York Times blog
Posted: 2014-03-25 10:27:08
http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/its-official-secret-money-corr...

Lawmakers of both parties are desperately trying to stop the Internal Revenue Service from interfering with the most powerful political invention that ever fell into their laps: the use of non-profit groups as a source of unlimited and anonymous campaign money. An investigation now unfolding in Utah ... exposes in remarkable detail how profoundly the non-profit system can be corrupted for the benefit of a single industry and a single politician. The politician involved was John Swallow, a former lobbyist for an empire of payday-loan and check-cashing companies. When Mr. Swallow ran for Utah Attorney General as a Republican in 2012, his strategist established several social-welfare groups, which don’t have to name their donors, so that the payday-loan industry could support him financially without anyone knowing. The groups collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in secret donations from the industry, and the money was used to run attack ads against Mr. Swallow’s opponent, who wanted to crack down on payday lenders. The ads worked, and Mr. Swallow was elected. When the I.R.S. started looking into the non-profit groups and demanding documentation, ... Congressional Republicans accused the agency (falsely) of singling out conservative non-profit groups. Eventually, a parallel state investigation drove Mr. Swallow from office; he resigned last fall, and last week a state legislative panel accused him of breaching the public trust by hanging “a veritable ‘for sale’ sign on the office door that invited moneyed interests to seek special treatment and favors.”

Note: For more on serious problems with the US electoral system, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




U.S. Nuclear Agency Hid Concerns, Hailed Safety Record as Fukushima Melted
2014-03-10, NBC News
Posted: 2014-03-17 08:29:26
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/fukushima-anniversary/u-s-nuclear-agency-hid...

In the tense days after a powerful earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan on March 11, 2011, staff at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission made a concerted effort to play down the risk of earthquakes and tsunamis to America’s aging nuclear plants, according to thousands of internal emails reviewed by NBC News. The emails, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, show that the campaign to reassure the public about America’s nuclear industry came as the agency’s own experts were questioning U.S. safety standards and scrambling to determine whether new rules were needed to ensure that the meltdown occurring at the Japanese plant could not occur here. At the end of that long first weekend of the crisis three years ago, NRC Public Affairs Director Eliot Brenner thanked his staff for sticking to the talking points that the team had been distributing to senior officials and the public. "While we know more than these say," Brenner wrote, "we're sticking to this story for now." There are numerous examples in the emails of apparent misdirection or concealment in the initial weeks after the Japanese plant was devastated: When asked to help reporters explain what would happen during the worst-case scenario -- a nuclear meltdown -- the agency declined to address the questions. The emails pull back the curtain on the agency’s efforts to protect the industry it is supposed to regulate. The NRC officials didn't lie, but they didn't always tell the whole truth either. When someone asked about a topic that might reflect negatively on the industry, they changed the subject.

Note: For more on corruption in the nuclear power industry, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Scientists' hidden links to the GM food giants
2014-03-14, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
Posted: 2014-03-17 08:19:18
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2581387/Scientists-hidden-links-GM-fo...

The authors of a study calling for GM crops to be fast-tracked into Britain’s farms and kitchens all have links to the industry. The report was presented as the work of ‘independent’ scientists and was published on [March 13] by a government advisory body. It was used to support a bid to speed up the development of the controversial crops in the UK, but it has emerged that all five authors have a vested interest in promoting GM crops and food – and some are part-funded by the industry. Critics of GM [have] described the report as ‘biased and downright dangerous’, and accused the biotech giants and the Government of mounting a crude propaganda campaign to overturn public opposition. The academics behind the study were chosen by the Council for Science and Technology, the body that advises the Prime Minister on science policy issues. They include Professor Sir David Baulcombe, from Cambridge University, who works as a consultant for GM firm Syngenta, which gives his department research funding. Syngenta is behind a genetically modified maize or corn, called GA21, which could go into UK farms as early as next spring, making it Britain’s first commercially grown GM crop. Also on the list is Professor Jonathan Jones, of the Sainsbury Laboratory, which is at the centre of Britain’s GM research. It is part-funded by former Labour science minister, Lord Sainsbury, who is one of the country’s biggest supporters of the technology. Another co-author was Professor Jim Dunwell, of the University of Reading. He was a founder member of CropGen, which describes its mission as ‘to make the case for GM crops and foods’

Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here. For an excellent summary of the risks and dangers from GMO foods, click here.





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