Corporate Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Corporate Corruption News Stories in Major Media
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.
"An Open Secret" is an unsettling look at pedophilia in Hollywood. The film's distillation of firsthand testimony and archival material has haunting implications. Amid the sickening recollections of victims and the even more sickening justifications of abusers, alleged and convicted, a picture emerges of a business devoid of oversight, where starry-eyed kids and trusting parents are easy prey. The [documentary by Amy Berg] advocates for transparency and an active watchdog apparatus, and it points to instances where convicted child molesters continue to work with children in the industry. Mainly, the film explores the shadows where managers, agents, producers and other power players take their predatory bonding with boys to criminal extremes. Five young men step forward to share their accusations of abuse. One of them, Michael Egan, filed headline-making allegations against Hollywood figures in 2014 — claims that he later dropped, an outcome that changed the trajectory of the film. However, an ongoing dispute between Berg and performers' union SAG-AFTRA, which threatened legal action over references to it, doesn't appear to have affected the finished product. With a healthy sense of outrage, it illuminates a long-standing culture in which lines of moral responsibility are blurred and accountability is all but nil.
Note: Don't miss this incredible film which follows five boys and their families who were gradually ensnared by a secret Hollywood pedophile ring which ruins their lives. It is available for free viewing on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Elijah Wood called out child exploitation in Hollywood earlier this week. He later made it clear that he was not speaking from personal experience. But Corey Feldman wants people to know that he knows about Hollywood's child abuse problem firsthand. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Feldman said he was molested as a child actor, and that his best friend Corey Haim was raped at the age of 11. He said that he has had to go through "a lot of therapy" to cope with his traumatic childhood; the actor said his molestations came "from several hands." "Ask anybody in our group of kids at that time: They were passing us back and forth to each other," said Feldman, adding that grown men in Hollywood would host parties and invite mostly kids aged 10 to 16 with just a few adults in the mix. "[Alison Arngrim] from 'Little House on the Prairie' said [in an interview], 'Everybody knew that the two Coreys were just being passed around.' Like it was something people joked about on studio lots." Feldman added that he still can't imagine what it was like for Haim to have been raped. "My son is 11 now, and I can't even begin to fathom the idea of something like that happening to him," he said. Feldman said that while he would love to name names, he was afraid to do so because of the legal conundrum it would inflict on him, but he said he has bumped into one of his molesters several times and has never confronted him.
Note: Don't miss the incredible film "An Open Secret" which follows five boys and their families who were gradually ensnared by a secret Hollywood pedophile ring which ruins their lives. It is available for free viewing on this webpage. The entire "Secret Societies in Hollywood" series is available here. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Would you read a story if this was the headline: "New study raises questions about an experimental treatment that might not work and won't be ready for a long time." That description would apply to most medical studies that make the news but would be unlikely to generate the clicks, taps, likes and shares that propel a story through cyberspace and social media. What gets clicks? Words like "breakthrough," "groundbreaking," "game changer" and "lifesaver." Since the 1970s, the use of positive words in scientific abstracts increased by 880 per cent, according to a study last December in the British Medical Journal. And now, the world's stem cell scientists have been told to stop the hype. The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) issued new guidelines last week that urge scientists to dial back their enthusiasm when talking publicly about their research. Because people are getting hurt. Last December, the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. issued a warning letter to a U.S.-based company offering stem cell therapies for a range of diseases, including autism, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. And a U.K. newspaper claims its undercover investigation lead to the closure of a controversial clinic in Germany where a child died after having stem cells injected into his brain. "There is ... an industry already out there that is marketing unproven therapies directly to patients," said George Daley, a member of the ISSCR and a professor at Harvard Medical School. "It is part of the concern that has raised the alarm."
Note: According to Richard Horton, chief editor of The Lancet, up to half of all science journal claims may be untrue. Read also the revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the health industry. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
When the price of the blood-pressure drug Nitropress leaped from $215 to $881 last year, an increase of 300%, it triggered public outrage. [Drug maker] Valeant Pharmaceuticals International ... would buy patents for unique, lifesaving drugs, hike their prices and then watch the profits roll in. In the wake of the Valeant pricing scandal ... congressional and media investigations have revealed that the embattled company’s business model is hardly unique. In a memo from Oct. 16, 2015 ... the global investment bank Canaccord Genuity wrote that the price increases were not out of the ordinary. In a report from the same day, BMO Capital Markets reiterated that Valeant’s tactics were a “common industry practice” and that “at least 14 different pharmaceutical companies, excluding Valeant,” had made similar price hikes in recent years. The drug industry boasts some of the biggest profits of any industry. Wall Street investors have swooned over the sector. From 2012 to the middle of 2015, more than $50 billion in new capital poured into the industry. That influx of cash shifted the character of the industry. Instead of focusing on time-consuming R&D, drug companies began worrying more about delivering short-term gains to shareholders. For 20 of the biggest drug companies, 80% of shareholder earnings in 2014 were the result of price hikes. [The] industry ... spends more on lobbying than any other industry in the country.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing big Pharma profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.
Brazil’s suspended president has described the impeachment campaign as "more clearly than ever" a "coup" after leaked tapes suggested that her opponents were trying to remove her simply to halt a corruption probe. In only her second public appearance since being removed from office pending a trial, Dilma Rousseff responded to new evidence suggesting that the aim of the impeachment process is stifle a massive corruption inquiry, known as the “Car Wash” probe. Leaked tapes appear to show Romero Jucá, the planning minister in the new government, discussing the impeachment process as a way of stopping the “Car Wash” inquiry into corruption at Petrobras, the state oil company ... which has implicated dozens of politicians. In the conversation, Mr Jucá appears to agree that “there has to be an impeachment” to halt the probe. Mr Jucá has also been suspended from office. The revelations boosted Ms Rousseff’s Workers’ Party, or “PT”, which has repeatedly described the campaign to oust her as a “coup”. Ricardo Berzoini, a senior member of Ms Rousseff’s cabinet, said the “revelation” of the tapes “demonstrates the real reason for the coup against democracy.” Mr Berzoini added: “The goal is to stop the Car Wash investigation and sweep the investigation under the rug. The Brazilian people have a right to know everything about these recordings. We cannot allow a dialogue like this to not be investigated thoroughly.”
Note: This coup is reportedly handing literal control of Brazil's economy to Goldman Sachs and bank industry lobbyists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
Say the name Bernie Madoff, and chances are everyone will immediately remember the Ponzi scheme that bilked investors of $64 billion. What likely won’t spring to mind is JPMorgan Chase’s role in the more than decadelong fraud. And the link is all the more egregious, Helen Davis Chaitman, an attorney who represents 1,600 of Madoff’s victims, and Lance Gotthoffer write in “JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook,” because the federal government has failed to prosecute any of the bankers involved. Madoff trustee Irving Picard laid out JPMorgan’s involvement in a complaint, which was turned into a list of stipulations the government entered as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with JPMorgan. The stipulations outline two violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, under which banks are responsible for alerting authorities to suspected illegal activity by customers. JPMorgan, the world’s sixth-largest bank by total assets, pleaded ignorance of wrongdoing but accepted the stipulations and paid a $1.7 billion fine. [When] Madoff began kiting checks ... Bankers Trust Co. spotted the illegal activity and closed Madoff’s account. That’s when Madoff moved his business to JPMorgan, depositing $150 billion from 1986 through 2008. JPMorgan handled only Madoff’s illegal investment advisory business, not the successful stock trading business that employed 190 of Madoff’s 200 employees. And though the bank was prosecuted, none of the bankers involved with Madoff’s account were.
Note: JP Morgan Chase's role in the Madoff scandal is outrageous, but it is relatively minor in comparison to the massive securities fraud and cover-up perpetrated by this and other corrupt financial institutions.
Helen Davis Chaitman, the lead attorney for Madoff’s victims and the author of The Law of Lender Liability, and Lance Gotthoffer, one of our nation’s premier litigators, are blowing the whistle on JPMorgan Chase big time. Their explosive ... book [is titled], “JPMadoff: The Unholy Alliance Between America’s Biggest Bank and America’s Biggest Crook.” This book is ... about the incestuous relationship between so-called U.S. federal prosecutors, politicians for whom they worked, and the flow of Wall Street money to those politicians. JPMC knew, for 20 years, that Madoff was conducting illegal transactions in his account at the Bank. JPMC had a unique window into Madoff’s crimes. And they said nothing to federal authorities ... in clear violation of our banking laws. In 1994 a JPMC officer wrote a memo analyzing the check kiting and calling it “outrageous.” But what he thought was outrageous was not that Madoff [was] violating the law, but that [he was] being paid interest by the Bank on uncleared funds. As a result, JPMC allowed the transactions to continue but required Levy and Madoff to pay back the interest the Bank had paid them on uncleared funds. In January 2014, JPMC paid over $3 billion to settle civil and criminal charges that it violated the law in its dealings with Madoff. They [had] waited until after Madoff confessed and was arrested to report to United States law enforcement that Madoff might have been operating illegally.
Note: JP Morgan Chase's role in the Madoff scandal is outrageous, but it is relatively minor in comparison to the massive securities fraud and cover-up perpetrated by this and other big banks in cooperation with corrupt government officials. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Two former Merck & Co Inc scientists accusing the drugmaker of falsifying tests of its exclusive mumps vaccine said in a court filing on Monday that Merck is refusing to respond to questions about the efficacy of the vaccine. Attorneys ... who represent the scientists asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Lynne Sitarski of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to compel Merck to respond to their discovery request, which asks the company to give the efficacy of the vaccine as a percentage. Instead of answering the question, the letter said, Merck has been consistently evasive ... saying it cannot run a new clinical trial to determine the current efficacy, and providing only data from 50 years ago. The two scientists, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, filed their whistleblower lawsuit in 2010 claiming Merck, the only company licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to sell a mumps vaccine in the United States, skewed tests of the vaccine by adding animal antibodies to blood samples. As a result, they said, Merck was able to produce test results showing that the vaccine was 95 percent effective, even though more accurate tests would have shown a lower success rate. The plaintiffs said these false results kept competitors from trying to produce their own mumps vaccines, since they were unable to match the effectiveness Merck claimed.
Note: For more, read this excellent mercola.com article revealing how a single vaccine can bring in $6 billion in revenue to one company. Read in a CNN report that all 40 Harvard students who recently came down with the mumps had been vaccinated against the disease. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing vaccine controversy news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Panama Papers affair has widened, with a huge database of documents relating to more than 200,000 offshore accounts posted online. The papers belonged to Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca and were leaked by a source simply known as "John Doe". The documents have revealed the hidden assets of hundreds of politicians, officials, current and former national leaders, celebrities and sports stars. They list more than 200,000 shell companies, foundations and trusts set up ... around the world. Offshore companies are not illegal but their function is often to conceal both the origin and the owners of money, and to avoid tax payments. 11.5 million documents [were] originally given to the German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The paper allowed the ICIJ to have access. Hundreds of journalists ... then worked on the data. Their reporting was published last month. On Monday, 300 economists signed a letter urging world leaders to end tax havens, saying they only benefited rich individuals and multinational corporations, while boosting inequality. Last week, "John Doe" issued an 1,800-word statement, citing "income equality" as his motive [for leaking the documents]. He said: "Banks, financial regulators and tax authorities have failed. Decisions have been made that have spared the wealthy while focusing instead on reining in middle- and low-income citizens." He revealed he had never worked for a spy agency or a government and offered to help law authorities make prosecutions in return for immunity.
Note: Explore an excellent webpage on how to use this database of the Panama Papers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about financial industry corruption and income inequality.
After four years of feuding over the legacy of Joe Paterno, with a few vague details about what he may have known about allegations of sexual abuse by one of his coaches, it is becoming clear there may be much more. There are now two allegations by men who say they were sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky, who also say they reported their abuse to the legendary coach in the 1970s. One of those allegations was made public in a court order related to a lawsuit ... over who should have to pay settlements to the more than 30 men who have come forward as victims of Sandusky. The other [allegation's source] has spoken to CNN, in great detail, explaining how he was a troubled young kid in 1971 when he was raped in a Penn State bathroom by Jerry Sandusky. Then, he says, his complaint about it was ignored by Paterno. "I'd be willing to sit on a witness stand and confront Joe Paterno," he told CNN last year. "Unfortunately he died and I didn't get to." This man ... was just 15 in 1971 when he says Sandusky raped him. Sandusky was 27, a budding public figure ... and was one year into his tenure as an assistant linebacker coach. This was long before he started his now-closed children's charity, The Second Mile, which prosecutors would later call his victim factory. Until now, the only public allegations about Paterno's knowledge of Sandusky's crimes involved a 1998 police report which initially went nowhere, and a 2001 report by Mike McQueary, one of Paterno's assistant coaches.
Note: Read more about how senior Penn State officials covered up Sandusky's crimes due to fears of bad publicity. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Manufacturing jobs used to be a path to the middle class. But now many skilled, working Americans need some form of public assistance because their wages don’t pay for basic living expenses. Over 2 million supervised manufacturing workers, or about a third of the total, need food stamps, Medicaid, tax credits for the poor or other forms of publicly subsided assistance while they work on goods that can carry the tag “Made in the U.S.A.,” according to research of official government wage and welfare data released Tuesday by the University of California, Berkeley. The cost of these benefits to the U.S. taxpayer? From 2009 to 2013, federal and state governments subsidized the low manufacturing wages paid by the private sector to the tune of $10.2 million per year. “In decades past, production workers employed in manufacturing earned wages significantly higher than the U.S. average, but by 2013 the typical manufacturing production worker made 7.7 percent below the median wage for all occupations,” said the paper. The research aimed to extend an already well-established national debate on wages paid in the service industry, which are often juxtaposed to the factory work that lifted millions of Americans out of poverty for much of the 20th century. The research comes as U.S. workers overall are experiencing one of the lowest paces of wage growth on record.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.
We live in a time when people are less optimistic, more cynical and have lower expectations, in part because they see government and other institutions as ineffective and unresponsive. Of course the challenges we face today are as solvable as any problems we have confronted in the past. We as individuals still can make a difference. How? Well, one way is through our investments. We don’t have to wait for governments to take action. We can actually increase our influence over world events, and potentially have a greater impact (and feel a little less powerless) not just through civic participation, or voting, or supporting non-profits - all of which remain vitally important - but through our role as investors. Rather than investing in fossil fuel companies, you can invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy; clean water and pollution control; sustainable food and agriculture. The bottom line: As investors, we have more power than we realize. We can prod and pressure and cajole companies into doing the right thing. Unfortunately, too many of us fail to leverage this power. Investors are not powerless. We can move the needle. And ... it is both a moral imperative and an economic imperative that the needle be moved.
You've heard those hospital horror stories where the surgeon removes the wrong body part or operates on the wrong patient. Even scarier, perhaps, is a new study in the latest edition of BMJ suggesting most medical errors go unobserved, at least in the official record. In fact, the study, from doctors at Johns Hopkins, suggests medical errors may kill more people than lower respiratory diseases like emphysema and bronchitis do. That would make these medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the United States. That would place medical errors right behind heart disease and cancer. Through their analysis of four other studies examining death rate information, the doctors estimate there are at least 251,454 deaths due to medical errors annually in the United States. The authors believe the number is actually much higher, as home and nursing home deaths are not counted in that total. This is a much greater number than a highly cited 1999 study from the Institute of Medicine that put the number in the 44,000 to 98,000 range. Other studies have put estimates closer to 195,000 deaths a year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the inspector general in 2008 reported 180,000 deaths by medical error among Medicare patients alone. Dr. Martin Makary and Dr. Michael Daniel, who did the study, hope their analysis will lead to real reform in a health care system they argue is letting patients down.
Note: The above article does not mention prescription drug deaths. This is surprising, as prescription drugs were reported to have caused 123,000 deaths and 800,000 adverse patient outcomes such as disability in the US in 2014 alone. Read also the revealing comments of Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the massive corruption she found in the health industry. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Some of the largest food producers in the US have successfully petitioned Congress to propose a change to the Freedom of Information Act that would shield their communications with boards overseen by the US Department of Agriculture from the scrutiny of the public. The move follows a series of stories that showed the government-backed egg promoter, the American Egg Board, had attempted to stifle competition from ... food startup Hampton Creek, in direct conflict with its mandate. Several agricultural lobbyists including United Egg Producers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council have now sent a letter to the congressional subcommittee overseeing appropriations for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) asking to be exempted from Foia requests. The bill has not yet been passed. The government-backed food marketing groups are called “checkoff” programs. Their most recognizable presence is in the form of marketing slogans such as “The incredible, edible egg” or “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner”. The administrators of checkoff programs are appointed by the USDA. Contributing to the programs is mandatory [for food producers]. Small producers have long argued that checkoffs exclusively serve the interests of the their largest competitors. Activists say checkoffs often obscure the cruelties of industrial farming.
Note: Read an article showing how the USDA is often bought out by corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
The fossil fuel industry had already managed to shape a bill moving rapidly through Congress last summer, gaining provisions to ease its ability to export natural gas. But one key objective remained elusive: a measure limiting the authority of local communities to slow the construction of pipelines because of environmental concerns. Then, U.S. Rep. Fred Upton ... who chaired the House Energy Committee, gave the industry an opportunity to amplify its influence. Joining forces with Sen. Lisa Murkowski ... who chaired the Senate Energy Committee, he launched a so-called joint fundraising committee, a campaign war chest that would accept donations from a range of contributors, with the proceeds divided between the two lawmakers. Executives at one of the nation’s largest natural gas pipeline companies soon deposited more than $80,750 into the joint fund’s coffers. The very next day, Upton delivered on the industry’s aspirations: He rushed a bill through his legislative panel that would not only streamline the approval process for new pipelines but also empower federal officials to impose tight deadlines ... to review their potential environmental impacts. While joint fundraising committees have been a part of politics for decades ... the Murkowski-Upton committee stands out as a uniquely explicit means of influencing legislation, say campaign finance experts, because it ... gives the oil and gas industry an opportunity to write one check knowing the proceeds are reaching the leaders of the two panels that write the rules regulating their business.
There aren’t many things upon which Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree. But the candidates for president share an affinity for the same ... office building in Wilmington. Famous for helping tens of thousands of companies avoid hundreds of millions of dollars in tax ... 1209 North Orange is home to Apple, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Walmart and dozens of other companies. Being registered in Delaware lets companies take advantage of strict corporate secrecy rules, business-friendly courts and the “Delaware loophole”, which ... is said to have cost other states more than $9bn in lost taxes over the past decade. Both ... Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have companies registered at 1209 North Orange, and have refused to explain why. Clinton, who has repeatedly promised that as president she will crack down on “outrageous tax havens and loopholes”, [has] collected more than $16m in public speaking fees and book royalties in 2014 through the doors of 1209. Bill Clinton set up WJC LLC, a vehicle to collect his consultation fees, at the same address in 2008. The Clintons’ companies share the office with several of Trump’s companies. They include Trump International Management Corp and several companies that form part of ... a Trump partnership to develop more than $1bn worth of luxury condos on the west side of Manhattan. Of the 515 companies on Trump’s official Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing, 378 are registered in Delaware.
Note: The above article adds to the evidence that the US, which ranks third in the world in financial secrecy, is a one-party state. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.
The secret tax-dodging strategies of the global elite in China, Russia, Brazil, the U.K., and beyond were exposed in speculator fashion by the recent Panama Papers investigation, fueling a worldwide demand for a crackdown on tax avoidance. But there is little appetite in Congress for taking on powerful tax dodgers in the U.S., where the practice has become commonplace ... especially given that some of the largest companies paying little to no federal taxes are among the biggest campaign contributors in the country. But there’s another reason to remain skeptical that Congress will move aggressively on tax avoidance: Former tax lobbyists now run the tax-writing committees. Many have stints in and out of government and the lobbying profession, a phenomenon known as the “reverse revolving door.” In other words, the lobbyists that help special interest groups and wealthy individuals minimize their tax bills are not only everywhere on K Street, they’re literally managing the bodies that create tax law. Barbara Angus, the chief tax counsel of the House Ways and Means Committee ... previously helped lobby lawmakers on tax policy on behalf of clients such as General Electric, HSBC, and Microsoft. Mike Evans became chief counsel for the Senate Finance Committee in 2014 after leaving his job as a lobbyist for ... JP Morgan, Peabody Energy, Brown-Forman, BNSF Railway, and other corporate clients. Verizon, Boeing, and General Electric, to name a few, paid no federal income taxes in recent years.
Note: The US ranks third in the world in financial secrecy. A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.
It’s not easy for outsiders to sort through all the competing claims about Brazil’s political crisis and the ongoing effort to oust its president, Dilma Rousseff. Brazilian oligarchs and their media organs are trying to install [current Vice President Michel Temer] as president. The New York Times’s Brazil bureau chief, Simon Romero, interviewed Temer this week. His excellent article begins: "One recent poll found that only 2 percent of Brazilians would vote for him. He is under scrutiny over ... a colossal graft scandal. Michel Temer, Brazil’s vice president, is preparing to take the helm of Brazil next month if the Senate decides to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial." The real plan behind Rousseff’s impeachment is ... protecting corruption, not punishing it. Who is going to take over Brazil’s economy and finances once Dilma’s election victory is nullified? Temer’s leading choice to run the central bank is the chair of Goldman Sachs in Brazil, Paulo Leme. Today, Reuters reported that “Murilo Portugal, the head of Brazil’s most powerful banking industry lobby” - and a long-time IMF official - “has emerged as a strong candidate to become finance minister if Temer takes power.” Temer also vowed that he would embrace austerity for Brazil’s already-suffering population. Brazilian financial and media elites are pretending that corruption is the reason for removing the twice-elected president of the country as they conspire to ... literally [hand] control over the Brazilian economy (the world’s seventh largest) to Goldman Sachs and bank industry lobbyists.
Have you heard about TTIP? If your answer is no, don’t get too worried; you’re not meant to have. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a series of trade negotiations being carried out mostly in secret between the EU and US. As a bi-lateral trade agreement, TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations. It is, as John Hilary, Executive Director of campaign group War on Want, said: “An assault on European and US societies by transnational corporations.” Since before TTIP negotiations began last February, the process has been secretive and undemocratic. But ... the covert nature of the talks may well be the least of our problems. TTIP’s biggest threat to society is its inherent assault on democracy. One of the main aims of TTIP is the introduction of Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), which allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments. There are around 500 ... cases of businesses versus nations going on around the world at the moment. They are all taking place before ‘arbitration tribunals’ made up of corporate lawyers appointed on an ad hoc basis, which according to War on Want’s John Hilary, are “little more than kangaroo courts” with “a vested interest in ruling in favour of business.”
A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission judge has found that a division of Shell Oil engaged in fraud and market manipulation during California’s energy crisis, with company traders joking on tape about burning the evidence if they were ever caught. The tentative decision ... holds Shell and Spanish energy company Iberdrola liable for $1.1 billion in ill-gotten profits, money that could be refunded to Californians if the decision stands. It could end the last legal case over the expensive, long-term power purchase contracts that California signed under duress during the 2000-01 crisis. The state has already settled with all other companies accused of unjustly profiting from the long-term contracts, settlements worth a total of $7.7 billion. Officials are still pushing complaints against 13 companies involved in short-term contracts during the crisis, but have settled with others for a total of roughly $4 billion. The initial decision ... details Shell traders using schemes similar to those employed by Enron to drive up day-to-day power prices, which then increased the price California had to pay on its long-term contracts. As a result, Californians ended up overpaying Shell by $779 million and Iberdrola by $371 million. One scheme the judge cited, called “Ricochet” by Enron and more commonly known as “megawatt laundering,” involved buying electricity within California to ship to a destination outside of the state while simultaneously selling the same power back into the state’s market at a higher price.
Note: Read the text of tape recordings of Enron traders laughing at the misery they caused in California. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: 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.