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Financial News Stories
Excerpts of Key Financial News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important banking and finance news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These banking and finance 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.

Note: This comprehensive list of banking and finance 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.


Tax evaders exposed: why the super-rich are even richer than we thought
2017-06-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-06-18 23:47:42
https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/jun/14/tax-evaders-exposed-why-su...

Tax records are invaluable for the study of economic inequality. Graphs published on the World Wealth and Income Database, for example, show just how ... this information can inform the public debate. The top 1% income share is now closely scrutinised by journalists and policymakers. But if the rich dodge taxes more than others, tax records will underestimate inequality. The key data source used in rich countries to study tax evasion is random tax audits – but these audits do not capture tax evasion by the very wealthy. In our recent study, however, we exploited a massive trove of data leaked from HSBC Switzerland, the so-called HSBC files, to fill this gap. We also made use of the Panama Papers, which last year revealed the identity of the shareholders of shell companies created by the Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca. Just as with HSBC, this leak is valuable as it can be seen as a random event and involves a prominent provider of offshore financial services. We combined random audits with these new sources of information to shed light on who really evades taxes. The higher one moves up the wealth distribution, the higher the probability of hiding assets. So what are the consequences for inequality? At the very top of the pyramid, it is much greater than previously estimated. In Norway, where the available wealth data is particularly detailed, the super-wealthy appear to be 30% wealthier than previously though. The share of wealth owned by the top 0.1% increases from 8% to 10%.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality and financial industry corruption.


Mr. Trump Goes After the Inspectors
2017-06-12, New York Times
Posted: 2017-06-18 23:42:02
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/12/opinion/mr-trump-goes-after-the-inspectors...

Michael Horowitz, chairman of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, was at a hockey game when he began getting calls from other inspectors general in federal agencies. The inspectors ... were furious. Trump aides had let them know they might be replaced; for the first time ever, a president might fire them en masse. The administration later backed down. But it has continued to undermine the inspectors’ role by failing to hire for open positions and planning to slash the offices’ budgets. Every major federal agency and program has an inspector general ... whose staff investigates cases of wasteful spending, criminal activity, employee misconduct and plain bad management. These are watchdogs with real teeth. Today nearly one-quarter of inspector general offices have either an acting director or no director at all, including the offices at the C.I.A., the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense and the Social Security Administration. Acting directors can be reluctant to make extensive changes ... particularly if they hope to be nominated for a permanent appointment. The inspectors’ offices are deeply affected by the current federal hiring freeze and would be further harmed by the administration’s proposed budget cuts. The budget takes unexplained specific aim at the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, created in part to monitor the $700 billion taxpayer bailout for big banks.

Note: A New York Times article from 2015 states that, "at least 20 investigations across the government that have been slowed, stymied or sometimes closed because of a long-simmering dispute between the Obama administration and its own watchdogs." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Donald Trump exempts 17 senior White House staff including Steve Bannon from ethics rules
2017-06-01, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2017-06-04 22:54:10
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-white-house-sta...

The White House disclosed Wednesday evening that it has granted ethics waivers to 17 specific appointees who work for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, including four former lobbyists. The waivers exempt the appointees from certain portions of ethics rules aimed at barring potential conflicts of interest. In addition, a blanket waiver was given to all executive office appointees to interact with news organisations. Three of the former lobbyists given waivers to work in the White House serve as staffers to the National Economic Council, headed by former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn. (Cohn himself did not need a waiver because he recuses himself from participating in matters specific to Goldman Sachs, according to a White House official.) His aides that received ethics exemptions include Michael Catanzaro, a domestic energy and environmental policy adviser. Catanzaro was granted permission to work on ... matters of interest to his former energy sector clients, including emissions regulations, clear air standards and renewable fuel standards. Shahira Knight, a White House adviser on tax and retirement policy, received a waiver to participate in a range of tax and financial policy matters. Knight, a former tax lobbyist, served as vice president of Fidelity Investments' public affairs and policy group. Trump's predecessors also issued ethics waivers to appointees who had potential conflicts of interest. The Obama administration handed out at least 66 such exemptions.

Note: Despite the White House's assurances to the contrary, the NEC's Gary Cohn is reportedly spearheading a plan to sell US infrastructure to large financial firms, including his former employer Goldman Sachs. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Trump Administration Conflicts Of Interest: How Gary Cohn Could Sell U.S. Infrastructure To Goldman Sachs
2017-05-26, International Business Times
Posted: 2017-05-29 17:00:00
http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/trump-administration-conflicts-inter...

President Donald Trump's administration this week touted an infrastructure plan that would sell off public assets to private financial firms. Leading the White House privatization initiative is Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs, who received a $285 million dollar payout upon ... taking a job as the director of Trump’s National Economic Council. As Cohn has led the infrastructure privatization initiative from that perch, Goldman Sachs declared that it continues to look at “new business initiatives” that revolve around taking ownership of public assets, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents. Cohn is spearheading the administration’s infrastructure policy despite a White House official telling Bloomberg News in February that he “will recuse himself from participating in any matter directly involving his former employer.” That pledge seemed at the time to show that Cohn was following ethics rules ... enacted in January. Those rules require federal officials to sign an ethics pledge in which they agree to wait two years before they “participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer.” Those rules, however, empower Trump to waive the restrictions whenever he wants. Whether or not Cohn has received such a waiver remains secret: the administration has not released a list of waivers, and has moved to block federal agencies from disclosing such waivers to federal ethics regulators.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Former Spain central bank chief investigated for failed IPO
2017-02-13, Seattle times/Associated Press
Posted: 2017-04-30 23:24:20
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/former-spain-central-bank-chief-investig...

Spain’s National Court is summoning the former heads of Spain’s central bank and the stock market watchdog to be questioned for failing to stop the disastrous flotation of a savings bank that had to be bailed out. Eight officials, including former Bank of Spain governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez and Julio Seguro, the former president of market regulator CNMV, allegedly failed to stop Bankia’s listing in 2011 despite “repeated warnings” the bank was “unviable,” according to an investigation led by the court’s magistrates. Created by merging the assets of seven struggling Spanish banks, Bankia offered shares in an initial public offering in July 2011 and initially reported a profit for the year of 309 million euro ($327 million.) Months later, it amended its statements to show a 3 billion euro loss. The lender was nationalized in 2012 after a rescue that cost Spanish taxpayers around 22 billion euros ($23 billion). Former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato stepped down as chairman of Bankia at the time of the IPO. Rato since has been investigated in separate, but related cases of alleged corruption. Internal central bank reports made clear the savings bank’s “severe and growing problems of profitability, liquidity and solvency,” a court order issued Monday stated.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Suit: Wells Fargo targeted ‘undocumented immigrants’ for accounts
2017-04-26, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2017-04-30 23:22:32
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Suit-Wells-Fargo-targeted-undocum...

Wells Fargo branches across the country deliberately targeted “undocumented immigrants” to open savings and checking accounts in order to meet aggressive sales goals, according to court documents. In sworn declarations obtained by ... attorney Joseph Cotchett, former employees describe a scheme in which Spanish-speaking colleagues would visit places they knew were frequented by immigrants (including construction sites and a 7-Eleven), drive them to a branch and persuade them to open an account. Some employees would give the immigrants $10 apiece to start an account. The alleged scheme ... raises fresh questions about whether bank employees merely deceived customers by opening accounts in their names - or further crossed a line. Under federal law, banks must verify the identities of customers. Given Wells Fargo’s well-documented rush to hit sales goals, experts say it’s quite possible that employees did not follow procedures. In any case, targeting immigrants to hit sales goals should have raised red flags. The documents were filed Wednesday as part of a shareholder lawsuit filed ... in San Francisco Superior Court against Wells Fargo’s top executives. Last year, the San Francisco banking giant admitted that thousands of employees created up to 2 million fraudulent accounts in the names of real consumers without their consent. Wells Fargo ultimately fired CEO John Stumpf and paid $185 million in fines.

Note: Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Extreme Vetting, But Not for Banks
2017-02-03, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2017-02-13 17:36:31
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/extreme-vetting-but-not-for-ban...

Donald Trump, the man who positioned himself as the common man's shield against Wall Street, signed a series of orders today calling for reviews or rollbacks of financial regulations. Before he ordered a review of both the Dodd-Frank Act and the fiduciary rule requiring investment advisors to act in their clients' interests, [Trump met] with leading CEOs, including JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon, Blackstone's Steve Schwarzman, and BlackRock's Larry Fink. Former Goldman honcho Gary Cohn [is] Trump's chief economic advisor. It would be hard to put together a group of people less sympathetic to the non-wealthy. The two primary disasters in American history this century ... have been 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis, which cost 8.7 million people their jobs and may have destroyed as much as 45 percent of the world's wealth. The response to 9/11 we know: major military actions all over the world, plus a radical reshaping of our legal structure, with voters embracing warrantless surveillance, a suspension of habeas corpus, even torture. But the crisis response? Basically, we gave trillions of dollars to bail out the very actors who caused the mess. Now ... we've triumphantly put those same actors back in charge. These egomaniacal Wall Street titans want ... to get rid of the fiduciary rule, because they don't think it's anyone's business if they choose to bet against their clients (as Cohn's Goldman famously did), or overcharge them, or otherwise screw them.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Trump Takes Aim At Dodd-Frank, Investor Protections Rule In Executive Action
2017-02-03, NPR
Posted: 2017-02-06 08:30:01
http://www.npr.org/2017/02/03/513224023/trump-to-take-aim-at-dodd-frank-inves...

Trump Takes Aim At Dodd-Frank, Investor Protections Rule In Executive Action
February 3, 2017, NPR
http://www.npr.org/2017/02/03/513224023/trump-to-take-aim-at-dodd-frank-investor...

President Trump signed two directives on Friday, ordering a review of financial industry regulations known as Dodd-Frank and halting implementation of a rule that requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. Trump himself made his intentions clear. "Dodd-Frank is a disaster," Trump said. "We're going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank." These executive actions are the start of a Trump administration effort to reverse or revise financial regulations put in place by the Obama administration. [One] directive will instruct the Treasury secretary to meet with the agencies that oversee the law to identify possible changes. It isn't clear yet how long the review would take, but the official says every aspect of the law will be considered. A second directive would call on the Department of Labor to defer implementation of an Obama-era rule, known as the Fiduciary Rule, requiring financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients in retirement planning. The deadline for implementation was supposed to be April. Backers of the rule say it will prevent advisers from gouging customers by selling them inappropriate, high-fee products. This rule has been heavily lobbied. Dodd-Frank, passed in 2010, [was intended] to implement comprehensive safeguards to monitor and regulate financial institutions so their potential failures would not pose a risk to the entire economy.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Wells Fargo is conducting itself like Enron did
2016-12-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2016-12-19 15:32:11
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Wells-Fargo-is-conductin...

San Francisco’s Wells Fargo set up an incentivized system of rewards and punishments for its staff at every level that led to the creation of phony accounts and illicit fees being charged to millions of customers. Yet Wells Fargo ... refused to appear before my state Senate committee last month and has sidestepped federal regulators and inquiries. The last company to conduct itself in such a way before a California legislative committee was Enron. These criminal activities affected up to 2 million accounts - nearly 900,000 in California alone. The financial cost to consumers was in the millions of dollars, and the loss in trust is untold. Wells Fargo knew it had a problem - firing more than 1,000 employees a year for five years is testament to that. Yet, it took no effective steps to stop the fraud. These weren’t just low-level employees. After my staff pressed them, Wells now says that of the 5,300 staff fired for unethical sales practices, 480 were bank branch managers or higher. An untold number of managers continue to work at the bank despite the fact that they engaged in fraudulent behavior. Wells Fargo has begun to make amends by entering into a settlement agreement with local and federal regulators, paying $185 million in fines. It also has retained an outside accounting firm to audit accounts to identify and fully reimburse every customer for any fees associated with an unauthorized account. Wells Fargo must come clean on how pervasive this scheme was.

Note: The above was written by Steve Glazer, chairman of the California Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. Read more about the massive fraud perpetrated by Wells Fargo. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


To deal with climate change we need a new financial system
2016-11-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-11-14 18:24:24
https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/nov...

When it comes to global warming, we know that the real problem is not just fossil fuels – it is the logic of endless growth. If we don’t keep the global economy growing by at least 3% per year, it plunges into crisis. This ... makes little sense given the limits of our finite planet. Climate change is the most obvious symptom of this contradiction, but we’re also seeing it in the form of deforestation, desertification and mass extinction. Our economic system is incompatible with life on this planet. Debt is the reason the economy has to grow in the first place. Because debt always comes with interest, it grows exponentially. Without growth, debt piles up and eventually triggers an economic crisis. The global economic system runs on money that is itself debt. Instead of letting commercial banks create money by lending it into existence, we could have the state create the money and then spend it into existence. [In] the 1930s ... a group of economists in Chicago proposed [this] as a way of curbing the reckless lending that led to the Great Depression. The Chicago Plan, as it was called, made headlines again in 2012 when progressive IMF economists put it forward as a strategy for preventing the global financial crisis from recurring. This idea is already beginning to gain traction: in the UK, the campaigning group Positive Money has generated momentum around it. The idea has its enemies, of course. If we shift to a positive money system, big banks will no longer have the power to literally make money out of nothing.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption and global warming.


UBS whistleblower exposes 'political prostitution' all the way up to President Obama
2016-08-25, International Business Times
Posted: 2016-10-31 18:47:42
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ubs-whistleblower-exposes-political-prostitution-all...

UBS, the world's largest wealth manager, is facing embarrassment over fresh revelations going back to the tax investigation that led to the collapse of Swiss banking secrecy. Two significant events are looming before UBS. The first is the possibility of a public trial in France, featuring UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld, concerning historic tax evasion allegedly orchestrated by the bank. The other is the publication ... of Birkenfeld's scathing new book, Lucifer's Banker, which covers his time at UBS. The tax evasion controversy, which was first highlighted in 2005, subsequently involved the US Department of Justice, the State Department and Internal Revenue Service. It was prompted by disclosures made by Birkenfeld that UBS had helped wealthy US citizens evade taxes. In 2009, UBS paid $780m (Ł588m, €693m) to US authorities to avoid prosecution. Birkenfeld served 31 months in prison for one count of conspiracy to abet tax evasion by one of his clients. After he was released he was paid a record $104m by the IRS for helping recover unpaid taxes. However, Birkenfeld has since said that he was systematically prevented from giving testimony in open court – but this may be about to change thanks to the French authorities. Birkenfeld claims the UBS cover­up stretches to the highest levels of the US establishment. He promises four big names will be exposed in his book, [and] claims there was a glaring conflict of interest involving then Senator Barack Obama, which essentially placed him on the UBS payroll.

Note: Read a New York Times article on how this courageous whistleblower managed to beat the system. As a result of Birkenfeld's disclosures, Obama's suspicious ties with UBS were reported in 2010. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


‘Lions Hunting Zebras’: Ex-Wells Fargo Bankers Describe Abuses
2016-10-20, New York Times
Posted: 2016-10-31 18:36:18
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/21/business/dealbook/lions-hunting-zebras-ex-w...

Mexican immigrants who speak little English. Older adults with memory problems. College students opening their first bank accounts. Small-business owners with several lines of credit. These were some of the customers whom bankers at Wells Fargo, trying to meet steep sales goals and avoid being fired, targeted for unauthorized or unnecessary accounts, according to legal filings and statements from former bank employees. “The analogy I use was that it was like lions hunting zebras,” said Kevin Pham, a former Wells Fargo employee in San Jose, Calif., who saw it happening at the branch where he worked. “They would look for the weakest, the ones that would put up the least resistance.” Wells Fargo would like to close the chapter on the sham account scandal. But lawmakers and regulators say they will not let it go that quickly, and emerging evidence that some victims were among the bank’s most vulnerable customers has given them fresh ammunition. This week, three members of the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, Wells Fargo’s hometown, introduced a resolution calling on the city to cut all financial ties with the bank. They cited both the recent scandal and past cases — particularly the $175 million that Wells Fargo paid in 2012 to settle accusations that its mortgage brokers had discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers. Current and former Wells Fargo employees say the problems continued well into this year.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles.


Leaked emails show what Clinton told executives in private
2016-10-08, PBS News/Associated Press
Posted: 2016-10-16 23:06:26
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/emails-clinton-wall-street-private/

Hillary Clinton took nearly every precaution to ensure voters would never know what she told investment bankers, lobbyists and corporate executives in dozens of closed-door paid speeches before running for president. Turns out, the Democratic presidential nominee had good reason to do so. She is ... happy to cut backroom deals with corporate interests and curry favor with Wall Street for campaign dollars. The WikiLeaks organization on Friday posted ... emails obtained in a hack of the Clinton campaign chairman’s personal email account. Among the documents posted online was an internal review of the speeches conducted by campaign aides to survey the political damage her remarks could cause if they ever became public. In what aides calculated were the most damaging passages, she reflects on the necessity of “unsavory” political dealing. To investment bankers from Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, Clinton admits that she’s “kind of far removed” from the middle-class upbringing that she frequently touts on the campaign trail. And in speeches to some of the country’s biggest banks, she highlighted her long ties to Wall Street ... saying that she views the financial industry as a partner in government regulation. In an effort to keep those speeches private, strongly worded contracts prohibited unauthorized recordings, reporters were banned and, in some cases, blog posts about her remarks pulled off websites.

Note: BBC has an article listing 11 intriguing revelations from the recent Wikileaks release. The emails also showed discussion of the Clinton campaign's interest in "elevating" Trump and other 'extreme' Republican candidates to make the party's eventual nominee 'unpalatable'. In 2013 alone, Clinton received $2.3 million for delivering these speeches. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Public understands Wells Fargo’s bad behavior, that’s the problem
2016-09-28, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2016-10-02 14:54:43
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Public-understands-Well...

Following widespread outrage and a blistering Senate Banking Committee hearing last week, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has said he’ll forfeit his outstanding stock awards of about $41 million. Wells Fargo’s former retail-banking head, Carrie Tolstedt, has agreed to forfeit outstanding stock awards of about $19 million. The givebacks are being done in response to charges that the bank opened some 2 million fraudulent deposit and credit card accounts in its customers’ names. Wells Fargo had already agreed to pay $185 million to settle those charges with regulators, but, clearly, that wasn’t enough. The public is worn out by Wall Street’s bad behavior - and it’s also tired of watching low-level employees be scapegoated while top executives get off scot-free. Wells had fired more than 5,000 employees connected to the illegal sales practices, but done nothing to punish senior executives. No one is buying the story that a scandal this large was the work of rogue employees at the bottom of the totem pole. Part of the reason for the alleged unauthorized accounts was employees were pressured to meet unachievable sales goals. Wells has also pledged to end the controversial sales goal program for employees in the retail banking division. The financial meltdown of 2008 ... resulted out of extreme complexity - most politicians and citizens can’t parse a credit default swap. Opening a bank account in someone else’s name without their permission, however, is a wrong that everyone can understand.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Elizabeth Warren Asks Newly Chatty FBI Director to Explain Why DOJ Didn’t Prosecute Banksters
2016-09-14, The Intercept
Posted: 2016-09-25 23:10:21
https://theintercept.com/2016/09/15/elizabeth-warren-asks-newly-chatty-fbi-di...

Like a lot of other Americans, Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to know why the Department of Justice hasn’t criminally prosecuted any of the major players responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. On Thursday, Warren released two highly provocative letters demanding some explanations. One is to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, requesting a review of how federal law enforcement managed to whiff on all 11 substantive criminal referrals submitted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a panel set up to examine the causes of the 2008 meltdown. The other is to FBI Director James Comey, asking him to release all FBI investigations and deliberations related to those referrals. The FCIC’s criminal referrals ... have never been made public. But Warren’s staff reviewed thousands of other documents released in March ... and found descriptions and records of them. They detail potential violations of securities laws by 14 different financial institutions: most of America’s largest banks. And the FCIC named names, specifying nine top-level executives who should be investigated on criminal charges: CEO Daniel Mudd and CFO Stephen Swad of Fannie Mae; CEO Martin Sullivan and CFO Stephen Bensinger of AIG; CEO Stan O’Neal and CFO Jeffrey Edwards of Merrill Lynch; and CEO Chuck Prince, CFO Gary Crittenden, and Board Chairman Robert Rubin of Citigroup. None of the 14 financial firms listed in the referrals were criminally indicted or brought to trial, Warren writes. Only five of the 14 even paid fines.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the financial industry.


Wells Fargo fired 5,300 workers for improper sales push. The executive in charge is retiring with $125 million.
2016-09-13, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:43:25
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/09/13/wells-fargo-fired-5300...

When Wells Fargo was hit last week with $185 million in fines after thousands of its employees were caught setting up fake accounts customers didn't ask for, regulators heralded the settlement as a breakthrough. But the fines being levied against Wells Fargo pale in comparison to the bank's yearly profit - more than $20 billion in 2015. It is also less than the more than $200 million that the stock in the company held by company's chief executive, John G. Stumpf is worth. The fines also are not that much more than the $125 million one of its top executives, Carrie Tolstedt, will walk away with when she retires this year. "There are two possibilities: Customer abuse was part of business model, in which case lots of high ranking people need to go to prison," said Bart Naylor, a financial policy advocate. "Or the bank is too big to manage, and folks high up don’t even know that laws are being broken a few levels down." The magnitude of the fraud described by regulators should be thoroughly investigated, five Democratic lawmakers said in a letter to the head of the Senate Banking Committee, Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), asking for a hearing on the case. The lawmakers, including Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, said Wells Fargo's CEO, John G. Stumpf, should be called to testify. "It is difficult to believe a large-scale, coordinated [scheme] like this took place without knowledge of some higher ups," Menendez said in an interview.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Wells Fargo CEO should face reckoning
2016-09-09, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2016-09-19 14:41:44
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/networth/article/Wells-Fargo-CEO-should-f...

Wells Fargo fired about 5,300 employees over the past several years for opening more than 2 million checking, savings, credit or debit card accounts without customers’ knowledge or consent. The big question: Why wasn’t Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf one of them? “It’s hard to believe that thousands of employees could have created over a million fake accounts without anyone in senior management knowing about it,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wrote in an emailed response. “It’s one or the other: Either individuals in senior management knew about this fraud and should be held personally accountable, or they didn’t know about it and a bank as big as Wells Fargo is simply too big to manage.” On Thursday, Wells settled a lawsuit and potential lawsuits by agreeing to clean up the mess, refund fees paid by customers on accounts they did not authorize and pay fines and penalties. Those included $100 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, $35 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and $50 million to the city and county of Los Angeles. FBR analyst Paul Miller called those fines “a rounding error” for Wells, which earns about $5 billion per quarter. Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer opened an investigation into Wells after the Los Angeles Times reported in 2013 that ... “employees have opened unneeded accounts for customers, ordered credit cards without customers’ permission and forged client signatures on paperwork." His office filed a lawsuit against Wells Fargo in 2015.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Wells Fargo fined $185M for fake accounts; 5,300 were fired
2016-09-09, USA Today
Posted: 2016-09-11 23:48:11
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/09/08/wells-fargo-fined-185m-over-un...

Wells Fargo Bank, one of the nation's largest banks, has been hit with $185 million in civil penalties for secretly opening millions of unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts that harmed customers, federal and state officials said Thursday. Employees of Wells Fargo (WFC) boosted sales figures by covertly opening the accounts and funding them by transferring money from customers' authorized accounts without permission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Los Angeles city officials said. An analysis by the San Francisco-headquartered bank found that its employees opened more than two million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized by consumers. Many of the transfers ran up fees or other charges for the customers, even as they helped employees make incentive goals. The bank agreed to pay full restitution to all victims and a $100 million fine to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's civil penalty fund - the largest in the regulator's five-year operating history. Wells Fargo will pay a separate $35 million penalty to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Additionally, Wells Fargo said it terminated approximately 5,300 employees and managers over a five-year period for their involvement with the unauthorized accounts.

Note: No Wells Fargo executives have been held responsible for this bank's institutionalized breach of customer trust. Do you think these actions were taken without approval from at least one executive? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing banking corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


SEC awards $22 million to Monsanto whistleblower
2016-08-30, CNBC/Reuters
Posted: 2016-09-05 18:03:41
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/30/sec-awards-22-million-to-monsanto-whistleblowe...

A former Monsanto executive who tipped the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to accounting improprieties involving the company's top-selling Roundup product has been awarded more than $22 million from the agency's whistleblower program. The award of $22,437,800 was tied to an $80 million settlement between the SEC and Monsanto in February, according to the [executive's] lawyer, Stuart Meissner in New York. It is the agency's second largest under the program. The Dodd Frank financial reform law empowered the SEC to award money to whistleblowers who give information to the agency which leads to a fine. Awards to 33 whistleblowers by the SEC's program have now surpassed a total of $107 million since the agency launched the program in 2011, the agency said. Monsanto's $80 million SEC settlement followed allegations that the company misstated its earnings in connection with Roundup, a popular weed killer. The SEC's case against Monsanto revolved around a corporate rebate program designed to boost Roundup sales. The SEC had said that Monsanto lacked sufficient internal controls to account for millions of dollars in rebates that it offered to retailers and distributors. It ultimately booked a sizeable amount of revenue, but then failed to recognize the costs of the rebate programs on its books. That led the St. Louis-based agriculture company to "materially" misstate its consolidated earnings for a three-year period. The award represents more than 28 percent of the total penalty and nearly the 30 percent maximum allowed under the SEC's bounty program.

Note: The above shows that Monsanto has been lying to their investors about how profitable Roundup is while major lawsuits build over the connection between Roundup and cancer. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Bankers are still breaking the rules to get ahead. Here's the proof
2015-05-19, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-08-29 20:11:49
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/11615229/Bank...

Illegal and unethical behaviour on Wall Street and in the City of London isn't just the work of a few bad apples - it's commonplace, according to new research. More than one in five financial services employees in America and the UK have seen their co-workers breaking the law or engaging in misconduct, a survey of more than 1,200 workers has found. Many feel under pressure to break the rules, believing it is a necessary part of getting ahead. Those at the top of the food chain are even more likely to have seen misconduct, with over a third of those earning more than $500,000 a year say they "have witnessed or have first hand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace". The University of Notre Dame and law firm Labaton Sucharow, which published the report, said it showed that bankers had failed to improve behaviour, despite billions of dollars in fines, and new regulations threatening jail. "Despite the headline-making consequences of corporate misconduct, our survey reveals that attitudes toward corruption within the industry have not changed for the better," the report's authors said. The researchers ... interviewed 1,223 banking and financial services workers. The research comes the day before five banks are expecting fines worth more than $6bn related to foreign exchange manipulation. Those questioned in the survey were also asked about whistleblowing practices, and 16pc said that corporate policies barred them from reporting illegal activity to authorities.

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