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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.


The Fed Likes to Tout its Independence, So Why are Big Banks Lobbying It?
2022-10-26, The Intercept
Posted: 2022-11-08 14:52:44
https://theintercept.com/2022/10/26/federal-reserve-bank-lobby/

The Federal Reserve, far from the independent institution it often touts itself as, is under intense pressure at all times from massive commercial banks and other financial institutions advocating for favorable regulations, according to federal lobbying disclosures reviewed by The Intercept, as well as interviews with former Fed and other finance employees. The Federal Reserve has come under scrutiny in recent months for its aggressive interest rate hikes. The Fed's own research has warned that its aggressive policy mirrors a similar one that caused a "severe recession" under Paul Volcker in the 1980s. Even the United Nations ... recently warned that the Fed's rate hikes risk "inflicting worse damage than the financial crisis in 2008 and the COVID-19 shock in 2020." Besides setting monetary policy, the Fed is also tasked with regulating commercial banks. The intense lobbying the Fed is subjected to is targeted at these banking regulations. Paid lobbyists make their case on behalf of massive financial corporations in the same fashion as K Street lobbyists hawking their wares to members of Congress. In 2022 alone, over 120 groups reported lobbying the Fed on issues ranging from credit card fees to cryptocurrency to sprawling monetary policy initiatives such as mortgage finance. Postings on the Federal Reserve website in the past year record meetings with Discover Financial, Student Loan Servicing Alliance, National Bankers Association, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.

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


Federal Officials Trade Stock in Companies Their Agencies Oversee
2022-10-11, Wall Street Journal
Posted: 2022-10-24 23:01:11
https://www.wsj.com/articles/government-officials-invest-in-companies-their-a...

Thousands of officials across the government's executive branch reported owning or trading stocks that stood to rise or fall with decisions their agencies made, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. More than 2,600 officials at agencies from the Commerce Department to the Treasury Department, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, disclosed stock investments in companies while those same companies were lobbying their agencies for favorable policies. That amounts to more than one in five senior federal employees across 50 federal agencies reviewed by the Journal. A top official at the Environmental Protection Agency reported purchases of oil and gas stocks. The Food and Drug Administration improperly let an official own dozens of food and drug stocks on its no-buy list. A Defense Department official bought stock in a defense company five times before it won new business from the Pentagon. The Journal obtained and analyzed more than 31,000 financial-disclosure forms for about 12,000 senior career employees, political staff and presidential appointees. The review spans 2016 through 2021 and includes data on about 850,000 financial assets and more than 315,000 trades. More than five dozen officials at five agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, reported trading stock in companies shortly before their departments announced enforcement actions, such as charges and settlements, against those companies.

Note: You can read the entire article free of charge on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Wall Street Giants Set to Smash Profit Records Off Global Hunger, Energy Crisis
2022-09-09, Common Dreams
Posted: 2022-09-19 22:34:02
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/09/09/wall-street-giants-set-smash-pro...

Russia's war on Ukraine has wreaked havoc on global commodity markets, driving up energy and food prices and exacerbating hunger emergencies around the world. But while disastrous for the global poor ... the chaos has been a major boon for Wall Street giants. "The 100 biggest banks by revenue are set to make $18 billion from commodities trading in 2022," Bloomberg reported Friday. "The prediction is the latest evidence that the wild swings in energy prices triggered by the war in Ukraine are delivering a boon to commodity traders, even as they push European nations into crisis," Bloomberg added. "Vali, an analytics firm that tracks trading business, compiled data that includes the leading five banks in commodity trading: Macquarie Group Ltd., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Morgan Stanley." "People's misery makes capitalists' superprofit," Salvatore De Rosa, a researcher at the Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies. The World Food Program estimates that "as many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night" and ... "those facing acute food insecurity has soared–from 135 million to 345 million–since 2019." "It's too easy to say the war in Ukraine has unbalanced all these markets, [or that] supply chains and the ports are shot, and that there's a supply and demand reason for these prices going up," [Michael] Greenberger added. "My own best guess is anywhere from 10% to 25% of the price, at least, is dictated by deregulated speculative activity."

Note: For more along these lines, see concise news summaries revealing banking corruption from reliable major media sources. You can also visit our Banking Information Center to further explore corruption in the financial industry.


The super-rich 'preppers' planning to save themselves from the apocalypse
2022-09-04, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-09-19 22:32:31
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/sep/04/super-rich-prepper-bunkers-apoca...

Tech billionaires are buying up luxurious bunkers and hiring military security to survive a societal collapse they helped create, but like everything they do, it has unintended consequences. Their extreme wealth and privilege ... make them obsessed with insulating themselves from the very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is about only one thing: escape from the rest of us. What, if anything, could we do to resist it? A former president of the American chamber of commerce in Latvia ... JC Cole had witnessed the fall of the Soviet empire, as well as what it took to rebuild a working society almost from scratch. He believed the best way to cope with the impending disaster was to change the way we treat one another, the economy, and the planet right now. JC's real passion wasn't just to build a few isolated, militarised retreat facilities for millionaires, but to prototype locally owned sustainable farms that can be modelled by others and ultimately help restore regional food security in America. Investors not only get a maximum security compound in which to ride out the coming plague, solar storm, or electric grid collapse. They also get a stake in a potentially profitable network of local farm franchises that could reduce the probability of a catastrophic event. His business would do its best to ensure there are as few hungry children at the gate as possible when the time comes to lock down.

Note: Read about a Cold War U.S. government missile silo that was transformed into a luxury bunker to prepare for the apocalypse in this previously reported news article. You might also consider exploring revealing news articles on food system corruption impacting our economy and environment.


Just 2% of the richest Americans had their taxes audited in 2019, down from 16% in 2010
2022-05-17, CNBC News
Posted: 2022-09-13 02:53:19
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/17/super-wealthy-irs-tax-audits-plunge-over-deca...

The audit rate for Americans earning more than $5 million a year plunged to just over 2% in 2019 from over 16% in 2010, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog. The report estimated that taxpayers underreported their income tax by a combined $245 billion a year between 2011 and 2013, and said that "taxpayers are more likely to voluntarily comply with the tax laws if they believe their return may be audited." The main reason for the decline, according to the report, is a lack of IRS funding. In fiscal year 2021, the agency's budget was $11.9 billion – $200 million less than its 2010 budget. The IRS also has seen its staffing levels fall to the same levels as 1973. The decline in funding and auditors means that taxpayers, and especially the top earners, are far less likely to get caught underpaying their taxes than a decade ago. Overall audit rates for American taxpayers fell to 0.2% in 2019 from 0.9% in 2010. The wealthy are still audited at a higher rate than the general taxpayer population. Yet their audit rates have declined at a much higher rate. The audit rate for taxpayers earning between $5 million and $10 million fell to 1.4% from 13.5%. Those earning more than $10 million saw their audit rate fall to 3.9% in 2019 from 21.2% in 2010, while audit rates for $10 million-plus earners ticked up slightly for the 2017 and 2018 tax years due to a Treasury Department mandate to impose audit rates of at least 8% on those making $10 million or more.

Note: For more along these lines, see key news articles on the financial industry from reliable major media sources.


America used to regulate business. Now government subsidises it
2022-08-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: 2022-09-13 02:51:11
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/21/america-used-to-regulat...

The biggest thing the federal government now does with businesses is subsidize them. The Clean Air Act of 1970 authorized the government to regulate air pollution. The Inflation Reduction Act, which Joe Biden signed into law ... allocates more than $300bn to energy and climate reform, including $30bn in subsidies for manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines. Notice the difference? This shift from regulation to subsidy has characterized every recent administration. Today it's politically difficult, if not impossible, for government to demand that corporations (and their shareholders) bear the costs of public goods. Spending by corporations on lobbying increased from $1.44bn in 1999 to $3.77bn in 2021 and is on track to exceed $4bn this year. This tidal wave of corporate money has occurred at the same time large American corporations have globalized ... demanding government subsidies in return for creating jobs and doing their cutting-edge research in America. The question [is] whether the government should subsidize certain industries that generate large social benefits in the form of new technologies. I argued that the government was already engaged in a hidden industrial policy, disguised, for example, as grants to the aerospace and telecom industries by the Department of Defense and to the pharmaceutical industry by the National Institutes of Health. It would be far better to do industrial policy in the open, so that the public could assess what it was paying for and what it was getting in return.

Note: This article was written by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more revealing information on the government sponsoring corporate, financial interests without public input, see concise summaries of news articles on corporate corruption, and corruption in government and the financial industry.


Companies use inflation to hike prices and generate huge profits, report says
2022-05-27, CBS News
Posted: 2022-09-06 14:14:27
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/retail-price-gouging-lowes-amazon-target-account...

Some of the nation's largest retailers have been using soaring inflation rates as an excuse to raise prices and rake in billions of dollars in additional profit, a corporate watchdog group charged. The new figures comes as companies enjoy their most profitable year since the 1950s. Pre-tax profits last year soared 25% from 2020, far outpacing the increase in consumer prices. The report highlights an ongoing debate about the causes of inflation, with some consumer advocates arguing that corporations are using inflation as a justification for passing on even higher price hikes to consumers. Accountable.US said it examined the financial statements of the nation's top 10 retailers over the past two years – including Lowe's and Target – and found that they collectively increased their profits by $24.6 million for a grand total of $99 billion. The report notes, among other examples, that Lowe's recorded $8.4 billion in profit in its most recent quarter as it touted its "new pricing strategies." TJX, parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, saw last year's profits soar to $3.3 billion as the CEO spoke about the company's "aggressive" price increases. "It's time corporations finally help shoulder the burden average Americans have taken on throughout the health crisis," [Accountable.US President Kyle] Herrig said. "Corporations can start by stabilizing prices for consumers instead of pursuing even higher profits – on top of finally paying their fair share in taxes."

Note: Just like big Pharma with COVID, the major corporations are profiting hugely from our misery. Here's another revealing report shows major food producing corporations marking up prices while raking in huge profits. You might also explore key excerpts of news articles on corporate corruption from reliable media sources.


'The level of sneakiness with Americans hiding money abroad is staggering'
2022-07-22, Yahoo News
Posted: 2022-09-06 14:07:57
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/patrick-radden-keefe-americans-hiding-money-ab...

Whether dodging taxes or legal peril, wealthy Americans often succeed in concealing assets from the government by hiding their money in offshore bank accounts. Research from the IRS and a group of economists last year found that the top 1% of earners in the U.S. neglect to report 20% of their income – and that random audits almost never detect offshore accounts. Tax havens like Switzerland or the Cayman Islands have traditionally offered Americans a place to hide their assets because they fiercely guard financial privacy and have minimal to no taxes. Often, they also have laws that inhibit scrutiny from foreign tax officials. Prior to his latest book, [author Patrick Radden] Keefe published "Empire of Pain," which chronicled the billionaire Sackler family's connection to the nation's opioid epidemic. The Sacklers, the notorious family that owned the now bankrupt Purdue Pharma, reportedly have much of their wealth hidden in offshore accounts. An audit commissioned by Purdue showed the family withdrew more than $10 billion from their company during the opioid crisis, CNN reported in October 2020. They began drawing especially large amounts of money from the firm after paying $600 million in a 2007 plea deal with the Justice Department for misleading physicians and consumers about the opioid OxyContin, CNN reported. "The kind of sophistication of the whole industry of financial dissimulation ... such that nobody can put their hands on the money, is really interesting." Keefe told Yahoo Finance.

Note: 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 financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


BlackRock Is Now 'Fourth Branch of Government'
2020-05-21, Bloomberg
Posted: 2022-08-01 15:01:20
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-21/how-larry-fink-s-blackrock...

When the Federal Reserve needed Wall Street's help with its pandemic rescue mission, it went straight to Larry Fink. The BlackRock cofounder, chairman, and chief executive officer has become one of the industry's most important government whisperers. The company's new assignment is a much bigger version of one it took on after the 2008 financial crisis, when the Federal Reserve enlisted it to dispose of toxic mortgage securities. This time it will help the Fed prop up the entire corporate bond market by purchasing, on the central bank's behalf, what could become a $750 billion portfolio of debt. One part of the Fed's plan is to buy bond exchange-traded funds. BlackRock itself runs ETFs under the iShares brand, and could end up buying funds it manages. "BlackRock is acting as a fiduciary to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York," says a spokesman for the company. "As such, BlackRock will execute this mandate at the sole discretion of the bank." The arrangement is bringing new attention to the company's scale and ubiquity. "It's impossible to think of BlackRock without thinking of them as a fourth branch of government," says William Birdthistle, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. BlackRock's growth raises questions over how big and useful a company can become before its size poses a risk. And then there are the potential conflicts. One arm of BlackRock knows what the Fed is buying, while other parts of the business participating in credit markets could benefit from that knowledge.

Note: Watch an excellent documentary showing how BlackRock, Vanguard, and several other institutions are the largest shareholders in almost every major corporation you can think of. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the financial industry from reliable major media sources.


Wall Street is buying up family homes. The rent checks are too juicy to ignore
2021-08-02, CNN News
Posted: 2022-07-24 20:27:50
https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/02/business/family-homes-wall-street/index.html

Pension funds, investment firms and Wall Street banks are snapping up family homes in Europe and the United States at a rapid pace as prices rocket higher. At the same time, the soaring cost of home ownership means that growing numbers of younger Americans and Brits renting rather than buying houses as they start families. Some of them may find their next landlord is based on Wall Street or in London's financial district. Analysts argue that this will improve standards in the rental sector. But some tenants who rent from corporate landlords dispute this, alleging substandard services and excessive rent increases. If investors are hoovering up existing properties that would otherwise have been sold to individuals, that could squeeze out first-time buyers. Household incomes in the United States and United Kingdom have not kept pace with rising home values in recent years, a trend made worse by the pandemic, which has sent average house prices in both markets to record highs. Invitation Homes, America's biggest single-family home leasing company with some 81,000 houses, is currently facing two lawsuits brought by tenants in California and Maryland who claim that the company's late rent fees constitute illegal penalties under state laws. Current and former tenants of the company ... painted a picture of an uncaring landlord, slow to make repairs and quick to threaten eviction when rent payments are overdue or withheld because of unresolved maintenance issues.

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


Russia's Move To Gold May Jolt Your Company
2022-05-02, Forbes
Posted: 2022-06-26 13:34:58
https://www.forbes.com/sites/zengernews/2022/05/02/russias-move-to-gold-may-j...

Suffering from U.S. and EU sanctions, Russia made a surprise move–its central bank fixed the price of 5,000 rubles to a gram of gold. Few Western investors or executives noticed. Then, Russia ... announced that it would require payment for oil, natural gas and other of its significant exports in rubles. "What the Russians did was a genius," explains Jack Bouroudjian, former president of Commerce Bank in Chicago. "It forces people to go to the Russian central bank and pay gold to get rubles to make the transactions." The ruble had been trading in the range of 70 to 80 for a U.S. dollar. After the sanctions, it plummeted to 120. "Now the ruble basically recovered, trading 80 rubles to the dollar. And it's because of the way they pegged the ruble to gold." U.S. companies that have either international suppliers or customers could be jolted by Russia's golden move. Overseas business partners may need to barter gold for rubles to pay for inputs, like energy, minerals or fertilizers, and therefore demand that their U.S. counterparts pay in rubles or bullion. Additionally, American firms may need to acquire a stack of rubles to pay for their own inputs for foreign-based factories, warehouses or raw materials. Russia isn't alone in its desire. "China has been explicit" in its desire to displace the dollar and make the yuan more central. China is taking preliminary measures to defend their state-owned assets against financial sanctions similar to those the U.S. launched against Russia.

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


Inflation has Fed critics pointing to spike in money supply
2022-02-06, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-06-06 18:06:27
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/02/06/federal-reserve-inflation-...

Over the past two years, as the Federal Reserve fought to rescue the economy from the clutches of the coronavirus, the central bank's emergency remedies increased the nation's money supply by an astonishing 40 percent That was almost four times as much new money as had been created during the two years that preceded the pandemic. To some Fed critics, [that] explains why the United States is experiencing its highest inflation since 1982. All that money chasing after limited supplies of goods such as cars, computers and furniture is inevitably bidding up prices, they say. The Fed agreed with that view the last time the United States had a serious inflation problem. In 1979, then-Fed Chair Paul Volcker clapped a lid on the money supply and drove inflation from a peak of 14.8 percent to 2.5 percent three years later, at the cost of two punishing recessions. But the current Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, has dismissed claims that the Fed's money-printing is fueling today's price spiral. Like his most recent predecessors, dating to Alan Greenspan, Powell says that financial innovations mean there no longer is a link between the amount of money circulating in the economy and rising prices. The Fed's broadest measure of the money supply, called M2, is more than $21.6 trillion today, up from $15.5 trillion in February 2020.

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


With $20 trillion between them, Blackrock and Vanguard could own almost everything by 2028
2017-12-04, Financial Post
Posted: 2022-04-25 21:10:34
https://financialpost.com/investing/a-20-trillion-blackrock-vanguard-duopoly-...

BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group – already the world's largest money managers – are less than a decade from managing a total of US$20 trillion, according to Bloomberg News calculations. Amassing that sum will likely upend the asset management industry, intensify their ownership of the largest U.S. companies and test the twin pillars of market efficiency and corporate governance. Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, widely regarded as the father of the index fund, is raising the prospect that too much money is in too few hands, with BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Corp. together owning significant stakes in the biggest U.S. companies. "That's about 20 per cent owned by this oligopoly of three," Bogle said. "It is too bad that there aren't more people in the index-fund business." Vanguard is poised to parlay its US$4.7 trillion of assets into more than US$10 trillion by 2023, while BlackRock may hit that mark two years later, up from almost US$6 trillion today, according to Bloomberg News projections based on the companies' most recent five-year average annual growth rates in assets. BlackRock and Vanguard's dominance raises questions about competition and governance.

Note: This empire directly benefits from relaxation of financial regulations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


This ex-undercover agent infiltrated Pablo Escobar's cartel as a money launderer
2016-07-15, CNBC News
Posted: 2022-03-20 23:33:38
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/07/15/this-ex-undercover-agent-infiltrated-pablo-es...

Robert Mazur was a federal agent. He infiltrated Pablo Escobar's Colombian drug cartel for two years in the mid-1980s by pretending to be Robert Musella, a money-laundering, mob-connected businessman. "My role was to come across to the cartel as a credible money launderer," Mazur said. As an undercover operative, he was working with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, a Luxembourg-based bank with branches in more than 70 countries, in order to launder the cartel's money. BCCI was known to have accounts of drug operatives, terrorists, dirty bankers and others who want to hide money. At one point, he was out at a social event in Miami with a senior bank officer at BCCI who asked him point blank, "You know who the biggest money launderer in the world is? It's the Federal Reserve, of course." That sounds like a crazy allegation, but Mazur said the banker connected the dots for him: In Colombia, it's illegal for anyone to have a U.S. dollar account. But at the state-run Bank of the Republic there is a window they call the "sinister window" or the "anonymous window." There, you can trade in as much U.S. currency as you want. The central bank exchanges it for Colombian pesos at a high rate immediately. Mazur recalls the banker asking: "What do you think happens with that cash? It gets put on pallets, they shrink-wrap it and they're sending hundreds of millions of dollars back to the Federal Reserve. Why didn't anyone ... ask where this money was coming from?"

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


Switzerland at risk of EU blacklist after Credit Suisse leak
2022-02-21, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-03-14 17:35:46
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/feb/21/switzerland-at-risk-of-eu-blackl...

The fallout from a huge leak of Credit Suisse banking data threatened to damage Switzerland's entire financial sector on Monday after the European parliament's main political grouping raised the prospect of adding the country to a money-laundering blacklist. The European People's party (EPP), the largest political grouping of the European parliament, called for the EU to review its relationship with Switzerland and consider whether it should be added to its list of countries associated with a high risk of financial crime. Experts said that such a move would be a disaster for Switzerland's financial sector, which would face the kind of enhanced due diligence applied to transactions linked to rogue nations including Iran, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea. The EPP released the proposal after media outlets including the Guardian, SĂĽddeutsche Zeitung, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and Le Monde revealed how a massive leak of Credit Suisse data had uncovered apparently widespread failures of due diligence by the bank. The investigation, called Suisse secrets, identified clients of the Swiss bank who had been involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and other serious crimes. The country's addition to the EU high-risk third countries list would mean regulated professions, such as bankers, lawyers and accountants, would be required to conduct enhanced due diligence on any transaction or commercial relationship with a person or company in the country.

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


How May Edwards became the forgotten whistleblower
2021-01-08, Washington Post
Posted: 2022-01-31 13:37:36
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/may-edwards-treasury-buzzfeed-...

By the time Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards stood before Judge Gregory Woods in a courtroom in Lower Manhattan last month, she had lost her job, her car, her home and had spent nearly three years on supervised release, awaiting a likely prison sentence. Her family had come to watch the hearing, and so had the BuzzFeed reporter, Jason Leopold, to whom she had leaked more than 2,000 sensitive government documents. She explained how she had tried to go through proper whistleblower channels when she witnessed corruption within the Treasury Department and did not hide that she had also gone to the press. "I could not stand by aimlessly," she said, "as this would have been a violation of my oath of office, which is also a federal crime." She was sentenced to six months in federal prison. On Oct. 29, 2017, BuzzFeed published the first in a series of scoops by Leopold, based on leaks from Edwards – then a senior official in the Treasury Department's division of financial crimes, known as FinCEN. The story revealed the existence of 13 suspicious wire transfers involving offshore companies connected to Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, totaling more than $3 million. At her sentencing, Judge Woods described Edwards's leaks as "intentional" and "reckless." But [Mark] Schoofs, of BuzzFeed, recently called upon Biden to pardon Edwards, who "did more to bring transparency to the global financial system than almost anyone else in recent memory," he wrote in the New York Times.

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


This tax loophole costs $180bn a decade.
2021-12-14, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2022-01-10 00:41:37
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/14/carried-interest-tax-lo...

Remember the "carried interest" loophole that lets hedge fund executives and private equity managers – among the wealthiest people in America – pay a tax rate no higher than most Americans? It's a pure scam. They get the tax break even though they invest other peoples' money rather than risk their own. Barack Obama promised to get rid of the loophole. He failed. So, remarkably, did Donald Trump. Now that Democrats are trying to find ways to finance President Biden's Build Back Better package, you might think that the carried interest loophole would be high on their list. After all, closing it could raise $180bn over 10 years. Think again. The loophole – which treats the earnings of private equity managers and venture capitalists as capital gains, taxed at a top rate of just 20%, instead of income, whose top tax rate is 37% – remains as big as ever. Bigger. Influential Democrats, such as House ways and means committee chair Richard Neal, argue that closing the loophole would hobble the private equity industry, and, by extension, the US economy. The truth is there's zero economic justification for retaining this loophole. The sole reason the loophole survives even during Democratic Congresses, is fierce lobbying by the private equity industry – and the dependence of too many Democrats on campaign funding from the partners of private equity and hedge funds. The private equity industry ... has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to congressional campaigns.

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


Billions Hidden Beyond Reach
2021-10-03, Washington Post
Posted: 2021-11-14 16:41:11
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/interactive/2021/pandora-papers-offsh...

A massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and – in 14 cases involving current country leaders – citizens around the world. The revelations include more than $100 million spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan on luxury homes in Malibu, Calif., and other locations; millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries; and a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Other disclosures hit closer to home for U.S. officials. The files provide substantial new evidence, for example, that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing. The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the center of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities.

Note: Some have suggested that the CIA was responsible for the earlier Panama Papers leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pandora Papers: Secret wealth and dealings of world leaders exposed
2021-10-03, BBC News
Posted: 2021-10-11 15:55:19
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-58780465

The secret wealth and dealings of world leaders, politicians and billionaires has been exposed in one of the biggest leaks of financial documents. Some 35 current and former leaders and more than 300 public officials are featured in the files from offshore companies, dubbed the Pandora Papers. They reveal the King of Jordan secretly amassed Ł70m of UK and US property. They also show how ex-UK PM Tony Blair and his wife saved Ł312,000 in stamp duty when they bought a London office. The couple bought an offshore firm that owned the building. The leak also links Russian President Vladimir Putin to secret assets in Monaco, and shows the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis - facing an election later this week - failed to declare an offshore investment company used to purchase two villas for Ł12m in the south of France. It is the latest in a string of leaks over the past seven years, following the FinCen Files, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers and LuxLeaks. The examination of the files is the largest organised by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), with more than 650 reporters taking part. Some figures are facing allegations of corruption, money laundering and global tax avoidance. But one of the biggest revelations is how prominent and wealthy people have been legally setting up companies to secretly buy property in the UK. The documents reveal the owners of some of the 95,000 offshore firms behind the purchases.

Note: Read about the Panama Papers leak that previously shed light on the tax havens of the elite. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption and income inequality from reliable major media sources.


Wall Street's Cooked Books Fueled the Financial Crisis in 2008. It's Happening Again.
2021-04-20, The Intercept
Posted: 2021-05-10 17:39:36
https://theintercept.com/2021/04/20/wall-street-cmbs-dollar-general-ladder-ca...

It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked," the billionaire investor Warren Buffett has famously said. During the crash of 2008, the whole world learned just how dangerously nude Wall Street was. Now it may be happening again – this time not with residential mortgage-backed securities, based on loans for homes, but commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS, based on loans for businesses. John M. Griffin and Alex Priest are, respectively, a prominent professor of finance and a Ph.D. candidate at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. In a study released last November, they sampled almost 40,000 CMBS loans with a market capitalization of $650 billion underwritten from the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2019. "Overall," they write, "actual net operating income falls short of underwritten income by 5% or more in 28% of loans." This was just the average, however: Some originators – including an unusual company called Ladder Capital as well as the Swiss bank UBS, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley – were significantly worse, "having more than 35% of their loans exhibiting 5% or greater income overstatement." With almost every lender, including Ladder, the overstatement increased as time went on. These income overstatements might cause defaults under any circumstances. But it has been particularly dangerous in a severe economic downturn like the one caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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