Category Archive: Corporatocracy

Whistle-Blower on Countrywide Mortgage Misdeeds to Get $57 Million

This is the way a whistle blower should be treated. But, once again, no one is going to jail. That has to change. Too-big-to-jail has got to go:

A former Countrywide Financial executive who became a whistle-blower is collecting more than $57 million for helping federal prosecutors force Bank of America to pay a record $16.65 billion penalty in connection with its role in churning out shoddy mortgage and related securities before the financial crisis.

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“Our Democracy Is Dying”

Our Democracy Is Dying | Marianne Williamson

The question is whether we are going to fight for democracy or just go along with the destruction of our free country:

In case anybody hasn’t noticed, democracy in America is dying now. This isn’t an overstatement; it’s a fact. Corporate interests dominate our politics so much at this point that our government, for all intents and purposes, is merely its handmaiden. Whatever Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Corporatism is the new order of the day. One political party stands for it; the other political party won’t stand against it.

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Delta Airlines fires worker for saying Delta workers make under $15 an hour

Welcome to the Corporatocracy:

I have listened to what Hedges said several times, I have read the transcription multiple times and I cannot see that he said anything disparaging in what he stated. Had the baggage handlers voted in a union four years ago he would have been protected by a union contract; however, in 2010 Delta baggage handlers narrowly voted against unionization. Jay Parsley, a Delta employee based in Atlanta who organized the opposition to a union, stated at that time…

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Texas Oil Regulators Fired for Trying to Actually Regulate

That’s how you know you live in corporatocracy. The corporations can break the law because they are law:

What happens to energy regulators that dare to do their jobs and try to actually regulate energy companies? They get fired.

That’s the news according to a pair of Texas inspectors that monitored oil and gas operations in the state. Though each man worked separately, counties apart, their stories of being abruptly fired for following their job descriptions are troubling to say the least. Here are the stories that InsideClimate News turned up.

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The Kochs Eclipse the RNC

“The most powerful outside political force in America”

The Koch brothers and their allies are pumping tens of millions of dollars into a data company that’s developing detailed, state-of-the-art profiles of 250 million Americans, giving the brothers’ political operation all the earmarks of a national party.

The move comes as mainstream Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, are trying to reclaim control of the conservative movement from outside groups. The Kochs, however, are continuing to amass all of the campaign tools the Republican National Committee and other party arms use to elect a president.

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Energy Companies Use Attorneys General In Secret Alliance To Kill Regulations

Energy firms and state attorneys general have established a secretive alliance in an effort to derail environmental oversight and promote fossil fuels, according to an in-depth New York Times’ investigation published this weekend. Having reviewed thousands of emails and legal documents and undertaken dozens of interviews, the Times found that “Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda.”

via Energy Companies Use Attorneys General In Secret Alliance To Kill Regulations | ThinkProgress.

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The Fed Just Acknowledged Its Too Big To Jail Policy

The Fed Just Acknowledged Its Too Big To Jail Policy

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have long suspected that federal prosecutors didn’t pursue guilty pleas because they were afraid the consequences — a potential unraveling of a giant bank — would endanger the global economy. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that was the case in March 2013, but quickly walked back his comments after a public outcry.

It wasn’t until May that years of persistent criticism eventually gave way to a guilty plea by Credit Suisse, the giant Swiss bank, to allegations it helped thousands of Americans hide their wealth to evade U.S. taxes.

But until Friday, no senior federal official had acknowledged this was explicit U.S. policy.

“We were not willing to find those firms guilty before, because we were worried that if we found them guilty, that could somehow potentially destabilize the financial system,” Dudley said. “We’ve gotten past that and I think it’s really important that we got past that.”

via The Fed Just Acknowledged Its Too Big To Jail Policy.

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Bank Of America Hires U.S. Officials For Financial Crime Team

How do banks get to hire government officials? I guess that’s why we live in a corporatocracy. Not only do corporations get still out of jail but they can buy themselves the people who should be charge of watching them:

Bank of America has hired two U.S. government officials to join its financial crimes team, according to three people familiar with the matter, as banks are under increasing pressure to police their transactions for suspicious activity.

Bank of America has hired Jaikumar Ramaswamy, who heads the U.S. Justice Department’s asset forfeiture and money laundering section, and Frederick Reynolds, who is deputy director of the Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering unit, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

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Run against corporations and you’ll lose the election

Elizabeth Warren was doing Tuesday what Elizabeth Warren usually does: sticking up for the little guy.

The populist Democratic senator from Massachusetts was in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, hosting an event to push Wal-Mart to raise wages and improve working conditions. “No one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty,” she said, wearing a green wristband to show solidarity with Wal-Mart workers. “Today a person can work full time, and a momma and a baby on a full-time minimum job cannot keep themselves out of poverty — and that’s wrong.”

A few hours earlier, Warren, joined by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, fired off letters to 16 financial institutions demanding more information about how they’re protecting consumers from fraud and identity theft. Later in the day, she cast her vote against the oil-and-gas interests backing the Keystone XL pipeline.

This would seem to be Warren’s moment. Exit polls in the midterm elections showed that 63 percent of voters thought the economy favors the wealthy, while only 32 percent said the economy is fair to most Americans. Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, has made a leadership position for Warren. Presidential rumors persist, though she shows no signs of running.

Warren’s populism is appealing — not fiery or vengeful but compassionate and grounded in fairness. She also has the virtue of being correct: People don’t feel improvement in the economy because the gains haven’t been shared evenly, income inequality has widened and wages haven’t increased along with stock prices and corporate profits.

via Run against corporations and you’ll lose the election | HeraldNet.com – Opinion columns.

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13 Stores That Won’t Open On Thanksgiving

Boycott Black Friday:

Kmart, J.C. Penney, Toys R Us and Walmart are all opening their doors on Thanksgiving this year, but that doesn’t mean everyone is asking workers to report for Black Friday duty a day early.

At least 13 large retailers have decided to remain closed on Thanksgiving. In various statements, the companies have cited the questionable benefits of opening on Thursday and the importance of preserving the holiday for employees and customers alike.

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When Will This Administration Finally Imprison Crooked Bankers?

As every day goes by, with more and more wrist slaps of crooked banking and crooked bankers, I am more and more convinced that two of our nation’s top attorneys, Helen Davis Chaitman and Lance Gotthoffer, have it right: The Obama administration, and Eric Holder in particular, have decided to give get-out-of-jail-free cards to all criminal bankers.

Today’s wrist slap of UBS, JPMorgan, Citigroup, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland for currency rigging is just the latest example that the U.S. Justice Department has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street.

via When Will This Administration Finally Imprison Crooked Bankers?.

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5 Big Banks Are Fined $3.3 Billion in Foreign Exchange Scandal

And, of course, no one is going to jail for this:

British, American and Swiss regulators fined five of the world’s biggest banks a combined $3.3 billion on Wednesday for conspiring to manipulate the foreign currency markets, the latest setback for an industry facing increased scrutiny and mounting legal costs for its past sins.

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Matt Taibbi and Bank Whistleblower on How JPMorgan Chase Helped Wreck the Economy, Avoid Prosecution

A year ago this month the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the banking giant JPMorgan Chase would avoid criminal charges by agreeing to pay $13 billion to settle claims that it had routinely overstated the quality of mortgages it was selling to investors. But how did the bank avoid prosecution for committing fraud that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis? Today we speak to JPMorgan Chase whistleblower Alayne Fleischmann in her first televised interview discussing how she witnessed “massive criminal securities fraud” in the bank’s mortgage operations. She is profiled in Matt Taibbi’s new Rolling Stone investigation, “The $9 Billion Witness: Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking.”

via Matt Taibbi and Bank Whistleblower on How JPMorgan Chase Helped Wreck the Economy, Avoid Prosecution.

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Anadarko’s $5.15 billion cleanup deal approved by U.S. court

More too-big-to-jail:

Anadarko Petroleum Corp’s agreement to pay $5.15 billion to clean up nuclear fuel and other pollution received approval from a federal judge on Monday, the final hurdle for the settlement touted by the U.S. Department of Justice as the largest-ever environmental cleanup recovery.

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Which Hazard Is Better Contained: Ebola or Extreme Economic Inequality?

While the press frightens Americans about an non-existing epidemic the banks and big business rob us blind. What would expect from a corporate media that deals in sensationalism rather than informing the public:

In short, Martenson alleges that the Fed is engaged in “financial repression” against savers. The numbers support his allegation. Evidence suggests that Fed actions have transferred at least $750 billion in purchasing power from savers to other entities, such as Wall Street traders and barons. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Chris Martenson observes that the national wealth transfer shows up in record Wall Street banking bonuses, rising corporate profits, record stock buybacks, and rising wealth inequality. If so, being dependent upon the Fed for fairness is “like being trapped in a dysfunctional relationship with an abusive partner”–one of Martenson’s masterful metaphors. What we need, then, is either a divorce from the Federal Reserve (with clawback terms on assets), or consequential guidelines for the nation’s central bank that would level the playing field for middle class and working class Americans. Meanwhile, possibly moved by a growing resistance to pluto-democracy (plutocracy behind the veil of democracy), William C. Dudley, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Federal Reserve, is engaged in damage control with Wall Street banks.

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Four Chain Stores Will Close On Thanksgiving Day To Let Workers Spend Time With Family

These 3 stores deserve our support. Thanksgiving is a day of family and rest. Many corporations don’t care about that. We have to send a message that people come before profits:

Four major chain stores — Dillard’s, Burlington, REI, American Girl — confirmed to ThinkProgress on Thursday that they will stay closed on Thanksgiving Day as other stores begin to announce they’ll begin Black Friday a day early.

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It’s time for the Justice Department to start jailing corrupt bankers and other corporate offenders

There is no such thing as too big to jail,” Attorney General Eric Holder announced in a sternly worded video message last May, underscoring that no financial institution “should be considered immune from prosecution.” That was one of many remarkable announcements from the Department of Justice this past year including record fines for the likes of BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, and JPMorgan and massive civil settlements against Bank of America and Citigroup. Still, Holder’s term as Attorney General did not lead to a single criminal prosecution of a Wall Street executive following the financial crisis that crippled the United States.

via It’s time for the Justice Department to start jailing corrupt bankers and other corporate offenders.

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Rich People Want You to Work for Free

Remember when people volunteered to help the poor? Nowadays the poor volunteer to help the wealthy.

In recent weeks, the Ritz-Carlton hotel company, the NFL, and the Smithsonian Institution have all made news by asking people to do work for free. Such practices are hardly surprising in themselves—working for nothing seems to be a key building block of the new economy. But the fact that these requests come from such huge organizations with deep pockets raises troubling questions.

via Rich People Want You to Work for Free – The Daily Beast.

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Company Accused Of Committing Fraud Will Pay Just $1 Million To Settle — Without Admitting Anything

This is pure farce. There are 2 standards of justice in America. There is one for the corporations and then there is the rest of us:

A high-speed trading company the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) believes committed fraud will pay $1 million to put the matter to rest — without admitting or denying the charges.

…The settlement documents do not say how much Athena netted from the alleged violations or provide any information about how the parties arrived at the one million dollar figure. The agency declined to comment on the sum, on its policies about settlements in cases like this one, and on the decision to allow Athena to pay without conceding that it had broken the rules or even agreeing that the SEC’s version of events is accurate.

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