Corporate Corruption News Round-Up

The 10 Worst Corporations of 2008 – CorpWatch 1/9/09

New No. 1 bank: Bank of America – CNN 1/1/09

Bank Of America “Is Insolvent”, Will be “Broken Up” – George Washington blog 1/15/09

Report: Over 8 in 10 corporations have tax havens (AP)  – Yahoo 1/16/09

Eighty-three of the nation’s 100 largest corporations, including Citigroup, Bank of America and News Corp., had subsidiaries in offshore tax havens in 2007, and some of the companies received federal bailout funding, a government watchdog said 

Bananas: A Parable for Our Times – Alternet 1/17/09 

The history of the banana tells us about the corporations that increasingly dominate the world — and where they are leading us.

Raytheon lobbyist picked for deputy Defense post – LA Times 1/23/09

A day after President Obama issued tough new ethics rules for administration employees, a key lawmaker raised questions about his nomination of a lobbyist to the No. 2 position at the Pentagon.

Obama’s Inauguration Has Been Financed Partially by Bailed-Out Wall Street Executives – Cryptogon 1/19/09

Classic Case of Revolving Door at Defense Department – Center for Media and Democracy 1/12/09

Until June 2008, William Lynn was senior VP-government operations for Raytheon, the world’s fifth largest defense contractor. Despite that recent stint as a lobbyist, President-Elect Barack Obama has nominated him to become deputy defense secretary, which would put him “in charge of day-to-day Pentagon operations.” The nomination requires Congressional approval. According to O’Dwyer’s, “The Washington Post predicts Lynn will oversee Defense Secretary Robert Gates‘ program to overhaul DOD‘s weapons acquisition activity.” Before his stint with Raytheon, Lynn was the Pentagon’s comptroller and chief budget officer. He also previously worked as director of DOD’s program analysis and evaluation. 

Defeating the Multinationals Is Just the Start of the Problem for Anti-Globalization Movements – Alternet 1/9/09

Bolivia ignited anti-globalization supporters by ousting the company that controlled its water. But that was just the beginning of its problems.

Bayer Knowingly Sold HIV-Contaminated Vaccines, Say Internal documents – Natural News 1/7/09

Drugmaker Merck seeks Gardasil approval for boys – USA Today 1/6/09 

Corporate officers were making reassuring statements about financial prospects just days before Armageddon hit their companies — and investors’ portfolios. Here’s some prominent cases. 

The Place Where Industry, the Military and Government Converge – Dissident Voice 1/12/09

The implosion of the Carlyle Capitol Corporation just weeks before the Bear Stearns debacle last March is little more than a distant memory in the minds of most people. Yet the facts surrounding Carlyle Capitol, like those surrounding the J.P. Morgan/Bear Stearns/WaMu deals — not to mention the JP Morgan/Enron scandal — certainly deserve further scrutiny.

To be sure, derivatives, along with “innovative” accounting techniques, are a unifying theme of these and similar eye-brow raising, but effectively submerged, stories. Chief among these submerged stories are those which surround Carlyle Capitol and its parent company the Carlyle Group. Here’s what can be said about each.

Private firm may track all email and calls – Guardian, UK 12/30/08

The private sector will be asked to manage and run a communications database that will keep track of everyone’s calls, emails, texts and internet use under a key option contained in a consultation paper to be published next month by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary.  A cabinet decision to put the management of the multibillion pound database of all UK communications traffic into private hands would be accompanied by tougher legal safeguards to guarantee against leaks and accidental data losses.

Corporate and Government Policies Spark Food Crisis in America – Natural News 1/1/09

Japanese banks could receive $110bn bail-out – Guardian, UK 12/30/08

Funds on verge of IndyMac buy-out  – Financial Times 12/29/08

One of the largest commercial bank failures of the financial crisis is close to being sold to a consortium of private equity and hedge fund investors, which include JC Flowers, Dune Capital and Paulson & Company

Disney Exhibit Gives Visitors a Warped Idea of Waste and Consumption – Alternet 12/20/08

The message of the exhibit, sponsored by the largest garbage company, is that we needn’t radically change our lifestyle or our way of thinking.

Microsoft wants to get under your skin – The Register, UK 12/15/08

Wal-Mart’s Great Fight North – Global Research 1/1/09

Lloyds forfeits $350m for disguising origin of funds from Iran and Sudan – Guardian, UK 1/9/09

James Bond Takes on the Corporate Water Privateers – CorpWatch 12/10/08  

Wall St. Madam Shares Little Black Book – AOL Video 2/8/09

Corporate Taxes: The Coming Battle Over Loopholes – Business Week 1/25/09

Exposed to Solvent, Worker Faces Hurdles – NYTimes 1/24/09

Research has linked contaminants to diseases, but that often fails to help victims win worker’s compensation.

Nigerian Victims of Pfizer’s Involuntary Medical Experimentation Can Sue Under International Law Established in Responce to Atrocities Commited by the Third Reich – MSNBC via Cryptogon 1/31/09

Nigerian families can sue Pfizer in U.S. courts with claims that the giant drug maker violated international law banning involuntary medical experimentation on humans when it tested an antibiotic to treat meningitis, an appeals court ruled Friday. A lawsuit originally filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Oct. 31, 2002, by Beal Bank, S.S.B., against the FDIC has been dismissed, according to a court filing. …The lawsuit centered around Beal’s acquisition of a 5,000-plus loan portfolio from the FDIC in 2001 and 2002. The loans were inherited when the bank insurer became conservator of failed Superior Federal Bank.  During Superior’s conservatorship, the FDIC continued to operate its subprime department — allegedly making hundreds of loans at terms the FDIC itself usually deems predatory.  This is some of the fallout of the Pritzker/Superior bank affair (Penny Pritzker was Obama’s campaign finance chair, coincidentally). Quite a sordid little dust-up. 

The Wholesale Sedation of America’s Youth – Committee for Skeptical Inquiry June 2008

In 1950, approximately 7,500 children in the United States were diagnosed with mental disorders. That number is at least eight million today, and most receive some form of medication.

Is this progress or child abuse?



Value of 2008 Bailouts Exceeds Combined Costs of All Major U.S. Wars – CNS News 12/18/08

Surprise: Union now barred from striking against GM – Raw Story 1/9/09

General Motors to Invest $1 Billion in Brazil Operations — Money to Come from U.S. Rescue Program – Latin American Herald Tribune 1/30/09

Verizon may get $1.6 billion bailout – Raw Story 1/31/09

Treasury Opens Door to Aid for Broad Array of Firms, Industries – Bloomberg 1/1/09

The Treasury’s guidelines, published yesterday, would let officials provide funds to any company they deem important to making or financing cars. That leaves room for the government to provide money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program beyond loans already committed to General Motors Corp.,  GMAC LLC and Chrysler LLC. 

GMAC gets $5bn injection from US Treasury – Financial Times 12/29/08

Chrysler gets $4bn emergency loan – BBC 1/2/09

U.S. steel industry urges “buy America” recovery plan (Reuters)  – Yahoo 1/1/09

The ailing U.S. steel industry is pressing President-elect Barack Obama for a public works plan that could be worth $1 trillion over two years to boost flagging demand for U.S.-made steel 



Boeing: We zapped a UAV with a laser – CNet 1/27/09 

ACLU: ‘Secret courts’ conceal military contractor fraud – Raw Story 1/15/09

Weapons dealer’s millions released – Raw Story 1/27/09

$4.2m unfrozen from indicted munitions dealer, still faces fraud charge.

Indicted Miami Beach weapons dealer Efraim Diveroli is still making millions of dollars from the U.S. government. – Miami New Times 2/5/09

$35B tanker battle heats up again – Politico 2/5/09

Army contr. pleads guilty in Afghan case – Raw Story 2/5/09

Halliburton to Pay $559 Million to Settle Bribery Probe – Reuters via Reuters 1/27/09


Report: Netflix, Wal-Mart sued for allegedly colluding  – CNet 1/30/09

Class action suit alleges that Wal-Mart agreed in 2005 to exit the online rental business in exchange for Netflix’s termination of DVD sales, according to a report.

Prisons Earn $878 Million Annually by Poisoning Inmates and Guards, Lawsuit Alleges – NowPublic 12/10/08

Freda Cobb alleges that she and more than 300 other people were poisoned by a Florida prison.  Cobb and 25 other plaintiffs are suing the Federal Corrections Institute in Marianna for exposing them to dangerous lead levels while prison laborers burst computers with hammers to extract gold from within.  Prisons reportedly earned $878 million each year while under contract to Dell and Hewlett Packard by exposing inmates and employees like Cobb to high levels of lead and toxic chemicals.



Ex-Merrill Lynch CEO subpoenaed – Raw Story 1/27/09

Former executive of AIG gets 4 years for fraud – Raw Story 1/27/09

US: 3 Convicted in KPMG Tax Shelter Case  – CorpWatch 12/17/08

The verdicts, on multiple counts of tax evasion, are a victory for the government, which has spent more than three years prosecuting its case against an original group of 19 defendants, 17 of them from KPMG, over the creation and sale of aggressive tax shelters to wealthy Americans from the late 1990s to early 2000 that allowed them to evade hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.



Report: SEC Probing Other Madoff-Style Ponzi Schemes – TPMuckraker 1/2/09

Was Madoff just the tip of the iceberg?

The SEC is investigating at least one case in which investors may have been cheated out of as much as $1 billion, by money managers using tactics similar to those alleged to have been employed by Madoff, Bloomberg reports, based on anonymous sources “with knowledge of the inquiries.”

It adds:

Regulators may discover additional Ponzi arrangements as declining stock markets prompt investors to withdraw their cash and they question how their money is being managed. This week, the SEC said it halted what the agency described as a $23 million scam targeting Haitian-Americans, and said the Florida- based operators had tried as recently as last month to bring in more investors.

Swindler’s List – Bail us out, say Madoff victims – Guardian, UK 1/4/09

Outsourcing Intelligence in Iraq: A CorpWatch Report on L-3/Titan, Updated December 2008 with Recommendations from Amnesty International  – CorpWatch 12/9/08

Pressured by I.R.S., UBS Is Closing Secret Accounts  – NYTimes 1/8/09

In a step that would have once been unthinkable in the rarefied world of Swiss banking, UBS will shut about 19,000 accounts that prosecutors suspect have gone undeclared to the  IRS. …Prosecutors contend that UBS helped wealthy Americans hide about $18 billion, thereby evading taxes of $300 million each year.

Why Wall Street could go to jail – CNN 1/6/09 


Lawyers representing the victims of Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50bn fraud are calling on the US government to bail them out with billions of taxpayers’ dollars.

Prosecutor: Madoff Violated Bail By Sending Assets To Relatives – TP Muckraker 1/5/09

Did Madoff violate bail? The Associated Press reports: Prosecutors on Monday said disgraced financier Bernard Madoff violated bail conditions by mailing about $1 million worth of jewelry and other assets to relatives and should be jailed without bail

Whistleblower says Madoff had help, blasts SEC (Reuters) – Yahoo 2/5/09



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