How much would you pay to stay alive? As climate change makes the planet less hospitable for human life in numerous well established locations, a major push is taking place by transnational corporations to secure claims on the most valuable commodity on earth – water. While privatizing and commidifying water supplies has been a neoliberal project for some time, the stakes and opportunities for profit have risen dramatically as a changing climate shifts water resources around the world.
|By: DSWright Tuesday July 29, 2014 10:00 am|
|By: DSWright Tuesday July 15, 2014 10:55 am|
On Monday the Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder announced a meager $7 billion settlement with Citigroup for causing the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression by fraudulently selling mortgage securities that wrecked the financial markets. AG Holder celebrated the settlement and claimed “This historic penalty is appropriate given the strength of the evidence of the wrongdoing committed by Citi.”
But, according to The Litigation Daily, the details of that “wrongdoing” are nowhere to be found in the settlement documents, raising questions as to whether DOJ gave Citigroup a special deal regarding disclosure. Was part of this “historic penalty” an exemption from having to admit the crimes committed and the victims harmed?
|By: DSWright Monday July 14, 2014 11:07 am|
Citigroup, one of the most dysfunctional and malevolent financial institutions in American history, has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle investigations into the fraud it committed in the mortgage security market that led to the financial crash of 2008. The selling and marketing of volatile mortgage security products to investors around the world as safe and stable mined the financial markets to blow up in 2008.
The resulting financial crisis saw the American people suffer incredible pain while Citigroup received a federal bailout from Congress under TARP and a wide open line of endless credit from the Federal Reserve.
|By: DSWright Tuesday July 8, 2014 11:07 am|
Ever had the sneaking suspicion that most rich people are jerks? Well the connection between wealth and narcissism has now been studied and the results show that as people get richer, they are more likely to feel entitled, to exploit others, and to cheat.
|By: DSWright Monday July 7, 2014 10:07 am|
Chalk another win up for the cynics who never bought for a moment that Obama was going to betray the people whom he has been serving loyally for the last five years. Even if Obama really desired to change things – something there is little evidence for – the game is rigged. As long as money dominates American politics moneyed interests will be dominant.
|By: DSWright Tuesday July 1, 2014 2:25 pm|
Attorney General Eric Holder, appointed in the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency, is beginning to have his legacy evaluated and it is not looking good. A creature of Wall Street who helped represent some of the culprits of the mortgage crisis in private practice, Holder never made an honest or substantive efforts to go after his former clients who helped crash the economy in 2008.
|By: DSWright Wednesday June 25, 2014 10:46 am|
Thanks to Wikileaks the world now knows about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). The agreement was so secret that it was not only meant to be kept from the people of the participating countries during negotiations but for five years after going into effect. TISA is perhaps the most anti-transparent trade agreement ever proposed with Professor Jane Kelsey of the University of Auckland calling the agreement a reversal of the trend for disclosure in international agreements.
|By: DSWright Wednesday June 4, 2014 1:06 pm|
Recently Pando Daily broke a story about Governor Christie’s Administration violating pay to play laws by rewarding political donors with New Jersey Pension Fund contracts. The gist being that after General Catalyst employee Charles Baker donated money to the NJ GOP, General Catalyst received roughly $15 million to invest on behalf of retirees.
While the focus of the story was on violations of New Jersey’s pay to play laws, another facet of the scandal worth exploring is the increasing role alternative investment vehicles like General Catalyst – which is a venture capital firm – play in managing pension wealth. Private equity and hedge funds have begun to play an increasing role in pension investments as a recent Pew study points out.
The previously boring and safe strategy of buying government and top tier corporate bonds has been supplanted by the high flying big risk strategy of hedge funds.
|By: DSWright Thursday May 22, 2014 6:41 am|
One step forward two steps back? Though one Wall Street megabank, Credit Suisse, finally faced a bit of justice for criminal activity it seems there still has not been much of a change in some of the bankster community’s more unsavory practices – such as money laundering for drug cartels.
|By: DSWright Tuesday May 20, 2014 12:10 pm|
It has finally happened, a Wall Street firm has pleaded guilty to a felony. Credit Suisse, to address criminal activity that occurred for decades, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to aid tax evasion. The firm will also pay a fine of $2.6 billion and have an independent monitor for two years.