|US: Banks Set for Record Pay|
by STEPHEN GROCER, Wall Street Journal
January 14th, 2010
Major U.S. banks and securities firms are on pace to pay their people about $145 billion for 2009, a record sum that indicates how compensation is climbing despite fury over Wall Street's pay culture.
|EUROPE: Europe’s Vast Farm Subsidies Face Challenges|
by STEPHEN CASTLE and DOREEN CARVAJAL, New York Times
December 29th, 2009
The last time the European Union decided the future of its 50 billion euro agricultural aid program, in 2005, the deal was cut behind closed doors in a luxury suite at the five-star Conrad Brussels hotel. Now, 2013 is closer at hand and a new round of maneuvering has begun to reshape the richest system of agricultural handouts in the world.
|US: Monsanto's dominance draws antitrust inquiry|
by Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post
November 29th, 2009
For plants designed in a lab a little more than a decade ago, they've come a long way: Today, the vast majority of the nation's two primary crops grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents. Now Monsanto -- like IBM and Google -- has drawn scrutiny from U.S. antitrust investigators.
|US: Ex-UBS Banker Seeks Billions for Blowing Whistle|
by Lynnley Browning, New York Times
November 26th, 2009
Bradley C. Birkenfeld was sentenced to 40 months in prison for helping rich Americans dodge their taxes, his sentence reduced in turn for informing on Swiss banking giant UBS. Now, with the help of the National Whistleblower Center, he and his lawyers hope to use a new federal whistle-blower law to claim a multibillion-dollar reward from the American government.
|UK: Friends of the Earth attacks carbon trading|
by Ashley Seager, The Guardian (UK)
November 5th, 2009
The world's carbon trading markets growing complexity threatens another "sub-prime" style financial crisis that could again destabilise the global economy, campaigners warn. In a new report, Friends of the Earth says that to date "cap and trade" carbon markets have done little to reduce emissions but have been plagued by inefficiency and corruption.
|IVORY COAST: Trafigura offers deal to 31,000 Africans over dumped waste|
by Frances Gibb, The Times (London)
October 17th, 2009
British oil trader Trafigura has offered to settle a court case brought by 31,000 Africans who say that they were injured in the largest personal injuries class action mounted in an English court. The action resulted from the dumping of 400 tonnes of waste in the Ivory Coast by an oil tanker, the Probo Koala, in 2006 — one of the worst pollution disasters in recent history.
|US: E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Beef Inspection|
by Michael Moss, New York Times
October 3rd, 2009
Tracing the chain of production of an E. Coli-contaminated hamburger made by Cargill, through interviews and government and corporate records obtained by The New York Times, shows why eating ground beef is still a gamble. Neither the system meant to make the meat safe, nor the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe.
|US: The Rights of Corporations (Op-Ed)|
New York Times
September 22nd, 2009
The question at the heart of one of the biggest Supreme Court cases this year is simple: What constitutional rights should corporations have? The legal doctrine underlying this debate is known as “corporate personhood.”
|US: Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering|
by Charles Duhigg, New York Times
September 12th, 2009
Violations of the Clean Water Act have risen steadily across the nation, an extensive review of water pollution records by The New York Times found. Polluters include small companies, like gas stations, dry cleaners, and shopping malls. They also include large operations, like chemical factories, power plants, sewage treatment centers and one of the biggest zinc smelters, the Horsehead Corporation of Pennsylvania.
|AFGHANISTAN: Wackenhut aids inquiry into its Afghanistan contractor|
September 3rd, 2009
This week the Project on Government Oversight released damning allegations of deviant hazing at a camp for security guards in Afghanistan. Sparking questions from the State Department, POGO warned the problems are "posing a significant threat to the security of the embassy and its personnel."
|US: So You Squandered Billions --- Take Another Whack At It|
by Steven Perlstein, Washington Post
September 2nd, 2009
During the heyday of the credit bubble, they were the financiers who earned huge bonuses for creating, trading and investing other people's money in those complex securities that resulted in trillions of dollars in losses and brought global financial markets to their knees. Now they're out there again hustling for investors and hoping to make another score buying and trading the same securities.
|US: DynCorp Billed U.S. $50 Million Beyond Costs in Defense Contract|
by V. Dion Haynes, Washington Post
August 12th, 2009
A Defense Department auditor, appearing before the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, testified Tuesday that DynCorp International billed the government $50 million more than the amount specified in a contract to provide dining facilities and living quarters for military personnel in Kuwait.
|US: House votes to rein in ‘excessive pay’ for company execs|
by Gail Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor
July 31st, 2009
On Friday the U.S. House of Representativs passed a high-visibility bill to give shareholders and federal regulators a stronger hand in curbing excessive or risky executive compensation. Industry groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers opposed the bill as an overreach into private business decisions.
|US: Big Banks Paid Billions in Bonuses Amid Wall St. Crisis|
by Louise Story and Eric Dash, New York Times
July 30th, 2009
Nine of the financial firms that were recipients of federal bailout money paid about 5,000 of their traders and bankers bonuses of more than $1 million apiece for 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the New York attorney general. The report is certain to intensify the growing debate over how, and how much, Wall Street bankers should be paid.
|US: Cuomo Says Schwab Faces Fraud Suit|
by Liz Rappaport, Wall Street Journal
July 20th, 2009
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has warned Charles Schwab & Co. that his office plans to sue the firm for civil fraud over its marketing and sales of auction-rate securities to clients. Emails and testimony cited in the letter show Schwab's brokers had little idea of what they were selling and later failed to tell clients that the market was collapsing.
|US: Industry Takes Aim at Plan to Create Financial Protection Agency|
by Brady Dennis, Washington Post
July 7th, 2009
Business and trade-group lobbyists are beating a path for the first major battle over the Obama administration's efforts to overhaul the financial regulatory system. Recent discussions have involved the American Bankers Association, National Auto Dealers Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mortgage Bankers Association and other lobbyists.