Exposing corporate wrongdoing
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Deutsche Bank was founded in 1870. It has paid out $7.2 billion in fines for its role in the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis and $2.5 billion in fines for its role in the global interest rate fixing scandal. It has also paid out $125 million to the U.S. to drop investigations into bribes paid out to officials in China, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as manipulating prices of precious metals. The Banking on Climate Chaos report estimates that Deutsche Bank provided over $74 billion in fossil fuel loans between 2016 and 2021 for projects such as Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline and Exxon’s ultra-deepwater drilling project off the coast of Guyana.
Deutsche Post, better known as DHL, is the successor to the Deutsche Bundespost, the German postal service that was privatized in 1995. It paid out $13.5 million for misclassifying hundreds of delivery drivers in California as independent contractors, and $1.5 million for wage violations of airport workers in Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. Similar suits are pending in Tennessee. It has also been sued for underpaying East European drivers who make deliveries in Germany and are forced to live in their trucks because of low wages. In Turkey, DHL was accused of firing 30 workers were members of the Tümtis trade union for attempting to organize workers.
Facebook is a social media company that was founded in 2003 by Mark Zuckerberg. It trades in the data of over two billion users and their daily activity which has allowed Facebook to become an advertising behemoth. As one of the largest distributors of information globally, it has been accused of distributing fake news and aiding violence in India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma) and the United States, where fundamentalists have weaponized its ability to fan hatred and riots. Facebook has also been accused of censorship of gay and lesbian contents as well as activism in places like Kashmir, Kurdistan, Pakistan and Palestine.
Fresenius is a healthcare company that owns dialysis clinics and manages hospitals, in addition to manufacturing medicines and medical supplies. It was founded in 1912. In 2016, the company agreed to pay out $250 million in compensation to families of U.S. patients who died of heart attacks after being treated with GranuFlo and NaturaLyte treatments used in dialysis machines to cleanse patients' blood, for failing to warn them about potentially deadly side effects. Fresenius has also been fined $50 million after employees were caught destroying records prior to a 2013 inspection of a plant that manufactured cancer medicines in Kalyani, West Bengal, India.
General Electric is a major military and nuclear contractor. Founded in 1892, it has been charged with radioactive and toxic waste dumping hundreds of times. One major source is the 91 nuclear power plants in 11 countries that use General Electric nuclear reactors such as those used in Fukushima, Japan. Company plants also discharged millions of pounds of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that it used in the manufacture of electrical transformers into the Housatonic River in Massachusetts and Hudson River in New York, despite the fact that the company was aware of the health problems caused. In 1999, the company paid $250 million for the pollution of the Housatonic and it has spent $1.7 billion cleaning up the Hudson.
Goldman Sachs is a Wall Street investment bank. Founded in 1869, the bank has often been accused of bad advice to government clients. The bank charged Libya $350 million for derivatives trades in 2008 that caused the government to lose approximately $1.2 billion; advised Malaysian officials and their cronies who stole $4.5 billion from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund to buy luxury assets and real estate; and charged Greece $300 million to engage in “blatant balance sheet cosmetics” to help the country join the European Monetary Union.