Corporate Corruption

Family of GM accident victim speaks

“I believe GM murdered my daughter”

By Shannon Jones, 18 September 2015

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with Leo and Mary Ruddy, parents of Kelly Erin Ruddy who died in the crash of her Cobalt in January 2010

German companies profit from the new “refugee industry”

By Sven Heymann, 14 August 2015

Thousands of people who seek refuge in Germany from poverty, war and dictatorship find catastrophic conditions upon their arrival.

Obama administration issues wrist-slap fine for Fiat Chrysler’s deadly recall delays

By Shannon Jones, 28 July 2015

The $105 million penalty is a derisory amount, a small fraction of the automaker’s annual revenue and profits.

German financial supervisor implicates Deutsche Bank in Libor manipulation

By Sven Heymanns, 28 July 2015

Anshu Jain, who recently resigned as co-chair of Deutsche Bank, was involved much more deeply in the manipulation of Libor than previously known.

Pittsburgh energy company cuts health care for 4,400 retired workers

By Samuel Davidson, 6 July 2015

Pittsburgh-based coal and natural gas giant Consol Energy is the latest in a series of private companies to cut health benefits for its retired workforce.

Oil giant BP reaches sweetheart settlement over 2010 Gulf disaster

By David Brown, 3 July 2015

The agreement is the culmination of the Obama administration’s efforts to shield BP from responsibility for the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Verizon presses for new concessions from US telecom workers as contract talks begin

By Maria Kovalenko, 23 June 2015

The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are preparing to hand over more concessions on pensions and health benefits.

Five major banks to plead guilty to rigging currency markets

By Andre Damon, 15 May 2015

The effect of guilty pleas for crimes involving massive manipulation of financial markets will be essentially zero, beyond the immediate costs the fines levied on the institutions.

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hired by hedge fund Citadel

By Andre Damon, 18 April 2015

Bernanke’s new job constitutes little more than a kickback for services rendered to Wall Street.

The insider trading fix and class justice in America

By Barry Grey, 8 April 2015

In America, “justice” for the working class and poor is remorseless, brutal and final.

Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship pleads not guilty to updated charges

By Clement Daly, 26 March 2015

It is nearly five years since the April 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch killed 29 West Virginia miners in the worst US mine disaster in nearly four decades.

New Jersey settles major environmental pollution lawsuit with ExxonMobil

By Philip Guelpa, 3 March 2015

The Christie administration has reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with ExxonMobil for a fraction of the estimated cleanup cost.

HSBC documents reveal criminal conspiracy of banks and governments

By Andre Damon, 11 February 2015

The British, American and other governments buried evidence that Europe’s largest bank was running a massive tax fraud service.

S&P agrees to sweetheart settlement on inflated ratings of subprime mortgages

By Andre Damon, 4 February 2015

The settlement amounts to yet another slap on the wrist for companies whose fraudulent activities contributed to the 2008 financial collapse.

Federal judge cuts BP oil spill fine by billions of dollars

By Tom Hall, 17 January 2015

BP’s maximum fine for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill will be $13.7 billion, far lower than the $18 billion fine called for by prosecutors.

BP oil spill left massive “bathtub ring” in Gulf of Mexico

By Tom Hall, 3 November 2014

Millions of gallons of oil released during the 2010 BP oil spill fell to the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a study released last week.

Automakers, US federal regulators limit recall of deadly airbags

By Shannon Jones, 28 October 2014

US federal safety regulators have limited the recall of vehicles equipped with defective airbags to a restricted geographical area.

Automakers covered up deadly airbag defect

By Shannon Jones, 23 October 2014

Reports indicate that Honda and other automakers knew that airbags on their vehicles could explode, posing a risk of death or injury to occupants, but dragged out a recall.

Death claims mount from GM ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 17 October 2014

So far, there have been 178 death claims filed, far in excess of the 13 fatalities acknowledged by GM in vehicles it has recalled for faulty ignitions.

US peanut executives responsible for salmonella outbreak found guilty

By Tom Hall, 24 September 2014

Prosecutors in the first federal felony case against corporate executives for food poisoning did not press charges for the nine deaths caused by the salmonella outbreak.

GM ignition defect death claims continue to mount

By Shannon Jones, 29 August 2014

To date there have been 107 death claims relating to a deadly ignition defect that can cause airbags not to deploy.

The Bank of America settlement and the “justice” of capitalism

By Andre Damon, 23 August 2014

The Obama administration’s latest settlement with Bank of America imposes a wrist-slap fine and shields bankers from prosecution.

Bank of America agrees to sweetheart settlement with US Department of Justice

By Gabriel Black, 22 August 2014

The actual financial hit of BoA is far less than the $16.7 billion price tag touted by the Obama administration.

General Motors CEO says company will use bankruptcy to shield itself from lawsuits

By Gabriel Black, 22 July 2014

By denying victims and their families access to the courts, the company stands to avoid billions of dollars in damages.

GM withheld information about crashes tied to defective ignition switch

By Gabriel Black, 17 July 2014

Documents obtained by the New York Times show that GM withheld information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about a fatal crash tied to a faulty ignition switch.

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin sentenced to 10 years in prison

By Tom Hall, 12 July 2014

Nagin, infamous for his callous conduct during and after Hurricane Katrina, was sentenced to ten years in prison on 20 corruption counts.

“GM is alright with safety as long as it doesn’t interfere with sending parts out the door.”

Worker killed in chemical explosion at Indiana GM plant

By Jerry White, 3 July 2014

James L. Gibson, a 48-year-old worker for Quaker Chemical, was pronounced dead at Marion General Hospital about an hour after the blast.

Documents indicate GM tops knew of ignition defect

By Gabriel Black, 2 July 2014

New documents released by Congress indicate high-ranking GM executives knew as early as 2005 about an ignition defect tied to fatal crashes.

GM makes minimal offer to crash victims

By Shannon Jones, 1 July 2014

GM hopes to settle on the cheap its liabilities from a deadly ignition defect tied to numerous fatal crashes.

Former Goldman trader involved in fraudulent activities says $8 million bonus too low

By Andre Damon, 21 June 2014

A former Goldman Sachs trader who helped the bank bet against toxic mortgage-backed securities it was palming off to investors claims he was underpaid for his efforts.

Internal report details GM ignition cover-up

By Shannon Jones, 14 June 2014

The report commissioned by General Motors into the recall of vehicles with a deadly ignition defect paints a devastating picture of corporate indifference to public health and safety.

Relatives of GM crash victims hold Detroit protest

By Shannon Jones, 11 June 2014

Family members denounced the recent report commissioned by GM as a cover-up designed to shield top officials.

Appeals court backs executive branch whitewash of Wall Street

By Gabriel Black, 10 June 2014

A Federal appeals court overturned a judge’s 2011 decision against a sweetheart deal between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Citibank.

Internal GM report shields top executives for cover-up of deadly car defects

By Jerry White, 6 June 2014

The internal investigation claims bureaucratic incompetence and communication glitches were behind the automaker’s failure to recall defective vehicles responsible for scores if not hundreds of fatal accidents.

Pressure on GM over death count tied to recall

By Shannon Jones, 30 May 2014

GM still insists only 13 deaths are tied to ignition defect despite evidence that the actual toll is far higher.

General Motors recalls another 2.4 million vehicles

By Shannon Jones, 21 May 2014

The auto maker has recalled 13.6 million vehicles in 2014 in the wake of the exposure of its cover-up of a deadly ignition defect.

Obama administration whitewashes GM cover-up

By Andre Damon, 20 May 2014

Last week the US Department of Transportation ended its investigation into General Motors over an ignition switch default, which led to the loss of at least 13 lives.

US government whitewashes GM’s responsibility for deadly ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 17 May 2014

The automaker is being fined a mere $35 million, less than one day’s revenue.

GM presses judge to shut down lawsuits stemming from ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 6 May 2014

The auto company is relying on the Obama administration’s bailout to free it of liability for dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths.

Parents of crash victim speak on GM recall

“There wasn’t anyone in senior management who didn’t know about this”

By Shannon Jones, 24 April 2014

GM denied any responsibility for the accident in which air bags failed to deploy, despite knowing about the deadly ignition defect.

GM autoworker: “They say ‘safety first’ but it’s really profit that’s first”

GM safety violations linked to cost-cutting attacks on workers

By Jerry White, 23 April 2014

From 2002 to 2012, GM cut its hourly workforce by 12 percent each year.

General Motors uses bankruptcy to deflect safety responsibility

By Matthew MacEgan, 23 April 2014

General Motors has filed a suit in federal court to enforce a bar on lawsuits resulting from defective cars sold prior to its bankruptcy in 2009.

As safety complaints mounted, GM avoided recalls that could cut into profits

By Jerry White, 22 April 2014

GM officials opted to issue “technical service bulletins” to car dealerships instead of removing potentially deadly vehicles from the road.

Judge denies suit seeking to force GM to ground recalled cars

By Shannon Jones, 19 April 2014

The cars have defective ignitions that have been tied to fatal crashes in which airbags failed to deploy.

Former Yahoo executive to collect nearly $110 million for 15 months of work

By Gabriel Black, 18 April 2014

Henrique de Castro, the former chief operating officer of Yahoo, will receive a $58 million severance package after 15 months on the job, on top of his salary and starting bonus.

GM seeks to squelch lawsuits stemming from ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 17 April 2014

The company is asking a bankruptcy judge in New York to block lawsuits from accidents that occurred prior to July 2009.

GM expands ignition recall to include another defect it concealed

By Barry Grey, 12 April 2014

GM said it knew of several hundred complaints of keys coming out of the slot of the ignition lock cylinder in Cobalts and other small models while the engine was running.

The GM ignition scandal and the case for public ownership

By Shannon Jones, 1 April 2014

Both corporate management and government regulators turned a blind eye for years to mounting reports of death and injury caused by a defective ignition system.

Five more convicted in Madoff Ponzi scheme

Jamie Dimon continues to escape prosecution

By Andre Damon, 27 March 2014

A federal jury on Monday convicted five former employees of Bernard Madoff for helping him run the biggest Ponzi scheme in US history.

Time Warner CEO to receive $80 million payout after six weeks of work

By Andre Damon, 22 March 2014

Robert D. Marcus the chief executive of Time Warner Cable, is set to receive an $80 million payout if the company goes through with its planned acquisition by Comcast

Financial backer of Washington, DC mayor pleads guilty to illegal contributions

By Nick Barrickman, 19 March 2014

Last week, Jeffrey E. Thompson, a regional powerbroker and government contractor in Washington, DC, pleaded guilty to felony charges.

Evidence mounts of cover-up of deaths related to GM ignition defect

By Shannon Jones, 17 March 2014

A new study of crash data shows that 303 fatalities may be linked to an ignition problem with several GM models.

US Environmental Protection Agency lifts ban on federal contracts for BP

By Tom Hall, 17 March 2014

The EPA announced last week that it would allow BP to compete for new federal oil contracts, lifting a ban instituted in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

US highway safety agency abetted GM cover-up of defect linked to fatal crashes

By Shannon Jones, 12 March 2014

Documents show the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration knew of ignition defects in several GM models for years but took no action.

US bank CEOs rake in pay raises, bonuses

By Patrick Martin, 22 February 2014

The CEO of Bank of America received a raise greater than the lifetime pay for the average American worker.

White House sued for covering up crimes of JPMorgan

By Gabriel Black, 15 February 2014

The complaint alleges that the Obama administration illegally sought to bypass judicial review to ensure a favorable deal for the bank.

Detroit’s bankruptcy, the tip of the iceberg

States, cities hand out billions in tax abatements

By Nancy Hanover, 27 January 2014

A massive giveaway—“corporate welfare,” both locally and nationally—is bankrupting municipalities across the US.

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon gets 74 percent pay raise

By Andre Damon, 27 January 2014

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has been awarded $20 million in pay for 2013, an increase of 74 percent, following a year in which the bank paid out $20 billion in legal settlements.

Dow hits new record amid deepening world slump

By Andre Damon, 19 November 2013

The most remarkable aspect of the bull market is that it occurs in the context of stagnant economic growth or recession in the US and Europe.

The SAC insider trading case and the US financial aristocracy

By Andre Damon, 9 November 2013

SAC Capital Advisors, one of the most profitable hedge funds in history, has pleaded guilty in a massive insider trading case, but its owner faces no criminal charges and retains his vast fortune.

SAC Capital fined less than one year’s earnings for “pervasive and unprecedented” insider trading

By Andre Damon, 6 November 2013

US Prosecutors announced Monday that Hedge fund SAC Capital would plead guilty to five counts of insider trading.

Blanket settlement with JPMorgan: A $13 billion cover-up

By Barry Grey, 21 October 2013

The American financial elite, like the aristocracies of old, is immune from the laws that apply to the lower orders.

JPMorgan CEO in secret meeting with Attorney General Holder over fraud probes

By Barry Grey, 28 September 2013

The fact that the highest US law enforcement official holds an unannounced meeting with the head of a bank under investigation by his department says a great deal about the role of the government in shielding bankers.

Halliburton pleads guilty to charges stemming from BP oil spill

By Tom Hall, 23 September 2013

Halliburton has pled guilty to destroying evidence related to the 2010 BP oil spill, paying a paltry $200,000 in fines.

JPMorgan receives wrist slap fine for hiding derivatives loss

By Andre Damon, 20 September 2013

JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, settled charges related to its multi-billion-dollar trading loss Thursday with four regulators, paying a total of $920 million in fines.

US shields CEO Dimon in indictment of JPMorgan traders

By Andre Damon, 15 August 2013

US prosecutors have charged two low-level JPMorgan Chase traders in connection with last year’s $6.2 billion trading loss.

Hedge fund SAC indicted for insider trading

By Dorian Griscom, 30 July 2013

The evidence indicates that SAC's massive profits were generated on the basis of fraud and illegal insider trading.

Halliburton pleads guilty to destroying gulf oil spill evidence

By Andre Damon, 27 July 2013

Halliburton, the oil field services contractor, agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence related to its complicity in causing the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.

US files civil charges against former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine

By Gabriel Black, 20 July 2013

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has filed a civil lawsuit against Jon Corzine, the ex-chief of MF Global, for “failing to properly supervise” employees who used nearly a billion dollars from customers’ accounts to cover the firm’s bad debts.

Obama official who oversaw BP oil spill hired as Apple’s environmental fixer

By Zac Corrigan, 31 May 2013

Lisa Jackson, who was the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during Obama's first term, has been hired by Apple to manage the company's environmental problems.

Apple CEO defends multi-billion-dollar tax dodge

By Andre Damon, 22 May 2013

Apple CEO Tim Cook used his appearance before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to call for a sharp reduction in corporate taxes.

White House seeks to shorten sentence of former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling

By Andre Damon, 10 May 2013

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that it has reached a deal with former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling that would result in a 10-year sentence reduction.

JPMorgan and the criminalization of the US ruling class

By Barry Grey, 18 March 2013

The financial malefactors have been rewarded with ever greater public funds to subsidize record profits, executive bonuses and stock prices

Senate report documents fraud and lawbreaking by JPMorgan Chase

By Barry Grey, 16 March 2013

The report demonstrates that nothing has changed on Wall Street since the financial meltdown that was triggered by rampant speculation and illegality on the part of the banks.

Chevron fined for “willful violations” in California refinery fire

By Henry Allan, 13 February 2013

Chevron was fined $963,200 by Cal/OSHA for state safety standard violations related to the August 6, 2012, fire at its Richmond, California, refinery.

Bank scandals and the case for public ownership

By Nick Beams, 8 February 2013

Calls for greater regulation of the banks ignore the incestuous relationships between the finance houses and the regulators that are supposed to be overseeing them.

The stock market bubble

By Andre Damon, 1 February 2013

In the fifth year of the economic depression, and amid signs of the worst global slowdown since 2008, world stock markets are booming the fastest since the late 1990s.

Johnson & Johnson knowingly sold faulty hip implants

By Naomi Spencer, 25 January 2013

Although the company was aware that 40 percent of metal hip replacements would fail in five years, it sold the devices anyway.

The Libor swindle

By Andre Damon, 22 December 2012

Not only has the Libor swindle exposed the criminality of the banks, it has laid bare the nexus of corruption and complicity involving governments and financial regulators the world over.

Above the law

By Barry Grey, 14 December 2012

The financial robber barons of today are a law unto themselves.

BP settles for $4.5 billion in federal criminal charges

By Bryan Dyne, 17 November 2012

BP has reached a settlement on all criminal claims with the US Department of Justice and on all securities claims with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

US suit vs. Bank of America: No criminal charges despite “spectacularly brazen” fraud

By Barry Grey, 27 October 2012

Not a single high-level banker has been prosecuted, let alone jailed, since the Wall Street crash of September 2008.

Morgan Stanley fine upheld in electricity price-fixing scam

By A. Woodson, 18 October 2012

A Federal District Court judge in Manhattan has upheld a $4.8 million fine against Morgan Stanley for creating a derivatives deal.

US to drop criminal probe of MF Global

By Barry Grey, 21 August 2012

In the figure of former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine, key aspects of the criminalization of the US ruling elite and the thoroughgoing corruption of its political system come together.

JPMorgan Chase investigated for manipulating California energy market

By Oliver Richards, 23 July 2012

The California Independent Systems Operator (CalISO) has alleged that JPMorgan Chase & Co. manipulated the state’s energy market, resulting in at least $73 million in improper payments.

Allegations of government collusion in Libor fixing raised in UK Parliament

By Christopher Marsden, 6 July 2012

The declaration by chairman Andrew Tyrie that some of what Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond said in testimony to the parliamentary Treasury Committee seemed “implausible” ranks as a masterpiece of understatement.

Libor scandal exposes banks’ rigging of global rates

By Barry Grey, 6 July 2012

Rotting in its own criminality, the capitalist financial system produces ever more powerful arguments for its expropriation and reconstitution under public ownership and democratic control.

The bankers rule: Jamie Dimon at the US Senate

By David Walsh, 16 June 2012

The members of the Senate Banking Committee treated JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon with awe and reverence.

Documents in US foreclosure settlement highlight lawlessness of the banks

By Barry Grey, 16 March 2012

On Monday, the settlement between five major US banks and the federal and state governments of foreclosure-related fraud charges was filed in federal district court in Washington DC.

An insider’s view of Wall Street criminality

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 15 March 2012

Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, announced his resignation Wednesday in an op-ed piece public in the New York Times, denouncing the bank's “toxic” culture of avarice and fraud.

A4e scandal highlights looting of UK social spending by private companies

By Julie Hyland, 1 March 2012

The scandal surrounding the welfare-to-work firm A4e (Action for Employment) has again exposed how large swathes of public funds have been handed over to private corporations, under both Labour and the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

Corzine resigns from MF Global amid mounting probes

By Bill Van Auken, 5 November 2011

Jon Corzine, the former New Jersey Democratic senator and governor, resigned as CEO of MF Global, amid multiple probes into possible criminal violations at the bankrupt investment firm.

Former billionaire hedge fund manager convicted of insider trading

By Bill Van Auken, 13 May 2011

The conviction of former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam on insider trading charges does not even touch upon the rampant financial swindling that produced the economic meltdown of 2008.

Madoff lawsuits charge JPMorgan and HSBC with complicity in Ponzi scheme

By Andre Damon, 18 December 2010

Two years after the arrest of Bernard Madoff, ample evidence has emerged that a number of major financial institutions profited from and knowingly facilitated his Ponzi scheme.

First arrest in high-profile insider trading investigation

By Andre Damon, 27 November 2010

The US government has arrested an investment research firm employee in the first charge related to an ongoing federal insider trading investigation.

Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal of Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling

By Joe Kishore, 16 October 2009

The decision by the US high court to hear the Skilling case indicates that it is considering curtailing use of the “honest services” law to prosecute corporate fraud.

The Enron verdicts: corruption and American capitalism

By Joe Kay, 29 May 2006

The guilty verdicts handed down by a Houston jury last week against former Enron chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling provide an opportunity to evaluate the significance of the company’s rise and fall within the context of American capitalism.

Former CFO testifies in Enron case

By Joe Kay, 10 March 2006

Former Enron chief financial officer Andrew Fastow continued testimony on Thursday in the trial of the company’s former CEO Ken Lay and former president Jeffrey Skilling. Fastow testified that Lay and Skilling were personally involved in the various illegal activities, accounting manipulations, and fraudulent statements for which Enron has become notorious.

Enron tapes expose blatant criminality of corporate America

By Rafael Azul, 15 June 2004

The recent release of transcripts of taped conversations among Enron electricity traders in the summer of 2001 reveals that company insiders not only knew they were stealing from California and other states, but gloated about it. The partial release of thousands of hours of tapes is a powerful indictment of the energy companies that looted California and Washington of close to $11 billion, with the support and assistance of government officials.