Financial Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Financial Media Articles in Major Media
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A pair of attorneys defending FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried against one of the biggest white-collar prosecutions in decades are veterans of high-profile cases, including ones involving drug lord "El Chapo" and disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, former federal prosecutors who are now partners in the New York-based boutique firm Cohen & Gresser ... are up against hard-charging Justice Department lawyers who moved quickly to indict Mr. Bankman-Fried after FTX's collapse and secured two of his former top lieutenants as cooperating witnesses. The Manhattan U.S. attorney's office this past month charged Mr. Bankman-Fried with stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers while misleading investors and lenders connected to his crypto-trading firm Alameda Research. He faces charges of fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and campaign-finance violations and pleaded not guilty last week. Messrs. Cohen, 59 years old, and Everdell, 48, have already navigated their client through a thorny extradition from the Bahamas, where Mr. Bankman-Fried had been jailed after the Justice Department requested that local police arrest him. The two lawyers worked with local counsel to secure his transfer to U.S. custody while negotiating with federal prosecutors his pretrial release under a $250 million bond. They are now tasked with combing through voluminous and technical discovery, including documents relating to FTX investors, debtors and political campaigns.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
The former attorney general for the Virgin Islands, who recently secured a $105 million settlement from the estate of Jeffrey Epstein, was recently fired following months of friction between her and the U.S. territory's governor over the handling of the investigation into the disgraced financier, according to people briefed on the matter. Denise N. George, the former official, was dismissed by Albert Bryan Jr., the governor of the Virgin Islands, on New Year's Eve, four days after her office sued JPMorgan Chase in federal court in Manhattan for its dealings with Mr. Epstein, who died of an apparent suicide in 2019 while in federal custody. The timing of Ms. George's firing fueled media speculation in the Virgin Islands and beyond that the suit against JPMorgan was the immediate cause. In late December, Ms. George's office sued JPMorgan in federal court in Manhattan, claiming that bank was derelict in providing banking services to Mr. Epstein during the time he was charged with sexually abusing teenage girls and young women at Little St. James and elsewhere in the U.S. The lawsuit accused JPMorgan of facilitating and concealing wire and cash transactions that should have raised suspicions that Mr. Epstein was engaging in the sexual trafficking of teen girls and young women. The lawsuit contends the bank essentially turned a "blind eye" to Mr. Epstein's conduct because it was profitable. JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, was Mr. Epstein's primary banker from the late 1990s to 2013.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on banking corruption and Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring from reliable major media sources.
The government of the U.S. Virgin Islands alleges in a lawsuit filed this week that JPMorgan Chase "turned a blind eye" to evidence that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein used the bank to facilitate sex-trafficking activities on Little St. James, the private island he owned in the territory until his 2019 suicide. In a more than 100-page complaint filed by U.S.V.I. Attorney General Denise George in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan on Tuesday, the territory alleges that JPMorgan failed to report Epstein's suspicious activities and provided the financier with services reserved for high-wealth clients after his 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution in Palm Beach, Fla. The complaint says the territory's Department of Justice investigation "revealed that JP Morgan knowingly, negligently, and unlawfully provided and pulled the levers through which recruiters and victims were paid and was indispensable to the operation and concealment of the Epstein trafficking enterprise." It accused the bank of ignoring evidence for "more than a decade because of Epstein's own financial footprint, and because of the deals and clients that Epstein brought and promised to bring to the bank." "These decisions were advocated and approved at the senior levels of JP Morgan," it said. The bank allegedly "facilitated and concealed wire and cash transactions that raised suspicion of – and were in fact part of – a criminal enterprise whose currency was the sexual servitude of dozens of women and girls," according to the complaint.
Note: Just days after filing the lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase, the district attorney of US Virgin Islands was fired. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking ring from reliable major media sources.
Federal regulators fined Wells Fargo a record $1.7 billion on Tuesday for "widespread mismanagement" over multiple years that harmed over 16 million consumer accounts. Wells Fargo's "illegal activity" included repeatedly misapplying loan payments, wrongfully foreclosing on homes, illegally repossessing vehicles, incorrectly assessing fees and interest and charging surprise overdraft fees. The CFPB ordered Wells Fargo to pay the $1.7 billion civil penalty in addition to more than $2 billion to compensate consumers for a range of "illegal activity." CFPB officials say this is the largest penalty imposed by the agency. The misconduct described by the CFPB echoes previously reported revelations that have emerged about Wells Fargo since 2016 when the bank's fake-accounts scandal created a national firestorm. "Wells Fargo's rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law has harmed millions of American families," Rohit Chopra, the CFPB's director, said in a statement. Chopra noted that the settlement does not provide immunity for individuals at Wells Fargo, and the agency recognizes the $3.7 billion in fines and restitution will not fix the bank's problems. Although Chopra credited Wells Fargo with making some progress, he said it's not clear "they are making rapid enough progress" and said the agency is concerned that the bank's product launches, growth initiatives and profit-boosting efforts have "delayed needed reform."
Note: In 2016, Wells Fargo was caught opening millions of fake accounts in its customers' names. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Among the many surprising assets uncovered in the bankruptcy of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX is a relatively tiny one that could raise big concerns: a stake in one of the country's smallest banks. The bank, Farmington State Bank in Washington State, has a single branch and, until this year, just three employees. It did not offer online banking or even a credit card. The tiny bank's connection to the collapse of FTX is raising new questions about the exchange and its operations. The ties between FTX and Farmington State Bank began in March when Alameda Research, a small trading firm and sister to FTX, invested $11.5 million in the bank's parent company, FBH. At the time, Farmington was the nation's 26th-smallest bank out of 4,800. Its net worth was $5.7 million. FTX is a now bankrupt company that was one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges. A judge allowed the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell to continue advising FTX on bankruptcy. It's unclear how FTX was allowed to buy a stake in a U.S.-licensed bank, which would need to be approved by federal regulators. Banking veterans say it's hard to believe that regulators would have knowingly allowed FTX to gain control of a U.S. bank. "The fact that an offshore hedge fund that was basically a crypto firm was buying a stake in a tiny bank for multiples of its stated book value should have raised massive red flags for the F.D.I.C., state regulators and the Federal Reserve," said Camden Fine, a bank industry consultant.
Note: An in-depth investigation by Whitney Webb and Ed Berger further unearths the mysterious connections between FTX and Farmington State Bank. Extending far beyond Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX, they make a case for a deeper criminal network at play, with troubling connections to this bank. Incidentally, the firm Sullivan & Cromwell has old connections with the CIA. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
Many of the world's largest asset managers and state pension funds are passively investing in companies that have allegedly engaged in the repression of Uyghur Muslims in China, according to a new report. The report, by UK-based group Hong Kong Watch and the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, found that three major stock indexes provided by MSCI include at least 13 companies that have allegedly used forced labour or been involved in the construction of the surveillance state in China's Xinjiang region. In recent years, China has come under increased scrutiny over what the UN has called "serious human rights violations" against Uyghur Muslims in the region, including systemic discrimination, mass arbitrary detention, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. The report includes a list of major asset managers, including BlackRock, HSBC and Deutsche Bank among others, exposed to index funds that include companies accused of engaging in labour transfers and the construction of repressive infrastructure in the region. It found public pension funds across the UK, Canada and the US and funds in New Zealand and Japan exposed by the investments. "So many people's pensions, retirement funds and savings are invested passively because, as average consumers, we don't have time to investigate each and every investment," said Laura Murphy, one of the report's authors and professor of human rights and contemporary slavery at Sheffield Hallam University.
Note: Read an eye-opening article about the shocking human rights violations happening to the Uyghur people under the auspices of the Chinese government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
A former Vatican financial auditor has filed suit against the Vatican Secretariat of State, demanding the Catholic Church pay for damage to his reputation that he alleges followed his unceremonious firing in 2017. Libero Milone was hired in 2015 by Pope Francis to look into the notoriously convoluted and troubled finances of Vatican departments, as part of continuing financial reforms begun by Pope Benedict XVI. Only two years later, the Vatican announced that Milone had resigned in the face of accusations of embezzlement and of spying. Cardinal Angelo Becciu told reporters that the auditor "went against all rules and was spying on the private lives of his superiors and staff, myself included." Milone called the cardinal "a liar." Now, Milone says, he is ready to share proof of the financial mismanagement he said he witnessed at Vatican-owned hospitals and in the church bureaucracy. Milone framed his firing as a battle between "the Middle Ages and modernity" and called out "the small mafia at the Vatican" that was offended by his findings of lapses in the Catholic institution's finances, including "many cases of rule violations, improper predisposition of accounting records, incorrect registrations." He said he has proof that several other Vatican offices concealed transactions or obstructed auditors' attempts to see real estate and investment portfolios. He also pointed to significant anomalies in the management of funds at the troubled Catholic pediatric hospital Bambino GesĂą.
Note: In 2012, leaked documents revealed that the Vatican Bank was used for money laundering. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial corruption from reliable major media sources.
The Federal Reserve, far from the independent institution it often touts itself as, is under intense pressure at all times from massive commercial banks and other financial institutions advocating for favorable regulations, according to federal lobbying disclosures reviewed by The Intercept, as well as interviews with former Fed and other finance employees. The Federal Reserve has come under scrutiny in recent months for its aggressive interest rate hikes. The Fed's own research has warned that its aggressive policy mirrors a similar one that caused a "severe recession" under Paul Volcker in the 1980s. Even the United Nations ... recently warned that the Fed's rate hikes risk "inflicting worse damage than the financial crisis in 2008 and the COVID-19 shock in 2020." Besides setting monetary policy, the Fed is also tasked with regulating commercial banks. The intense lobbying the Fed is subjected to is targeted at these banking regulations. Paid lobbyists make their case on behalf of massive financial corporations in the same fashion as K Street lobbyists hawking their wares to members of Congress. In 2022 alone, over 120 groups reported lobbying the Fed on issues ranging from credit card fees to cryptocurrency to sprawling monetary policy initiatives such as mortgage finance. Postings on the Federal Reserve website in the past year record meetings with Discover Financial, Student Loan Servicing Alliance, National Bankers Association, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Thousands of officials across the government's executive branch reported owning or trading stocks that stood to rise or fall with decisions their agencies made, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found. More than 2,600 officials at agencies from the Commerce Department to the Treasury Department, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, disclosed stock investments in companies while those same companies were lobbying their agencies for favorable policies. That amounts to more than one in five senior federal employees across 50 federal agencies reviewed by the Journal. A top official at the Environmental Protection Agency reported purchases of oil and gas stocks. The Food and Drug Administration improperly let an official own dozens of food and drug stocks on its no-buy list. A Defense Department official bought stock in a defense company five times before it won new business from the Pentagon. The Journal obtained and analyzed more than 31,000 financial-disclosure forms for about 12,000 senior career employees, political staff and presidential appointees. The review spans 2016 through 2021 and includes data on about 850,000 financial assets and more than 315,000 trades. More than five dozen officials at five agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, reported trading stock in companies shortly before their departments announced enforcement actions, such as charges and settlements, against those companies.
Note: You can read the entire article free of charge on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Russia's war on Ukraine has wreaked havoc on global commodity markets, driving up energy and food prices and exacerbating hunger emergencies around the world. But while disastrous for the global poor ... the chaos has been a major boon for Wall Street giants. "The 100 biggest banks by revenue are set to make $18 billion from commodities trading in 2022," Bloomberg reported Friday. "The prediction is the latest evidence that the wild swings in energy prices triggered by the war in Ukraine are delivering a boon to commodity traders, even as they push European nations into crisis," Bloomberg added. "Vali, an analytics firm that tracks trading business, compiled data that includes the leading five banks in commodity trading: Macquarie Group Ltd., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., and Morgan Stanley." "People's misery makes capitalists' superprofit," Salvatore De Rosa, a researcher at the Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies. The World Food Program estimates that "as many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night" and ... "those facing acute food insecurity has soared–from 135 million to 345 million–since 2019." "It's too easy to say the war in Ukraine has unbalanced all these markets, [or that] supply chains and the ports are shot, and that there's a supply and demand reason for these prices going up," [Michael] Greenberger added. "My own best guess is anywhere from 10% to 25% of the price, at least, is dictated by deregulated speculative activity."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise news summaries revealing banking corruption from reliable major media sources. You can also visit our Banking Information Center to further explore corruption in the financial industry.
Tech billionaires are buying up luxurious bunkers and hiring military security to survive a societal collapse they helped create, but like everything they do, it has unintended consequences. Their extreme wealth and privilege ... make them obsessed with insulating themselves from the very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is about only one thing: escape from the rest of us. What, if anything, could we do to resist it? A former president of the American chamber of commerce in Latvia ... JC Cole had witnessed the fall of the Soviet empire, as well as what it took to rebuild a working society almost from scratch. He believed the best way to cope with the impending disaster was to change the way we treat one another, the economy, and the planet right now. JC's real passion wasn't just to build a few isolated, militarised retreat facilities for millionaires, but to prototype locally owned sustainable farms that can be modelled by others and ultimately help restore regional food security in America. Investors not only get a maximum security compound in which to ride out the coming plague, solar storm, or electric grid collapse. They also get a stake in a potentially profitable network of local farm franchises that could reduce the probability of a catastrophic event. His business would do its best to ensure there are as few hungry children at the gate as possible when the time comes to lock down.
Note: Read about a Cold War U.S. government missile silo that was transformed into a luxury bunker to prepare for the apocalypse in this previously reported news article. You might also consider exploring revealing news articles on food system corruption impacting our economy and environment.
The biggest thing the federal government now does with businesses is subsidize them. The Clean Air Act of 1970 authorized the government to regulate air pollution. The Inflation Reduction Act, which Joe Biden signed into law ... allocates more than $300bn to energy and climate reform, including $30bn in subsidies for manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines. Notice the difference? This shift from regulation to subsidy has characterized every recent administration. Today it's politically difficult, if not impossible, for government to demand that corporations (and their shareholders) bear the costs of public goods. Spending by corporations on lobbying increased from $1.44bn in 1999 to $3.77bn in 2021 and is on track to exceed $4bn this year. This tidal wave of corporate money has occurred at the same time large American corporations have globalized ... demanding government subsidies in return for creating jobs and doing their cutting-edge research in America. The question [is] whether the government should subsidize certain industries that generate large social benefits in the form of new technologies. I argued that the government was already engaged in a hidden industrial policy, disguised, for example, as grants to the aerospace and telecom industries by the Department of Defense and to the pharmaceutical industry by the National Institutes of Health. It would be far better to do industrial policy in the open, so that the public could assess what it was paying for and what it was getting in return.
Note: This article was written by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more revealing information on the government sponsoring corporate, financial interests without public input, see concise summaries of news articles on corporate corruption, and corruption in government and the financial industry.
Whether dodging taxes or legal peril, wealthy Americans often succeed in concealing assets from the government by hiding their money in offshore bank accounts. Research from the IRS and a group of economists last year found that the top 1% of earners in the U.S. neglect to report 20% of their income – and that random audits almost never detect offshore accounts. Tax havens like Switzerland or the Cayman Islands have traditionally offered Americans a place to hide their assets because they fiercely guard financial privacy and have minimal to no taxes. Often, they also have laws that inhibit scrutiny from foreign tax officials. Prior to his latest book, [author Patrick Radden] Keefe published "Empire of Pain," which chronicled the billionaire Sackler family's connection to the nation's opioid epidemic. The Sacklers, the notorious family that owned the now bankrupt Purdue Pharma, reportedly have much of their wealth hidden in offshore accounts. An audit commissioned by Purdue showed the family withdrew more than $10 billion from their company during the opioid crisis, CNN reported in October 2020. They began drawing especially large amounts of money from the firm after paying $600 million in a 2007 plea deal with the Justice Department for misleading physicians and consumers about the opioid OxyContin, CNN reported. "The kind of sophistication of the whole industry of financial dissimulation ... such that nobody can put their hands on the money, is really interesting." Keefe told Yahoo Finance.
Note: A 2015 Guardian newspaper article further describes how the US helps the super-rich hide assets. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of financial industry corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Some of the nation's largest retailers have been using soaring inflation rates as an excuse to raise prices and rake in billions of dollars in additional profit, a corporate watchdog group charged. The new figures comes as companies enjoy their most profitable year since the 1950s. Pre-tax profits last year soared 25% from 2020, far outpacing the increase in consumer prices. The report highlights an ongoing debate about the causes of inflation, with some consumer advocates arguing that corporations are using inflation as a justification for passing on even higher price hikes to consumers. Accountable.US said it examined the financial statements of the nation's top 10 retailers over the past two years – including Lowe's and Target – and found that they collectively increased their profits by $24.6 million for a grand total of $99 billion. The report notes, among other examples, that Lowe's recorded $8.4 billion in profit in its most recent quarter as it touted its "new pricing strategies." TJX, parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home Goods, saw last year's profits soar to $3.3 billion as the CEO spoke about the company's "aggressive" price increases. "It's time corporations finally help shoulder the burden average Americans have taken on throughout the health crisis," [Accountable.US President Kyle] Herrig said. "Corporations can start by stabilizing prices for consumers instead of pursuing even higher profits – on top of finally paying their fair share in taxes."
Note: Just like big Pharma with COVID, the major corporations are profiting hugely from our misery. Here's another revealing report shows major food producing corporations marking up prices while raking in huge profits. You might also explore key excerpts of news articles on corporate corruption from reliable media sources.
The audit rate for Americans earning more than $5 million a year plunged to just over 2% in 2019 from over 16% in 2010, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog. The report estimated that taxpayers underreported their income tax by a combined $245 billion a year between 2011 and 2013, and said that "taxpayers are more likely to voluntarily comply with the tax laws if they believe their return may be audited." The main reason for the decline, according to the report, is a lack of IRS funding. In fiscal year 2021, the agency's budget was $11.9 billion – $200 million less than its 2010 budget. The IRS also has seen its staffing levels fall to the same levels as 1973. The decline in funding and auditors means that taxpayers, and especially the top earners, are far less likely to get caught underpaying their taxes than a decade ago. Overall audit rates for American taxpayers fell to 0.2% in 2019 from 0.9% in 2010. The wealthy are still audited at a higher rate than the general taxpayer population. Yet their audit rates have declined at a much higher rate. The audit rate for taxpayers earning between $5 million and $10 million fell to 1.4% from 13.5%. Those earning more than $10 million saw their audit rate fall to 3.9% in 2019 from 21.2% in 2010, while audit rates for $10 million-plus earners ticked up slightly for the 2017 and 2018 tax years due to a Treasury Department mandate to impose audit rates of at least 8% on those making $10 million or more.
Note: For more along these lines, see key news articles on the financial industry from reliable major media sources.
Suffering from U.S. and EU sanctions, Russia made a surprise move–its central bank fixed the price of 5,000 rubles to a gram of gold. Few Western investors or executives noticed. Then, Russia ... announced that it would require payment for oil, natural gas and other of its significant exports in rubles. "What the Russians did was a genius," explains Jack Bouroudjian, former president of Commerce Bank in Chicago. "It forces people to go to the Russian central bank and pay gold to get rubles to make the transactions." The ruble had been trading in the range of 70 to 80 for a U.S. dollar. After the sanctions, it plummeted to 120. "Now the ruble basically recovered, trading 80 rubles to the dollar. And it's because of the way they pegged the ruble to gold." U.S. companies that have either international suppliers or customers could be jolted by Russia's golden move. Overseas business partners may need to barter gold for rubles to pay for inputs, like energy, minerals or fertilizers, and therefore demand that their U.S. counterparts pay in rubles or bullion. Additionally, American firms may need to acquire a stack of rubles to pay for their own inputs for foreign-based factories, warehouses or raw materials. Russia isn't alone in its desire. "China has been explicit" in its desire to displace the dollar and make the yuan more central. China is taking preliminary measures to defend their state-owned assets against financial sanctions similar to those the U.S. launched against Russia.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
The fallout from a huge leak of Credit Suisse banking data threatened to damage Switzerland's entire financial sector on Monday after the European parliament's main political grouping raised the prospect of adding the country to a money-laundering blacklist. The European People's party (EPP), the largest political grouping of the European parliament, called for the EU to review its relationship with Switzerland and consider whether it should be added to its list of countries associated with a high risk of financial crime. Experts said that such a move would be a disaster for Switzerland's financial sector, which would face the kind of enhanced due diligence applied to transactions linked to rogue nations including Iran, Myanmar, Syria and North Korea. The EPP released the proposal after media outlets including the Guardian, SĂĽddeutsche Zeitung, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and Le Monde revealed how a massive leak of Credit Suisse data had uncovered apparently widespread failures of due diligence by the bank. The investigation, called Suisse secrets, identified clients of the Swiss bank who had been involved in torture, drug trafficking, money laundering, corruption and other serious crimes. The country's addition to the EU high-risk third countries list would mean regulated professions, such as bankers, lawyers and accountants, would be required to conduct enhanced due diligence on any transaction or commercial relationship with a person or company in the country.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Over the past two years, as the Federal Reserve fought to rescue the economy from the clutches of the coronavirus, the central bank's emergency remedies increased the nation's money supply by an astonishing 40 percent That was almost four times as much new money as had been created during the two years that preceded the pandemic. To some Fed critics, [that] explains why the United States is experiencing its highest inflation since 1982. All that money chasing after limited supplies of goods such as cars, computers and furniture is inevitably bidding up prices, they say. The Fed agreed with that view the last time the United States had a serious inflation problem. In 1979, then-Fed Chair Paul Volcker clapped a lid on the money supply and drove inflation from a peak of 14.8 percent to 2.5 percent three years later, at the cost of two punishing recessions. But the current Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, has dismissed claims that the Fed's money-printing is fueling today's price spiral. Like his most recent predecessors, dating to Alan Greenspan, Powell says that financial innovations mean there no longer is a link between the amount of money circulating in the economy and rising prices. The Fed's broadest measure of the money supply, called M2, is more than $21.6 trillion today, up from $15.5 trillion in February 2020.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on banking corruption from reliable major media sources.
Remember the "carried interest" loophole that lets hedge fund executives and private equity managers – among the wealthiest people in America – pay a tax rate no higher than most Americans? It's a pure scam. They get the tax break even though they invest other peoples' money rather than risk their own. Barack Obama promised to get rid of the loophole. He failed. So, remarkably, did Donald Trump. Now that Democrats are trying to find ways to finance President Biden's Build Back Better package, you might think that the carried interest loophole would be high on their list. After all, closing it could raise $180bn over 10 years. Think again. The loophole – which treats the earnings of private equity managers and venture capitalists as capital gains, taxed at a top rate of just 20%, instead of income, whose top tax rate is 37% – remains as big as ever. Bigger. Influential Democrats, such as House ways and means committee chair Richard Neal, argue that closing the loophole would hobble the private equity industry, and, by extension, the US economy. The truth is there's zero economic justification for retaining this loophole. The sole reason the loophole survives even during Democratic Congresses, is fierce lobbying by the private equity industry – and the dependence of too many Democrats on campaign funding from the partners of private equity and hedge funds. The private equity industry ... has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to congressional campaigns.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
A massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and – in 14 cases involving current country leaders – citizens around the world. The revelations include more than $100 million spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan on luxury homes in Malibu, Calif., and other locations; millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries; and a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Other disclosures hit closer to home for U.S. officials. The files provide substantial new evidence, for example, that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing. The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the center of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities.
Note: Some have suggested that the CIA was responsible for the earlier Panama Papers leak. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on financial industry corruption from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.