On August 18, the SEC announced that the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon) agreed to pay $14.8 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), when the bank gave out highly sought-after student internships to the relatives of foreign government officials in
Late last year, in response to a series of strikes by workers and protests by activists, Walmart agreed to raise wages so that many of the company’s workers received at least a meager $9 an hour in 2015. Unfortunately, Walmart’s entire business model is based on severely exploiting workers in the US, so the order has now come down from Walmart executives to cut workers’ hours to lower company costs.
The pay for CEOs of public companies continued its upward climb in 2014 according to a report by The Conference Board, a business research organization. The report, published in August, claims that total compensation for chief executive officers of US public companies in the Russell 3000 Index rose up 11.9 % from 2013 and as much as 34.7 % from 2010.
Documents related to discussions between US, British and European officials and multinational tobacco corporations concerning the regulation of tobacco under a new trade agreement were censored by the European Commission. Activists with Corporate Europe Observatory revealed the meetings through a Freedom of Information request, but the documents were heavily edited.
As compromised as Congress is when it comes to dealing with their Wall Street donors, they have nothing on financial regulators who often end up later working for the people and companies they are supposed to be regulating. Now regulators are allowing Wall Street to hide derivatives trades overseas to circumvent Dodd-Frank.
A study by a consultant hired by GM has led to a nearly ten fold increase in the number of deaths linked to the faulty switches. The new estimate, released on August 21 by a consulting group led by famed attorney Kenneth Feinberg, puts the number of deaths from the defected ignition switches at 124. Previously, GM said it only knew of 13 deaths.
On August 19th, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent wherein Kent admitted that Coca-Cola funded scientific studies that attempted to shift blame for the growing obesity crisis off diet and onto exercise. Kent said the scheme to fund questionable studies was meant to take attention away from the beverage company he runs but was “not working” and that this behavior by Coca-Cola “does not reflect our intent or our values.”
Former Park Avenue Bank President Charles Antonucci has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Antonucci will also pay $54.6 million in restitution and forfeit $11.2 million.
On August 19, Monica Sud, a woman from California, filed a class action lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corporation claiming that the retailer knowingly sold prawns produced by slave labor and never disclosed these practices to customers like herself who bought the products without knowing they were produced by illegal labor.
On August 17, Citigroup agreed to pay $180 million to settle charges from the SEC that two of the megabank’s hedge funds defrauded investors. According to the SEC, Citigroup’s hedge funds “made false and misleading representations to investors” about how risky investing in the funds were.