This 24 January 2020 video about the USA says about itself:
INFURIATING Story About A Racist Bank
Sauntore Thomas is the victim of multiple forms of racism. Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.
On March 2, 1995, Nick Leeson was arrested at the Frankfurt airport for his role in the Barings Bank collapse. A 28-year-old school dropout who failed mathematics, he rocketed to the front of the line of Barings traders after he was sent to Singapore to assist in technical operations in the local derivatives market. He then became the principal floor trader for Barings at the Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX): here.
This 15 May 2019 ABC TV video from the USA says about itself:
Pilots heard on audio recording pleading with Boeing
American Airline pilot union officials met with Boeing engineers in Dallas after the first 737 Max crash and pushed them to take more action in a heated conversation.
By Bryan Dyne in the USA:
Banks to give $10 billion bailout to Boeing, nothing to the families of the dead
23 January 2020
Airplane manufacturer Boeing has secured at least $6 billion in loans from major banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, and is seeking a further $4 billion, according a report citing internal sources by the financial news channel CNBC.
The company is looking to offset losses estimated at $1 billion a month from two crashes and the resulting grounding of its flagship 737 Max 8 aircraft. The combined death toll from the October 2018 crash of Lion Air Flight 610 and the March 2019 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 was 346.
Boeing, which posted revenues of $100 billion in 2018, has suffered a sharp fall in income and share value since the grounding of the Max 8 last March. Its stock price has fallen from $440.62 per share on March 1, 2019 to a closing price of $307.15 on Tuesday, wiping out more than $64 billion of the company’s value. The aerospace giant’s sales plummeted from 893 airplanes in 2018 to just 54 in 2019. Its final earnings report for 2019 is expected to be posted on January 29.
It is unclear when or even if the Max 8 will ever fly again. In the 10 months since its grounding, a steady stream of internal leaks, news reports, interviews with former employees and congressional hearings have provided a mountain of evidence pointing to criminal negligence, deadly safety short cuts and concealment of known dangers on the part of Boeing management, facilitated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and top government officials. Yet not a single company executive or regulatory head has been criminally charged, let alone prosecuted and convicted.
These figures have instead been richly rewarded. Ex-CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who was forced from his position in December, walked away from the company with $80.7 million in compensation for overseeing the final development, production and certification of one of the deadliest commercial aircraft ever to fly. Michael Luttig, who until recently was Boeing’s chief legal counsel, last year sold shares worth $6.5 million and was gifted shares currently worth $3.6 million.
Even the loan that is being extended to Boeing is constructed to maximize the company’s profits. It will likely be what is known as a delayed-draw loan, designed to have no immediate impact on the company’s credit rating, unlike loans provided to workers. This will provide Boeing extra capital to pay its investors, including firms such as Vanguard and T. Rowe Price, which have continued to receive dividends on their shares throughout the Max 8 grounding.
Investors are also expecting Boeing to use the funds to help complete its $4 billion acquisition of Embraer, which has plans to develop new propeller planes for shorter, regional flights.
In contrast, a pittance has been provided to the 346 families that lost loved ones in the two crashes. The total allocated for them is $50 million, amounting to $144,500 per crash victim. This is less than what Muilenburg averaged in a month. At the same time, Boeing has agreed to pay airline corporations $5.6 billion in compensation for lost profits, more than 10 times its compensation to grieving families.
Nor has any relief been provided to the thousands of workers whose livelihoods are being destroyed as a result of the grounding and production halt of the Max 8. Earlier this month, Boeing subcontractor Spirit AeroSystems, based in Witchita, Kansas, indefinitely laid off 2,800 employees. The parts manufacturer generates nearly 50 percent of its income from producing the fuselage for the 737 Max.
General Electric has announced it is laying off 70 temporary employees at its jet engine factory in Quebec as a result of the grounding. While the company was planning these layoffs, it paid its chairman and CEO Larry Culp more than $15 million to oversee job cuts.
Boeing has been further hit by an expose published Monday in the New York Times concerning a crash of a Boeing 737-NG that occurred in February of 2009. A fresh review of the evidence in that crash, which occurred outside of Amsterdam and killed nine people, shows that a faulty sensor triggered a computer command that could not be overridden by the pilots, causing the Turkish Airlines flight to plummet to the ground. This is essentially the same malfunction that caused both Max 8 crashes.
While the findings from that time by the Dutch Safety Board primarily blamed the pilots, it has come to light that a contemporaneous study by Dr. Sidney Dekker, an aviation safety expert, was suppressed at the behest of Boeing because it made clear that the crash was primarily Boeing’s fault. The airplane manufacturer used only a single sensor to trigger the computer command, rather than following normal safety protocol and requiring a second sensor to set off the command.
In the aftermath, it was revealed that Boeing had upgraded its software to take inputs from two sensors in order to avoid this very problem, but had made the second sensor an optional feature on its NG aircraft, installed at an additional cost to the airline. This upgrade, moreover, was incompatible with many older models of the plane, including the one that crashed.
In the case of both the Max 8 and the earlier 737 model, Boeing knew that its software had potentially deadly consequences but kept hidden from airlines, pilots and the flying public knowledge of the problem and the fact that it was working on a fix.
This 17 December 2019 Yahoo Finance video from the USA says about itself:
By Gabriel Black in the USA:
Amid poverty wages and tax cuts for the rich
JPMorgan Chase records the biggest profit of any bank in US history
18 January 2020
JPMorgan Chase, the most valuable private bank in the world, made $36.4 billion in 2019, the biggest annual profit of any bank in American history. The news, reported Tuesday, sent the company’s stock up by 2 percent. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the company took in $8.5 billion, also a record, making it the tenth-largest publicly traded company in the world, with a market cap of $437 billion.
News of these record gains came as the six largest US banks revealed that they saved a combined $32 billion last year from President Donald Trump’s 2017 corporate tax cut. The tax windfall was up from 2018 for all but one of the banks. JPMorgan’s tax cut went from $3.7 billion in 2018 to $5 billion last year.
At Wednesday’s signing ceremony for the phase one trade deal with China, attended by an array of corporate executives, Trump turned to Mary Erdoes, a top executive at JPMorgan Chase. Calling the bank’s earnings report “incredible”, he joked, “Will you say, ‘Thank you, Mr. President’, at least?”
The tax cuts for the corporations and the rich, enacted with only token opposition from the Democrats, are only one factor in the surge in profits over the past year. When stocks plunged at the end of 2018, Trump stepped up his demand that the Federal Reserve reverse its policy of gradually raising interest rates to more normal levels, following years of near-zero rates in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Acting as the mouthpiece of Wall Street, he demanded that the Fed begin cutting rates once again in order to pump more cash into the financial markets.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell dutifully complied, cutting interest rates three times in 2018 and assuring the markets that he had no intention of raising them again any time soon. Then, beginning in the late fall, the Fed began pumping tens of billions of dollars a week into the so-called “repo” overnight loan market, resuming the money-printing operation known as “quantitative easing”.
This de facto guarantee of unlimited public funds to backstop stock prices has produced record highs on all of the major US indexes, sending billions more into the private coffers of the rich and the super-rich.
These measures are a continuation and intensification of policies carried out on a bipartisan basis for four decades to redistribute wealth from the working class to the corporations and the financial elite. They have effected a fundamental restructuring of class relations in America, drastically lowering the social position of the working class. Decent-paying, secure jobs have been wiped out and largely replaced by poverty-wage, part-time, temporary and contingent employment—the so-called “gig” economy exemplified by corporations such as Amazon and Uber.
This decades-long ruling class offensive was accelerated in response to the 2008 financial crisis. President Barack Obama oversaw the channeling of trillions of dollars to the banks and financial markets in order to pay off the debts of the bankers and speculators, whose reckless and criminal activities had led to the crisis, and make them richer than ever. At the same time, he imposed a restructuring of the auto industry based on a 50 percent across-the-board pay cut for new-hires and an expansion of temporary and part-time labor.
Meanwhile, state, local and federal government programs have been dramatically slashed. Education, housing, Medicaid and food stamps have been particularly hard hit. This process has been accelerated under Trump, along with the removal of occupational safety and environmental regulations, with no opposition from the Democrats, who represent sections of the financial elite and wealthy upper-middle class.
The devastating human cost of the plundering of society by the corporate-financial oligarchy is registered in declining life expectancy, rising mortality and record suicide and drug addiction rates. A recent study by the Brookings Institution found that 53 million people in the US—44 percent of all workers—“earn barely enough to live on”. The study found that the median pay of this group was $10.22 per hour, around $18,000 a year. Thirty seven percent of those making $10 an hour have children. More than half are the primary earners or “contribute substantially” to family income.
Similarly, a Reuters report from 2018 found that the average income of the bottom 40 percent of workers in the United States was $11,600.
A recent study by Trust for America’s Health found that in 2017 “more than 152,000 Americans died from alcohol- and drug-induced fatalities and suicide.” This was the highest number ever recorded and more than double the figure for 1999. Among those in their 20s and early 30s, the prime working life age, drug deaths have increased more than 400 percent in the last 20 years.
At the other pole of society, the Dow Jones Industrial index is now double what it was at its peak in 2007, prior to the implosion of the financial system. Between March 2009 and today, the Dow has risen from 6,500 to over 29,000.
This 18 January 2020 video from the USA is called Dow Soaring Means ABSOLUTELY Nothing.
The stock market, buttressed by central bank and government policy, has become the central instrument for funneling wealth from the bottom of society to the top. As a result, the top 10 percent of society now owns about 70 percent of all wealth, whereas the bottom 50 percent has, effectively, nothing.
In the midst of this orgy of wealth accumulation at the very top of society, every demand of workers for jobs, decent pay, education, housing, health care and pensions is met with the universal response: “There is no money.” Hundreds of thousands of teachers have struck over the past two years to demand the restoration of funds cut from the public schools and substantial increases in pay and benefits. None of their demands have been met. The same applies to auto workers who struck for 40 days last fall to demand an end to two-tier pay systems and the defense of jobs.
JPMorgan’s $36.4 billion profit in 2019 is more than half the education budget of the US federal government.
Meanwhile, Americans are deeper in debt to JPMorgan and the other banks than at any time in history. Collective consumer debt in the United States approached $14 trillion last year. Credit card debt has surpassed $1 trillion for the first time. Auto debt is at $1.3 trillion and mortgage debt is now $9.4 trillion. Student loan debt has increased the fastest, surging from $500 billion in 2006 to $1.6 trillion today.
These are the conditions, rooted in the historical bankruptcy and crisis of the capitalist system, that have sparked a global upsurge in the class struggle and the growth of anti-capitalist and pro-socialist sentiment. The past year has seen a dramatic expansion of working-class struggle that is only a glimpse of what is to come. India, Hong Kong, Mexico, the United States, Puerto Rico, Lebanon, Iraq, France, Chile and Brazil are only some of the places where mass struggles have erupted.
What is becoming increasingly clear to hundreds of millions of people around the world is that the social problems confronting humanity in the 21st century—poverty, debt, disease, global warming, war, fascism, the assault on democratic rights—cannot be solved so long as this parasitic and oligarchical financial elite continues to rule. The turn is to the American and international working class—to unite, take power and seize control of the wealth which it produces to ensure peace, prosperity and equality for all people.
Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:
The Extinction Rebellion action group is again taking action in Amsterdam today. The climate activists are now demonstrating in front of the ABN Amro office on the Zuidas. Seven of them have glued themselves together. The riot police is also present.
The campaigners build a camp with a stage in the Vondelpark. “We expect the mayor to approve that,” said a spokesperson for the campaigners.
In addition, there will be more “decentralized actions” at government buildings and corporations that have contributed to the Dutch government’s climate agreement, says the spokesperson. ABN Amro‘s turn was first.
Different groups of activists decide for themselves which buildings these will become. Extinction Rebellion is a loose association of activists, without central management.
Yesterday, climate activists demonstrated at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. They blocked the Stadhouderskade, an important traffic artery in the city. Mayor Halsema had banned the blockade. Today, there are again riot police vans at the Rijksmuseum.
The police arrested around ninety people, who were lifted one by one and taken away in police vans. Most of them have been fined, the police say. Everyone who has been arrested is now free again.
Held for longer
The activists say they are “indignant” about police behaviour yesterday. “The officers deliberately kicked over jerry cans with drinking water. And detainees were detained for longer than permitted.” A police spokesperson admits to the NOS that a number of activists have indeed been detained for too long.
According to the activists’ lawyer, Willem Jebbink, it is “very worrying” that police detain activists for “many hours longer” than legally permitted. According to the Public Events Act, this is allowed for six hours.
CLIMATE ACTIVISTS MARCH IN GLOBAL PROTEST Activists with the Extinction Rebellion movement blocked roads and staged demonstrations in big cities around the globe, part of a wide-ranging series of protests demanding much more urgent action against climate change. [AP]
The number of arrests of Extinction Rebellion (XR) climate protestors in London topped 500 yesterday, in a naked display of state repression designed to intimidate and silence political and social opposition among much broader layers: here.
USA: In the wake of recent wildfires that have ravaged northern and central California, a new study finds that the severity of fire activity in the Sierra Nevada region has been sensitive to changes in climate over the past 1,400 years. The findings, published in Environmental Research Letters, suggest that future climate change is likely to drive increased fire activity in the Sierras: here.
This 2015 Associated Press video says about itself:
USA: DEUTSCHE BANK HOLOCAUST FUNDING LATEST
An American centre for Holocaust studies says an admission by Germany’s Deutsche Bank that it helped finance the construction of Auschwitz is just the “tip of the iceberg.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre says US government studies dating back decades prove that the bank collaborated closely with the Nazi government. Lawyers for the centre are to meet in Washington D-C next week with lawyers for the German bank, now in the process of taking over the American Banker’s Trust Corporation.
More problems for Deutsche Bank as it continues its takeover bid in the United States. The bank has confessed to funding construction of the notorious concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland. But in a news conference on Friday, the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre said the bank’s involvement in the Holocaust went much further.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean and founder of the centre, showed key pages from a 1946 U-S government report that he says document Deutsche Bank‘s extensive collaboration with the Nazis.
SOUNDBITE: (English) “Once you have this report, then you know that what the bank cited yesterday is just the tip of the iceberg.”
SUPERCAPTION: Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder, Simon Wiesenthal Centre
Most specifically, Hier claims that Deutsche Bank lent the German company I-G Farben 250 (m) million US dollars to build a rubber factory in Auschwitz that used Jews as slave labourers. A top official of Deutsche Bank named Hermann Abs supposedly lent Farben this money on behalf of the bank.
Hier claims that 300-thousand workers were used in this plant and many of them died on the job.
SOUNDBITE: (English) “Hermann J Abs reported to the Deutsche Bank and the rest of the bank officials, ‘This is how our bank loan of 250 (m) million dollars is going. We are going to build a synthetic rubber plant. They are using concentration camp slave labour. The loan seems to be going just fine.’
That’s the first thing you need to know about the bank’s involvement, knowing the use of slave labour, 300-thousand people, 25-thousand died on the job.”
SUPERCAPTION: Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder, Simon Wiesenthal Centre
Hier cast doubt on claims by bank officials that they only realised the role their forbearers played from files found just recently in Eastern Europe. He insists the report documenting the bank’s collusion with the Nazis has been in the hands of western governments, including Germany and the U-S, for decades.
Despite the fact that thousands of Jews perished here at Auschwitz, Hier argues that the U-S government suppressed the report as part of a post-war effort to prevent West Germany from going Communist.
SOUNDBITE: (English) “We recommend that if the Deutsche Bank wants to the honourable thing, they should tell their complete record and say we want to now face the music which is we want to make a fair global settlement so that those who were employed in slave labour as a result of our involvement are duly compensated.”
SUPERCAPTION: Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder, Simon Wiesenthal Centre
Hier says lawyers from the Wiesenthal Centre are hoping to make a global settlement with Deutsche Bank on behalf of the slave labourers and victims from the rubber factory in Auschwitz. Lawyers from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre will be meeting in Washington next week with lawyers for Deutsche Bank.
Translated from Belgian daily De Standaard, 8 June 2019:
David Enrich, financial editor at “The New York Times”
Donald Trump was such a risky customer in the late 1990s that no bank wanted to lend him any more money. Except Deutsche Bank. “Afterwards, Trump even claimed there had been a “natural disaster” in order not to have to pay back.”
“Without Deutsche Bank, Trump would probably not have been president“
The journalist who revealed the secrets of Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank. The New York Times’s David Enrich has uncovered many details about the president’s long history with one of the most scandal-prone banks on Wall Street. He tells us what he knows: here.
On July 7 the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank gave its blessing to the “most far-reaching restructuring in decades,” according to Chief Executive Christian Sewing. Around one in five jobs worldwide, that is, 18,000 posts, will fall victim to the jobs massacre. Employees are paying the price for the bank’s criminal activities over the last thirty years. Deutsche Bank entered investment banking in 1989 with the purchase of the British bank Morgan Grenfell. This became its main activity 10 years later with the takeover of US investment house Bankers Trust. By 2000, Deutsche Bank was the largest financial institution in the world, with CEO Josef Ackermann promising a return on equity of 25 percent: here.
In this 15 April 2019 French language video from France, Ms Stéphanie Gibaud, whistleblower on the UBS bank tax dodging scandal, speaks about the imprisonment of another whistleblower, Julian Assange.
Translated from Belgian weekly Humo, 16 April 2019:
How private Bank UBS helps the super rich bypass the tax authorities: whistleblower Stéphanie Gibaud reveals
For ten years, Stéphanie Gibaud had the job of her life at private bank UBS France.
A branch of the Swiss UBS bank.
Until she discovered that her employer organized tax dodging for the super rich on a large scale. “After the first police search we were ordered:” Erase your hard drive and dump your files. “But I took everything home and mapped the secret accounts, tax havens and secret codes.” Stéphanie Gibaud became a whistleblower, and her life turned into hell.
“I received threatening letters. My lawyer said: “Do not stand too close to the tracks when you take the metro, and be careful when you cross the street”
“You recognize me by my long red coat”, Stéphanie Gibaud texted five minutes before our appointment in a Parisian brasserie. The e-mail traffic that preceded this interview went through a secure address. She asks to sit at the back, in the darkest corner of the cafe.
Stéphanie Gibaud: “No, I am not paranoid. But I no longer trust the technology. Since I collided frontally with UBS France, I know they have the means to hack my smartphone and read my e-mails. When I had made a deal with the Ministry of Finance, UBS was immediately informed. I’m sure nobody had leaked. They could only know that by spying on me.»
In February 2019, a French court convicted private bank UBS to a record fine of 4.5 billion euro. That conviction was a direct consequence of the overwhelming evidence which whistleblower Stéphanie Gibaud had collected.