"wells fargo"

How funds from major fossil fuel corporations help control police departments

A recent investigation from the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit corporate and government accountability research institute, and its LittleSis database partners breaks down some of the ways that oil producers such as Chevron, Shell, and Wells Fargo are closely intertwined with police departments in cities like Seattle, Chicago, Washington, New Orleans and Salt Lake City. None of this is particularly surprising — whether you've been paying to environmental justice and its disproportionate impact on Black and Brown Americans, or you're just generally aware of corporations who like to bend the laws to their will and enforce a hierarchical structure on the communities around them — but it's still interesting to see spelled out so clearly:

Marathon Petroleum, the nation’s largest oil refining company, has a history of environmental pollution that disproportionately impacts the health of Black and Brown communities where their refineries are based. Sine 2000 Marathon has been fined over $1.4 billion for various environmental, consumer, and workplace violations.The company operates 16 refineries around the country, including a notorious 250-acre refinery in a Detroit, Michigan community that is 71% Black. Since 2013 Marathon’s Detroit refinery has received 15 violations from the state environmental regulator for surpassing state and federal emissions limits. In 2019 the refinery leaked a “gasoil” mixture that created a toxic vapor cloud that sent workers to the hospital.Marathon’s Security Coordinator sits on the board of the Detroit Public Safety Foundation, the city’s police foundation. Marathon is also listed as a “Commanding Sponsor” of the foundation’s fundraising event “Above & Beyond” and a “Bronze Sponsor” of their “Women in Blue” event.
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Chevron, Shell, Wells Fargo fund powerful police groups

“Many powerful companies that drive environmental injustice are also backers of the same police departments that tyrannize the very communities these corporate actors pollute,” write the authors of a newly released investigation by the Public Accountability Initiative. The report is titled "Fossil Fuel Industry Pollutes Black & Brown Communities While Propping Up Racist Policing" and it's a damning indictment of corporate giants who protect their astronomical wealth by exploiting the vulnerable.

From the report:

Shell, one of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world and a major global emitter of carbon pollution. It is building a huge ethane cracker plant near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that some feel could start to turn Appalachia into the next “Cancer Alley” – the nickname for the New Orleans-to-Baton Rouge corridor of Louisiana refineries, where Shell is also a major polluter. Cancer Alley runs through several Black communities that face extremely high rates of pollution and cancer – largely believed to be caused by refining and petrochemical operations. Shell is a “Featured Partner” of the New Orleans Police & Justice Foundation and a sponsor of the Houston Police Department’s Mounted Patrol. Entergy is a publicly-traded, Fortune 500 company headquartered in Louisiana that also services parts of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas. Entergy is arguably the most powerful corporate force in Louisiana, with presences on prominent chambers, business associations, philanthropic organizations, and even charter school advocacy groups across the state. Entergy is a “Featured Partner” of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation with top billing on the foundation’s sponsors page. Read the rest

"A piece of shit": Government report on Wells Fargo corruption shows top executives' direct complicity in millions of acts of fraud

Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency handed down stiff penalties for John Stumpf (previously) who was CEO of Wells Fargo during its scandal-haunted decade, during which time it stole from rich people, poor people, veterans, active-service military personnel, homeowners, small businesses, etc, as well as 2,000,000 ordinary customers who had fraudulent accounts opened in their names in order to bleed them of transaction fees, sometimes at the expense of their good credit and even their financial solvency. Under the deal, Stumpf will have to pay $17.5m in fines and cannot ever work in finance again (don't worry, he's still a multi-multi-multi millionaire). Read the rest

Wells Fargo's ex-CEO will pay $17.5m in fines and never work in banking again (but he is still very, very rich)

When John Stumpf (previously) was CEO of Wells Fargo, he oversaw a string of scandals including literally millions of acts of bank fraud, and still managed to walk out of the business with millions in bonuses and no criminal prosecutions. Read the rest

FBI seeks 'bad wig bandit' on the lam in North Carolina

The FBI is seeking help from the public to catch the appropriately nicknamed “bad wig bandit” who is blamed for a series of bank robberies in North Carolina. Read the rest

Meet Jackie Fielder, the recently homeless indigenous woman who's primarying a San Francisco Democrat in a state senate race

Until recently, Jackie Fielder was living in her van. At 25, the Stanford sociology grad couldn't afford rent in San Francisco. Read the rest

After Trump reversed Obama's restrictions on private federal prisons, states started banning them instead

Back in 2016, it looked like the private prison industry would finally die, thanks to an Obama memo directing the DoJ to reduce their use for federal prisoners, but the sector retrenched, doubling down on the slave-labor camps it maintained for US immigration authorities, and aggressively lobbying states to jail their citizens in private prisons. Read the rest

Elizabeth Warren proposes a 4-year ban on government officials going to work for "market dominant" companies

If you leave a senior US government position, Elizabeth Warren wants you to wait at least four years before taking a job at a "market dominant" company -- any company with a $150b (or larger) market cap, or that controls "the product or labor supply in their industry." Read the rest

Apple's capitulation over Hong Kong protest app isn't new; and the NBA is racing it to the bottom

When Apple caved to pressure from the Chinese government and yanked an Ios app that let users avoid being attacked by the city-state's murderous, rampaging police forces, it was merely continuing a long tradition of capitulation to Chinese authorities, who control access to some of Apple's most important customers as well as the factories that make the bulk of Apple's products. Read the rest

Edelman PR drops GEO Group after employee revolt at the prospect of laundering the reputation of private US concentration camps

Edelman is one of the world's leading PR firms, and despite the fact that they're the go-to if you want to launder the reputations of the House of Saud or the Transcanada pipeline by running massive fake-grassroots campaigns on social media, they also bill themselves as an ethical firm, refusing to take engagements for coal, tobacco or gun companies (they will, however run smear campaigns against vegan mayo). Read the rest

Elizabeth Warren proposes holding execs criminally liable for scams and data breaches

A new bill from Senator Elizabeth Warren proposes personal, criminal liability for top executives of companies turning over more than $1B/year when those companies experience data breaches and scams due to negligence (many of the recent high-profile breaches would qualify, including the Equifax giga-breach, as well as many of Wells Fargo's string of scams and scandals). Read the rest

Wells Fargo is looking for a new CEO

Wells Fargo is America's largest bank and it also leads the nation's banks for scandals, having stolen from rich people, poor people, veterans, active-service military personnel, homeowners, small businesses, etc, as well as 2,000,000 ordinary customers who had fraudulent accounts opened in their names in order to bleed them of transaction fees, sometimes at the expense of their good credit and even their financial solvency. Read the rest

Corporate America projects giant profits from climate disasters

Though firms may worry about profits now that Trump's decision to let the world boil in its own juices rather than offend the hydrocarbon lobby (Coke may run out of water, Disney may run out of themepark-goers), the latest report from UK nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project shows that companies are also privately exulting in the new possibilities opened up by climate catastrophes and the ensuing hidden misery. Read the rest

Top FTC official is so such a corporate shill that he has conflicts of interest for 100 companies, including Equifax and Facebook

Andrew Smith is Trump's chief of the FTC Consumer Protection Bureau, in charge of investigating companies that abuse Americans -- but he can't, because he has previously provided services for over 100 of America's largest companies, including Facebook, a whack of payday lenders, Amazon, American Airlines, Amex, BoA, Capital One, Citigroup, John Deere, Equifax, Expedia, Experian, Glaxosmithkline, Goldman Sachs, Jpmorgan, Linkedin, Microsoft, Paypal, Redbubble, Twitter, Sotheby's, Transunion, Uber, Verizon, Visa, Disney and Wells Fargo. Read the rest

Wells Fargo blames "computer glitch" for its improper foreclosure on 545 homes

According to Wells Fargo, a "computer glitch" caused the improper denial of 870 loan modification requests, which led to 545 foreclosures in which Wells Fargo customers lost their homes; the bank is now offering those former homeowners -- some of whom saw the breakup of their marriages as the result of the stress of foreclosure -- insultingly small sums, like $25,000. Read the rest

New York City's municipal debt collectors have forged an unholy alliance with sleazy subprime lenders

New York City's "marshal" service is a throwback to the Dutch colonial days; the 35 marshals are appointed by the mayor, draw no salary, and earn their livings by skimming a percentage off of the debts they collect, operating with impunity and reaching around the world. Read the rest

US tax shortfalls have our public schools begging for donations

Between Trump's massive tax-breaks for the super-rich and rules like California's disastrous Prop 13, our cities perennially cash-starved and have led to the erosion of the same public services that make cities attractive to businesses (for example, the subway, public education, roads, grid and other public services that made NYC so attractive to tax-dodging Amazon for its second headquarters). Read the rest

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