Corbyn says he'll end asset-stripping hostile takeovers

Labour leader and PM-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn has promised that when he is Prime Minister, his government will introduce regulations that ban the finance-driven, asset-stripping hostile takeovers of UK companies, in a bid to make finance the "servants of industry not the masters of us all." Read the rest

Wells Fargo admits it ripped off its customers, creates low-response-rate opt-in system for its victims to get paid back

Wells Fargo has admitted wrongdoing in defrauding 110,000 mortgage borrowers, and to make good on it, they're sending out letters that look like junk-mail, containing a form that customers have to fill in to confirm that they want their stolen money back; if Wells doesn't get a reply, it will assume that those customers are donating their settlements back to the bank's shareholders. Read the rest

The pharma billionaires whose family company created the opioid epidemic are disintegrating into a bickering mess

The Sackler family is best known for the buildings adorned with their names thanks to their acts of philanthropy, which is either motivated by a public spirit, or by the desperate need for some reputation washing as the public becomes increasingly aware that the family fortune was built on the perfection of shady techniques for marketing addictive drugs, which reached its zenith when Perdue, the family pharma business, created the Oxy epidemic, by falsifying addictiveness research and aggressively recruiting doctors to hook their patients on their lethal products. Read the rest

Forced GIFs are the new forced memes

In an inevitable development, Giphy, which created a very handy platform for creating GIFs from existing content, is now bringing influencers into their studios to deliberately create original GIFs in hopes of getting some of that seconds-long heat for brands. Read the rest

The world's worst money launderers are the UK, Switzerland and the USA

The USA has moved up in the Tax Justice Network's Financial Secrecy Index to number two, behind Switzerland; in reality, though, the UK is the world's worst money-laundry, but because its laundering activities are spread out over its overseas territories -- taken as a whole, the UK leads the world in helping criminals and looters hide their fortunes. Read the rest

Oklahoma schools go on 4-day weeks so teachers can work at Walmart on Mondays to make rent

In 1992, Oklahoma passed a ballot initiative saying that the state could only raise taxes with a three quarters majority in the state assembly, creating a one-way ratchet where every tax cut becomes effectively permanent, including the sweetheart deals cut for frackers and the deep cuts to taxes on the wealthiest residents of the state. Read the rest

California State Senator wants to remake cities with midrises near public transit, but he is facing a wave of nimbyism

Scott Wiener is California State Senator for San Francisco, whose SB827, co-sponsored by State Senator Nancy Skinner, will move some zoning responsibility from cities to the state, forcing cities to allow the construction of higher-density housing (duplexes, eight-plexes and midrise, six-story apartment buildings) near public transit stops. Read the rest

After neoliberalism: how Corbyn and Labour can win the next general election

Paul Mason, author of Postcapitalism, inaugurates his new column at Open Democracy with a history of the collapse of neoliberal capitalism and a path for a Labour victory in the next General Election, which, at this rate, could come any day. Read the rest

Teen Bo$$: a magazine advising tweens on how to get rich by being "social media brands"

Bauer Media's Teen Boss is a new quarterly magazine, launched last summer for "Gen-Z entrepreneurs" aged 8-15 who want to pursue careers as "influencers." Read the rest

In-depth investigation of the Alibaba-to-Instagram pipeline for scammy crapgadgets with excellent branding

Artist Jenny Odell created the Bureau of Suspended Objects to photographically archive and researched the manufacturing origins of 200 objects found at a San Francisco city dump; last August, she prepared a special report for Oakland's Museum of Capitalism about the bizarre world of shitty "free" watches sold through Instagram influences and heavily promoted through bottom-feeding remnant ad-buys, uncovering a twilight zone of copypasted imagery and promotional materials livened with fake stories about mysterious founders and branded tales. Read the rest

Investors throw $300m at dog-walking startup that hired ex-CEO of fraudulent anti-fraud company Lifelock

Before being hired to serve as CEO of Wag, a dogwalking startup that just received a $300,000,000 investment from Softbank, Hilary Schneider presided over Lifelock, a company whose fraudulent anti-fraud products cost it over $100,000,000 in fines, before Schneider convinced Symantec to buy it for an absurd $2.6 billion. Read the rest

Research report explains how adtech supercharges political deceit, allowing even bumblers to be master propagandists

A new report from the New America Foundation uses the current fear that Russian government elements manipulated the 2016 US election to explore the relationship between advertising technology, surveillance capitalism, and "precision propaganda," showing how the toolsuite developed for the advertising industry is readily repurposable by even modestly competent actors to spread disinformation campaigns. Read the rest

No such thing as Bernie Bros: Bernie's approval rates are women 50%, blacks 70%, latinx 55%; men 46%, whites 43%

A Quinnipiac poll of 1,212 voters taken last week found that Bernie Sanders was far and away the most viable Democratic candidate (76% approval), beating Oprah (69%) and Gillibrand (25%) -- and that moreover, his approval ratings were highest among women and people of color, putting a lie to the stereotype of "Bernie Bros" as young, middle-class white male political radicals who are oblivious to the more moderate preferences of others. Read the rest

Thanks to "consent" buried deep in sales agreements, car manufacturers are tracking tens of millions of US cars

Millions of new cars sold in the US and Europe are "connected," having some mechanism for exchanging data with their manufacturers after the cars are sold; these cars stream or batch-upload location data and other telemetry to their manufacturers, who argue that they are allowed to do virtually anything they want with this data, thanks to the "explicit consent" of the car owners -- who signed a lengthy contract at purchase time that contained a vague and misleading clause deep in its fine-print. Read the rest

Leaseholders in building sheathed in flammable Grenfell cladding sent a £2m bill for repairs

In the UK, many people who live in multiunit buildings -- the sort of thing that would be a condo or co-op in the US -- live under the leaseholder/freeholder system, a relic of feudalism that has been updated for the age of inequality thanks to hedge funds and other socially useless financial engineers. Read the rest

MLK: anti-capitalist activist

You've heard "I have a dream," but how about "Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children?" Read the rest

Scottish police confirm requests from world governments to find money laundered through "the UK's homegrown secrecy vehicle"

Scottish Limited Partnerships (previously) are notorious corporate entities whose true owners are easily disguised, making them perfect vehicles for money laundry. Read the rest

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