Finance findings you may have missed

By The Center for Public Integrity

How big financial institutions profit off homeowners, investors and consumers.

Urban League parrots telecom donors' net-neutrality stance

By Allan Holmes and John Dunbar

Civil rights group calls for lighter Internet regulation that would benefit telecommunications donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… prohibited from charging Internet companies for faster delivery. President Barack Obama said the FCC, which is expected to unveil its proposed Internet rules earl …"

Building a tax fairyland in Luxembourg in five not-so-easy steps

By Alison Fitzgerald and Kimberley Porteous

How The Walt Disney Co. gathered ownership of its empire, from Australia to Denmark to the Cayman Islands, into Luxembourg.

Center report spurs investigation of Bank of America, JPMorgan prison deals

By Daniel Wagner

No-bid contracts with Bank of America and JPMorgan under government scrutiny after Center report.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… cial agents,” the watchdog's general counsel, Rich Delmar, told The Center for Public Integrity. The Center first reported this month that the banks have exclusive acces …"

"… be. Delmar said the investigation was launched on Oct. 3, a day after The Center for Public Integrity published a report on the contracts. Bank of America’s deal also d …"

Senator questions Bank of America’s no-bid prison deal

By Daniel Wagner

After a Center report, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says Bank of America's no-bid prison banking deal "raises significant questions"

Megabanks have prison financial services market locked up

By Daniel Wagner

Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co. avoid competitive bidding process in contracts serving federal prisoners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "JPMorgan Chase":

"… nders. On Wall Street, Bank of America plays a perpetual second fiddle to JPMorgan Chase & Co., the only U.S. bank that holds more assets. A few blocks north, …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Telecommunications":

"… ycle, according to the money in state politics institute. Going to court Telecommunications companies aren’t hesitant to spend millions of dollars on lawsuits to ki …"

"… s. They include Ashland, Oregon; Burlington, Vermont; and the 11-city Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency. Some, such as Provo, Utah, and Groton, Connect …"

"… r bill passed, Avila spoke at the 2011 meeting of the North Carolina Cable Telecommunications Association in Asheville, in the scenic Great Smoky Mountains, where Avila …"

"… the FCC’s regulatory powers in deploying broadband as stated in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Silberman, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, not …"

Potential Sprint, T-Mobile marriage threatens consumer gains

By Allan Holmes

Sprint, T-Mobile fought to maintain competition, merger talks show they're giving in.

Excerpts from this story referencing "T-Mobile USA":

"… sions here regarding the reserved spectrum provisions.” …"

Name calling won't silence investigative reporting

By Bill Buzenberg

How a Verizon flack's tweet clinched more readers for our wireless investigation.

Wireless companies fight for their futures

By Allan Holmes

A rare auction of wireless spectrum may determine who controls your cell phone.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… t detail that relationship when it submitted three research papers to the Federal Communications Commission arguing against restricting how much spectrum a company can obtain in an a …"

Comcast, Time Warner rivals may see opportunity in mega-merger

By Allan Holmes

The Comcast-Time Warner merger may be embraced by industry rivals who see an opportunity for their own deals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… ission for their own mergers and lighter regulation. If that happens, the Federal Communications Commission, which approves such deals, may trade off having a smaller number of cable …"

"… o the Comcast purchase. AT&T and Verizon may use the deal to push the Federal Communications Commission to give the more leeway as they tries to shift from providing Americans tr …"

Corporate subsidy deals don’t always deliver

By Julie Patel

Popular business incentive programs can help politicians win favor with voters and companies.

T-Mobile’s lobbying spending may be paying off

By Allan Holmes

The No. 4 wireless carrier sees its lobbying investments paying off in D.C.

Top U.S. corporations funneled $173 million to political nonprofits

By Michael Beckel

Analysis of company disclosures reveals steady flow of cash from corporations to social welfare organizations, trade associations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications Inc.":

"… tionable utility to shareholders.” Similarly, the board of directors of Verizon Communications Inc. argued in 2013 that a disclosure proposal “would provide little or no va …"

AT&T buoyed in lobbying push against spectrum auction limits

By Allan Holmes

Expect telecom giant to fight FCC on spectrum auction limits following T-Mobile airwaves purchase.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Wireless":

"… ion. The $2.4 billion T-Mobile deal to purchase valuable frequencies from Verizon Wireless announced yesterday gives AT&T another concrete example to cite in its …"

IMPACT: Treasury to open Comerica deal to new bids after CPI report

By Daniel Wagner

Multimillion-dollar government deal with Comerica will be re-bid in 2015 after reports of lack of transparency and competition.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Treasury":

"… ons of dollars in compensation that was not part of the original deal. …"

Civil rights group's FCC positions reflect industry funding, critics say

By Jason McLure

Civil rights organization often agrees with industry backers on FCC issues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "officer":

"… says Mark Lloyd, a former associate general counsel and chief diversity officer at the FCC from 2009 until last year. “I think that would tell you a gre …"

"… lves from voting on MMTC’s position on the merger, he said. “MMTC’s officers and directors are highly skilled, experienced individuals, and they all s …"

"… ndividuals, and they all serve pro bono,” said Honig, adding: “No MMTC officer or director would tolerate attempts at ‘purse-string advocacy.’” Gr …"

'Upset' emissions: Flares in the air, worry on the ground

By Kristen Lombardi and Andrea Fuller

Residents living along the chemical corridor of Texas and Louisiana often encounter 'upset' emissions -- triggering pollution, health fears.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Environmental Integrity Project":

"… poor job of predicting emissions,” says Eric Schaeffer, director of the Environmental Integrity Project. Attorneys from his nonprofit are suing the EPA to force it to update thes …"

Warehouse worker lawsuit targets Walmart

By Jim Morris and Adithya Sambamurthy

Warehouse laborers, citing oppressive conditions and unpaid wages, contend Walmart is among those responsible.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Walmart":

"… workers at a Southern California warehouse complex took steps today to add Walmart as a defendant in an ongoing federal lawsuit. The move is expected to draw …"

"… een tangentially involved – and raises questions about the human cost of Walmart’s tightly controlled supply chain, which relies heavily on contractors a …"

"… d supply chain, which relies heavily on contractors and subcontractors. “Walmart employs a network of contractors and subcontractors who have habitually br …"

"… Public Integrity and the Center for Investigative Reporting. “We believe Walmart knows exactly what is happening and is ultimately responsible for stealing …"

Surveillance requests to cellphone carriers surge

By The Associated Press

Police agencies made 1.3 million surveillance requests to US cellphone carriers in 2011

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ed Markey":

"… reat to someone's life.The information was collected by Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey. He said laws need to be updated to ill protect people's Fourth Amendment …"

Judge in Citigroup case has bucked trend of rubber stamping SEC settlements

SEC has long history of settling cases without requiring companies to admit guilt

Excerpts from this story referencing "Richard Berman":

"… e agency’s $535 million settlement with Goldman Sachs, and federal judge Richard Berman recently OK’d a $154 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase. And despite …"

Heart testing bill signed by Perry required unnecessary tests, critics charge

By Rochelle Sharpe

Medical experts say measure signed by Perry requires unnecessary testing

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… Donnella says he is working to convince large employers as well as federal Medicare officials to cover the tests. …"

As they lobby for a tax holiday, some big multinational players say they've got plenty of cash on hand

By John Aloysius Farrell and Aaron Mehta

Big corporations seeking tax holiday are sitting on billions in U.S.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Treasury":

"… als and trade groups pushing for the tax break. The holiday could cost the U.S. Treasury as much as $80 billion, one reason why its prospects are mixed as Washingt …"

Charities supporting AT&T’s buyout of T-Mobile have financial incentive

By Jason McLure

Charities that received big dollars from AT&T supporting phone giant's buyout of T-Mobile

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Washington Post":

"… ny in our strategic decisions,” Cicconi, AT&T’s top lobbyist, told The Washington Post after the deal was announced. “We understand the antitrust laws … and …"

Mortgage industry tanks, fraud continues at Countrywide

By Michael Hudson

As the mortgage industry melted down, fraud investigator kept up the pressure, soon lost her job

Excerpts from this story referencing "Countrywide":

"… f of this story here.The mortgage market was struggling in March 2007 when Countrywide promoted Eileen Foster to executive vice president and tapped her to take …"

"… unit that Foster had taken over, many of the operating divisions, such as Countrywide’s subprime unit, had their own smaller investigative teams.This didn’t …"

"… e who claimed he’d been fired because he’d objected to fraud at one of Countrywide’s subprime loan offices in the Boston area.Foster arranged to have the c …"

"… tolerated by management,” Foster later said in a witness statement in a Countrywide shareholders lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles. After the compa …"

Windfalls of war: Taxpayers get hammered by Pentagon attempts to "one-stop-shop"

By Sharon Weinberger

Pentagon abused its sole-source authority on weapons from tankers to choppers

Excerpts from this story referencing "the Boeing":

"… anned to award the multi-billion-dollar contract for a new tanker based on the Boeing 767 as a “sole source,” meaning there would be no opportunity for a fo …"

Dodd-Frank author is proudest of "skin in the game" requirement for mortgage securitizers

By Shirley Gao

Rep. Barney Frank defends Dodd-Frank law as first anniversary nears

DuPont considered, then rejected, safer handling method for chemical that killed worker

By Jim Morris

DuPont ignored near-miss accidents, poor maintenance at W. Virginia planted to poor maintenance

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemical industry":

"… ife saved. Such a precedent is neither in the interests of GE, DuPont, the chemical industry, nor the public as a whole.”In a prepared statement this morning, DuPont …"

Boeing pocketed millions by overcharging Army, IG report finds

By Ben Wieder

Boeing overcharged the Army $13 million for helicopter parts

Excerpts from this story referencing "inspector":

"… 3 million for Apache and Chinook helicopter parts, according to a Pentagon inspector general report obtained by the Project on Government Oversight.The report …"

Bank of America, tech VP clash over money-laundering detection

By Michael Hudson

Bank of America Corp. faces myriad disputes with whistleblowers, state attorneys general, and homeowners after surviving the U.S. financial

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