Banking, Finance & Services

Protestors have rallied this week outside annual meetings of Barclays bank in London, Citibank in Dallas, Credit Suisse in Zurich and Wells Fargo in San Francisco. A surprising number of shareholders have rallied to their side to vote down excessive executive compensation, in an unexpected victory for the Occupy movement.
The newly elected president of the European Commission and his cabinet - who together form the central executive body for the 28 member states of the European Union - have deep ties with powerful corporate interests that make them poor choices to support citizen rights, say critics.
Two Merrill Lynch executives convicted for their roles in a Nigerian barge deal that inflated Enron's profits have been ordered released from prison pending their appeal.
Grupo Mexico S.A. de C.V. could find itself at the center of the bankruptcy reorganization of Asarco, a century-old American mining and smelting company whose liabilities include the environmental cleanup of 94 Superfund sites in 21 states. Depending on what happens in the bankruptcy reorganization, U.S. taxpayers ultimately could be responsible for the tab.
A new CorpWatch report shines a light on the role of six major banks that helped cause the EuroZone crisis. As of June 2013, Greece was forced to borrow €207 billion, Spain €100 billion, and Ireland an additional €85 billion, partly because of risky lending by major banks.
Some 15,000 lobbyists work in Brussels where they meet secretly with European Union officials to try and influence the rules that govern the 27 countries that together form the world's most powerful economic bloc. New guidelines will attempt to make this lobbying more public and reveal conflicts of interest.
A revised indictment, handed up last October, accused the 19 of "devising, marketing and implementing fraudulent tax shelters" as well as preparing "false and fraudulent" income tax returns containing the shelter losses, and with hiding all of this from the government. The case is the largest criminal tax case ever filed by the government.
U.S. corporate CEO salaries rose 16 percent in 2012, according to research firm Equilar. Average daily CEO pay is now greater than that of the average annual worker salary. Top salary: Larry Ellison of Oracle - over $96 million. Top exit bonus: James Mulva of ConocoPhillips - $156 million.
Exam privatization threatens public schools "They make kids in my class feel dumb," says Vanessa Verdín about the corporate-designed standardized tests that millions of U.S. students are required to take under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Vanessa, an energetic eleven year old whose hobbies include soccer, knitting and research, feels that the tests "ask the wrong questions" and "waste time when we could be learning."