Banking, Finance & Services

British Petroleum said yesterday that it did not have external insurance to cover the damage caused to its Texas City refinery in the US, where an explosion killed 15 people.
The midterm elections are days away, but the winners are virtually certain: the corporations and conservative operatives like Karl Rove who have taken advantage of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling to establish a well-heeled "shadow party" of networked trade associations and G.O.P. front groups.
A defense lawyer in the trial of former Enron CEOs Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling spent Thursday morning trying to undermine the testimony of the government's star witness and questioning the authenticity of a "smoking gun" document.
This profile of Ireland is from CorpWatch's EuroZone Profiteers report - a study of the the role of six major banks in Greece, Ireland and Spain during the EuroZone crisis. Loans from these banks helped fuel the credit boom that left borrowing countries deep in debt.
A new CorpWatch report shines a light on the role of six major banks in Greece, Ireland and Spain in the EuroZone crisis. "The EuroZone Profiteers" profiles Commerzbank, Depfa and Westdeutsche Landesbank from Germany; Crédit Agricole and Société Générale from France; together with Dexia - a Franco-Belgian financial institution.
The company that bought AIDS patient M. Smith's life insurance policy in the 1990s was betting she wouldn't live more than two years. Now it's trying to weasel out of its contract because her being alive is starting to cut into their profit margin.
JP Morgan, the Wall Street investment bank, has been fined $920 million for violating trading laws that were discovered after trader Bruno Iksil (nicknamed the "London Whale") lost billions in bets last May. It was also fined over $80 million for credit card scams in an unrelated incident.
Finance sector invests heavily in candidates When former Texas Senator Phil Gramm came out of the Tavern on the Green one recent August morning, his disposition turned edgy. Now a vice chairman of the Swiss financial corporation UBS, he had just left his colleagues at the Financial Services Roundtable breakfast. He wasn't keen on talking to waiting journalists, certainly not to the CorpWatch team.
There's one group of people who should be giving thanks daily for the Enron scandal: the partners of KPMG, one of the Final Four accounting firms. That's because the fallout from Enron is what allowed KPMG to extract a favorable settlement from the Justice Department last week. The firm agreed to fork over less than a year's profit in return for not being indicted on a zillion counts of cheating the government by peddling sleazy, dishonest tax shelters for six years.
Ten major U.S. banks settled charges of illegally kicking people out of their homes for pennies on the dollar, under two agreements with the government. The biggest beneficiary is Bank of America which will win a get-out-of-jail free card for selling fraudulent loans to the government.