Banking, Finance & Services

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."
German financial giant Deutsche Bank has agreed to a $270 million settlement of claims that it participated in a complex securities fraud orchestrated by a fugitive Saudi arms merchant that bankrupted Minneapolis-based securities firm Stockwalk Group four years ago.
Seven Irish banks are being investigated by the Central Bank of Ireland for selling consumers insurance policies that they did not need. Tens of thousands of Irish consumers could get as much as €3,000 ($3,900) each in refunds.
The UK Serious Fraud Office has notched up another win in the global interest rate setting scandal by sending three Barclays traders to jail. Of the 20 bankers that have been charged to date, five have been found guilty, six have been let go while nine are to face trial.
An analysis of 282 local executives at 109 area companies who have had the same title from 2003 until the end of 2005 showed that merely sticking around gives an executive an excellent chance of getting a raise, sometimes a big one. In many cases, raises are dictated by employment contracts or other compensation practices that have nothing to do with an executive's job performance and are often divorced from the kind of market logic that dictates how most people are paid.