Money & Politics
Entergy, one of the largest utilities in the U.S., has enjoyed healthy profits since Hurricane Katrina. Yet its New Orleans subsidiary has filed for bankruptcy, and frightened ratepayers with visions of bills bloated to 140% of their pre-storm size. Now the Fortune 500 company is threatening to pull the plug on New Orleans if it doesn't get a $700 million-plus federal bailout it doesn't actually need.
American companies have been arriving in Iraq to pursue an expected multibillion-dollar bonanza of projects to revive the country's petroleum industry. But there are questions about the Iraqi government's capacity to police the companies. "These are for-profit concerns and they are trying to make as much money as they can," said Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch.
TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration - as well as former staff of the Hillary Clinton and John Kerry presidential campaigns - to help them lobby for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands fuel to the U.S.
British officials are seriously concerned about the level of corruption in the Iraqi defense ministry, after the embezzlement of vast amounts of money earmarked for the country's security forces. Officials from the British Ministry of Defense had already warned US and Iraqi authorities against the squandering of money -- and have been proved right, on a catastrophic scale.
Vice President Al Gore's campaign announced an all-out effort today to contest Florida's presidential election result, demanding a recount by hand in four counties and promising to support legal challenges as the dispute grew increasingly bitter.
Halliburton, the Texas company which has been awarded the Pentagon's contract to put out potential oil-field fires in Iraq and which is bidding for postwar construction contracts, is still making annual payments to its former chief executive, the vice-president Dick Cheney.
May 6, 2002 -- According to a new report released today, many of the U.S. government's largest contractors have repeatedly broken the law or engaged in unethical conduct. However, they are never even temporarily suspended, let alone debarred, from gaining additional government contracts. Smaller contractors are not so lucky. The report, profiled in U.S. News and World Report today, was published by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO).
Former managers working for Custer Battles, a high-profile private security company in Iraq, are accusing the firm of using companies in the Cayman Islands and other "tax haven" countries to fraudulently overcharge on government contracts by tens of millions of dollars.
Federal prosecutors are suing Bank of America for selling fraudulent loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-sponsored mortgage finance companies. The government alleged that the multinational sold over $1 billion in bad mortgages that led to numerous foreclosures.