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Business Economics The Economy

Elizabeth Warren SLAMS Wells Fargo CEO For Firing Employees Instead Of Resigning (VIDEO)

Wells Fargo bank was recently fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for setting up sham credit card and checking accounts so they could charges fees they were not entitled to and raise the value of their stock. As a result, Wells Fargo fired 5,300 employees they said were responsible for creating the fraudulent accounts.

And today on Capitol Hill, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf was dragged over the coals by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who accused Stumpf and other top executives of blaming low-level bank employees instead of taking responsibility. Warren angrily declared:

“You haven’t returned a single nickel of your personal earnings, you haven’t fired a single senior executive Instead, evidently, your definition of accountable is to push the blame to your low-level employees who don’t have the money for a fancy PR firm to defend themselves.

“It’s gutless leadership. Cross-selling is all about pumping up Wells’ stock price.”

Stumpf attempted to defend the company when Warren accused him and his cronies of being involved in a scam by saying:

“It was not a scam. And cross-sell is a way of deepening relationships.”

But Senator Warren countered by asking:

“We’ve been through this, Mr. Stumpf. I asked you a very simple question. Do you know how much the value of your stock went up while this scam was going on?”

The banking executive declined to reply, so Warren gave him the cold, hard facts:

“The share price during this time period went up by about $30. Which comes out to more than $200 million in gains. All for you personally, and thanks in part to those cross-selling numbers.

“When it all blew up, you kept your job, you kept your multi-million-dollar bonuses and you went on television to blame thousands of $12 an hour employees who were just trying to meet cross-sell quotas that made you rich. You should resign, you should give back the money that you took while this scam was going on and you should be criminally investigated by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Warren also noted that Wells Fargo had engaged in the same type of shady banking practices which led to the financial collapse of 2008:

“The only way that Wall Street will change is if executives face jail time when they preside over massive frauds. We need tough new laws to hold corporate executives personally accountable, and we need tough prosecutors who have the courage to go after people at the top.

“Until then, it will be business as usual. And at giant banks like Wells Fargo, that seems to mean cheating as many customers, investors and employees as they possibly can.”

Thank you for looking out for American consumers, Senator Warren. We are fortunate to have you in the Senate where you can hold these big banks accountable for their crooked actions. Bravo!

Categories
Economics Fox News Lies Money The Economy WTF?!

WATCH: Fox Business Host Pines For The Days Of Child Labor And No Minimum Wage

We’ve all heard our elders tell us about “the good old days,” and how much simpler life was back in the day. No doubt some of that is true. But was it good that there was a time in this country when children were forced to work and people were barely paid enough to buy food? Well, according to Fox Business host Stuart Varney, that was indeed a great thing.

On Friday, minimum wage increases–to $15 an hour–went into effect yesterday in 15 American cities, and to hear Varney and his guest Tammy Bruce tell it, it’s the end of the world as we know it. Bruce remarked:

“This we’ve learned from Seattle, and some other cities that have already implemented it, that jobs are lost. That this, it’s — the burden is put on the back of other struggling people. You will fire individuals in order to maintain that the salary requirement of the others that you have there. And others, of course, are putting — fast-food places are putting in robotics, and kiosks, so you can order your own food. This is what’s going to happen.”

That, of course, is a blatant lie, which is something both Fox News and Fox Business specialize in.

Varney then turned the debate over to John Layfield, who was in Bermuda and said what a great place it is for business because there’s no minimum wage and children work for tips. Heaven on earth! Layfield said:

“There actually isn’t a minimum wage here, right now. You see some of these young kids — I run a program for at-risk kids — down, sacking groceries, about age 12, and they work off tips. So there isn’t actually a minimum wage here.”

Yes, Bruce chimed in, “that’s how it used to be.” Which prompted Layfield to add:

“And it actually works fine. The problem I have with this $15 minimum wage is why 15, because it looks good on a bumper sticker? You’re not talking about fixing anything. Tie it to inflation, or a basket of wages, so you take it out of politics and union hands. That’s all it is.”

Ah yes, if only the United States could be a great economic power like Bermuda.

For more of this discussion, watch the video below:

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

Categories
Economics Greed Money Money in America The Economy

EXPOSED: Elizabeth Warren Calls Out Investment Firms For Lying To Consumers And Congress

Perhaps you’ve seen the commercials that run from time to time on television regarding a rather obscure subject to most of us: the Conflict of Interest rule.

Simply put, this new rule requires that investment advisers act in the best interest of their clients instead of their own. Makes sense, doesn’t it, but the insurance and investment companies affected by the new regulation are now screaming bloody murder and saying the rule is going to lead to the downfall of the entire market.

That just happens to be a gigantic honking lie neatly wrapped in bullcrap.

Also, while these huge companies are out screaming to consumers and Congress how the Conflict of Interest rule means they’re doomed, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Elijah Cummings happened upon some fascinating information showing that those very same companies are telling their shareholders just the opposite.

According to a letter sent by Warren and Cummings to the Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, the new rule is not a problem at all. The Labor Department, it should be noted, will be responsible for enforcing the new regulation, and Warren does not mince words in the letter to Secretary Perez:

“In contrast to their public doomsday predictions, industry leaders have told their own investors that they ‘don’t see this as a significant hurdle,’ ‘will once again respond to marketplace or regulatory changes effectively,’ and that they are well-positioned to ‘adapt to any regulatory framework that emerges.'”

In other words, despite their protestations, these finance and insurance companies are busted by their own words.

The new rule is needed because far too many investment advisers attempt to steer their clients which will earn them the most commission, and to hell with the investor if he or she loses a bundle as a result.

Also noted in the letter are phone calls made by major companies such as Prudential and Transamerica asserting that the new rule is no problem for them to adapt to while those same firms were in front of Congress doing their sadsack routine and asking for delays in implementing the Conflict of Interest rule.

Some things never seem to change: the same banks, investment firms, and insurance companies that very nearly wrecked the American economy in 2008 are now whining because they have to be honest with their clients instead of padding their own nests.

Here’s Senator Warren questioning Secretary Perez late last year on the new regulation:

 

Categories
Business Hopeful Happenings Money in America The Economy

Federal Judge Says Walmart Must Reinstate And Pay Workers Fired For Striking

An administrative law judge with the Labor Relations Board has ordered Walmart to reinstate 16 workers the judge says were unlawfully fired for going on strike against the retailer.

Walmart was also ordered to pay those who were fired back pay and expunge the disciplinary records of 38 other workers who were punished for being part of the strike.

The group OUR Walmart filed a complaint against the world’s largest retailer in 2013 after workers who participated in strikes centered around Wal-Mart’s annual shareholders meeting in Bentonville, Ark., were fired when they called for an annual salary of $25,000 for employees.

Judge Geoffrey Carter ruled that workers from 26 Walmart stores across the United States were illegally punished merely because they took part in the protests.

Additionally, Judge Carter ordered that managers at the stores affected must hold staff meetings and  workers must be informed of their right to strike. He also ruled that store managers must read from a script which says they promise not to threaten or discipline workers for exercising their rights to protest or strike.

Walmart argued that the strikes were hit-and-run, intermittent work stoppages and therefore not protected under federal labor law. The company said it plans to appeal the judge’s ruling to the full NLRB. Company spokesman Kory Lundberg said Wal-Mart “will pursue all of our options to defend the company because we believe our actions were legal and justified.”

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

Categories
Politics Taxation The Economy

Bernie Sanders Smacks Down Trump For His Baseless Attacks

Ever since last week’s Democratic debate, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has begun to attack Senator Bernie Sanders, recently telling supporters at a campaign rally:

“He’s going to tax you people at 90%, he’s going to take everything. And nobody’s heard the term communist, but you know what, I call him a socialist/communist, cause that’s what he is.”

So because Sanders wants to make sure the super wealthy in this country pay their fair share and we put more regulations on banks, that makes him a communist? Sounds to me like Trump is getting worried because he might have to fork over more tax dollars.

Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos yesterday, Sanders had a great comeback for the Donald:

“If I had to respond to every absurd thing Donald Trump said, I’d spend my whole life doing it. But, he did raise the issue of taxes, so let’s talk about it. What we have seen, George, in the last 30 years, as most of Americans know, is a massive redistribution of wealth. Unfortunately, it’s gone in the wrong direction, it’s gone from the middle class and working families to Donald Trump and his friends, the top one tenth of 1 percent.”

Isn’t this one of the main reasons we see such huge disparities between the rich in the United States and everyone else? How exactly is it anything other than common sense to make those who have profited the most from this country pay a larger share of taxes?

Perhaps Trump should consider these historical facts regarding taxation: During World War II, the top income tax rate in the United States was 94 percent. As recently as 1981, it was 70 percent. During the Clinton Administration, it was 39.6 percent and the economy boomed. George W. Bush cut the top rate to 35 percent and the economy went into a tailspin. President Obama raised the rate back to 39.6 percent and again we see growth.

So as you can plainly see, Donald Trump, as usual, is just flat-out lying.

And if Bernie Sanders or any Democrat who becomes President in 2016 wants to raise the top income tax rate 50, 60, 80, or even 90 percent, I say go for it. If Trump and his rich friends don’t like it, they can pack their bags and leave. That would also be good for America.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.