Monday, September 19, 2011

More Corporate Crime in America

Not only do CEOs treat their companies as their own personal piggy bank and demand astronomical salaries...

Not only do corporations evade taxes and end up like GE paying no corporate taxes at all...

Not only do big Wall Street banks create fraudulent "securitized" paper out of liar loans and NINJA loans and have them stamped AAA-rated then sell them and watch them blow up and destroy the American economy...

Big corporations secretly have done a massive "heist" and stolen the retirement funds of millions of American workers. Here are the details from a Salon magazine article:
America is in the midst of a retirement crisis. Over the last decade, we've witnessed the wholesale gutting of pension and retiree healthcare in this country. Hundreds of companies have slashed and burned their way through their employees' benefits, leaving former workers either on Social Security or destitute -- and taxpayers with a huge burden that, as the baby boomer generation edges towards retirement, is likely to grow. It's a problem that is already affecting over a million people -- and the most shocking part is, none of this needed to happen.

As Ellen E. Schultz, an investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, reveals in her new book, "Retirement Heist," it wasn't the dire economy that led these companies to plunder their own employees' earnings, it was greed. Over the last decade, some of the biggest companies -- including Bank of America, IBM, General Motors, GE and even the NFL -- found loopholes, abused ambiguous regulations and used litigation to turn their employees' hard-earned retirement funds into profits, and in some cases, executive compensation. Schultz's book offers a relentlessly infuriating look at the mechanisms they used to get away with it.
There's more. Go read the whole article.

Here is the secret plan the corporations used:
Think of pensions as a debt. If a company can reverse a debt, it can record it as income. And that income is the same as if they got it from selling trucks or whatever it is the company sells. There were billions in promises to retirees for pensions and healthcare and death benefits and life insurance, and the companies figured out that if they cut or eliminated them altogether then they could get those billions in profit -- and even use them for executive compensation.
Ah yes... those poor CEOs having to make do with salaries of "only" tens of millions of dollars with stock options on the side. The poor souls were so desperate to bulk up their income they figured a way out of stealing from those workers making $40,000 or $60,000 a year. Doesn't everybody know that "average Americans" love their rich. That is why they keep throwing tax cuts at them. That's why the let their corporate criminals off without any jail time. And that's why they let them earn 500 or 600 or 800 times as much as an ordinary worker. They love their bosses!

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