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Thursday, June 14, 2012

  • JPMorgan Chase CEO Gets Warm Hill Welcome from Senators Flooded with Millions in Wall St. Donations

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    Protesters confronted JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday as he testified on Capitol Hill about how his bank lost up to $3 billion in risky bets. Lawmakers, however, gave a warmer greeting to the man described as Washington’s favorite banker. JPMorgan spent $7.6 million on lobbying last year, and Dimon has a long record of contributing campaign donations to lawmakers on the Senate Banking Committee. We speak to former investment banker Nomi Prins, author of "Black Tuesday." Prins calls Dimon’s appearance "the tamest — and there have been very tame ones — hearing for any of the bank leaders since the [financial] crisis began in 2008." She adds that "what we saw yesterday was a glimpse of how lobbying money, as well as additional campaign money ... have a tremendous impact on regulations and ... the power that [the financial industry has] within the Senate and, therefore, with respect to regulation of their own industry. ... This is why there’s no line between legislators and bankers." [includes rush transcript]

  • Breaking ’08 Pledge, Leaked Trade Doc Shows Obama Wants to Help Corporations Avoid Regulations

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    A draft agreement leaked Wednesday shows the Obama administration is pushing a secretive trade agreement that could vastly expand corporate power and directly contradict a 2008 campaign promise by President Obama. A U.S. proposal for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact between the United States and eight Pacific nations would allow foreign corporations operating in the U.S. to appeal key regulations to an international tribunal. The body would have the power to override U.S. law and issue penalties for failure to comply with its ruling. We speak to Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, a fair trade group that posted the leaked documents on its website. "This isn’t just a bad trade agreement," Wallach says. "This is a 'one-percenter' power tool that could rip up our basic needs and rights." [includes rush transcript]

  • After Unprecedented Attack on Whistleblowers, Obama Admin Accused of Leaking Info for Political Gain

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    A bipartisan dispute has emerged on Capitol Hill over how to investigate a series of national security leaks, including disclosures about President Obama’s secret "kill list" as well as the U.S.-Israeli use of cyberweapons to target Iran’s nuclear program. Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed two prosecutors to head a probe into the leaks, but Republicans have criticized him for refusing to appoint an independent special counsel. Some analysts question if this is truly a case of whistleblowing, in the public interest, or a case of covertly authorized leaking for political gain. Government accountability groups are waiting to see how vigorously the Obama administration will pursue those responsible for the leaks, especially given its aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers in the past. We speak to former Justice Department whistleblower Jesselyn Radack. [includes rush transcript]