by John Ward
Big Business across the world is engaged in the worst case of looting since the Visigoths picked Rome clean in 410 AD. Their senior managers are variously emptying employee pension funds, real shareholder value, private investment values, sovereign treasuries and government budgets. As I will show in this post, those assertions are based on empirically agreed statistics and published facts, not “conspiracy theory”. Unsurprisingly, our politicians and judiciaries are complicit in this locust-like swarm of greed.
You all remember General Electric, don’t you? Of course you do: those wonderful folks that brought you Fukushima, their own real-life tribute to the movie Towering Inferno.
So you won’t be surprised to learn that the global concern’s pension fund is underfunded to the tune of $31 billion.
Ah well, say the apologists…these have been tough years, you know….markets have been volatile….you win some, you lose some…..those Unions, right – they make demands, some sucker has to pay for it.
IABATO*. As Catherine Austin Fitts points out, ‘….during the time its pension fund became so underfunded, GE spent $45 billion to buy back its publicly traded common stock. The needed funds were there at one point; it’s just that the leadership of the company decided to funnel it into sticky hands at the top, rather than to the pensions of the employees who helped build the company.’
Fitts is not some deranged Antifa turd-chucking lunatic: she is president of Solari, Inc, and the managing member of Solari Investment Advisory Services. She previously served as Assistant Secretary of Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner in the first Bush Administration.
As I pointed out two months ago, share buybacks by non-financial corporations have been the mainstay of shares in the U.S. since 2009, having repurchased a net US$3.3 trillion worth of US equities since 2009, according to the Federal Reserve. Just to make this abundantly clear, corporates have been pumping up the value of their own companies by buying their own stock, and are thus THE main players in producing a Dow Jones index overpriced at record levels. The old adage that “stock markets are good because they give institutions the opportunity to beef up pensioner returns” has been turned by neoliberal looting into a total lie: pension institutions and private investors have been net sellers over the same period.
But for GE to achieve their valuation by ripping off their own pensioners really is a lulu even by globalist monopoly greed standards. Enough, in fact, to make the late Robert Maxwell seem a paragon of pension ethics by comparison.
Wherever you look around the world of Big Business, top management are at it, as they say in Liverpool. In just the last week alone, two Porsche executives have been arrested in charges of cheating on diesel emission levels, and the banking chief at Barclays Jes Staley was found guilty of hounding a corruption whistleblower but not barred from running a bank. Wells Fargo coughed up a billion dollars to escape allegations of car insurance and mortgage frauds on a grand scale, and UK defence technology group Ultra Electronics was told it faces a Serious Fraud Office investigation.
During that same week, Japanese authorities began investigating a bent data scandal at Kobe Steel, the Facebook use-of-data-for-money saga continued to expand, and Volkswagen’s ‘reform’ of its corporate culture after the emissions scandal got poor grades from US authorities trying to enforce VW compliance with the deal that settled emission cheating charges in the first place.
As you read all of them, it is obvious I think that three factors are in play: there’s a general acceptance among global corporates that honesty is for the birds; the legal and regulatory officials are far too light in their sentences; and there is, almost always, zero remorse from the companies concerned and their ‘leaders’.
They are helped in this respect by the obvious fact that, to varying degrees, Western governments get their Party donations, tax revenues and thus much of their real power from globalist corporations. But this doesn’t stop such companies from dodging tax as well: last year in the UK, multinationals evaded nearly £6bn in taxes, a 50% increase over 2016….and of course, these are just the ones we know about – as it happens, from a Freedom of Information request.
This is one of the biggest reasons we are suffering job losses, austerity, State pension embezzlement, loss of return on savings and cuts in welfare.
Theresa May’s money tree is real enough. It’s just that a tiny group of fatties are shaking all the money out of the tree before any ordinary citizen can benefit from it.
I’m listing this out on Twitter with particular reference to nurses, hospital doctors, UK 1950s born State pension victims, mental health institutions, those who care for the aged, plus the disabled and their supporters. If you have friends and relatives in those fields of endeavour, please send the post to them.