Economic harassment and the Ferguson crisis - LA Times - (www.latimes.com) According to the group's recent report on the municipal court system in St. Louis County, the Ferguson court is a "chronic offender" in legal and economic harassment of its residents. There's not much of a secret why: the municipality collects some $2.6 million a year in fines and court fees, typically from small-scale infractions like traffic violations. This is the second-largest source of income for that small, fiscally-strapped municipality. For a low-income community--and for a black community subjected to the racial profiling, as the report documents--these fines can gather force like a boulder rolling downhill. And racial profiling appears to be the rule. In Ferguson, "86% of vehicle stops involved a black motorist, although blacks make up just 67% of the population," the report states. "After being stopped in Ferguson, blacks are almost twice as likely as whites to be searched (12.1% vs. 7.9%) and twice as likely to be arrested." But those searches result in the discovery of contraband at a much lower rate than searches of whites. "You don't get $321 in fines and fees and 3 warrants per household from an about-average crime rate," he notes. "You get numbers like this from [B.S.] arrests for jaywalking" and what the report calls "low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay without a meaningful inquiry into whether an individual has the means to pay."
Revolving door: Washington to Wall Street - (money.cnn.com) Rahm Emanuel: : Mayor of Chicago; Chief of Staff to President Obama; Illinois Congressman; Senior Advisor to Bill Clinton. : Investment banker at Wasserstein Perella.
There's no question that Rahm Emanuel has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in public service, but it was his short stint in the private sector that proved most fruitful on the financial front.
Between government jobs, the often-feisty politician worked as an investment banker at Wasserstein Perella, reportedly earning a whopping $18 million in only two and a half years on the job despite having no prior experience in finance.
Ex-FBI agent airs Wall Street's dirty laundry - (money.cnn.com) When hedge funds and pensions are looking for dirty laundry, they often call people like Ken Springer. The former FBI agent runs a firm that sophisticated investors hire to conduct background investigations on companies they want to invest in. Sometimes Springer's research reveals the secrets of company founders -- like allegations of fraud or even felonies -- that causes investors to walk away from a deal. "We're the people who do the due diligence: Are they who they say they are?" said Springer, founder and president of New York-based Corporate Resolutions. Springer, 60, believes one of the biggest problems in the financial world is that too many big investors, pension funds and venture capital firms simply don't know who they are betting on. He's got plenty of stories to back up his case.
Putin breaks ground on Russia-China gas pipeline, world's biggest – (www.rt.com) Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli have launched the construction of the first part of Gazprom’s Power of Siberia pipeline - which will deliver 4 trillion cubic meters of gas to China over 30 years. “The new gas branch will significantly strengthen the economic cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific region and above all - our key partner China,” Putin said at the ceremony outside the city of Yakutsk - the capital of Russia's Republic of Yakutia on Monday. Both President Putin and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli signed the freshly-welded pipeline in a time-honored Russian tradition. The 'Power of Siberia' was welded together by workers from Chayanda gas field, overseen by CEO Aleksey Miller. "Gazprom is always a reliable supplier of gas to its customers - which also applies to the ‘Power of Siberia," Miller said. The 3,968 km pipeline linking gas fields in eastern Siberia to China will be the world's largest fuel network in the world. Both Putin and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli have called the project the world’s largest construction project, as investment from both countries will be more than $70 billion. “The gas pipeline ‘Power of Siberia’ will increase energy security and ensure Russia’s ability to fulfill export obligations,” Putin said in the opening remarks.
GOP Senator Rips Media 'Shield Law' to 'License' Journalists - (www.antiwar.com) Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R – TX) today blasted the “Free Flow of Information Act,” a media “shield law” which is being pushed by Senate Democrats, saying it is fatally flawed and contrary to the First Amendment’s freedom of the press. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – NY), the main backer of the bill, claims that he already has a filibuster-proof majority that can pass the bill, and insists it will protect the rights of certain journalists to gather information. In theory, the bill protects journalists from having to reveal confidential sources. Yet the bill only affords this protection to “covered journalists,” while being extremely vague over what that means and giving judges considerable latitude to decide who is or isn’t sufficiently a journalist to have protection under the law.