More evidence that the financial crisis is a legal crisis in drag has emerged with two stories about the hiring of top regulators after they failed to detect massive financial frauds that occurred right under their noses.
The nation’s three most productive solar installation firms are under investigation for allegedly exaggerating business costs to get larger cash payments through a federal stimulus program.The Treasury Department’s inspector general is asking SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity to justify the more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits they got for their work, according to The Washington Post. The companies in question received payments through Treasury’s 1603 program, which was designed to increase renewable energy use.
If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.
Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who’s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a “record” financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.
World Bank sets $900 mn aid program for Iraq
Washington (AFP) Dec 18, 2012 – The World Bank announced Tuesday a $900 million support plan for Iraq aimed at helping the war-ravaged country better manage its human and vast oil resources. The World Bank’s four-year support for Iraq, through 2016, will focus on job creation, social inclusion and building stronger institutions, the institution said. The announcement came exactly one year after the last US troops left … more
Turkey urges Iran to pressure Syria for end to violence
Ankara (AFP) Dec 18, 2012 – Turkey urged Iran Tuesday to pressure Syria’s regime to stop violence against its own people, as Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan brushed off Iranian criticism of Ankara’s plans to deploy Patriot missiles as “random remarks”. Tensions between Iran and Turkey have spiked in the wake of NATO’s decision to deploy the US-made missiles along the Turkish-Syrian border in case of an attack eman … more
Kabul sets ambitious ‘roadmap for peace’ with Taliban
Kabul (AFP) Dec 18, 2012 – Kabul has laid out an ambitious and contentious five-step plan that could bring hardline Taliban Islamists into government as efforts to broker peace accelerate ahead of the withdrawal of Western troops. The Taliban regime was ousted by a US-led invasion in 2001 and there are concerns that their return to any sort of power could see an erosion of gains in democracy and human rights, particul …more