Two important stories that are thwarting democracy: CEO pay and Fed secret deals

First, a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies points out that 25 of the largest US companies paid more to their CEO’s in 2010 than they paid in corporate taxes. 20 of them paid more in lobbyist fees than they paid in corporate taxes. Dollars well spent for some it seems. See: Executive Excess 2011: The Massive CEO Rewards for Tax Dodging

Sarah Anderson, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies talks about the nonprofit group’s report.  Watch the clip here.

I can’t help but feel sad for the male host’s argument in this clip, that regular working people should be happy that corporations pay no tax and lavish their executives with more than 300 times the average workers pay. The little guy he says should feel happy about this, because they own these company shares in their 401K plans and isn’t that good for their investment returns? This is a pathetic version of the American dream. Clearly the fact that retirement accounts and pension funds are fatally under-funded today and in the midst of slashing benefits after investors have lost money in stocks for more than 12 years refutes this naive argument utterly.

Second,  after Bloomberg and others sued to force the Federal Reserve to disclose an accounting of how they dispensed public funds to banks during the recent crisis, we now have numbers the Fed did not want to disclose.  The Federal Reserve’s unprecedented intervention included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley, got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup Inc. took $99.5 billion and Bank of America Corp. $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress. See: The Fed handed out $1.2 Trillion in secret loans

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