The ten Worst Firms Of 2017
What a year for company criminality and malfeasance!
As we compiled the Multinational Monitor listing of the 10 Worst Companies of 2008, it could have been straightforward to restrict the awardees to Wall Street firms.
However the rest of the corporate sector was not on good conduct throughout 2008 both, and we didn’t want them to flee justified scrutiny.
So, in preserving with our tradition of highlighting various forms of corporate wrongdoing, we included just one monetary firm on the 10 Worst list.
Right here, introduced in alphabetical order, are the 10 Worst Corporations of 2008.
AIG: Money for Nothing
There’s absolutely nobody occasion liable for the continuing international financial crisis. However for those who had to choose a single responsible company, there’s a really strong case to make for American Worldwide Group (AIG), which has already sucked up greater than $one hundred fifty billion in taxpayer supports. By means of “credit score default swaps,” AIG principally collected insurance premiums whereas making the ridiculous assumption that it could by no means pay out on a failure — let alone a collapse of the whole market it was insuring. When reality set in, the roof caved in.
Cargill: Meals Profiteers
When food prices spiked in late 2007 and by the start of 2008, international locations and poor shoppers discovered themselves at the mercy of the worldwide market and the giant buying and selling firms that dominate it. As starvation rose and food riots broke out around the globe, Cargill saw profits soar, tallying greater than $1 billion within the second quarter of 2008 alone.
In a aggressive market, would a grain-buying and selling intermediary make super-profits natural gas power plant Or would rising costs crimp the intermediary’s revenue margin Nicely, the global grain commerce is not competitive, and the legal rules of the global financial system — devised on the behest of Cargill and mates — be sure that poor international locations shall be dependent on, and on the mercy of, the global grain traders.
Chevron: “We can’t let little nations screw round with big companies”
In 2001, Chevron swallowed up Texaco. It was glad to absorb the income streams. It has been less willing to take responsibility for Texaco’s ecological and human rights abuses.
In 1993, 30,000 indigenous Ecuadorians filed a category motion go well with in U.S. courts, alleging that Texaco over a 20-yr period had poisoned the land the place they reside and the waterways on which they rely, permitting billions of gallons of oil to spill and leaving a whole bunch of waste pits unlined and uncovered. Chevron had the case thrown out of U.S. courts, on the grounds that it needs to be litigated in Ecuador, closer to where the alleged harms occurred. But now the case is going badly for Chevron in Ecuador — Chevron could also be liable for greater than $7 billion. So, the corporate is lobbying the Workplace of the U.S. Commerce Consultant to impose trade sanctions on Ecuador if the Ecuadorian authorities doesn’t make the case go away.
“We won’t let little international locations screw around with massive firms like this — firms which have made big investments around the globe,” a Chevron lobbyist stated to Newsweek in August. (Chevron subsequently acknowledged that the feedback were not authorised.)
Constellation Power: Nuclear Operators
Though it is simply too harmful, too costly and too centralized to make sense as an vitality source, nuclear power won’t go away, thanks to gear makers and utilities that discover methods to make the general public pay and pay.
Constellation Energy Group, the operator of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Maryland — an organization not too long ago involved in a startling, partially derailed scheme to price gouge Maryland customers — plans to construct a brand new reactor at Calvert Cliffs, potentially the first new reactor built within the United States for the reason that near-meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979.
It has lined as much as reap the benefits of U.S. government-guaranteed loans for new nuclear construction, accessible below the terms of the 2005 Power Act. The company acknowledges it could not proceed with development with out the federal government guarantee.
CNPC: Fueling Violence in Darfur
Sudan has been in a position to snicker off existing and threatened sanctions for the slaughter it has perpetrated in Darfur due to the huge support it receives from China, channeled above all by means of the Sudanese relationship with the Chinese language Nationwide Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
“The connection between CNPC and Sudan is symbiotic,” notes the Washington, D.C.-based mostly Human Rights First, in a March 2008 report, “Investing in Tragedy.” “Not only is CNPC the biggest investor in the Sudanese oil sector, however Sudan is CNPC’s largest marketplace for overseas investment.”
Oil cash has fueled violence in Darfur. “The profitability of Sudan’s oil sector has developed in close chronological step with the violence in Darfur,” notes Human Rights First.
Dole: The Bitter Style of Pineapple
A 1988 Filipino land reform effort has confirmed a fraud. Plantation homeowners helped draft the legislation and invented ways to avoid its purported purpose. Dole pineapple staff are among these paying the price.
Below the land reform, Dole’s land was divided amongst its employees and others who had claims on the land prior to the pineapple large. Nonetheless, rich landlords maneuvered to gain management of the labor cooperatives the staff were required to kind, Washington, D.C.-based Worldwide Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) explains in an October report. Dole has slashed it common workforce and replaced them with contract employees.
Contract workers are paid beneath a quota system, and earn about $1.Eighty five a day, based on ILRF.
GE: Artistic Accounting
In June, former New York Occasions reporter David Cay Johnston reported on inner Common Electric paperwork that appeared to indicate the company had engaged in an extended-running effort to evade taxes in Brazil. In a prolonged report in Tax Notes Worldwide, Johnston reported on a GE subsidiary’s scheme to bill suspiciously high gross sales volume for lighting equipment in flippantly populated Amazon regions of the country. These gross sales would avoid higher value added taxes (VAT) in urban states, where gross sales would be expected to be greater.
Johnston wrote that the state-level VAT at subject, based mostly on the interior paperwork he reviewed, appeared to be lower than $100 million. However, he speculated, the overall scheme might have concerned way more.
Johnston did not identify the source that gave him the internal GE documents, but GE has alleged it was a former firm legal professional, natural gas power plant Adriana Koeck. GE fired Koeck in January 2007 natural gas power plant for what it says were “performance reasons.”
Imperial Sugar: 14 Lifeless
On February 7, an explosion rocked the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Georgia, near Savannah. Days later, when the hearth was finally extinguished and search-and-rescue operations accomplished, the horrible human toll was finally identified: 14 useless, dozens badly burned and injured.
As with virtually every industrial catastrophe, it seems the tragedy was preventable. The cause was accumulated sugar dust, which like other types of dust, is highly combustible.
A month after the Port Wentworth explosion, Occupational Security and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors investigated one other Imperial Sugar plant, in Gramercy, Louisiana. They found 1/four- to 2-inch accumulations of dust on electrical wiring and equipment. They discovered as much as forty eight-inch accumulations on workroom floors.
Imperial Sugar obviously knew of the situations in its plants. It had in reality taken some measures to scrub up operations prior to the explosion. The corporate introduced in a new vice president to wash up operations in November 2007, and he took some necessary measures to improve situations. But it surely wasn’t enough. The vice president told a Congressional committee that high-stage administration had told him to tone down his calls for for instant action.
Philip Morris Worldwide: Unshackled
The outdated Philip Morris not exists. In March, the corporate formally divided itself into two separate entities: Philip Morris USA, which remains part of the father or mother firm Altria, and Philip Morris International. Philip Morris USA sells Marlboro and different cigarettes within the United States. Philip Morris International tramples the remainder of the world.
Philip Morris International has already signaled its preliminary plans to subvert a very powerful policies to cut back smoking and the toll from tobacco-associated illness (now at 5 million lives a yr). The company has introduced plans to inflict on the world an array of latest products, packages and advertising and marketing efforts. These are designed to undermine smoke-free office guidelines, defeat tobacco taxes, segment markets with specifically flavored merchandise, provide flavored cigarettes sure to enchantment to youth, and overcome marketing restrictions.
Roche: “Saving lives is not our business”
The Swiss company Roche makes a range of HIV-related drugs. One of them is enfuvirtid, bought under the model-name Fuzeon. Fuzeon introduced in $266 million to Roche in 2007, though gross sales are declining.
Roche prices $25,000 a 12 months for Fuzeon. It doesn’t provide a low cost price for creating nations.
Like most industrialized nations, Korea maintains a type of value controls — the national health insurance program units costs for medicines. The Ministry of Well being, Welfare and Family Affairs listed Fuzeon at $18,000 a yr. Korea’s per capita revenue is roughly half that of the United States. Instead of providing Fuzeon, for a profit, at Korea’s listed level, Roche refuses to make the drug obtainable in Korea.