Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Saturday, June 24, 2017

Did Trump Get A Big Tax Refund After 2005?

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
,
The pressure is growing to force President Trump to turn over his tax returns. The other day, for example, 200 Congressmen filed a suit in federal court, arguing that voters and lawmakers have a right to know whether Trump’s businesses are violating the Constitution’s emolument clause, which bars the president from accepting payments from foreign countries.

The lead Senate plaintiff in the suit, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), said that the legal effort could force release of the president’s tax returns and other business documents during the discovery stage of the litigation.

“By failing to release his tax returns — reflecting payments and benefits from foreign powers — President Trump is thumbing his nose at the American people and the Constitution,” Blumenthal told my Washington Post colleague Tom Hamburger.…

Read More

Much Wealth As Half The World’s Population

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Last year it was eight men, then down to six, and now almost five.

While Americans fixate on Trump, the super-rich are absconding with our wealth, and the plague of inequality continues to grow. An analysis of 2016 data found that the poorest five deciles of the world population own about $410 billion in total wealth. As of June 8, 2017, the world’s richest five men owned over $400 billion in wealth. Thus, on average, each man owns nearly as much as 750 million people.

Why Do We Let a Few People Shift Great Portions of the World’s Wealth to Themselves?

Read More

A Federal Regulator Is Probing Wells Fargo’s Mortgage Practices

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.
by Jesse Eisinger

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is conducting an investigation into alleged improprieties in Wells Fargo’s mortgage fee practices.

The CFPB is looking into allegations, first reported by ProPublica in January, that the bank inappropriately charged customers fees to extend their promised interest rates when their paperwork was delayed. The CFPB probe is in its early stages, according to a person familiar with it, and there is no certainty that the agency will take action. The CFPB has the power to levy fines and seek restitution if it finds a financial firm has violated the law.…

Read More