The Environmental Protection Agency is not protecting underground drinking water supplies from oilfield contamination and in several instances has allowed companies actually to dump wastewater into aquifers, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) says in a new report.
The report blasts the EPA for its oversight in California, where, since 2014, the state has allowed oil companies to violate safe-drinking water laws. An AP analysis in 2015 found that California had handed out 2,000 permits giving oil companies permission to dump wastewater into federally protected drinking water. The tragedy impacted at least 11 aquifers.
– Pentagon Has No Idea What 108,000 Contractors Are Doing (Fiscal Times, June 3, 2013):
The number of contractors working in Afghanistan now vastly outnumbers American troops stationed there, according to a Congressional Research Service report. CRS, along with the Government Accountability Office, also determined that the Pentagon is unable to properly document the work these contractors are doing. And the information DOD is receiving is often unreliable and inaccurate.
According to CRS, there are now 108,000 private workers in Afghanistan, a workforce that dwarfs the 65,700 American troops still stationed there. That means there are 1.6 contractors for every American soldier in Afghanistan. This is an increase from last month, when The Fiscal Times reported that there were 1.4 contractors per American soldier.
Given the size of the private forces, it’s not surprising that CRS found that in recent years, the Defense Department spent more than any other agency to support contractor work.
– Fed’s Once-Secret Data Released to Public (Bloomberg, Dec. 23, 2011):
Bloomberg News today released spreadsheets showing daily borrowing totals for 407 banks and companies that tapped Federal Reserve emergency programs during the 2007 to 2009 financial crisis. It’s the first time such data have been publicly available in this form.
To download a zip file of the spreadsheets, go to http://bit.ly/Bloomberg-Fed-Data. For an explanation of the files, see the one labeled “1a Fed Data Roadmap.”
The day-by-day, bank-by-bank numbers, culled from about 50,000 transactions the U.S. central bank made through seven facilities, formed the basis of a series of Bloomberg News articles this year about the largest financial bailout in history.
“Scholars can now examine the data and continue the analysis of the Fed’s crisis management,” said Allan H. Meltzer, a professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the author of three books on the history of the U.S. central bank.
– Have You Heard About The 16 Trillion Dollar Bailout The Federal Reserve Handed To The Too Big To Fail Banks? (The Econonomic collapse, Dec. 2, 2011):
What you are about to read should absolutely astound you. During the last financial crisis, the Federal Reserve secretly conducted the biggest bailout in the history of the world, and the Fed fought in court for several years to keep it a secret. Do you remember the TARP bailout? The American people were absolutely outraged that the federal government spent 700 billion dollars bailing out the “too big to fail” banks. Well, that bailout was pocket change compared to what the Federal Reserve did. As you will see documented below, the Federal Reserve actually handed more than 16 trillion dollars in nearly interest-free money to the “too big to fail” banks between 2007 and 2010. So have you heard about this on the nightly news? Probably not. Lately Bloomberg has been reporting on some of this, but even they are not giving people the whole picture. The American people need to be told about this 16 trillion dollar bailout, because it is a perfect example of why the Federal Reserve needs to be shut down. The Federal Reserve has been actively picking “winners” and “losers” in the financial system, and it turns out that the “friends” of the Fed always get bailed out and always end up among the “winners”. This is not how a free market system is supposed to work.
According to the limited GAO audit of the Federal Reserve that was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the grand total of all the secret bailouts conducted by the Federal Reserve during the last financial crisis comes to a whopping $16.1 trillion.
– The Veil of Secrecy at the Fed Has Been Lifted, Now It’s Time for Change (Huffington Post, Nov. 2, 2011):
As a result of the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street, the American people have experienced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs, homes, life savings, and ability to send their kids to college. Small businesses have been unable to get the credit they need to expand their businesses, and credit is still extremely tight. Wages as a share of national income are now at the lowest level since the Great Depression, and the number of Americans living in poverty is at an all-time high.
Meanwhile, when small-business owners were being turned down for loans at private banks and millions of Americans were being kicked out of their homes, the Federal Reserve provided the largest taxpayer-financed bailout in the history of the world to Wall Street and too-big-to-fail institutions, with virtually no strings attached.
Over two years ago, I asked Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, a few simple questions that I thought the American people had a right to know: Who got money through the Fed bailout? How much did they receive? What were the terms of this assistance?
Incredibly, the chairman of the Fed refused to answer these fundamental questions about how trillions of taxpayer dollars were being spent.
– The U.S. Is Unable To Account For 36k Pounds Of Its Own Weapons Grade Uranium And Plutonium (Business Insider, Sep. 15, 2011):
Under special nuclear cooperation agreements, the United States sent 38,580 pounds of enriched uranium and plutonium to more than two-dozen foreign agencies and is unable to account for 36,000 pounds of the material.
The Government Accountability Office report says these 27 cooperation agreements, set up to facilitate cross border research, have no accountability and the U.S. has no way to enforce control.
Because there is no reporting process in place, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been visiting nuclear storage sites overseas when permitted, but has not regularly visited countries with the greatest risk of proliferation.
From the visits conducted through 1994 to 2010 U.S. teams learned countries met international security guidelines only 50 percent of the time.
Trying to pin down the missing 36,000 pounds of material the NRC and the Department of Energy (DOE) have made inventory agreements with five U.S. partners, but the other 22 have refused.
The DOE has tried to bring back much of the material to the states, but aside from failing to definitively find it, the agency is limited by its own Global Threat Reduction Initiative which won’t allow it.
The congressional audit would examine the Fed’s emergency aid program and disclose previously secret recipients of bailout money.
Reporting from Washington The Senate voted 96 to 0 on Tuesday to authorize a congressional audit of the secretive Federal Reserve Board’s emergency aid program and full disclosure of who got the money, a plan that could reveal more details about government help for embattled investment firm Goldman Sachs.
Under the plan, Congress’ Government Accountability Office would conduct a top-to-bottom audit of all the Federal Reserve’s emergency activities since the economic crisis began in December 2007. The Fed also would have to post on its website all recipients of money from the more than $2 trillion in emergency aid that’s been disbursed since then.
The GAO also would look into whether the financial deals involved conflicts of interest. It’s common for members of the board of directors of the powerful Federal Reserve Bank of New York, for example, also to be executives or directors of banks that got government bailout money.
(NaturalNews) The US government has issued a new report that recommends blocking access to popular websites during a pandemic outbreak in order to preserve internet bandwidth for investors, day traders and securities clearing house operations. The concern is that a pandemic would cause too many people to stay at home and download YouTube videos and porn, hogging all the internet bandwidth and blocking throughput for investment activities, thereby causing a stock market meltdown.
This isn’t an April Fool’s joke. It’s all based on a public report issued by the Government Accounting Office (GAO), available from their website at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d108.pdf
In this article, I’m going to explain how a pandemic outbreak could theoretically bring down Wall Street. But to get to that, you’ll first need to find out what the GAO said in its curious report (see below). Parts of this article are presented as satire, but the underlying facts quoted here are all true and verifiable (links are provided to all sources).
This report in question is entitled, “GAO Report to Congressional Requesters, INFLUENZA PANDEMIC” and includes this subtitle: Key Securities Market Participants Are Making Progress, but Agencies Could Do More to Address Potential Internet Congestion and Encourage Readiness.
As the report explains:
In a severe pandemic, governments may close schools, shut down public transportation systems, and ban public gatherings such as concerts or sporting events. In such scenarios, many more people than usual may be at home during the day, and Internet use in residential neighborhoods could increase significantly as a result of people seeking news, entertainment, or social contact from home computers. Concerns have been raised that this additional traffic could lead to congestion on the Internet that would significantly affect businesses in local neighborhoods, such as small doctors’ offices or business employees attempting to telework by connecting to their employers’ enterprise networks.
Can Hulu, Twitter and porn destroy Wall Street?
FILE — In a Jan. 29, 2009 file photo reflections are seen in the sign on the global headquarters of AstraZeneca in London. The Food and Drug Administration has allowed drugs for cancer and other diseases to stay on the market even when follow-up studies showed they didn’t extend patients’ lives, say congressional investigators. The FDA approved AstraZeneca’s lung cancer drug Iressa in 2003 based on early results showing it reduced the size of tumors. But later studies showed the drug did not significantly extend patient lives. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth/file)
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has allowed drugs for cancer and other diseases to stay on the market even when follow-up studies showed they didn’t extend patients’ lives, say congressional investigators.
A report due out Monday from the Government Accountability Office also shows that the FDA has never pulled a drug off the market due to a lack of required follow-up about its actual benefits — even when such information is more than a decade overdue.
When pressed about that policy, agency officials said they have no plans to get more aggressive.
The GAO says the FDA should do more to track whether drugs approved based on preliminary results actually have lived up to their promise.
An Audit Would Expose The Fed As A Massive Fraud Perpetrated On This Country
Last week I was very pleased that the Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, HR 1207. The bill has 295 cosponsors and there is also strong support for the companion bill in the Senate. This hearing was a major step forward in getting the bill passed.
I was pleased that the hearing was well-attended, especially considering that it was held on a Friday at nine o’clock in the morning! I have been talking about the immense, unchecked power of the Federal Reserve for many years, while the attention of Congress was always on other things. It was gratifying to see my colleagues asking probing questions and demonstrating genuine concern about this important issue as well.
The witness testifying in favor of HR 1207 made some very strong points, which was no surprise considering the bill is simply common sense. It was also no surprise that the witness testifying against the bill had no good arguments as to why a full audit should not be conducted promptly. He attempted to make the case that the fed is already sufficiently accountable to Congress and that the current auditing policy is adequate. The fact is that the Fed comes to Congress and talks about only what it wants to talk about, and the GAO audits only what the current laws allow to be audited. The really important things however, are off limits. There are no convincing arguments that it is in the best interests of the American people for anything the Fed does to be off limits.
It has been argued that full disclosure of details of funding facilities like TALF and PDCF that enabled massive bailouts of Wall Street would damage the financial position of those firms and destabilize the economy. In other words, if the American people knew how rotten the books were at those banks and how terribly they messed up, they would never willingly invest in them, and they would fail. Failure is not an option for friends of the Fed. Therefore, the funds must be stolen from the people in the dark of night. This is not how a free country works. This is not how free markets work. That is crony corporatism and instead of being a force for economic stabilization, it totally undermines it.