Daily Archives: November 26, 2016

Donald Trump’s stock in oil pipeline company raises concern

President-elect Donald Trump holds stock in the company building the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, and pipeline opponents warn that Trump’s investments could affect any decision he makes on the $3.8 billion project as president.

Trump’s 2016 federal disclosure forms show he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. That’s down from between $500,000 and $1 million a year earlier.

Trump also owns between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66, which has a one-quarter share of Dakota Access.

While Trump’s stake in the pipeline company is modest compared with his other assets, ethics experts say it’s among dozens of potential conflicts that could be resolved by placing his investments in a blind trust, a step Trump has resisted.

Read on.

For some in middle class, Trump plan would mean tax increase

Here is the graph of Trump’s plan. Click here.
 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump’s proposals would modestly cut income taxes for most middle-class Americans. But for nearly 8 million families — including a majority of single-parent households — the opposite would occur: They’d pay more.

Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found. And while middle-class families as a whole would receive tax cuts of about 2 percent, they’d be dwarfed by the windfalls averaging 13.5 percent for America’s richest 1 percent.

Trump’s campaign rhetoric had promoted the benefits of his proposals for middle-income Americans.

“The largest tax reductions are for the middle class,” said Trump’s “Contract With the American Voter,” released last month.

Read on.

Detroit students are suing the state of Michigan for depriving them of literacy

Vice News:

This segment originally aired Nov. 18, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

In September, seven Detroit students filed a lawsuit against Governor Rick Snyder and other state education officials. They argued that the state of Michigan is violating students’ Constitutional rights by depriving them of literacy.

A senior at Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design named Jamarria Hall is currently taking his second year of pre-calculus. Math is his favorite subject, he told VICE News correspondent Jay Caspian Kang in Detroit.

“Really, I don’t think there’s even another teacher probably available to teach the next math class,” Hall said. “And even if it is, it’s probably not even no books for that math class.”

Wells Fargo Hit With Class Action Over Target-Date Funds

Nov. 23 — Wells Fargo & Co. enriched itself at its employees’ expense by including costly, in-house target date funds in its 401(k) plan, a new class action complaint alleges ( Meiners v. Wells Fargo & Co. , D. Minn., No. 16-cv-03981, complaint filed 11/22/16 ).

In the past year, several proposed class actions have targeted financial companies that include in-house investment products in their 401(k) plans. The employees bringing these suits have seen success in many instances, with courts refusing to dismiss cases against BB&T Corp., Putnam Investments LLC, Allianz Asset Management of America and Deutsche Bank.

This lawsuit, filed Nov. 22 in a Minnesota federal court, accuses Wells Fargo of intentionally boosting the 401(k) assets invested in the company’s own target date funds by defaulting participant contributions into those funds through a “quick” and “easy” enrollment process. The Wells Fargo funds consistently underperformed comparable target date funds, despite carrying fees 2.5 times higher, the suit alleges.

Read on.

Payday lenders seek emergency court help, fearing U.S. cutoff

Payday lenders asked a federal judge in Washington, D.C., for emergency relief to stop what they called a coordinated effort by U.S. regulators to stop banks from doing business with them, threatening their survival.

In Wednesday night filings, the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) and payday lender Advance America, Cash Advance Centers Inc said a preliminary injunction was needed to end the “back-room campaign” of coercion by the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Advance America said its own situation became dire after five banks decided in the last month to cut ties, including a 14-year relationship with U.S. Bancorp, putting it “on the verge” of being unable even to hold a bank account.

Payday lenders make small short-term loans that can help tide over cash-strapped borrowers.

But critics say fees can drive effective interest rates well into three digits, and trap borrowers into an endless debt cycle in which they use new payday loans to repay older loans.

Read on.

Three former Barclays traders denied Libor appeal request

Three former Barclays (>> Barclays PLC) traders jailed for manipulating Libor benchmark interest rates after a London trial have been denied a request to appeal against their conviction and sentence, the wife of one said on Friday.

Julie Pabon said her husband, Alex, and former colleagues Jay Merchant and Jonathan Mathew were recently notified that their requests had been rejected by the Court of Appeal.

The men’s lawyers and the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the prosecutor in the case, did not respond to requests for comment.

Pabon, an American, was sentenced to two years and nine months in jail in July. Merchant, his former New York-based superior, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years, and Mathew, a London-based junior rate submitter, was handed four years.

“I am shocked and saddened yet somewhat relieved that our fight appears to be nearing the end,” Julie Pabon wrote in an email received by Reuters.

Julie Pabon, an American who lives in the United States and had appealed directly to the head of the SFO, David Green, on behalf of her husband, said Alex had sent her a text message on June 30 after his London trial saying: “I’m sorry … guilty…”

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Jill Stein Can’t ‘Guarantee’ Money Will Go to Recount, Changes $$$ Goal

Before you donate to Green Party candidateJill Stein‘s effort to demand a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, you may want to read the fine print on her website. So far, she has raised $4.8 million, but take a look at this little clause at the end of donation form:

We cannot guarantee a recount will happen in any of these states we are targeting. We can only pledge we will demand recounts in those states.

If we raise more than what’s needed, the surplus will also go toward election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.

Read on.