“In May, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS Group AG pled guilty to felonies. Swiss Bank had cooperated with authorities early on, and was ultimately not charged. The banks face collective fines of a little over $5 billion – paltry in relation to the money they handle and the money they manipulated. But while big banks continue to ruin communities and personal lives with light impunity, in some cases the people are fighting back….
“‘The [Santa Cruz] Supervisors can make a strong point and show disapproval with our dollars,’ she [Amanda Robinson, vice chair of the Santa Cruz County Democratic Party] said. ‘We will no longer put up with unethical and illegal banking practices. I hope other cities and counties will follow our lead and remove their monies from banks that don’t benefit local communities.'”
Obamacare has been (and continues to be) an unequivocal success story at obtaining health coverage for poor folks in the U.S. according to recent findings by the National Health Interview Survey, confirming earlier polling by Gallup and others:
“In all, about 32 percent of poor Americans were uninsured in 2014, down from 39 percent in 2013. The share of near poor Americans who were uninsured declined to 31 percent from 39 percent.
“In states that expanded Medicaid, the share of people under the age of 65 who were uninsured stood at 10.9 percent in 2014, down from 14.9 percent the year before. In states that did not expand, where uninsured rates were higher to begin with, the share dropped far less, to 16 percent from 18.4 percent in 2013.
“Mr. Levitt said the law seemed to have had a greater effect on the long-term uninsured. The report found that the share of Americans uninsured for more than a year dropped to 9.7 percent from 12.4 percent, compared to a drop of about one percentage point for people who had been uninsured for just part of the past year.”
“From Monday, landlords in the capital [Berlin] will be barred from increasing rents by more than 10% above the local average. Such controls were already in place for existing tenants but have now been extended to new contracts.”
“As negotiations continue, WikiLeaks has published leaked chapters of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership — a global trade deal between the United States and 11 other countries. The TPP would cover 40 percent of the global economy, but details have been concealed from the public. A recently disclosed ‘Investment Chapter’ highlights the intent of U.S.-led negotiators to create a tribunal where corporations can sue governments if their laws interfere with a company’s claimed future profits.”