Posts Tagged ‘Business News’

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Cops Blame Wal-Mart For Trampling Death

January 5, 2009

 al normanAl Norman • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header
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The police in Nassau County, New York released a report this week that clearly lays the blame for a Black Friday trampling death on Wal-Mart.

The worker’s death on November 28th took place at a Valley Stream, Long Island Wal-Mart store. According to Newsday, which says the plan was released December 31st, the police report suggests that Wal-Mart needs to be much better prepared than it was when bargain hunters took the life of a temp worker at the retailer’s store.

Nassau County Police want Wal-Mart to plan thoroughly, arrange for efficient crowd control and engage in clear communication, to prevent another tragedy. Wal-Mart would not comment on the plan, but told Newsday, “We look forward to continuing to work with law enforcement to make our safety measures even stronger in the future.”

The latest report is the result of private discussions that took place in mid December at Nassau police headquarters, attended by 75 representatives from area department stores and malls. The retailers and the police were under pressure to demonstrate that some reforms would be made in the wake of the death of Jdimytai Damour of Queens, New York, who was called “a seasonal worker” byNewsday. Wal-Mart officials were at the closed-door meeting at the Nassau police station.

In their report, Nassau police said they will respond and assist when needed, “but the responsibility for the security and control of these sales events rests with the store. Store administrators should never market a sales event without having a plan, and the proper resources to manage it.” The police also note, “history has shown that large-scale events can turn from an orderly gathering to chaos as the doors open. Ultimately the goal is to provide a safe and comfortable shopping experience for patrons.” This requires “cooperation from the business owners, mall security, contract security employees and law enforcement. These special sales pose unique challenges to the business owner, mall owner and those who are charged with providing security for the event.”
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(editorial) To Catch a Thief

December 18, 2008

WSJ                see all posts in “editorial” 

Bernard Madoff’s alleged $50 billion fraud is giving politicians and investors who failed to diversify another excuse to blame too little enforcement in U.S. financial markets. Talk about compounding a case of misplaced trust. The real lesson is that financial enforcement nearly always fails to protect investors, and this Ponzi scheme is merely typical.

Since 2000 and especially after the fall of Enron, the SEC’s annual budget has ballooned to more than $900 million from $377 million. (See the nearby chart.) Its full-time examination and enforcement staff has increased by more than a third, or nearly 500 people. The percentage of full-time staff devoted to enforcement — 33.5% — appears to be a modern record, and it is certainly the SEC’s highest tooth-to-tail ratio since the 1980s. The press corps and Congress both were making stars of enforcers like Eliot Spitzer, so the SEC’s watchdogs had every incentive to ferret out fraud.

[Review & Outlook]

Yet they still failed to nail Bernard Madoff. Since at least 1992, when the SEC sued two accountants peddling Madoff investments while promising sky-high returns, the commission missed opportunities to dig deeper into his operations. In 1999, trader Harry Markopolos wrote that “Madoff Securities is the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme,” in a letter to the SEC. More recently, multiple SEC inquiries and exams in 2005 and 2007 found only minor infractions.

Under New York law, meanwhile, Mr. Madoff had to register as a broker with the Investor Protection Bureau of the office of the New York Attorney General. The New York AG is among the most powerful state securities regulators in the country, because the Martin Act allows him to pursue criminal convictions without having to prove criminal intent. Yet neither current AG Andrew Cuomo nor Mr. Spitzer appears to have had a clue about Mr. Madoff’s conduct.
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More Mayhem and Death at Wal Mart

December 11, 2008

al-1Al NormanOperation Itch Contributor

Florida resident Patrick Donovan, 53, died over $393 in Wal-Mart merchandise, lying face down in the giant retailer’s parking lot last week. The media reported the exact amount of Wal-Mart goods Donovan had allegedly shop-lifted—so we can quantify the value of this man’s life. 

In a reversal of the death of a 34 year old Wal-Mart worker last week under the feet of aggressive Wal-Mart shoppers, Donovan’s death in South Carolina—three days after the Long Island incident—was at the hands of three Wal-Mart workers, who wrestled the alleged shoplifter to the ground, where the man died.

walmartThe Wal-Mart workers and one bystander held Donovan down, while one leaned on his back and another held down his arms and head. The police report says they told Donovan to stop fighting, and asked witnesses to call 911. By the time Donovan had stopped struggling, he had died.

“There will be no charges pressed,” a spokeswoman for the city of North Myrtle Beach told the Sun News. Authorities said results from an autopsy in the case could take “a few months.” In the meantime, officials simply concluded, “There is no criminal act.” In the words of the County Coroner’s office, “As far as I am concerned there is no case here.” The family of Patrick Donovan is likely to conclude otherwise, and their lawyer might like to review the court records of one Stacy Driver.
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Automotive Chiefs Announce Further Restructuring, Closing Ohio

December 8, 2008

aemiliasAemilia Scott • Operation Itch Contributor

In his testimony before congress Friday, the head of General Motors announced that GM, Ford and Chrysler would push themselves toward financial solvency in 2009 by closing Ohio.

Rick Wagoner’s announcement came in response to harsh criticism from Congress toward the Big Three for not explaining how a federal bailout would help the companies compete in the world market.

Wagoner told Congress that he, along with the heads of Ford and Chrysler, got the idea as they looked out their car window at Ohio while on their way to Washington.

2008-12-07-ohioclosed-thumb“This is the first time we drove through the Midwest,” added Alan Mulally, head of Ford. “When we saw Ohio, we all had a real eureka moment. We thought, ‘do we really need all of this?'”

The massive restructuring has already begun. “We have already shut down many of Ohio’s smaller cities, and by the end of this year we plan to take Columbus entirely offline,” said Chrysler Chief Robert Nardelli.

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The Gray Lady Bitchslaps Auto Workers

December 5, 2008

allisonkilkenny1Allison Kilkenny    •   Operation Itch Contributor
The New York Times lead story is U.A.W. Makes Concessions to Help Automakers. The article is pretty aptly titled because the NYT chose to focus entirely on the evil UAW parasites that are sucking the poor, helpless automakers dry through ludicrous demands such as job security and pension/health care payments.

 The Big Three claim their industry is tanking not because of their refusal to change their big, heavy, gas-guzzling car designs, but because evil workers are demanding their contractually promised benefits. The Big Three are failing not because the rest of the world is building fuel-efficient cars, but because the UAW demands that CEOs pay their salaries between the time their jobs get shipped to Mexico, and they find new sources of employment.

You see, all the blame can (and should) be pinned on the workers. At least, that’s what the Big Three claim, and the NYT seems to agree, which explains why so many horrifying facts are splayed across the Gray Lady’s pages without examination, analysis, or comment from workers themselves.

Ford’s chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, said in an interview Wednesday that Detroit needed the union’s help to speed its transformation, particularly in replacing current workers with entry-level employees who will be making $14 an hour in wages under the terms of the 2007 labor agreement.

That’s a pay cut of almost half for the Big Three. In addition, union members aren’t guaranteed their old job security or health benefits. Now that they’ve made concession after concession, there are still no strings attached to the automakers to stop them from closing their plants and shipping jobs to Mexico after everything has been said and done.
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