Democracy Now!

Wall Street

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  • Confirmation hearings begin today for Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, Gorsuch would give conservatives a narrow 5-4 majority on the court. When he was first nominated, Gorsuch praised Antonin Scalia. As a judge on the 10th Circuit, Neil Gorsuch ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in the case deciding whether the company could refuse to provide birth control coverage to employees as required by Obamacare. Judge Gorsuch also has a long history of ruling against employees in cases involving federal race, sex, age, disability and political discrimination and retaliation claims. For more, we speak with Fordham law professor Zephyr Teachout. She recently ran for a congressional seat in upstate New York. Her recent piece for The Washington Post is headlined "Neil Gorsuch sides with big business, big donors and big bosses."

  • According to a Bloomberg investigation, the general counsel for Steven Cohen’s infamous investment firm oversaw some of the Trump transition team’s staff picks for the Justice Department in November. Cohen’s firm, SAC Capital, was the subject of one of the biggest insider trading investigations in Wall Street’s history. This fascinating history is chronicled in New Yorker staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar’s book "Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street."

  • We turn now to "Pirates of the Caribbean." That’s the name of a shocking new report on how the Santander Bank’s revolving door with Puerto Rico’s Government Development Bank exacerbated a fiscal catastrophe for the Puerto Rican people. Released by Hedge Clippers, the report reveals how two top appointees to the federal board overseeing Puerto Rico’s financial restructuring actually helped create the Puerto Rico debt crisis they are now in charge of fixing. The two appointees are former Santander Bank executives José Ramón González and Carlos M. García. For more, we go to Washington, D.C., where we’re joined by Teresa Casertano, global campaigns organizing coordinator with Communications Workers of America, or CWA. She’s also one of the managers of the Santander Bank organizing campaign.

  • We get reaction to this week’s Senate Banking Committee hearing where Senator Elizabeth Warren grilled Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf over a growing scandal at the major Wall Street bank involving thousands of employees who took private customer information to create 2 million fake accounts in order to meet sales targets. The scandal dates back to at least 2011, and CEO John Stumpf admits he’s known about the practice since 2013. Wells Fargo has been fined $185 million. "John Stumpf let 5,300 people take the fall for his criminal behavior," says Nomi Prins. Prins is a former managing director at Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs and previously an analyst at Lehman Brothers and Chase Manhattan Bank. Prins’s latest book is called "All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power."

  • Over 1,000 people representing more than 100 tribes are gathered along the Cannonball River by the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to resist the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. It’s been described as the largest unification of Native American tribes in decades. On September 3, the Dakota Access pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they resisted the construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline on a sacred tribal burial site. Saturday was also the first day of a two-week call for actions against the financial institutions that are bankrolling the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline project. A new investigation has revealed that more than two dozen major banks and financial institutions are helping finance the Dakota Access pipeline. The investigation was published by the research outlet LittleSis. It details how Bank of America, HSBC, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions have, combined, extended a $3.75 billion credit line to Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access. For more, we speak with the author of this investigation, Hugh MacMillan, a senior researcher with Food & Water Watch.

  • We continue our conversation with Hugh MacMillan on his new investigation revealing the financial institutions backing the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline project.

  • New questions have arisen this week over Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. On Tuesday, the Associated Press published a new investigation revealing that while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, more than half of the private citizens she met with had donated to the Clinton Foundation. The AP investigation comes after a three-year battle to gain access to State Department calendars. The analysis shows that at least 85 of 154 people Hillary Clinton had scheduled phone or in-person meetings with were foundation donors. This does not include meetings Clinton held with U.S. or foreign government workers or representatives, only private citizens. We speak to David Sirota of the International Business Times and Paul Glastris, editor-in-chief of the Washington Monthly. He was President Bill Clinton’s chief speechwriter from 1998 to 2001.

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