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Oblates Press Banks to Restore Public Trust May 21st, 2014
Fr. Seamus Finn OMI represented the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and other members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) at the Annual General Meeting of JP Morgan Chase in Tampa on Tuesday.
Fr. Finn commended the bank on the steps taken thus far to produce a report commissioned by the Board of Directors in response to an ICCR shareholder proposal. The report is to describe “the steps that the Firm has taken to address a number of challenges it faced” since the near collapse of the global financial system in 2008.
Fr. Finn noted that “too many people are still living with the consequences of that crisis and the TRUST and confidence of the public has neither been repaired or restored. We believe the report that we have requested and our company has agreed to complete over the coming months can, when its recommendations are implemented, make a contribution to the restoration of the trust that is necessary for the reliable, safe, effective and ethical functioning of the financial system.”
Read the complete Statement at JP Morgan Chase AGM
CEO Pay Goes Through the Roof October 23rd, 2013
The Guardian newspaper in London reported, “For the first time ever, the 10 highest-paid chief executives in the US received more than $100m in compensation last year, and two took home billion-dollar paychecks, according to a leading annual survey of executive pay.”
The studied showed that the top 10 CEOs in this year’s poll took home over $4.7bn between them, and “for the first time ever, none earned less than $100m.”
“I have never seen anything like that,” said Greg Ruel, GMI’s senior research consultant and author of the report. “Usually we have a few CEOs at the $100m-plus level but never the entire top 10.”
“Father Seamus Finn, a corporate governance expert at Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, said the numbers were ‘ridiculous’.”
“It’s an amazing number. Who knows how compensation committees come up with them?”
Finn, who has campaigned against what he sees as excessive remuneration at companies including Goldman Sachs, said boards often argued that they would lose talent unless they paid top management huge sums.
“But I’ve seen no evidence of that,” he said. “These huge pay deals are seldom linked to shareholder returns.”
Nearly all the outsized gains came from stock options and other share-related compensation. The top 10 made $3.3bn in 2012 on stock option profits and the vesting of restricted stock. Cash bonuses totalled $16.2m.
Financial Transparency Coalition Meets in Africa on Problem of Illicit Financial Flows September 30th, 2013
The new Financial Transparency Coalition is meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on October 1-2. The theme for the conference, is “Towards Transparency: Making the Global Financial System Work for Development.” Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, US JPIC Office Director, is officially representing ICCR (Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility) at the conference.
Nearly a trillion dollars a year has been secreted out of developing countries, robbing them of revenue needed desperately for development. The coalition was formed to do something about this problem that is central to the development of poor countries. According to the Coalition, half of the illicit financial flows – a staggering $500 billion – is coming from Africa. Flowing from crime, corruption, and tax evasion, these illicit transfers represent a drain on developing economies that is equivalent to eight times the size of global foreign aid.
The US JPIC Office is involved in several inter-connected organizations in Washington, DC, working for greater financial justice and transparency. These include the Tax Justice Network USA, (where Fr. Finn serves on the Board), and the FACT coalition (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Campaign). The international Financial Transparency Coalition was launched in May of 2013, in response to the growing awareness and activism around the problem of illicit financial flows.
The Imploding Banking Sector July 24th, 2012
Summer months here in Washington, D.C. are generally characterized by the slower pace that is associated with southern cities and the rush of Congress and government employees to get in some vacationing with their families before Labor Day. Even the traffic reporters usually sprinkle their reports with comments about the decreased traffic flows or the early exits for the eastern shore that usually start on Thursday afternoon.
Unfortunately, if you are on the House Financial Services Committee or the Senate Banking committee or one of the regulators for the numerous corporations that operate in the financial services sector, there has been very little down time since the famous early May JPMC announcement about the huge trading loss in their Chief Investment Office in London. Since then the amount of the loss has more than doubled and numerous investigations into the actions of individuals involved in the loss have been opened. All of these activities promise to keep a number of folks at their desks for longer than expected.
Action Alert: Let’s Avoid Another Financial Crash! November 17th, 2011
Rapid action is needed to get Congressional funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission – the agency set up to prevent another financial meltdown. The Senate has found money for other programs, but is severely underfunding the CFTC. Please use the link provided here to email your Senators to ensure that we avoid another financial crisis: http://bit.ly/slq116
Click here to read more »
House Legislation Introduced to Shed Light on America’s Anonymous Corporations November 16th, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Stephen F. Lynch introduced earlier this week, the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act, which would require corporations to provide information about who owns or controls the corporation and benefits from its existence.
This bill, H.R. 3416, is supported by the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) coalition, which includes a broad range of organizations with an interest in seeing the American trade in “anonymous corporations” closed down due to its negative impact on small businesses, human rights, corruption, national security, jobs and critical programs. The JPIC Ministry of the Missionary Oblates is a member of the coalition and is very supportive of this move to generate greater transparency in corporate ownership and activity.
“This legislation is crucial in the fight against corruption and organized crime,” said Stefanie Ostfeld, Global Witness Policy Advisor. “Swift passage of this bill will stop dictators, terrorists and drug traffickers from being able to legally hide their identities, and therefore their dirty money, behind anonymous American shell companies.”
The bill complements bipartisan Senate legislation, S. 1483, introduced in August by Senators Carl Levin and Chuck Grassley.
“Jubilee USA is thrilled to see the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act moving forward in the House and applauds Representatives Maloney, Frank and Lynch for introduction. This Act takes important steps in halting the flow of illicit streams of revenue out of developing nations and away from those who need it the most- the world’s poorest. Morality must be brought back into the global financial system, and the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Act is one important measure in that goal,” said Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, an alliance of more than 75 religious denominations, faith- based communities, human rights agencies and community organizations that work on matters concerning global economic justice.
The bill will move to the House Committee on Financial Services.