‘ GM to Account to US Lawmakers Over Delay of 10 Years For Vehicle Recall With Deadly Ignition Switch Flaw’

#AceWorldNewsUNITED STATES – July 17  – Two more major figures in General Motors Co’s safety debacle will appear on Thursday for the first time before U.S. lawmakers investigating why it took the auto-maker more than 10 years to recall millions of vehicles with a deadly ignition switch flaw reported Reuters.

English: Logo of General Motors Corporation. S...

English: Logo of General Motors Corporation. Source: 2007_business_choice_bro_en.pdf (on GM website). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Michael Millikin, the general counsel of GM, and Rodney O’Neal, the chief executive of Delphi Automotive, the maker of the defective part, are due to testify before a Senate Commerce subcommittee.

Millikin is expected to receive harsh scrutiny because his legal department dealt with numerous private lawsuits related to crashes involving the defective switches, but apparently did not urgently warn other parts of GM.

The Senate panel holding Thursday’s hearing is chaired by Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill. “Claire will be posing some tough questions that have not yet been answered about the role GM’s legal department played in delaying this recall,” said Andy Newbold, spokesman for McCaskill.

In his prepared testimony, Millikin said GM has appointed an outside law firm to review its litigation practices.

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` GM Defective Ignition Switches Linked to 13 Deaths US Congress says there was a Culture of Cover-Up’

#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – April 10 – General Motors has placed two engineers on paid leave as part of an internal investigation into defective ignition switches, which were linked to 13 deaths after the recall of 2.6 million cars.

The switch was originally designed for the 2003 Saturn Ion model, but it was also used in other GM models such as the Chevrolet Cobalt. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, testifying before the US Congress last week, said that there was “a culture of cover-up” at GM.

This had allegedly led to one of the engineers, Ray DeGiorgio, lying about his knowledge that the switch had been faulty in an earlier lawsuit related to a fatal crash in Georgia in 2010.

Ace Related News – April 03 – 17.55 GMT – #AceWorldNews – (Reuters) – Delphi Automotive’s name does not appear on the outside of the 2.6 million vehicles recalled by General Motors Co since February, but the company is getting drawn into a mounting wave of litigation for its role in producing the faulty ignition switch that prompted the recalls http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/02/us-gm-recall-delphi-idUSBREA3105R20140402

Plaintiffs have now named Delphi, one of the largest auto parts suppliers in the world, in at least two lawsuits stemming from the recall. One was filed by a former Delphi employee whose daughter was killed in a 2013 crash involving a recalled 2006 Chevy Cobalt, the other by customers who claim the ignition problems caused their cars to lose value. http://wp.me/p165ui-4DL

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` GM being proved liable for 13 Deaths over `Ignition Fault ' may Prove more Difficult due to Bankruptcy Shield '

#AceWorldNews – (Reuters) – Delphi Automotive’s name does not appear on the outside of the 2.6 million vehicles recalled by General Motors Co since February, but the company is getting drawn into a mounting wave of litigation for its role in producing the faulty ignition switch that prompted the recalls.

Plaintiffs have now named Delphi, one of the largest auto parts suppliers in the world, in at least two lawsuits stemming from the recall. One was filed by a former Delphi employee whose daughter was killed in a 2013 crash involving a recalled 2006 Chevy Cobalt, the other by customers who claim the ignition problems caused their cars to lose value.

Delphi’s legal exposure may hinge on how much control it had over decisions involving the design of the switch, and the terms of its four-year bankruptcy, which ended in 2009.

While Delphi made the part, GM set the specifications and ultimately approved its use, according to documents from civil litigation and congressional investigations.

DETROIT – March 20 – (Bloomberg) – Lawyers looking to sue General Motors Co. after its global recall of 1.6 million vehicles over an ignition defect may find their path blocked by a judge’s order five years ago in the company’s reorganization (Bloomberg).

Allegations about deaths or economic losses occurring before July 2009 were barred by a bankruptcy judge when he approved the sale of the auto-maker’s assets to the new GM. Attorneys are now examining pre-bankruptcy deaths and claims with a view to getting the ban lifted.

By court order, the new GM can’t be held responsible for any product-related liabilities, such as wrongful death, personal injury or property damage, except those arising on or after July 10, 2009, when the new entity was born. Challenging GM’s immunity would require asking the judge who oversaw the historic U.S.-backed bankruptcy to reconsider his ban on claims.

Time Passed

The time to revoke court orders dating from GM’s bankruptcy “has long past,” said Harvey Miller of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, the auto-maker’s bankruptcy lawyer. He said the company’s creditors diligently examined its liabilities and potential exposure for possible damage suits.

Bob Hilliard, a plaintiffs’ lawyer based in Corpus Christi, Texas, has a different view. He is representing the families of two teenagers who died in a 2006 crash of a Cobalt, one of the recalled GM models. Hilliard, who has not filed a wrongful death suit, said the bankruptcy judge was not advised of the full extent of GM’s ignition-switch liabilities.

To persuade U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber in New York to reopen the case, Hilliard would need to prove that the old GM knowingly deceived the judge, said Chip Bowles, a bankruptcy lawyer with Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP who was not involved in the GM liquidation.

Judge Gerber declined to comment.

Ace Related News – April 02 – 10.40 GMT – #AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – April 02 – General Motors Co in 2005 decided not to change an ignition switch eventually linked to the deaths of at least 13 people because it would have added about a dollar to the cost of each car, according to an internal GM document provided to U.S. congressional investigators. (Reuters) http://wp.me/p165ui-4Cz

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` GM the cost of peoples lives less than a ` Dollar a Day’ to change `Ignition Switches ‘ in their Vehicles thus Saving 13 People’s Lives ‘

#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – April 02 – General Motors Co in 2005 decided not to change an ignition switch eventually linked to the deaths of at least 13 people because it would have added about a dollar to the cost of each car, according to an internal GM document provided to U.S. congressional investigators. (Reuters)

The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce released the documents on Tuesday as lawmakers asked CEO Mary Barra why GM failed to recall 2.6 million cars until more than a decade after it first noticed a switch problem that could cut off engines and disable air-bags, power steering and power brakes.

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette cited a 2005 GM document that she said showed a cost of 57 cents per fix.

DeGette did not release the document, and Reuters was unable to get a copy. However, Reuters obtained what appeared to be a separate document, a series of 2005 emails between GM engineers debating whether to make a change to the ignition switch.

The change would have cost an extra 90 cents per unit and additional tooling costs of $400,000, one email showed. Those tooling costs typically are amortized over several years.

Barra said she found the concept of turning down the change because of tooling costs “very disturbing. That is not the way we do business in the New GM.”

Read More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/02/us-gm-recall-delphi-idUSBREA3105R20140402

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” Financial World Shaken by `Death’s of Four Banker’s Apparent Suicides’ in one Week”

#AceNewsServices says `Financial World Shaken’ by `Four Bankers‘ Apparent Suicides in one Week.

The apparent suicide death of the chief economist of a US investment house brings the number of financial workers who have died allegedly by their own hand to four in the last week.

2russell-investments-chief-economist-dead.si50-year-old Mike Dueker, who had worked for Russell Investment for five years, was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State, says AP.

Local police say he could have jumped over a fence and fallen 15 meters to his death, and are treating the case as a suicide.

Dueker was reported missing by friends on January 29, and police had searched for him.

A Sheriff’s spokesman said investigators learned that he was having problems at work but did not elaborate.

Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman declined to comment, however said, that Dueker was in good standing at Russell.

We were deeply saddened to learn today of the death,” Tice said in an e-mail on Friday. “He made a valuable contributions that helped our clients and many of his fellow associates.

Dueker joined Russell Investment in 2008. He wrote for Market Outlook financial services publications, forecasting the business cycle and the target federal funds rate. He is the creator and developer of a business cycle index that forecast economic performance published monthly on the Russell website.

He was previously an assistant vice president and research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and is ranked in the top 5 percent of published economists.

Over the past two decades he wrote tens of research papers mostly on monetary policy, according to the bank’s website.

His most-cited paper was “Strengthening the case for the yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions, published in 1997 while he was a researcher at the Federal Reserve.

He was a valued colleague of mine during my entire tenure at the St. Louis Fed,” said William Poole, the bank’s ex-president. Everyone respected his professional skills and good sense.

Dueker held an undergraduate degree in math from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Streak of bankers’ deaths

Dueker’s apparent suicide was the fourth among financial experts in a week.

A 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, William Broeksmit, was found dead on January 26 in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London.

The next day, January 27, Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, 51, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok. Police said he could have committed suicide. Mr. Slym was staying on a 22th floor with his wife, and was attending a board meeting in the Thai capital.

Another tragic incident occurred on January 28, when a 39-year-old Gabriel Magee, a JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of its European headquarters in London.

The offices of JP Morgan in the Canary Wharf district of London (Reuters/Simon Newman)The offices of JP Morgan in the Canary Wharf district of London (Reuters/Simon Newman)

While creating fortunes, City and Wall Street jobs are notorious for extra-long working weeks and huge amounts of stress. In a move to ease the tension some of the world’s biggest lenders like Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse have told junior staff to take more time off.

Some European countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have reduced the working week from 40 to 30 hours without damaging their economies, while in Germany an average worker puts in 35 hours a week and is the world’s fourth largest economy.

 

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Forced Bankruptcy and Privatization of the City of Detroit: Law Suit in Federal Court

Forced Bankruptcy and Privatization of the City of Detroit: Law Suit in Federal Court

Global Research, September 23, 2013
Please note this is a copyrighted article and cannot be altered in any way without express permission of the writer. Thank you Editor.  
English: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

English: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Contradicting what the corporate media editorial boards have promoted in chorus with the multi-millionaire Governor Rick Snyder and his appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr, 110 people filed objections to the forced bankruptcy of the City of Detroit. The hearing took place on September 19 and was widely covered in the local, national and international press.

This extraordinary hearing had provided only a small window of time for legal action. Many of the people that testified were retirees, city workers, community organizers and professionals who met the deadline set by the Judge Steven Rhodes to submit their objections.

Outside the federal courthouse on Lafayette Blvd. downtown, members of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition carried a banner which read “Cancel the Debt: Jobs, Pensions, City Services, the Banks Owe Us!” Later a group of active firefighters gathered to demonstrate their displeasure with the state of affairs facing the people of this majority African American municipality.

English: Detroit Free Press logo

English: Detroit Free Press logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Retired Detroit Department of Health chemist Walter Knall, a member of the Stop the Theft of Our Pensions Committee (STOPC), told the Free Press in front of the courthouse that what the banks and their operatives are attempting in the city could set a pattern for the rest of the United States. “I don’t see how anyone could take (pensions) away from a whole generation of people who’ve worked hard for the city,” Knall said.

Testimony Illustrates Broad Opposition to Bankers’ Rule

Jean Vortkamp, a lifelong Detroiter and recent mayoral candidate for the 2013 primary elections, broke out in tears as she expressed her opposition to what she considered an illegal bankruptcy filing by Orr and Snyder. She said “If this bankruptcy and the goal of pension cutting are allowed, it will impoverish my parents, sister, friends and neighbors. Many seniors say that cutting health care and their meager incomes is a way to cut the senior population.”

Vortkamp continued stressing “If the undemocratic EM whom I did not elect is going to break union contracts and pensions, then he should also break the contracts Detroit has with financial institutions. Our assets are not for sale. It is not either the art or the pensions. It is neither.”

Pointing the finger at the banks and their role in the financial ruin of Detroit, she asked “Why haven’t we sued for the LIBOR rigging? Collected unpaid taxes from the wealthy and fines from blight and environmental violations? Detroit needs to protect our assets and get the forensic audits we have needed for decades – of all depts., authorities and the work the State and Jones Day has done here.”

Vortkamp surmised before Judge Rhodes that “I suspect there is a small group of racist rich men and banks who have been pulling the puppet strings of Detroit for a very long time. As I stand in bankruptcy court I would say they haven’t done a good job. Detroiters need to stop blaming themselves and stop listening to the local media that is controlled by these rich men and banks.”

Later Michael Shane, a resident of the northwest side of Detroit, told the bankruptcy court of the impact of predatory lending carried out by the banks had contributed to the economic crisis of the city. He described the practices of the banks as illegal and racist in its overall character.

“The financial crisis in Detroit was triggered by the housing crisis where an estimated 100,000 home foreclosures occurred and almost a quarter million people left the city. The banks issued predatory loans, targeting Detroit and other communities of color in a racist and illegal manner,” Shane noted.

Shane then emphasized that “The banks have already been fined tens of billions of dollars. And former bank employees are testifying under oath, confirming the illegal and racist practices of the banks. Some of this testimony includes racially offensive language that cannot be repeated in polite company. These banks include many of the same banks who hold Detroit’s debt.”

“Property and income taxes dropped precipitously during this crisis, causing huge losses to the City of Detroit. And to make matters even worse, the banks refuse to pay property taxes on homes seized after foreclosure,” Shane told Judge Rhodes.

Another objector to the bankruptcy filing was Cynthia Blair, the widow of a Detroit police officer. Blair has been active in attempts to mobilize retirees and their families against the program of cuts and austerity being imposed by Orr and Snyder.

Blair said “The bankruptcy could take me and my daughter’s pension away. And we would be thrown directly to the welfare rolls.”

According to the figures released by the emergency manager, Detroit has over $22 billion in long term debt. These purported debts are to the banks, bondholders and insurers who have played the most significant role in the decline of the city.

Orr is attempting to cut a deal with the banks and bond insurers where they will be paid 80 percent of what they say is owed to them by Detroit while pensioners and workers are being chained with massive obligations that derive directly from financial practices dictated by Wall Street and the corporations, many of whom are based in the metropolitan area.

The automobile firms of General Motors and Chrysler were bailed out in 2009 by the federal government. Nonetheless, the pre-packaged bankruptcy and restructuring resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and small businesses such as car dealerships which employed skilled and often unionized workers.

People in Detroit are saying that the municipality is not a private corporations and that people have a vested interests in maintaining their jobs, salaries, healthcare benefits, pensions and city assets. Many more people are agreeing with the slogans and program advanced by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition calling for the cancellation of the bank debt and the holding of the financial institutions and corporations accountable for the damage they have done to the city.

Survey Reveals Mass Opposition to the Theft of Pensions and Assets

Further confirming the widespread anger over the attempts by Orr and Snyder on behalf of the banks to impose unbearable austerity on the city, a study conducted by the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ Channel 7 revealed that 75 percent of likely voters said they were against any cuts to municipal pensions. In addition, 78 percent also responded that they also opposed the selling off of the works at the Detroit Institute Arts (DIA) to pay the bankers. (freep.com, September 22)

Nonetheless, this opposition must be organized if it is to be effective. In fact the entire emergency management process had been rejected by a majority of people around the state of Michigan in a referendum held just last November.

However, Snyder and his cohorts in the state legislature in December 2012 passed another law that re-instituted this pseudo-legal rationale for municipal dictatorship and austerity. Even the bankruptcy filing procedure was conducted illegally says Krystal Crittendon, the former Corporation Counsel of the City of Detroit Law Department.

Crittendon, who was later removed from her position as head of the law department for opposing emergency management, but still works within it, noted that an actual bankruptcy must be filed by elected officials of a municipality. Consequently, the agents of banks in Lansing working through Kevyn Orr violated even the state constitution in carrying out this attempt to further drive the city and its people into deeper poverty and oppression.

The International People Assembly Against Banks & Austerity is being organized by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition and other community organizations in Detroit and surrounding areas. Over 280 endorsements for the gathering on October 5 and 6 at Grand Circus Park downtown have come in so far.

The event will coincide with the fifth anniversary of the massive bank bailout in 2008. This bailout is continuing through the compensation by the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for so-called toxic assets as well as the $85 billion turned over by the Federal Reserve to the banks every month.

This two-day long event will feature people from the city, the nation and indeed the world. Statements of solidarity have been issued from people’s organizations in Brazil, Portugal and other states facing similar crises.

The International Peoples Assembly will also be designed to build for a massive mobilization on October 23 when Judge Rhodes hears arguments on the constitutionality of the bankruptcy filing. Members of the coalition putting together the Assembly say that people should surround the courthouse on October 23 calling for the end of the bankruptcy and the cancellation of bank debt.

Organizers for the International Peoples’ Assembly are encouraging all of those concerned to join the effort in solidarity with the city of Detroit.

Those interested in finding out more information about this historic gathering should log on to moratorium-mi.orgdetroitdebtmoratorium.organd internationalpeoplesassembly.org .

Copyright © 2013 Global Research

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