American International Group. Money for Nothing. "Why did AIG - primarily an insurance company powerhouse, with more than 100,000 employees around the world and $1 trillion in assets - require more than $100 billion ($100 billion!) in government funds? The company's traditional insurance business continues to go strong, but its gigantic exposure to the world of 'credit default swaps' left it teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Government officials then intervened, because they feared that an AIG bankruptcy would crash the world's financial system."
Cargill: Food Profiteers. "For Cargill, spiking [food] prices was an opportunity to get rich. In the second quarter of 2008, the company reported profits of more than $1 billion, with profits from continuing operations soaring 18 percent from the previous year. Cargill's 2007 profits totaled more than $2.3 billion, up more than a third from 2006."
Chevron: "We can't let little countries screw around with big companies." Ask Ecuador. Ask Burma.
Constellation Energy: Nuclear Operators. Constellation plans to build a $9.6 billion nuclear plant in Maryland, but government guaranteed loans makes sure that the risk of failure is assumed entirely by the public.
Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC): Fueling Violence in Darfur. China receives three quarters of Sudan's exports, and has undermined United Nations efforts to protect Darfur. The oil must flow! In July, Sudan President Al Bashir was charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur, aimed at removing the black population from Sudan. The ICC says 35,000 people have been killed and 2.7 million displaced.
Dole: The Sour Taste of Pineapple. Ordered to return plantations to rural Filipinos, "the workers received only nominal title. They were required to form labor cooperatives. Intended to give workers - now the new land owners - a means to collectively manage their land, the cooperatives were instead controlled by wealthy landlords."
GE: Creative Accounting. Internal GE documents appear to show the company has engaged in long-running effort to evade taxes in Brazil. That's a step up from 2007, when the charges were defense contractor fraud, labor rights abuses, toxic and radioactive pollution, manufacturing nuclear weaponry, workplace safety violations and media conflicts of interest (GE owns television network NBC).
Imperial Sugar: 13 Dead. A Georgia refinery explosion in February killed 13 people. "When [OSHA] inspectors examined the blast site after the fact, they found rampant violations of the agency's already inadequate standards. They proposed a more than $5 million fine, and issuance of citations for 61 egregious willful violations, eight willful violations and 51 serious violations. Under OSHA's rules, a 'serious' citation is issued when death or serious physical harm is likely to occur, a 'willful' violation is a violation committed with plain indifference to employee safety and health, and 'egregious' citations are issued for particularly flagrant violations."
Philip Morris International: Unshackled. "The Marlboro Man is finally free to roam the globe unfettered by the legal and marketing shackles of the U.S. domestic market."
Roche: Saving Lives is Not Our Business. This pharmaceutical company makes HIV-related drugs, but refuses to discount prices in developing countries. Roche Korea's top dog reportedly told Aids activists, "We are not in business to save lives, but to make money. Saving lives is not our business."