Corporate Integrity Project

Scandals involving Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing, Boeing and WorldCom have shaken confidence in America's corporate leaders. NLPC seeks to promote integrity in corporate governance, including honesty and fair play in relationships with shareholders, employees, business partners and customers. In doing so, NLPC places special emphasis on:

  • Asserting that the social responsibility of the corporation is to defend and advance the interests of the people who own the company, the shareholders. True responsibility is fidelity to one’s own mission, not someone else’s, or someone else’s political agenda.
  • Exposing the seeking of influence on public officials by corporations, which is the inevitable result of high levels of government spending and intervention in the marketplace.
  • Combating practices that undermine the free enterprise system, including philanthropic giving to groups hostile to a free economy.
Peter Flaherty
03/08/2011 - 11:40

GM lobbying chartPart 2: GM by the Numbers

From the 1st quarter through the 4th quarter of 2010, GM's lobbying expenses more than doubled from $1.8 million to $3.89 million - a 113% increase.  After all, when the government is your largest shareholder, your company execs will inevitably be spending an inordinate amount of time cozying up to Washington politicians.

Moreover, GM's lobbyist team reads like a who's who of the government bailout business.  And why wouldn't it? When you're lobbying Washington to privatize gains for your clients and socialize their losses among taxpayers, you hire those firms with the most experience representing other notorious companies that received massive bailouts by U.S. taxpayers - Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Goldman Sachs, AIG and others.

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Peter Flaherty
03/07/2011 - 17:59

Part 1: GM by the NumbersGM chart

News coverage of General Motors over the past few weeks has painted an increasingly glowing picture, but here's a dose of reality:  GM still has not repaid taxpayers for the bailout and it's looking less and less like taxpayers will ever be made whole.

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Mark Modica
03/07/2011 - 12:42

General Motors' stock hit an all-time low today of $31 and change. That's right, "all-time." Today's GM is a new company that did not exist two years ago. In an effort to shed liabilities and force sacrifices from creditors while protecting the UAW, GM emerged from bankruptcy as a totally new company. The media inaccurately reported that GM had its best earnings since 1999, but it has not given a clear picture of the situation at GM. Biased media coverage is a story in itself, but let's look at why GM has not done as well as the pundits predicted, and why it is likely to continue to struggle.

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Peter Flaherty
03/02/2011 - 13:27

Deepwater HorizonEarlier today I accused Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of a "cynical" approach to issuing deepwater drilling permits for the Gulf of Mexico. I did not realize how right I was. According to Kristen Hays of Reuters:

BP Plc, whose Macondo well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history last year, co-owns the well that was granted the first deepwater drilling permit since the disaster.

BP is Noble Energy Inc's partner in the well, holding a 46.5 percent interest, BP said.

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Mark Modica
03/01/2011 - 14:13

auto breakdownThe media may want to take a break from its rooting for General Motors, not to mention its hype surrounding the Chevy Volt. USA Today recently summarized Consumer Reports' ranking of automakers based on performance and reliability. Of the 13 automakers receiving report cards, GM and Chrysler received the worst rankings.

The number one performer according to CR was Honda, followed by Subaru. Strong reliability contributed to the high overall scores. GM was number 12 on the list with only Chrysler receiving a lower score. It should not come as a surprise that the bottom two performers were the automakers that ended up bankrupt and receiving taxpayer funded bailouts.

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Ken Boehm
03/01/2011 - 10:31

Phil FalconeUnder extremely unusual circumstances, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently granted a company called LightSquared the right to use wireless spectrum to build out a national 4G wireless network. LightSquared will get the spectrum for a song, while its competitors have to spend billions.

Although the technical implications of the FCC action are complicated, how it came about is not. LightSquared is owned by the Harbinger Capital hedge fund, headed by billionaire investor Phil Falcone, in photo. Falcone visited the White House and made large donations to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

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Mark Modica
02/28/2011 - 13:00

GM/UAW logosGeneral Motors reported less than stellar fourth quarter earnings last week, and announced that bonuses paid to its UAW workers will average $4,300. The earnings report disappointed Wall Street as GM shares fell about 4% on the news.

Some media sources attributed the drop in GM's share price to rising oil prices. Considering that oil prices went down on the day that GM shares fell, this explanation does not hold water. Rather, there are some specific issues relating to the earnings announcement that are causing concern on Wall Street.

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Peter Flaherty
02/21/2011 - 16:10

Deepwater HorizonOn Thursday, Fred Bartlit, Chief Counsel of the BP Oil Spill Commission, issued a report in which he put blame squarely on BP for the disaster, including a failure to adequately supervise its Halliburton and Transocean subcontractors.

The seven-member Commission, appointed by President Obama before the well had even been capped, issued its "final" report on January 11. Although it cited many of the same BP-specific problems detailed by Bartlit, it implicated the entire oil and gas exploration and production industry, and called for "systemic reforms."

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Mark Modica
02/21/2011 - 12:05

money flowGeneral Motors has been very benevolent since receiving $50 billion of taxpayer funds less than two years ago. GM, the GM Foundation and Chevrolet are donating more than $10 million towards the building of a Martin Luther King, Jr. monument in Washington, DC. Following is a list of just some of GM and GM Foundation recent giveaways.

  • $40 million for "clean energy projects."
  • $4.5 million for college scholarship programs to benefit students; criteria list includes being female, being a minority or being a military member.
  • $27.1 million to United Way for restructuring of Detroit schools.
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Paul Chesser
02/16/2011 - 11:00

electric plugProgress Energy CEO Bill Johnson, whose company will (pending approval) be swallowed by larger electric utility Duke Energy, has been making the media rounds. He has discussed the planned merger, which he says is necessary because of looming capital projects that will be needed to meet electricity demand, but he also warned regulators in Washington of the dangers posed by the heightened government regulatory environment:

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