Aletho News


Iran sanctions force historic plant closure for Peugeot

Press TV – October 25, 2013

With European auto sales near a 20-year low, it’s unthinkable that an automaker would willingly cut ties with its largest foreign client. But in February 2012 Peugeot did just that by severing ties with Iran. The move was forced by its new partner, General Motors, which had just been bailed out by the US government.

The decision has cost an estimated €4 billion in lost sales and helped force 8,000 job cuts. In France’s first such industrial closure in two decades, the last car has just rolled off the line at a plant located in a heavily-Muslim suburb of Paris.

Via a partnership with automaker Iran Khodro, in 2011 Iran accounted for 13% of Peugeot’s annual sales. The cars were assembled in Iran, giving domestic autoworkers valuable experience and helping Iran to become one of the world’s top 20 auto-producing countries.

The French press has largely remained silent on the key role Iran sanctions have played in damaging Peugeot, despite pleas from union leaders.

Ironically, giving up the Iranian market seems to have been in vain, as multiple sources have reported that GM has significantly scaled back its alliance with Peugeot. If the sanctions on Iran were designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain on Peugeot, they may have achieved their goal.

October 26, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Iran sanctions force historic plant closure for Peugeot

Top Executives at Bailed-Out Companies Keep Getting the Big Bucks, with a Wink from Treasury Dept.

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | January 30, 2013

Executives of corporations bailed out by the U.S. government received more than $6 million in raises last year, despite guidelines by the Department of the Treasury that are supposed to limit such salaries.

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program (SIGTAR) accused Treasury officials of ignoring the guidelines and approving raises sought by the companies.

An extra $6.2 million was awarded to just 18 employees at General Motors (GM), Ally Financial and American International Group (AIG), which received a total of more than $250 billion in bailout funds. This included a $1 million raise for the chief executive of an AIG division, Chartis, and $200,000 for an employee of Ally’s Residential Capital—which filed for bankruptcy only weeks later.

In 2012, the Office of the Special Master for TARP Executive Compensation approved pay packages of $3 million or more for 54% of the 69 top executives of AIG, GM and Ally.

Christy Romero, special inspector general for TARP, criticized the Treasury Department for not holding the line on executive compensation. “Treasury cannot look out for taxpayers’ interests if it continues to rely to a great extent on the pay proposed by companies that have historically pushed back on pay limits,” Romero said in her report (pdf).

She also accused Treasury of not making “meaningful reform to its processes.”

“Lacking criteria and an effective decision-making process, Treasury risks continuing to award executives of bailed-out companies excessive cash compensation without good cause,” she added.

Patricia Geoghegan, Treasury’s acting special master for compensation, rejected Romero’s conclusions, saying the audit was filled with inaccuracies and mischaracterizations of data provided to the inspector general.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Top Executives at Bailed-Out Companies Keep Getting the Big Bucks, with a Wink from Treasury Dept.

Unemployed autoworkers real losers in Peugeot-Iran row: Analyst

Press TV – July 27, 2012

France’s largest car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen made a “disastrous” choice to sever ties with Iran, given Europe’s economic crisis and failing car markets, an expert says.

In February, the automaker decided to end relations with the Islamic Republic, losing the half-million vehicle sales Iran would have provided in 2012.

“Such a move, amid the European sovereign debt crisis and plummeting auto sales across the continent, seems like it could only be a disastrous business decision. And it is,” Ramin Mazaheri wrote in an article published on Press TV website.

Unable to replace the lucrative market, Peugeot was later forced to jettison 8,000 jobs to compensate for billions of euros it lost as a result, he noted.

Mazaheri dismissed the “strengthening of sanctions” against Iran and banking difficulties as the reasons behind the company’s decision.

“In exchange for selling seven percent of the company’s shares to General Motors, owned by the American government, the US insisted that Peugeot should stop selling cars to Iran,” he explained.

The analyst further referred to Iran’s policy of “economic protectionism,” which has helped the country to produce more cars than Italy or the UK and become the world’s 12th largest auto manufacturer.

Peugeot’s pullout will not affect the Iranian car industry as Iran will now continue to partner with other auto companies and to “improve the quality of Iranian vehicles by importing car kits to be assembled in Iranian factories,” according to Mazaheri.

“The 8,000 now-unemployed auto workers, as well as those who worked at the thousands of secondary jobs associated with the Peugeot plants” are the real victims of the company’s decision, he concluded.

July 27, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sanctions on Iran force French auto job losses

Iran market cannot easily be replaced for Peugeot: French union member
Press TV – July 18, 2012

A French auto workers’ union member says the country’s largest automaker Peugeot cannot find a replacement for the Iranian market after the company was forced to slash 8,000 jobs over Iran sanctions, Press TV reports.

“We have no sales not for economic reasons but for political reasons. The Iranian market is one that cannot easily be replaced for Peugeot. It’s an unacceptable decision for us,” Jean-Pierre Mercier from a closed Peugeot plant told Press TV.

Peugeot’s announcement on Thursday that PSA Peugeot Citroen would axe 8,000 jobs and shut the first car factory in 20 years has caused a political firestorm.

“If the state can prevent Peugeot from selling cars to Iran, why cannot they prevent these firings? Unfortunately, the unions insufficiently mobilized to tip the scale and stopped the embargo,” Mercier said.

Iran is Peugeot’s largest foreign customer, with half a million in auto sales translating into some several billion Euros each year. However, citing new banking sanctions, Peugeot ended cooperation in February.

Peugeot’s auto sales this year are down nearly a quarter of a million units, almost exactly the amount that Iran would have normally purchased.

According to reports, giving up the Iranian market might have been the price of Peugeot’s recent alliance with Detroit’s General Motors, owned by the US government, which has imposed sanctions on Iran for decades.

This is while Renault, another major French automaker, saw their Iranian sales double last year to 100,000 vehicles and they expect this number to rise.

July 18, 2012 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 2 Comments

Corporate Crime of the Century Portrayed as Conspiracy Theory

NPR Ombudsman Says No Response Allowed to Mass Transit Mess Up


The NPR Ombudsman says that no response will be allowed to a story about mass transit in Los Angeles.

On April 21, 2011, NPR’s All Things Considered ran a story about how – after a fifty year absence – light rail is coming back to Los Angeles.

NPR reporter Mandalit Del Barco reported that eighty years ago, electric mass transit dominated the city.

“By the roaring 1920’s, more than 1,000 miles of electric trolley lines and train rails ran through the ever-expanding Los Angeles,” Del Barco reported.

But then in the middle of the century, the electric trolley cars disappeared.


“LA replaced the last of its streetcars with a web of freeways and bus lines,” Del Barco reported. “That led to conspiracy theories that the streetcars were dismantled by private companies who stood to profit – General Motors, Standard Oil and tire companies. That villainous plot figured into the 1988 movie ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit.'”

In fact, it was more than just conspiracy theories.

It was an actual federal crime that led to the destruction of the nation’s electric mass transit.

The companies involved were indicted, convicted, and fined for destroying the nation’s electric mass transit systems.

Del Barco says she was familiar with the criminal history of the case, but didn’t report it.

We asked the NPR Ombudsman’s office to investigate and issue a clarification – at least tell NPR’s listeners that it wasn’t just a conspiracy theory – that it was an indicted and convicted federal crime.

The Ombudsman office said they would look into it.

Then, late last week, we got an e-mail from the NPR Ombudsman’s office.

“Our office talked to the reporter and editor of the piece,” wrote Lori Grisham of the NPR Ombudsman’s office. “They understand your concerns, but do not believe a correction is warranted. Time is one of the main constraints when it comes to producing a radio story and they were trying to condense a great deal of history into a small amount of time.”

Grisham passed along this from Jason DeRose, NPR’s Western Bureau Chief:

“The piece makes clear there had been better public transit in LA and that it was dismantled. We chose not to describe that demise in detail. There were many, many unproven allegations of conspiracy and two official fines. We chose to characterize the numerous unproven allegations as conspiracy theories to lead into the Roger Rabbit tape.”

Grisham ends her e-mail: “I apologize that NPR will not run a correction. Thank you again for taking time to contact us.”

And thank you Lori Grisham for looking into this.

But that’s just bad form – and one reason why America is angry with NPR.

We sent you the documented proven history of the criminal activity.

And still, Jason DeRose says that there were “many, many unproven allegations of conspiracy and two official fines.”

What gives?

This was proven and convicted criminal conduct.

There was nothing unproven about it.

In fact, the destruction of the nation’s electric mass transit system was perhaps one of the most egregious – and underreported – corporate crimes of the century.

Brad Snell is also not happy with the NPR Ombudsman’s decision.

Snell is in the final stages of writing a history of General Motors.

It will be published in 2013 by Knopf.

“Under our celebrated system of laws, the US Justice Department’s allegation of conspiracy by defendants General Motors, Standard Oil of California, and Firestone Tire to monopolize the sale of buses, fuel, and tires by eliminating electric transit was transformed from theory to fact upon their conviction by a Chicago jury in US District Court on March 19, 1949,” Snell told Corporate Crime Reporter. “That judgment was affirmed on appeal (186 F.2 562 (7th Cir. 1951)) and a further appeal by defendants to the US Supreme Court was denied (cert den. 341 US 916), leaving the judgment and convictions in National City Lines as final matters of settled fact and law.”

“In 1990, the Honorable George E. MacKinnon, Senior Judge of the US Court of Appeals in Washington DC, had occasion to review the entire trial record in the National City Lines case,” Snell said.

His conclusion appeared in the Washington Legal Times on May 7, 1990.

“That Chicago trial resulted in criminal conspiracy convictions of the General Motors Corp., Standard Oil of California, and the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. for their concerted effort to replace electric streetcars with buses in numerous large and small cities,” Judge MacKinnon wrote.

“It is not a theory,” Snell said. “These are not ‘unproven allegations of conspiracy.’ It has been settled judicial fact for more than half a century. Beyond a reasonable doubt, as affirmed by the federal courts, and after denial of further review by the Supreme Court of the United States, it is an established and incontrovertible fact that General Motors, Standard Oil of California, and Firestone Tire conspired to replace electric transit in cities throughout America in order to effect a monopoly in the sale of buses and related products.”

“To suggest otherwise is to debase and mock our revered and time-honored system of American jurisprudence,” Snell said.

It is unconscionable that the NPR Ombudsman will not even consider running a response.

Russell Mokhiber edits the Corporate Crime Reporter.


May 3, 2011 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Environmentalism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Comments Off on Corporate Crime of the Century Portrayed as Conspiracy Theory