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May 23, 2010 in Corporations
BlackRock was originally the Financial Management portion of Peter G. Peterson and Stephen A. Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group. The Blackstone Group and BlackRock Financial Management both derive their name from their co-founders’ surnames; schwarz means “black” in German and Peter is derived from the Greek word πετρος meaning “stone”. Laurence Fink, who ran the Financial Management division of the Blackstone Group, was heavily involved with the initial creation of mortgage-backed securities, the same type of financial products that would later lead to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2009.
April 28, 2010 in Government
The Silicon Valley High Technology Task Force, also known as the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT), is a partnership of 17 local, state, and federal agencies, with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office designated as the lead agency. The REACT Task Force is one of five in the State of California and authorized under California Penal Code 13848. All Agents of the React Task Force are either California Peace Officers and/or U.S. Federal Agents.
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) was established by Presidential Executive Order 13354 in August 2004, and codified by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA). NCTC implements a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission: “Breaking the older mold of national government organizations, this NCTC should be a center for joint operational planning and joint intelligence, staffed by personnel from the various agencies.”
February 4, 2010 in Non-Profit Organizations
The Institute for International Economics is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution devoted to the study of international economic policy. The Institute’s annual budget is about $10 million. Support is provided by a wide range of charitable foundations, private corporations, and individuals and from earnings on the Institute’s publications and capital fund. The Institute has been directed by C. Fred Bergsten throughout its existence.
January 27, 2010 in Corporations
January 5, 2010 in Corporations
Chertoff Group, LLC is a registered corporation in the State of Delaware formed on February 2, 2009. The firm is lead by Chertoff and Chad Sweet, who served as Chertoff’s Chief of Staff during his tenure as Secretary of Homeland Security. Mr. Sweet worked in the CIA until the early 1990s, when he began a career in investment banking. He initially worked at Morgan Stanley and was later recruited by Goldman Sachs. Mr. Sweet spent six of his twelve years in finance in overseas assignments. He returned to public service after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, which he personally witnessed while working at Goldman Sachs in New York.
December 18, 2009 in Corporations
The Chicago Climate Exchange is the world’s first environmental derivatives exchange. The exchange is owned by the London-based Climate Exchange PLC which also owns the European Climate Exchange, Montréal Climate Exchange, and the Tianjin Climate Exchange. Approximately 10% of CCX is owned by Goldman Sachs and another 10% is owned by Generation Investment Management LLP.
December 14, 2009 in Corporations
December 1, 2009 in Government
The Term Auction Facility (TAF) is a “credit facility” which allows depository institutions to bid upon collateralized loans from their local Federal Reserve Bank. Under the program, depository institutions determined to be in good standing with their local Federal Reserve Bank can participate in auctions of short-term loans with varying terms. The facility was created in December of 2007 following a series of similar actions from the European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada, the Swiss National Bank, and the Bank of England. These actions involved opening “discount windows” through which centralized banking institutions may provide short-term loans to banks to improve liquidity.
November 25, 2009 in Educational Institutions
The Climatic Research Unit (CRU) is a research organization affiliated with the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. The CRU is considered to be one of the leading institutions concerned with the research of anthropogenic climate change. The CRU is largely funded by public and private grants, having only three salaried positions with the University of East Anglia. In November 2009, a server operated by the CRU was hacked and a file containing more than 160MB of private emails, documents, and information was released to various internet sources.
November 19, 2009 in Corporations
Maiden Lane III LLC is a holding company established on November 10, 2008 by the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Treasury Department as part of the U.S. government’s restructuring of American International Group, Inc. (AIG). As part of this restructuring, under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Reserve Board authorized the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) to lend up to $30 billion to a newly formed Delaware limited liability company, Maiden Lane III LLC (ML III LLC), to fund the purchase of certain multi-sector collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) from certain counterparties of AIG Financial Products Corp. (AIGFP).
November 2, 2009 in Corporations
Kingdom Holding Company is the largest company in Saudi Arabia. While the company is technically a public holding company listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange, 95% of the company’s shares are owned by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud. Kingdom Holding Company owns portions of a number of companies around the world, including many U.S. companies.
October 20, 2009 in Corporations
Kissinger Associates, Inc. is an international consultancy firm that is owned and run by Henry Kissinger. The company was incorporated April 7, 1982 in the state of Delaware, though its primary offices are located in New York City. The company is extremely secretive and it is difficult to uncover information about them. Despite the fact that they have operated for more than twenty years, been involved in several multinational scandals resulting in congressional investigations, and are headed by one of the most notorious political figures in modern history, there is virtually no information available about them in traditional sources.
October 9, 2009 in Government
“Fusion center” is a generic term for entities which are designed to integrate federal intelligence efforts with the state and local authorities. As of July 2009, there are 72 fusion centers around the country and one in nearly every state. These entities work under the auspices of local law enforcement, often integrating with the state’s police force, Department of Justice, or Office of Emergency Management.
October 8, 2009 in Government
The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is a member of the national Intelligence Community (IC) and ensures that information related to homeland security threats is collected, analyzed, and disseminated to the full spectrum of homeland security customers in the Department, at state, local, and tribal levels, in the private sector, and in the IC. I&A works closely with Department component intelligence organizations as well as state, local, tribal, and private-sector entities to ensure non-traditional streams of information are fused with traditional IC sources to provide a complete assessment of threats to the nation.
American Police Force is a private military company which claims to “service all 50 states and international countries” through law enforcement training, surveillance, kidnapping and ransom recovery services, as well as providing security to coalition forces in Iraq and Pakistan. At this time, it is difficult to verify any of these claims. The company is not listed in government contract databases, is not registered as a private investigative service, and only has “virtual offices” without physical addresses.
August 29, 2009 in Non-Profit Organizations
Business Roundtable is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with more than $5 trillion in annual revenues and nearly 10 million employees. Member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock markets and pay nearly half of all corporate income taxes paid to the federal government. Annually, they return $133 billion in dividends to shareholders and the economy.
August 19, 2009 in Non-Profit Organizations
Council for Affordable Quality Health Care (CAQH) is a front group for health management organizations and large health care corporations which helps to promote “industry collaboration” in health care administration.
August 17, 2009 in Corporations
CIGNA is one of the largest for-profit health insurance providers in the United States. According to the company’s website, CIGNA “provides health care and related benefits offered through the workplace” and key product lines “include health care products and services (medical, pharmacy, behavioral health, clinical information management, dental and vision benefits, and case and disease management); and group disability, life and accident insurance.”