The featured image is a picture of the home of the Murphys. It is for sale for $27 million. Mr. Murphy helped start the University of Phoenix. You, the reader, bought his house through donating tax money for his exorbitant salary, while he captained the decimation of student lives and the American economy. Murphy and his silk backed thugs who run UoP should be in prison. But in the New Gilded Age they languish in mansions and upscale vacation homes, drinking expensive wine and dining on your dollar.
Dailycensored.com has strived for more than four years to consistently bring readers the truth about for-profit, drive-by predatory colleges and the effect they are having on society and the individuals caught within the jaws of predation, monetization and exploitation.
We are committed to continue to offer readers insights not found in many news sources. But with this, it must be said that without the great researchers and whistleblowers who have contributed research to this author over the years (many with great risk), we would never be able to bring readers the truth about these monetary extraction machines that pose as institutions of higher education when in actuality they are financial machines of higher predation.
In his latest piece in the Huffington Post, attorney and reporter David Halperin precisely and critically analyzes the connection between education corporations, media, and politics shows just how hard it is to fight for-profit predators and their long list of corporate allies — even as they are destroying millions of lives (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/steve-forbes-the-olympics_b_4432260.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications) ) (http://www.dailycensored.com/today-profit-college-news/). It is financial rape in broad daylight. .
I would add that it’s even tougher to wage a citizen’s battle, due to the fact that so-called ‘liberal’ media outlets like MSNBC also line their pockets with for-profit education advertising money. It’s the great toxic swindle of the 21st century and it has been going on for more than fifty years (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/6618:good-for-wall-street-bad-for-students-seiu-hosts-webinar-on-predatory-proprietary-colleges-and-universities).
One example that proves the point is the fact that the Apollo Group (partially owned by the Carlyle Group and also the mother corporation for the University of Phoenix) is ramping up its advertising, spending to the tune of $665 million this year alone (2012), as it closes more than 100 physical sites and outsources its technical ‘support’ to third world countries (http://chronicle.com/blogs/bottomline/u-of-phoenix-reboots-advertising-and-rebrands-in-the-process/). Propaganda is the only way these schools can survive. This and political payoffs to corporate politicians from both parties.
Let me ask you: with this much money floating into the coffers of the corporate media do you really think they will critically investigate these criminal organizations? Hardly: for buying advertising also means buying political support, patronage and media allies eager for their share of the profits and nowhere can this be seen best than within the despicable corporate news coverage of what is nothing more than a criminal racket.
Add to this the fact that the public teacher unions and their ‘hedge fund’ pension managers are supporting the for-profit predators by purchasing their stock at alarming rates in an attempt to chase down eight percent returns for current and future retirees (http://www.projectcensored.org/financial-capitalism-and-the-us-teachers-pension-fund-fraud/) and we have one of the most corrupt systems in the country.
These pension fund managers have fiduciary responsibilities to workers and retirees, but you would never know it; for they have now transformed into hedge fund brokers whose fiduciary responsibilities are tied to Wall Street, the casino economy of financialization. By investing in for-profit colleges, these hedge fund pension managers are supporting and aiding and abetting debt peonage for millions of young people whose dream is simply for a decent education. They are also gambling with retiree funds in the Great Chase for high returns in a debt ridden system of rot. Finally, they are milking the public treasury for trillions.
In both instances, the public workers unions and teacher unions are undermining the public commons, sentencing young people to debt purgatory, harming the present and future retirees they say they represent and in doing so, as Dr. Dahn Shaulis has pointed out, they are helping the private sector in transfiguring society whereby young people will now be forced to make hellish decisions regarding the size of their families, their consumption patterns, how they might find work, the way they live and the future of their own children. They will be chained forever to the rancid debt for an sub prime education.
This is more than banditry, it is corporate financial larceny. Yet not one for-profit mobster who runs one of these schools or acts as a board member has been indicted and jailed. Perhaps this avoidance of ‘moral hazard’ (the reactionary class is always talking about) is one reason why pension fund operators are mortgaging the future of society, the young and the old by investing in the for-profit college fraud. Where is the Department of Injustice and Eric Holder? You got it, in the pockets of Wall Street.
The real material reason, of course, is that we are now in the era of financial capitalism where ‘trading’ is more important that ‘creating’ and thus the demolishing of lives and social fabrics necessarily follows. Simply put: the corporate denizens know that not only do they not need an educated population n the US due to the fact they outsource and in-source jobs from third world countries, but more: they fear an educated population.
Remember, for-profit schools like Corinthian (Everest, Heald, Wyotech) or the University of Phoenix (to name just a few of the mafia cartel schools) target vulnerable working class people: veterans, people of color, the unemployed and underemployed, and those with learning disabilities or problems with English while at the same time that they funnel tens of billions of dollars away from community colleges and other public colleges. They have now absconded with over $400 billion in federal funds and left in their wake despair, ruination, economic debt, moral decay, and some very rich individuals who have profited handsomely off the ‘death of education’.
Eighty nine percent or more of for-profit college funding comes from you, the taxpayer. Neo-liberalism means that public funds are funneled directly into the coffers of criminal enterprises (the free market) with little if any oversight and in fact, with the blessing of the Obama Department of Education. Many would think this is owed to conservative backing of Wall Street but the real news is that house democrats have largely enabled these rackateers (http://www.thenation.com/blog/177581/two-house-democrats-lead-effort-stab-students-veterans-back). Without the corporate democrats, little of the largess stolen from taxpayers could have been accomplished (http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8589-bipartisan-political-elite-implicated-in-for-profit-education-fraud) (http://www.dailycensored.com/hilary-2016-clinton-associates-lobby-for-vulture-capitalists-scandal-plagued-for-profit-colleges-and-uranium-polluters/).
Many thanks to reporter for the Huffington Post and attorney, David Halperin for bringing much information to the American citizenry about the absolute corruption of the system of for–profit, higher education. Now the issue is simple: (1) will the mainstream press do some critical journalism to inform citizens of the breath of the theft? (2) Will the public worker and teacher unions stand up against such swindlers as Corinthian College and other such drive-by institutions?
Don’t hold your breath. As to the first question, the ‘mainstream press’ is the corporate press. Corporate media is attached to Wall Street and thus there is little hope for any investigative journalism from lap dog reporters who allegiance is to their bosses on Wall Street. Secondly, without an agitated and educated union membership the top paid executives of the unions and their financial minions will continue to step in lock step with Wall Street, placing citizens and workers at risk. It is time for union members to stop outsourcing the management of their retirement funds to smarmy fund managers. Would you contract out your family finances to mob bosses?
It’s a shame, (but not unexpected), that it took a UK newspaper to expose the predatory capitalists and racists once again who are involved in the Great College Swindle.
“Last week the Guardian revealed documents that, among other things, reaffirmed the link between the troubled for-profit college sector and the controversial corporate advocacy group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The documents show that ALEC is facing financial pressures, in part because numerous major corporations quit after media exposed its role in promoting the Stand Your Ground gun laws. ALEC was criticized after Florida police invoked Stand Your Ground in initially refusing to arrest George Zimmerman, the shooter of Trayvon Martin, and ALEC was already under scrutiny at the time for its role in advancing “Voter ID” laws that make it harder for citizens to vote. ALEC documents showed that the group has a “prodical son” (sic) project that seeks to return to the fold lapsed members, and that list included the for-profit college companies Kaplan and Bridgepoint Education. Republic Report was the first to report last year that industry members including Kaplan, Bridgepoint, Corinthian Colleges — and APSCU itself — have all been ALEC members. The documents revealed by the Guardian also show that ALEC listed as possible recruits for membership the for-profit college businesses Capella, DeVry, and Education Management Corp (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/for-profit-college-group_b_4413034.html?utm_source=Alert-blogger&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Email%2BNotifications).
I reported that drive-by Kaplan University was an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) member back in May of 2012; they seem to be simply one player in the ongoing assault on public education. (http://truth-out.org/news/item/9317-did-kaplan-lobby-to-deregulate-for-profit-colleges-while-one-of-its-schools-defrauded-students).
ALEC and the Association of Private Sector Colleges (APSCU) and Universities are a toxic, ruthless and rancid combination of propaganda and political and financial theft balled up in corporate legitimized organizations (http://www.career.org/) which are nothing more than privately funded propaganda think tanks and courtiers for Wall Street.
No, now the only hope we have is to organize, mobilize and demand disinvestment by public unions in criminal enterprises that pose as for-profit education. This will involve education, mobilization and in your face activism for the union leadership has given up the ghost.
Although the idea of forcing public pension unions to act in the interests of the public commons and the fiduciary interests of their members is a formidable task, it must be done. And although it is hardly fair to compare the struggle against apartheid in South Africa with the for-profit college swindle, certainly it was disinvestment in South Africa that helped turn the tide on White rule. Similar disinvestment activities can be used to force the supplicant unions to do the same. After all, it is our money that is being played in the casino system of capitalism and our youth that is being destroyed by hosting parasitic colleges. This is true whether you are a public employee are simply a taxpayer.
And if social interests and social morals are not enough then simply think about your own self-interests if you are a public employee: your pension funds are balled up in organizations like, to take an example, the California State Teacher Retirement System (STRS). STRS is over $64 billion in debt, meaning that when you retire your funds might not be there (http://www.projectcensored.org/financial-capitalism-and-the-us-teachers-pension-fund-fraud/). Yet STRS is busy buying for-profit college stock in bundles while student debt roars forward and the public coffers are turned over to the corporate Mafia. With no access to Social Security, if it still exists, what will you do when the pension funds are broke and can’t pay you?
The role of public unions in enabling the for-profit outfits
And that leads us to a discussion of the role of public pension funds, both for teachers and others, in allying themselves with for-profit colleges. Nothing more discouraging can be found in the fact that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has been a leader in funding the criminal enterprises we call for profit colleges and universities. So has the California State Teacher Retirement System, to name just a few.
As I previously wrote:
“But the haunting question remains: why does CALPERS (CA State retirees) own more than 1,000,000 shares of Corinthian Colleges? And why does TIAA-CREF own more than 300,000 shares? Why does the NY State Teachers Retirement Fund own more than 150,000 shares in Corinthian Colleges? Why does the NY State Common Retirement Fund own stock in COCO? And we can add the Canadian Public Sector Pension Investment Board? Or the CA Teachers Retirement System (STRS), the Florida Retirement System, The Texas Permanent School Fund? The Teachers Retirement System? Arizona State Retirement System? Colorado PERS?, to name just a few!!!
Public employee institutions, pension fund managers, have saddled up their portfolios knowing that the pension funds are broke and that without huge returns they cannot expect to pay future of present retirees. I wrote about this at: (http://www.projectcensored.org/financial-capitalism-and-the-us-teachers-pension-fund-fraud/).
When the for-profit college stocks go down this is bad for public pension funds. So, the public pension fund managers (the matchstick men) must protect the for-profits so their stock doesn’t tumble and the pensions remain ‘solvent’. Of course this is impossible and unsustainable. The whole swindle, from broken pension funds and for-profit criminal colleges, is all now attached to Wall Street like an umbilical cord in ways unthinkable just a few years ago.
The unconscionable investment of public pension funds into the coffers of for-profit colleges seeking to impress students into debt for life with no education to show for it is not only immoral, it is unsustainable for the very pension funds involved. It is roulette suicide in a casino economy of despair and degradation.
The actions of these pension fund managers, who are now little more than hedge fund executives looking for a high rate of return, in investing their member’s funds in some of the worst rackets in the market, for-profit debt cancer schools, is killing youth and draining the government, driving up public debt. And in doing so they are undermining the very public institutions their members hail from” (http://www.dailycensored.com/latest-news-profit-criminal-college-sector/).
You can take a look at the public union investments in for-profit college cancer schools at: (http://www.dailycensored.com/financial-capitalism-and-the-us-teachers-pension-fund-fraud/).
What the union pension managers have to say
Professor Dahn Shaulis, investigator, researcher and professor in New Jersey wrote CALPERS about their ongoing involvement in subsidizing criminal colleges with workers’ retirement monies. Recently, Dr. Shaulis wrote to Joe DeAnda, CalPers “representative”. Take a look at what the union executives and money changers have to say. The following are communications between Shaulis and some union pension fund managers:
“Dear Mr. DeAnda,
According to public records dated 9-30-2013, CALPERS’ position was 1,069,854 shares of Corinthian College stock. You stated that as of 11-30-2013, the position was only 214,600 shares. Does this mean that CALPERS has sold almost 800,000 shares of its stock?
Please reply, otherwise I will report that it appears that CALPERS has just recently sold nearly 800,000 shares of Corinthian College stock during this quarter (http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/coco/institutional-holdings/increased).
I am concerned that by “passively” managing retirement funds, CALPERS has been complicit in undermining public workers in California. I am glad that CALPERS has sold nearly 800,000 shares of for-profit college stock this quarter.
I would like to speak to someone at CALPERS about these investments in Corinthian Colleges (COCO) and about further divestment from COCO” (e-mail to CalPers from Dahn Shaulis).
Dahn Shaulis, Ph.D.
Here is the first response he received to his inquiry:
On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM, Press Room <PressRoom@calpers.ca.gov> wrote:
Thanks for contacting us. Is this a media inquiry?
Dr. Shualis replied:
“Wednesday, December 11, 2013 5:35 PM
To: Press Room
Subject: Re: Corinthian Colleges Investments by CALPERS
“Yes, this is a media inquiry. Danny Weil and I have been working on several stories for Daily Censored” (e-mail).
On Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 12:26 PM, Press Room <PressRoom@calpers.ca.gov> wrote:
“As of 11/30/2013 CalPERS holds 214,600 shares of common stock with a market value of $360,528. Unfortunately, we have nothing further to provide you” (e-mail to Dahn Shaulis).
Joe DeAnda | Information Officer II | CalPERS Office of Public Affairs | (916) 795-3991
From: Dahn Shaulis [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 1:09 PM
To: Press Room
Subject: Corinthian Colleges Investments by CALPERS
“To whom it may concern,
I would like to speak to someone, on the record, about CALPERS investments in Corinthian Colleges (COCO).
COCO is being sued by the California AG and is also under investigation by the US CFTC, yet, according to public data, CALPERS has been a top investor in this corporation.
Thank you in advance for your response” (e-mail).
Dahn Shaulis, Ph.D.
On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 12:43 PM, the Press Room (PressRoom@calpers.ca.gov) for CALPERS wrote once again in response to Dr. Shaulis’s concerns:
“CalPERS cannot confirm outside sources.
On background, I can tell you that two-thirds of CalPERS’ equity holdings are passively managed, tracking an index, the FTSE all-world all-cap. So any movement in our portfolio with a particular stock may have more to do with that stock’s weighting in the index, rather than an implication of an active strategy change” (e-mail from CALPERS).
Dr. Shaulis went on to inquire further:
From: Dahn Shaulis [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:53 PM
To: Press Room
Subject: Re: Corinthian Colleges Investments by CALPERS
Please connect me with someone who can give me a better answer. I am particularly interested in CALPERS most recent transactions with COCO” (e-mail).
Dahn Shaulis, Ph.D.
DeAnda then went on to completely refuse to divulge public information and to work to obfuscate the swindle:
From: Press Room <PressRoom@calpers.ca.gov>
Date: Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 4:03 PM
Subject: RE: Corinthian Colleges Investments by CALPERS
To: Dahn Shaulis <email@example.com>, Press Room <PressRoom@calpers.ca.gov>
“Thanks, but unfortunately we will not be participating further” Joe (e-mail).
Accountability? Not participating any further? The public pension funds simply refuse to answer questions regarding their member retirement funds and where they were and are invested. They are both arrogant and belittling in their responses even though their fiduciary duty is to their membership, not to Wall Street.
On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 12:35 AM, Dahn Shaulis <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote to both David Halperin of the Huffington Post and myself:
“Danny and David:
“CALPERS won’t answer any questions about their investments in Corinthian”.
David Halperin of the Huffington Post replied to both Dahn and me:
“I’m truly dismayed that these folks want to keep teachers’ $$ in this fraudulent enterprise that abuses students and teachers. One fund told me they want to be more activist as shareholders going forward — we’ll see. Corinthian is beyond redemption” (December 13, 2013 e-mail).
Yes, beyond redemption is a nice way of stating the case. Corinthian is a Mafia that is now going under. Their stocks trade for a little over $1.50 cents per share as of last week.
However, no amount of sophistic dancing around the issue by hedge fund managers posing as pension fund managers can hide the fact that CALPERS and the California State Teacher Retirement System (STRS) are up to their neck in phony for-profit college penny stocks that they purchase with members’ monies while they continue to rack up deficits for retirees.
All of this to the detriment of public education as funds are simply siphoned from the public commons and find their way into the troughs of the for-profit college funds and Wall St. deal makers.
That CALPERS states it cannot confirm outside sources is absurd. The ‘outside sources’ are mainstream organizations like the NASDAQ news and Wall St. itself (http://www.dailycensored.com/financial-capitalism-and-the-us-teachers-pension-fund-fraud/). CALPERS members should be aghast, up in arms and Joe DeAnda should be ashamed of his ‘avoidance and denial’ reply to Dr. Shaulis. Subterfuge and dodgy deception do not bode well for teacher pension funds, public pension funds or for an informed public.
Dr. Dahn Shaulis wrote to David Halperin of the Huffington Post regarding the CalPers and Cal STRS investment in for-profit predatory colleges:
Thank you for getting the message out to a larger audience than I can get. It appears that CALPERS (1,069,854) and the CA State Teachers Retirement System (142,535 shares) have both recently bought Corinthian College’s stock. Although the numbers are small, just buying into them is an act of complicity in the demise of public education.
CALPERS representative (Joe DeAnda) stated that their position as of 11-30-2013 was about 214,000 shares. If this is correct, it appears that CALPERS has sold a significant chunk of its stock in Corinthian Colleges (almost 800,000 shares).
I agree that Corinthian Colleges is beyond redemption, but they do have the backing of Wells Fargo. In fact, as COCO stock has dropped, Wells has bought more of the stock. I have heard Wells is even losing on its deal with the predatory Genesis Lending, but I can’t substantiate it.
It’s also interesting to see that JP Morgan recently bought into COCO. I’m not even sure who all the other funds are, though major banks are still investing in COCO. Dig even deeper and you probably find the same predators.
Nothing is transparent with these third-party deals, with hedge fund investors, and with retirement investments. In previous research, I found that retirement programs were also invested in these for-profit predators through third party investors. In some cases, these were significant investments by pension programs.
Publicly divesting of Corinthian Colleges, particularly with union support and media attention, could make a difference, I believe. At some point, I imagine that someone in the mainstream media will have to pick up on this story, but they will only write something when it’s a big story that’s easy to tell” (http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/coco/institutional-holdings/increased,
NYC Leveraging of public pension funds
Can workers whose funds lie within the seedy hands of corrupt pension managers use their power in leveraging their pension funds to staunch the criminal corporate class?
People in NYC are currently talking about using their pension portfolios as leverage. How can we do this for education, against the for-profit education corporations that are draining our education budgets?
Will AFT, NEA, or other unions take a stand against for-profit education with something other than talk?
How can we convince these unions that teachers are cutting the throats of their children and grandchildren with their holdings in retirement programs (teacher retirements, PERS, TIAA-CREF, etc).
Can Pension funds be leveraged to force despicable practices on Wall Street?
Connie Razza from the Center for Popular Democracy, offers Dahn Shaulis and insight into how we might leverage New York City’s market power to change practices on Wall Street. This is important for if we can take control over our pensions then we can manage them ourselves, without the courtesans.
Readers can be the judge of whether this practice would or would not work.
From Connie Razza of CPD:
I am sharing a report that the New Day New York Coalition and the Center for Popular Democracy authored about ways to leverage New York City’s market power to create better Wall Street practices. “One New York for All of Us: Leveraging New York’s Financial Power to Combat Inequity” can be read at http://populardemocracy.org/news/leveraging-new-yorks-financial-power-combat-inequality-report.
New York City and its pension funds control $350 billion that travel through the financial system. The report calls for the city to:
* renegotiate toxic deals, yielding $160 million a year.
* create an in-house financial management team for pension fund assets and bond deals, which could save the city as much as $563 million.
* save money and create jobs by holding banks to firm commitments to the community in return for subsidies (about $300 million annually).
* write down underwater mortgages to keep 86,000 families in their homes and stimulate the local economy by as much as $1 billion.
The report and a week of actions on Wall Street are designed to provide the context for innovative action to increase equality by the city’s new progressive mayor and comptroller, as well as the strong plurality of progressive city councilors” (Study on leveraging NYC pensions).
As workers, taxpayers and citizens, regardless of whether we are employees of the government or simply private citizens or workers, we must take charge of our own pension funds. Until we do, the horror of economic bleeding will continue and the public commons, not to mention education, will continue to fall into the hands of criminal corporations and their beneficiaries.
So, the question is: if not now, then when?