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Corrupt Supreme Court Gives Green Light To Corporations To Loot Pension Plans


The conservative majority on the Supreme Court may betray America on cultural issues, but it does equally as impressive legal back flips to protect corporations who want to steal their worker's pensions. 

In Thole v. U.S. Bank, Judge Kavanaugh led a 5-4 ruling stating that the retirees suing their employers for enriching themselves by mismanaging their pension fund did not have standing for legal action due to the fact that they were still receiving money.

According to Kavanaugh, et al, stakeholders in a pension plan do not have a right to sue for fiduciary misconduct until their pension plan finally goes bankrupt. This is the equivalent of having someone steal and then gamble half the money you stored away for years-- after taking excessive fees for themselves -- and being unable to obtain legal redress because you still have enough leftover to pay your bills in the short term.  

The ruling ignores and even neutralizes the rights of workers under existing laws like the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which is meant to curtail the irresponsible management and corrupt self-dealing by capital.  

The case of U.S. Bank is egregious. From 2007 to 2010, the bank's executives had their own subsidiary, FAF Affiliates, take a healthy and over funded pension plan and unilaterally decided to invest it all in the stock market rather than diversify it towards areas of stable growth. Over this three year period, $748 million dollars of the retiree's money was lost to the Wall Street casino. The executives and speculators in question all compensated themselves with handsome fees for this blunder. 

in his majority opinion, Kavanaugh made a painstaking effort to avoid addressing this gross misconduct. The plaintiffs, two retirees, demanded U.S. Bank -- whose CEO Andrew Cecere gave himself a 40% salary increase last month -- return the money to the pension plan. Kavanaugh threw the case out, arguing that individual pensioners have no say in how their pension plan is being handled until it is insolvent and they no longer are receiving their check.

Somehow the rules for managing pensions are different than those governing private trusts in the eyes of conservative jurors. This will provide huge leeway for corporate America. 

Setting The Stage For Unlimited Pension Theft

The legal precedent set in Thole v. U.S. Bank will provide ample room for Kavanaugh and co to protect defendants in a much higher profile case on the docket, Mayberry v. KKR.

In Mayberry v. KKR,  retired firefighters and police officers are suing Wall Street hedge funds on behalf of their public pension plan and Kentucky taxpayers for lying to pension mangers about returns on exotic financial instruments that caused $1.5 billion dollars to vanish out of the $12.1 billion Kentucky Retirement System fund.

After convincing them to go along with the plan, Blackstone and KKR began charging outrageous fees once they were on the hook. Thanks in part to these raiders, the pension plan is now insolvent. 

Wall Street Jew defendants Henry Kravis of KKR and Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman are both big GOP donors. To understand how much clout they have in the Republican Party, Donald Trump sought to nominate Kravis for Treasury Secretary, a position he declined to take. Schwarzman is personally advising Trump on his "Re-open America" program. 

The fact that Kravis and Schwarzman are so deeply borrowed into the Republican Party machine puts pressure on Kavanaugh and the other conservative jurists to figure out rule against the law and the people of Kentucky in favor of New York Jew criminals.  

Luckily for Kavanaugh he lives in a plutocracy. He now has a legal precedent set by his own pen to reference, and potentially dismiss the case. 

Originally appeared at: National Justice