This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Dec. 7, 2022

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Independent journalists flee Russia to regroup, report on Ukraine war
  • Amazon collected over $5 billion in economic development subsidies
  • Title lenders thrive in states which allow loans with predatory interest rates

• For months independent journalists in Russia have been under attack from the Kremlin. Journalists not towing the government’s line on the Ukraine war, have been labeled “foreign agents,” causing as many as 500 to leave the country since the invasion.

(“The Second Front,” Economist, Nov. 26, 2022)

• E-commerce giant Amazon collected over $5 billion in economic development subsidies from US states and municipalities, according to the advocacy group Good Jobs First which tracks subsidies and incentive deals to Amazon.  The global retailer doubled its workforce during the pandemic, but is now in the process of laying off some 10,000 workers.  Good Jobs First released their findings as part of the global “Make Amazon Pay” campaign, where protest actions were organized in cities around the world on Black Friday.

(Amazon has Squeezed $5.1 Billion from US States and Localities,” Good Jobs First, Nov. 17, 2022)

• As the nation’s largest title lender, TitleMax thrives on a business model that lends money to risky clients in exchange for collateral: the title to the vehicle in which the customers drove to the store. In 2019, Title Max’s parent company, TMX Finance, reported $910 million in revenue, primarily from its TitleMax loans.

(“How Title Lenders Trap Poor Americans with Triple digit Interest Rates,”  ProPublica, Nov. 14, 2022)

This week’s News Summary was narrated by Anna Manzo.

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