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Lights out across Rio? World Bank is to Blame

By Gregory Palast for The Observer/Guardian UK
I was in Sao Paolo. I had just poured myself another glass of Zeb’s home-made pinga, a potent cane liquor. I was toasting three extraordinary achievements by Brazil that coincided that day.
The first was the approval of a $42 billion line of credit for the country from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The second, related to the first, was a 4 per cent jump in the value of shares on the nation’s bourse. The third was an announcement by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) that Brazil had finally surpassed Chile as the hemisphere’s most unequal economy.

Miracle Cure, but the Medicine was Bright Red

By Gregory Palast for The Observer/Guardian UK
Sunday November 22, 1998
Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother and Augusto Pinochet have much in common. Both have magic powers. Pinochet is credited with the Miracle of Chile, the successful experiment in free markets, privatisation, deregulation and union-free economic expansion whose laissez-faire seeds spread from Santiago to Surrey, from Valparaiso to Virginia.
But Cinderella’s pumpkin did not really turn into a coach. And the Miracle of Chile is another fairy-tale. The claim that Pinochet begat an economic powerhouse is one of those utterances whose truth rests on its repetition.

A Marxist threat to cola sales? Pepsi demands a US coup. Goodbye Allende. Hello Pinochet

By Gregory Palast for The Observer UK
‘It is the firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup… Please review all your present and possibly new activities to include propaganda, black operations, surfacing of intelligence or disinformation, personal contacts, or anything else your imagination can conjure…’
‘Eyes only, restricted handling, secret’ message. To US station chief, Santiago. From CIA headquarters. 16 October 1970.

The explosive truth behind US wave of corporate crime

By Greg Palast for The Observer
There aren’t a million lawyers in America. There are only 925,671. But that’s not nearly enough, according to Elaine Levenson. Levenson, a Cincinnati housewife, is waiting for her heart to explode. In 1981, surgeons implanted a mechanical valve in her heart, the Bjork-Shiley, the ‘Rolls-Royce of valves’, her doctor told her. What neither she nor her doctor knew was that several Bjork-Shiley valves had fractured during testing, years before her implant was done. The company that made the valve, an offshoot of pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer, never told the government.

How a few little Piggies tried to rig the Market

By Gregory Palast for The Observer UK
Four men in a hotel room, Hawaii. Unaware of the camera hidden in the bedroom lamp, they begin to share their most intimate secrets, as they had so many nights before, about pig food.
All right, it’s not as gripping as Bill Clinton’s description of alternative uses of a cigar, but the FBI’s videos of the chiefs of the world’s pigfeed industry are weirdly fascinating.

Workers Win the Battle – But Bosses Win the War

By Gregory Palast for The Observer UK
On February 10 this year, Kathy Saumier allegedly pulled down the trousers of two of her male bosses and made disparaging remarks about their penises. For that, Landis Plastics sacked her. Kathy’s children, ages 8 and 13, heard the accusations against their mother on the radio news because her employer had issued a statement to the press.

LobbyGate: "There are 17 people that count. To say that I am intimate with every one of them is the understatement of the century"

It was the morning of 8 June. I was surprised by a fax I had received overnight, a copy of the Trade and Industry Select Committee Report on energy policy. And why was it surprising? Because the report had not yet been released. It was due to be published the following day.

Things Like That Do Happen Here

By Gregory Palast
A HANDFUL of Monday nights past, Kenneth Payne made up his mind that his close friend, Curtis Cook, had molested a neighbor’s 8-year-old daughter. Mr. Payne, fortified by the courage poured at a local bar, shot Mr. Cook dead with a single blast from a 12-gauge shotgun. Barely hours after the police wrapped the body and confiscated the shotgun, our local chorus began, “Things like this don’t happen here.” But it did happen here. And it was predictable.

Don't Hold Your Breath for Rebate
from The New York Times

GOV. George E. Pataki says he is mailing out checks of $100 to $232 to every home on Long Island, a bonus as part of Mr. Pataki’s plan to cut electric rates 23 percent.
If it were true, I would leave out a glass of milk and cookies for Governor Santa when he comes down my chimney. But alas, the rebate, like the rate reduction, is as real as reindeer on the roof.