By Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services
“Governments don’t keep secrets to protect the public, but to deceive the public.”
Greg Palast happens to be talking about a certain Big Oil-friendly blueprint for the future of the Iraqi oil industry when he makes this point, almost in passing, in his just-released book, Armed Madhouse (Dutton), but he could be stating the general premise of the whole book, or of his career as a journo-sleuth in the Jack Anderson mold and stand-in for the little guy in the global economy. His raison d’Ãªtre is to ferret out those secrets and those deceptions and present them in all their cynical glory to the people for whom such knowledge is vital: you and me.
In case you haven’t the least idea what the heck it means for China to “float” its currency, let me put it in the language we economists use: China’s float don’t mean squat.
Yet our President, a guy whose marks in Economics 101 are too embarrassing to publish here, ran out to hail the fact that buying Chinese money will now cost more dollars.
Globalization and its Discontents
I was getting myself measured for a straitjacket when I received an urgent message from Bolivia.
The jacket was Thomas Friedman’s idea. He’s the New York Times columnist and amateur economist who wrote The Lexus and the Olive Tree, which is kind of a long, deep kiss to globalization. I was in Cleveland to debate Friedman at the Council on World Affairs meeting in May 2001. Globalization, he told the council, is all about the communications revolution. It’s about the Internet. It’s about how you can sit in your bedroom, buy shares in Amazon.com and send e-mails to Eskimos all at the same time, wearing your pajamas.
from the New York Times
An international election observer mission – from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe – released a preliminary report on Monday declaring that the election did not meet democratic standards.
GREG PALAST is a breath of fresh air in the world of journalism. He began as an investigator, working on behalf of trade unions and consumer groups in the US, highlighting the abuse of corporate power and the destruction of people’s lives and planet. His work led to the prosecution of nuclear power plant builders for racketeering, and the revelation of how the Exxon Valdez crash was allowed to happen because the shipping company cut costs by turning the radars off!
by Lloyd Hart
On one of the best trips I have ever taken to New York City in which I started the filming of a documentary on globalization, I had no idea what to expect from the protests that were about to take place over the arrival of the World Economic Forum as it made it’s hasty retreat from it’s mountain hideaway in Switzerland to what it thought was sacred corporate ground in New York City. I did however have a good idea what I could expect from Gregory Palast
By Greg Palast
LONDON — Three confidential documents from inside the World Trade Organization Secretariat and a group of captains of London finance, who call themselves the “British Invisibles,” reveal the extraordinary secret entanglement of industry with government in designing European and American proposals for radical pro-business changes in WTO rules.
Inside Corporate America
After the attack on the World Trade Center, some enterprising hucksters here in New York tried to sell little bags of ashes to victims families, supposedly of their missing kin.
The stomach-churning commercialization of mass murder didn’t bottom out there. Barely had the towers hit the ground when U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick proclaimed the way to defeat Osama bin Laden was to grant George W. Bush extraordinary ‘fast-track’ trade treaty negotiating authority. Ambassador bin Zoellick, speaking from what looked like a cave on Capitol Hill, surrounded by unidentified Republicans, said Americans had to choose: stand up for free trade or for terrorism.
The Globalizer Who Came In From the Cold Joe Stiglitz: Today's Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics
The World Bank’s former Chief Economist’s accusations are eye-popping – including how the IMF and US Treasury fixed the Russian elections
“It has condemned people to death,” the former apparatchik told me. This was like a scene out of Le Carre. The brilliant old agent comes in from the cold, crosses to our side, and in hours of debriefing, empties his memory of horrors committed in the name of a political ideology he now realizes has gone rotten.
And news this week in South America is that Argentina died, or at least its economy. One in six workers were unemployed even before the beginning of this grim austral winter. Millions more have lost work as industrial production, already down 25% for the year, fell into a coma induced by interest rates which, by one measure, have jumped to over 90% on dollar-denominated borrowings.
In a hot tub somewhere just outside New York on a humid summer night, your correspondent sinks down into the bubbles in the mood for a True Life detective story.
Here’s a good one: Four men on a boat, a cruise ship to Bermuda, July 1994. Back on shore they fell ill, one with a fever so fierce his brain was damaged. One died.
America Preached The Wonders of Free Markets to The Rest of The World
But Exempted Itself — Until Last Year
Sunday July 1, 2001
Napoleon called England a nation of shopkeepers, but the Little Corporal never tried to purchase dietary staples (organic milk, Red Bull) from a Tesco Express. I tackled the manager as to why they were out of stock AGAIN. ‘It’s Friday,’ he said, as if that were an unforeseen occurrence, like a rogue tidal wave that had engulfed Upper Street and prevented deliveries. I began to explain that ‘Friday’ is what accountants call a ‘recurring event’ and HAVEN’T YOU BRITONS EVER HEARD OF COMPUTERS YOU KNOW THOSE THINGS THAT LOOK LIKE TELEVISIONS WITH TYPEWRITERS ATTACHED… but, by then, everyone was looking around at that despised figure, the Complaining American.
How crises, failures, and suffering finally drove a Presidential adviser to the wrong side of the barricades It was like a scene out of Le Carré: the brilliant agent comes in from the cold and, in hours of debriefing, empties his memory of horrors committed…