Bank of America

Cartel Economics I

2013-07-04 18.28.14© infrakshun

 By M.K. Styllinski

“The Central Bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution … if the American people allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Thomas Jefferson


January 8th 1835, was a special day and year in American history: it was the only time that the United States had no national debt. Now, the national public debt has surpassed all possibilities for even a gradual repayment standing at the time of writing at: $ 16,698, 618, 743, 942. 57. With the estimated population of the US at 314,525,808 each citizen’s share of this debt is $53,091.41. This has continued to increase by an average of $3.88 billion per day since September 28, 2007. [1] This abstract figure is on top of almost half of all Americans today classified as ‘living in poverty’ or ‘barely scraping by’ whilst 46.4% pay no income tax. [2]

How on earth did it get to such a point of no return?

President Thomas Jefferson, like so many American forefathers was right again. Our present global economic system is founded on the enslavement of older cultures which informs the new with psychopathological dispositions remaining hidden behind its inception. This archaic and grossly inadequate financial system has overseen the steady decline in job opportunities, and the accompanying fragmentation of the community. A heavily invested hi-tech global economy is producing a surplus of goods and services with an ever smaller work force. Poverty of mind and body fluctuates under a vast divide with tiny pockets of jealously guarded affluence. This is leading to greater destabilisation, as various sub-cultures of youth crime emerge under well-established mafia-led economies; to act as their corporate cannon fodder.

Global financial debt, wage dependence and a kind of “export warfare” are maintained and regulated by the IMF and the World Bank. These bastions of financial brokering are seen as the epitome of free trade ethic, yet rather than being the facilitator of all things financially rosy, they are in fact the gatekeepers of debt slavery and economic disparity. If free trade was to be truly conducive to the majority of humankind then it would be founded on justice rather than on utility and strength alone. The IMF has engineered these controls at the behest of both international banking cartels and the fortune 500 corporations preventing individual nations from managing their own economic affairs, while increasing the centralisation of power under the auspices of global governance as an exemplar of good economic practice. [3] For each nation to control its own destiny, including the inflow and outflow of capital, this would take away the dependence on the resources that provide a rich bounty for wealthy countries.

Despite the theoretical and abstract theories of free trade worshippers, the present financial architecture remains the primary base for an abundance of capital resources for those at the top of the pyramid. These institutions remain in their economic eminence gris where their so called “loans” to the developing world is no more than a mechanism to keep these nations at the beck and call of financiers. The debt based financial system which keeps the blood-money flowing is a seemingly invincible arrangement that is energised by “borrowing” thereby affirming the future of developing nations assets (i.e. its people) which will then be held in bondage and ransomed out to whoever’s buying. American hegemony has ensured that the extraordinarily damaging forces of economic globalisation continue unabated.

Behind this monopolisation are highly influential institutions which include: the World Economic Forum (or the Davos Group) the International Chamber of Commerce, The Business Industry Advisory Committee, World Business Council on Sustainable Development, The US Council on International Business, The Business Round Table Europe and The European Round Table of Industrialists. The most noted of these global steerage organisations are The Council on Foreign Relations,[4] The Bilderberg Group [5] and the Trilateral Commission [6] whom, admittedly have a legendary conspiratorial mythos and not without reason. These three organizations offer a cultivated and refined air of respectability and economic savoir-faire. Yet the reality of their global manoeuvres offer important reasons as to why developing countries continue to drown in varying degrees of corruption, famine, poverty and crippling economic hardship.

The overriding theme that connects all three groups is the historical and unquestioned belief that national boundaries should be obliterated and global governance established, along with the requisite central bank and currency. No matter how these accusations may be repudiated in the rare addresses to the press in public and via their respective websites, this is the overarching objective. Its members write scholarly pieces which are then used in the decision making process where the academic discourse often reaches dizzying heights of rhetoric, extolling the virtues of a borderless and united (read monopolised) world which the media happily disseminates via its editorials and commentary sections. Guest writers are frequently drawn from those very same think tanks and myriad organisations sympathetic to the cause. These steering groups bring together CEOs of global corporations, leaders of national political parties and a general mix of “movers and shakers” to enjoy some consensus building in how to mould and shape the global economy. The public is never privy to these inside negotiations.

Members include most of the rich and famous in the political and financial arena since before the Second World War. (The Trilateral Commission is a more recent arrival). As such, these meetings are about an old boy’s network of Caucasian males, from Northern industrial backgrounds of the wealthy elite primarily concerned with maintaining the prosperity of an Anglo-American style economy. This naturally requires a long-term dominion over the world’s resources and markets, to the exclusion of most of the world population’s aspiration for a better life. Steps are taken to ensure that international development loans can never be paid back and thus not only lock many developing countries into a spiral of unending debt, but the necessary impositions of civil war and poverty to ensure compliance and unfettered access to resources far into the future. Most policy directives can be traced back to these closed meetings between leaders that are effectively arranged to preclude alternatives to prevailing economic status quo. [7] Without any elected, democratic process involved they are able to influence governments, financiers and corporations, NGOs and entertainers alike according to their own narrow wishes.

Though many of the more naive participants believe they are holding hands around the table, inaugurating the seeds of prosperity tied up in a nice blue bow of international relations, the reality is somewhat different. The members are involved in an exclusive process that is wholly directed towards the corporate, Neo-Libertarian ethos of economic integration and that sickly sweet euphemism of “harmonization.” Or more accurately: a rampant conglomeration of cartels maintaining an elite agenda for power, where alternative visions of the financial and economic development are never up for discussion and resisted at all costs.

The late author and journalist Eustace Mullins laid out the global structure which is largely unchanged today:

It consists of the major Swiss Banks; the survivors of the old Venetian-Genoese banking axis; the Big Five of the world grain trade; the British combine, centered in the Bank of England and its chartered merchant banks, functioning trough the Rothschilds and the Oppenheimers and having absolute control over their Canadian colony through the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal, their Canadian lieutenants being the Bronfmans, Belzbergs, and other financial operators; and the colonial banking structure in the United States, controlled by the Bank of England through the Federal Reserve System; the Boston Brahmin families who made their fortunes in the opium trade, including the Delanos and others and the Rockefeller Syndicate, consisting of the Kissinger network headquartered in the Rockefeller Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank, American Express, the present form of the old Rothschild representatives in the United States, which includes Kuhn, Loeb Company and Lehman Brothers. [8]

Though as some will recall, the Lehman Brothers was sacrificed in the 2008 financial warfare phase that saw even greater asset consolidation for J.P Morgan (Rothschild) Citibank, Bank of America and others.

One-time mentor to future US president Bill Clinton, Professor Carroll Quigley taught History at Georgetown University from 1941 to 1976. He also taught at Princeton and Harvard universities and lectured at the Brookings Institution, the Foreign Service Institute, the U.S. Naval Weapons Laboratory and the Naval College at Norfolk, Virginia. Moving into consultancy in 1958 he worked at the Congressional Select Committee which set up the National Space Agency. In other words, this man was an insider. He was able to expose many of the workings of the Anglo-American Establishment by gaining access to the private archives of that Rockefeller baby: the Council on Foreign Relations closely associated with the Trilateral Commission and the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

His masterpiece in this regard is: Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time published in 1966. The book is dense, over 1,300 pages and meticulously sourced. Readers are encouraged to seek out the book themselves to validate its quality.

Quigley details the emergence of the commercial world and international finance and their historical repercussions. Initially, the Georgetown professor had great difficulties with his publisher over the distribution of the tome.  “The publisher claimed demand was poor. When Quigley sought and acquired the necessary demand, the publisher responded by saying that the plates had been destroyed.” [9] It has also been suggested that the upper levels of Elite banking were not amused and initiated a form of censorship which was perhaps one reason why the book was very hard to find over the last few decades.

Rather than attacking the principles behind an intellectual elite and an updated feudal system commonly labelled a “New World Order” Quigley’s confession was very much one of support. The differences of opinion he had with his Elite friends were in terms of secrecy and openness.

In his own words:

There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960’s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies … but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known. [10]

The information the professor conveys dove-tails perfectly into the speculation, supposition, circumstantial and deductive evidence of the actions of unknown agencies operating within governments, banking and occult societies. Quigley confirms the fact that if it were just a case of a Darwinian relapse caused by the inherently selfish human beings that create deleterious effects on societies then it would be relatively easy to adjust over time by improving our social systems while retaining the overall modes of capitalism. But it seems the financial architecture of modern economics is a symptom of something very different to the ideal of capitalism with a small “c”.

What was originally the primary goal of traditional capitalism at its inception?

According to Quigley, commercial capitalism traversed five stages, the first of which was “… self-sufficient agrarian units (manors)… in a society organized so that its upper ranks—the lords, lay and ecclesiastical—found their desires for necessities so well met that they sought to exchange their surpluses of necessities for luxuries of remote origin.” The second stage: “… mercantile profits and widening markets created a demand for textiles and other goods which could be met only by application of power to production”. This produced the third stage of: “…industrial capitalism [which] soon gave rise to such an insatiable demand for heavy fixed capital, like railroad lines, steel mills, shipyards, and so on, that these investments could not be financed from the profits and private fortunes of individual proprietors. New instruments for financing industry came into existence in the form of limited-liability corporations and investment banks. These were soon in a position to control the chief parts of the industrial system, since they provided capital to it.” [11] This was where financial capitalism evolved to the fourth stage whereby it: “… was used to integrate the industrial system into ever-larger units with interlinking financial controls. This made possible a reduction of competition with a resulting increase in profits. As a result, the industrial system soon found that it was again able to finance its own expansion from its own profits, and, with this achievement, financial controls were weakened, and the stage of monopoly capitalism arrived.” [12]

Finally, the fifth stage saw: “…great industrial units, working together either directly or through cartels and trade associations, were in a position to exploit the majority of the people. The result was a great economic crisis which soon developed into a struggle for control of the state—the minority hoping to use political power to defend their privileged position, the majority hoping to use the state to curtail the power and privileges of the minority. This dualist struggle dwindled with the rise of economic and social pluralism after 1945.” [13]

Therefore, the primary goal of capitalism was profit where values of the majority underwent a rapid process of attrition resulting in their extinction. It reached a stage where the very nature of human values and alternative concepts of “growth” were ridiculed or questioned if they did not fit in with the current paradigm of exploitation. As Quigley states capitalism is:

“… never primarily seeking to achieve prosperity, high production, high consumption, political power, patriotic improvement, or moral uplift. Any of these may be achieved under capitalism, and any (or all) of them may he sacrificed and lost under capitalism, depending on this relationship to the primary goal of capitalist activity—the pursuit of profits. During the nine-hundred-year history of capitalism, it has, at various times, contributed both to the achievement and to the destruction of these other social goals.” [14]

 


Notes


[1] US National Debt Clock at http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ and wwww.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt#Public_and_government_accounts
[2] ‘When The U.S. Paid Off The Entire National Debt (And Why It Didn’t Last)’ by Robert Smith, “Planet Money” on http://www.npr.org | ‘The kind of money matters’ by E.G. Austin, The Economist, Mar 1st 2012.
[3] While the carte blanche exploitation of Africa was signed for in 2000 the American Union has stalled somewhat, thanks largely to the efforts of Victor Chavez the President of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia who will not play ball. The Global Union is an entirely elitist plan for an “New International Order” that Neo-Conservative , corporate and Zionist elites wish to suck in all nations of North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean Islands, and which would function just like the present European Union, which was completed in the year 2000. Like the European Union, there will be one monetary system, one central bank, one unelected governing body, one military force, one judicial system, no borders, and no Constitution and Bill of Rights. NAFTA, has now become the FTAA,  (Free Trade Area of the Americas).
[4] Further reading: ‘Kinder capitalists in Armani specs’ by Will Hutton, The Observer, 1st February 1998, p22; ‘Goldwater Sees Elitist Sentiments Threatening Liberties’, By US Senator Barry M. Goldwater, 1979. See also: The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and the American Decline by James Perloff. 1988 | ISBN: 0882791346.
[5] Further reading: American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission by Stephen Gill, Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (1991) ISBN: 052142433X; Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management, Published by South End Press, 1980| ISBN: 0896081036.
[6] Further reading: ‘The Bilderberg Group and the project of European unification’ by Mike Peters, The Lobster, Issue 32, 1996; Bilderberg Group, The Global Manipulators, by Robert Eringer, Pentacle Books, (1980); ‘European Parliament examining Bilderbergers -Bilderberg questions tabled at European Parliament by Patricia McKenna MEP’ – November 1998 to February 1999 by Tony Gosling., http://www.Bilderberg.org.
[7] pp.133-140; When Corporations Rule the World, by David C. Korten, Published by Earthscan, 1995 | ISBN 1-85383-434-3 | ‘Building Elite Consensus.’
[8] Murder by Injection: The Story of the Medical Conspiracy Against America by Eustace Mullins. Chapter 10: ‘The Rockefeller Syndicate 310.’ Published by The National Council for Medical Research; third printing edition, 1995 | ASIN: B002S1BNKA
[9] The Global Manipulators. the Bilderberg Group. the Trilateral Commission. Covert Power Groups of the West by Robert Eringer, Pentacle Books, 1980 | ASIN: B00AMPT9XM
[10] Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time published by New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966 | Sourced from online PDF file version  found at http://www.wanttoknow.info/war/tragedy_and_hope_quigley_full1090pg.pdf
[11] Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time by Carroll Quigley, Published by Angriff Pr, June 1975, ISBN-10: 094500110X. Chapter 5: European Economic Developments.
[12] Ibid. Part One—Introduction: Western Civilization In Its World Setting Chapter 1—Cultural Evolution in Civilizations.
[13]  Ibid. Chapter 5—European Economic Developments; Commercial Capitalism.
[14] Ibid. Chapter 5—European Economic Developments; The Primary Goal of Capitalism.

Corporate Predators

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

– Krishnamurti

“A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.”

Howard Scott

The corporation of the 21st Century is a perfect example of the psychopath sharpening his teeth in the realm of business. If this seems like a glib statement then we only need to be reminded that the ruthless practices of corporatism has ensured that only ten trans-national companies control the output of everything you buy; from foodstuffs to toiletries; pet food to designer clothes. They have achieved this global monopoly by gobbling up smaller businesses and establishing an effective cartel with cheap labour, banking preferences, and the assistance of government deregulation which restricts the ability for more local-based business to thrive. This gives an illusion of choice when in fact it offers nothing more than a form of cartel capitalism: a world of diminishing returns for all of us.

George Monbiot highlighted the evidence corporation is an excellent reflection of the psychopath in business in his November 2011 article for The Guardian newspaper entitled: “The 1% are the very best destroyers of wealth the world has ever seen.” He quoted the Journal of Psychology, Crime and Law who had tested 39 British senior managers and CEOs and found that they had more psychopathic tendencies than patients in Broadmoor.

A 2013 report written by Chris Miles for online magazine Policy Mic entitled: “10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy” explains the formula for the lion’s share:

Yum Brands owns KFC and Taco Bell. The company was a spin-off of Pepsi. All Yum Brands restaurants sell only Pepsi products because of a lifetime deal with the soda-maker.

$84 billion-company Proctor & Gamble — the largest advertiser in the U.S. — owns companies that produce everything from medicine to toothpaste to high-end fashion. P&G reportedly serves a whopping 4.8 billion people around the world with their products.

Nestle — famous for chocolate, but which is the biggest food company in the world — owns shampoo company L’Oreal, baby food giant Gerber, clothing brand Diesel, and pet food makers Purina and Friskies.

Unilever, of soap fame, produces everything from Q-tips to Skippy peanut butter. It gets even more macro, too: 37 banks have merged to become just four — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and CitiGroup in a little over two decades, according to this Federal Reserve map. 

(You can view an extraordinary infographic at the same link above). The report also reveals that “The nation’s 10 largest financial institutions hold 54% of our total financial assets; in 1990, they held 20%”. Since the 2008 global economic crisis a process of financial warfare took place which resulted in a consolidation and centralisation of corporations parallel to the banking industry, which the pretext for the manipulated crisis in the first place. As Policy Mic states: “… the number of banks has dropped from more than 12,500 to about 8,000.”

And it’s not just the products you buy and consume, either. In recent decades, the very news and information that you get has bundled together: 90% of the media is now controlled by just six companies, down from 50 in 1983, according to a Frugal Dad infographic from 2012. Under the fusion of corporations and the State, privatization has become the means by which commercialisation, consolidation, centralisation and control can shape social, cultural and economic perceptions. which continues to make a profit for an elite few and the valueless ethos of corporatism.

Telecommunications, prisons, energy and water utilities, healthcare, transportation and banking – no domain is untouched by rampant privatisation. Meanwhile, Government outsourcing and corporate control is becoming the norm at the federal level and local level which means the greatest profits are going to a smaller and smaller percentage of the rich at expense of the vast majority of ordinary people. What we are seeing is reduction of community and “consumer” freedom in the face of cartel capitalism with transnational companies leading the charge. This is the psychopath’s business sensibilities manifesting as the global corporation which in turn, has increasingly defined how business is done in this dog-eat-dog world.

For example, Online journal Common Dreams ran an August 2013 piece by Paul Buchheit’s called: “8 Ways Privatization Has Failed America,” in which a 2009 analysis of water and sewer utilities by Food and Water Watch was cited. It found that private companies charge up to 80 percent more for water and 100 percent more for sewer services. A more recent study confirms that privatization will generally “increase the long-term costs borne by the public.”

Increasing governments are blamed for, or called on to remedy, damages done by private industry.  For instance, as recently as 2004, Monsanto had insisted that Agent Orange “is not the cause of serious long-term health effects.” Dow Chemical, the co-manufacturer of Agent Orange, blamed the government. Halliburton pleaded guilty to destroying evidence after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. Cleanups cost much more than the fines imposed on offending companies, as government costs can run into the billions, or even tens of billions, of dollars.

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Buchheit’s report indicates that a number of the nation’s leading (corporate) news figures and organizations are beginning to acknowledge the shortcomings of the “free market” and privatization.  Thus, Ted Koppel is on record as saying, “We are privatizing ourselves into one disaster after another.” And US News & World Report ran an editorial on Hurricanes Isaac and Katrina indicating that, “private industry is not going to step in and save people from drowning, or help them rebuild their homes without a solid profit.” Buchheit summarizes, “analysis reveals that privatization doesn’t seem to work in any of the areas vital to the American public.”

Corporations within global operations are able to easily ignore outdated governmental restrictions concerning national economies and foreign policy. The trans-nationalisation of business – by the very nature of the corporate structure and its ethos – is concerned with eliminating smaller units of self-sufficient diversity. Whatever proves a hindrance towards a centralised system of vertical supply networks must be removed. And with it, the social, cultural and ultimately, individual identity of nations caught up in this colonisation.

Whatever the quality of benevolence existing within the internal personnel of the corporation (i.e. ordinary citizens like you and I) the structures and directives that spur corporations on to maximize profits are the precise embodiments of the predator. No matter how hard these leviathans may try, they cannot go beyond their conspiratorial desire to implant a strictly one dimensional action of capitalist “efficiency” tied to unlimited economic growth. True values of society are merely inconveniences on the road to consumption; obstacles to complete monopolisation. Meanwhile, massive trans-national mergers and boom and bust economics ensure financial warfare resulting in greater and greater centralisation.

Some examples from our official culture of business these past years include:

The Swiss pharmaceutical giant, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., paid “a record $500 million criminal fine for leading a worldwide conspiracy to raise and fix prices and allocate market shares for certain vitamins sold in the United States and elsewhere.” It is just one of a long line of companies which consider it a part of their yearly activities, as normal in fact as Exxon diddling the books and McDonald’s lying about it’s so called nutritional meals. [1]

Or how about Daiwa Bank Ltd. that was charged with 16 federal felonies and who paid the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the United States at $340 million? Or Bankers Trust that was “fined $60 million for its role in a scheme by high-ranking bank officials to enhance the bank’s financial performance by falsely recording approximately $19.1 million in unclaimed customer funds as the bank’s income and reserves.” [2]

Then there is Damon Clinical Laboratories, Inc. that was fined $32.2 million for submitting false claims to the Medicare program and defrauding the American public. And we mustn’t forget that tried and tested formula of giving away billions of dollars to Israel in the form of tax free benefits and corporate hand-outs including a $26.5 million in the sale of military equipment. [3]

General Electric was fined a paltry 9.5 million for persistent counts of fraud which barely dented its global operations for expansion. We can also mention the sorry tale of Unisys which conspired to defraud the US; including “bribery, conversion of government property, filing a false statement and filing false claims…” [4] [5] underscoring the fact that streamlined corruption is as much a part of corporate business as it is in politics.

The so called fines inflicted on these companies are used as a sop for both the public and the Department of Justice.  They are immediately swallowed up in the vast mega-profits that these monoliths create, or as one resident commented on the Eastman Kodak criminal fine for a chemical spill: “It’s equivalent to you or I getting a jaywalking ticket.” [6]

The essential framework of exploitation lumbers on, consolidating and centralising into bigger market share opportunities for the minority rich causing decreasing diversity, quantity over quality and the destabalisation of community and the environment. The effects of corporate dynamics far outweigh the oft mentioned benefits to society where jobs and the push for economic growth are deemed as the only viable options for a desperate global population. Yet some of the biggest trans-national corporations have mutated into such monsters of consumption that the dehumanization takes more tangible and immediate forms.

For example, over in Latin America – a favourite continent for exploitation by the US – has seen Union leaders at Coca-Cola’s Colombian bottling plants murdered while hundreds of other Coke workers tortured kidnapped or illegally detained by violent paramilitaries, often working closely with plant managements. [7]  While providing for all our unhealthy snacks, soft drink and clothing needs large trans-nationals have excelled in the realm of human rights abuses right along with criminal fines and lawsuits.

After the US killed millions of Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, the Dow Chemical Co. made its name by subsequently destroying the health of millions more of the Vietnamese people lucky enough to survive the military onslaughts. Enormous tracts of rainforest were destroyed during the Vietnam War using the Dow’s lethal War defoliant, Agent Orange. Not content with their profits from this ecological and human disaster they put their creative minds together to produce Napalm which burned many thousands of innocent people to death and which was used illegally in the invasion of Iraq. [8]

In 1988, with the sticky fingered handshake from Donald Rumsfeld, Dow chemical sold $1.5 million in pesticides to Saddam Hussein despite knowledge that these would be used in chemical weapons.[9] When it acquired Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and its outstanding liabilities in for the Bhopal disaster in India, these were summarily ignored at great emotional and financial cost to Bhopal’s civilians. [10] The company continues to be involved in human rights abuses: environmental destruction, water and ground contamination, health violations, chemical poisoning, and chemical warfare.

From 1972 to 1992 the petrochemical company Chevron and its Texaco subsidiary felt it necessary to leave more than 600 unlined oil pits in the pristine northern Amazon rainforest while dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic production water into rivers used for bathing. It destroyed the ecosystems, displaced indigenous Indians and caused countless health problems. [11] Chevron continues to exacerbate and ferment violent repression of non-violent opposition to its oil extraction ventures in both Nigeria and the Niger Delta. The company has used any tactics it sees fit, including the collaboration with Nigerian police and military where human rights seem yet again to be an impediment to shareholders’ dividends. [12]

The daily list of actions that fly in the face of any notion of human dignity and respect continue daily according to the nature of the beast. If intimidation and bribery on the ground do not work then they can always rely on the bias of criminal law to ease the wheels of progress. One example of such loop-holing is known as “deferred prosecution agreements” [13] where the prosecutor charges the corporation with a crime, but agrees to drop the charges if the corporation fulfils its promises to the prosecutor. These promises include fines, cooperation – including the highly controversial waiver of attorney-client privilege – and monitors. The elimination of corporate liability is the goal and many advocate its preferential treatment for business.

Underpinning the global economic infrastructure which makes all this possible is of course, international banking.

In 2011, Barclays Bank Barclays admitted attempting to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor – the interest rate at which banks lend money to each other – and was fined by various US and UK regulatory bodies £291 million ($470) in 2012. Six other banks were served subpoenas in that year including: HSBC, UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan. HSBC was fined a whopping £1.9 billion ($1.9) by US authorities for money laundering whilst other enquiries are on-going. [14]

A global coalition of government and business interests have decided that what is good for you because their narrow view of a global market place buttressed by institutional corruption and criminal business practice is good for them. Their only priority – at least at the executive level – is to their board members and shareholders. Anything that gets in the way of this fundamental process is expendable. Adapting to social ethics, activism and environmental awareness is incorporated into the corporate structure out of a genuine wish from many employees to do their part in making society a better place to live and to attempt to initiate change within the corporate structure. Due to the structure and principles of the corporate monolith, its overriding essence is antithetical to true social values, decentralised commerce and community. Much of the ecological awareness has proven to have been a form of “green-washing” which co-opts awareness as a PR image boost whilst offering lip-service and slick logos to green concerns.  Many such corporations hastily create new “human rights teams” in much the same way companies created “environmental focus teams” green consumer products and “sustainability department groups” which, regardless of the correct intentions or PR designs of those involved, are doomed to failure due its inherent nature.

The corporation stands for the very opposite as it grows in size causing an environmental and social footprint which causes pollution, despoliation, community fragmentation, job loss and low wages the latter effects of which are central to its expansion. It may provide many jobs initially for displaced workers while uprooting the very the often indigenous cultures themselves, causing mass migration to mega-cities.

The list of 100 top corporate criminals from the 1990s-2000s is testament to what they can get away with without being caught. We have seen the exact same dynamic occurring towards international banking which gets a hefty fine then returns to business as usual. In reality, laws promote the multinational agenda rather than the basic rights for the men and women in the street. As such, these crimes are merely normal business practice for 90 percent of the listed companies. Fining these companies does not address the problem. It is akin to smacking the legs of a Rhino as it marauds through a China shop.

The control of market power depends on the “invisible hand” of economic pathology with nothing and no limits to its “growth.” Still, we get endless support for corporatism that is out of control; its essential nature creates and perpetuates toxic effects on the developing world sanctioned by powerful banking cartels. It is the nature of the corporation to despoil and degrade it cannot do anything else since these dynamics are built into its very structure. It is the psychopath’s idea of how business should operate.

The Greek social reformer Vassilis Epaminondou wrote: “To the fervent proponents of ruthless corporate capitalism I say: make a millionaire CEO live as a poor sweatshop worker in Indonesia for one month and then ask him about the merits of the world economic system.”

I fear that wouldn’t work either, unless of course, the corporate CEO in question had a conscience.

 


Notes

[1] ‘The Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the 1990s’www.corporatecrimereporter.com.
[2] F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Type of Crime: Antitrust Criminal Fine: $500 million 12 Corporate Crime Reporter 21(1), May 24, 1999.
[3] Daiwa Bank Ltd. Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $340 million 10 Corporate Crime Reporter 9(3), March 4, 1996
[4] Unisys Type of Crime: Bribery Criminal Fine: $5 million 5 Corporate Crime Reporter 35(11), September 16, 1991.
[5] General Electric Type of Crime: Fraud Criminal Fine: $9.5 million 6 Corporate Crime Reporter 30(7), July 27, 1992.
[6] Eastman Kodak Type of Crime: Environmental Criminal Fine: $1 million 4 Corporate Crime Reporter 14(1), April 9, 1990.
[7] ‘Chicago Protest Against Coca-Cola Death Squads in Colombia’ By Fightback News Service, May 17, 2003.
[8] ‘US admits it used napalm bombs in Iraq’ By Andrew Buncombe, The Independent, August 10, 2003.
[9] ‘Rumsfeld ‘offered help to Saddam’’- Declassified papers leave the White House hawk exposed over his role during the Iran-Iraq war, by Julian Borger, December 31, 2002.
[10] Members of Congress tell Dow – Face up to your Bhopal responsibilities, US Congressional Letter to Dow Chemical July 18, 2003.
[11] ‘Amazon Indians want court to speed up Chevron case’ by Alonso Soto, Reuters, 25 Jul 2006. “Lawyers for Amazon Indians embroiled in a $6.1 billion pollution case against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador asked a local court on Monday to move faster, a month after the country’s government filed its latest accusation against the oil giant in the United States.”
[12] ‘The True Cost of Chevron: Chevron in Nigeria’ from The True Cost of Chevron Alternative Annual Report May 2011 By  Nnimmo Bassey, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria; Emem Okon, Kebetkache Women’s Resource and Development Centre; Laura Livoti & Marc Evans, Justice In Nigeria Now. | http://www.justiceinnigerianow.org/about-chevron | ‘Child Labour and Trans-National Seed Companies in Hybrid Cotton Seed Production in Andhra Pradesh’ Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu Director, Glocal Research and Consultancy Services, Hyderabad. India Committee of the Netherlands / Landelijke India Werkgroep – April 24, 2003.
[13] ‘Crime Without Conviction: The Rise of Deferred and Non Prosecution Agreements.’ A Report Released by Corporate Crime Reporter Wednesday, December 28, 2005.
[14] ‘HSBC to pay $1.9bn in US money laundering penalties’ BBC News, December 1, 2012.