Switzerland: A parasite feeding on developing world?

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June 16, 2009

By Lord Aikins Adusei (Modern Ghana)

For more than half a century the Alpine nation of Switzerland has built a reputation as the world´s centre for tax evasion, fraud accounting, money laundering, racketeering, and above all a staunch ally of corrupt third world leaders and a great beneficiary of third world corruption.

Various categories of persons including Popes, presidents, prime ministers, corrupt dictators, wealthy business men, and drug dealers have all used and benefited from the banking secrecy laws of Switzerland. As a result her economy has been described as an underground economy, a deposit box for dirty money and a “dirt-driven economy”.

Over the last couple of years countries such as United States, Germany and France have argued that they have become victims of Swiss illegal financial activities and as result have stepped up their campaign to get Swiss authorities to cooperate in fighting tax evasion and money laundering. The campaign has even brought a row between the German Finance Minister and members of Swiss parliament. These nations claim they are loosing billions of dollars annually through tax evasion and other illegal financial activities. In 2009 an action by the US Justice Department against the Swiss Banking giant UBS earned the United States close to $1 billion. In 2001, the United States learned that the Swiss had protected the bank that handled finances for Osama Bin Laden. One of them, the Bahrain International Bank, had funds transiting through non-published accounts of Clearstream, which has been qualified as a “bank of banks” and was involved in one of Luxembourg’s major financial scandals.

Western governments have argued that dirty money in many forms welcomed by the Switzerland allows the proceeds of corruption, drug trafficking, racketeering and terrorism to tag alongside and deny the world´s poor the chance to escape poverty. Swiss banks are reputed to be holding an estimated 35% of the world’s private and institutional funds (or 3 trillion Swiss francs)”.

However, of all the victims of Swiss banking secrecy laws and her shady banking practices, developing countries and Africa in particular seem to have suffered the most. The global infrastructure of international financial secrecy with headquarters in Switzerland has helped bleed trillions of dollars in illicitly generated money out of Africa and the rest of the developing world. The activities of Swiss banking institutions and real estate companies have plunged third world nations into debts, poverty, misery, malnutrition, diseases, economic meltdown, infrastructure decay and political instabilities through the help they give to corrupt politicians, civil servants, the business elite and corrupt multinational corporations who collude and connive with the corrupt entities to loot and hide the proceeds of their ill-gotton gains.

Many third world countries especially those in Africa lack the infrastructures needed to run successful economies. They lack schools, hospitals, roads, harbours, rail infrastructure, irrigation facilities, electricity, clean water, telecommunication, sanitation facilities because of the loots. Many children are orphaned and malnourished and many do not have access to education and healthcare because money meant for all that are stolen and are sitting in Swiss banks such UBS, Credit Suisse. There has not been a single corrupt politician or dictator in Africa, Latin America and Asia who has not had dealings with this secretive alpine country. While third world countries continue to struggle to provide the basic necessities of life Swiss economy is washed with money that could save millions from hunger, starvation and diseases.

Every year since the year 2000 developing countries receive about $100-billion in aid annually from rich countries with about $10-billion going to Africa but these rich countries headed by Switzerland receive about $900- billion from these poor countries ($150-billion from Africa) in the form of tax evasion, embezzlement, fraud accounting, debt servicing and corruption. The World Bank´s Stolen Asset Recovery initiative estimates the cross-border flow of proceeds from criminal activities, corruption and tax evasion at between $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion per year, about half of which come from developing and transitional economies.

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Police caught on tape trying to recruit protester as spy

By Paul Lewis~London Guardian

Undercover police are running a network of hundreds of informants inside protest organisations who secretly feed them intelligence in return for cash, according to evidence handed to the Guardian.

They claim to have infiltrated a number of environmental groups and said they are receiving information about leaders, tactics and plans of future demonstrations.

The dramatic disclosures are revealed in almost three hours of secretly recorded discussions between covert officers claiming to be from Strathclyde police, and an activist from the protest group Plane Stupid, whom the officers attempted to recruit as a paid spy after she had been released on bail following a demonstration at Aberdeen airport last month.

Matilda Gifford, 24, said she recorded the meetings in an attempt to expose how police seek to disrupt the legitimate activities of climate change activists. She met the officers twice; they said they were a detective constable and his assistant. During the taped discussions, the officers:

• Indicate that she could receive tens of thousands of pounds to pay off her student loans in return for information about individuals within Plane Stupid.

• Say they will not pay money direct into her bank account because that would leave an audit trail that would leave her compromised. They said the money would be tax-free, and added: “UK plc can afford more than 20 quid.”

• Accept that she is a legitimate protester, but warn her that her activity could mean she will struggle to find employment in the future and result in a criminal record.

• Claim they have hundreds of informants feeding them information from protest organisations and “big groupings” from across the political spectrum.

• Explain that spying could assist her if she was arrested. “People would sell their soul to the devil,” an officer said.

• Warn her that she could be jailed alongside “hard, evil” people if she received a custodial sentence.

The meetings took place in a Glasgow police station last month and in a supermarket cafe on Tuesday. Gifford used a mobile phone and device sewn into her waistcoat to record what they described as a “business proposal” that she should think of as a job.

Full Article from PuppetGov

Socialism has failed. Now capitalism is bankrupt. So what comes next?

By Eric Hobsbawm
gaurdian.co.uk

The 20th century is well behind us, but we have not yet learned to live in the 21st, or at least to think in a way that fits it. That should not be as difficult as it seems, because the basic idea that dominated economics and politics in the last century has patently disappeared down the plughole of history. This was the way of thinking about modern industrial economies, or for that matter any economies, in terms of two mutually exclusive opposites: capitalism or socialism.

We have lived through two practical attempts to realise these in their pure form: the centrally state-planned economies of the Soviet type and the totally unrestricted and uncontrolled free-market capitalist economy. The first broke down in the 1980s, and the European communist political systems with it. The second is breaking down before our eyes in the greatest crisis of global capitalism since the 1930s. In some ways it is a greater crisis than in the 1930s, because the globalisation of the economy was not then as far advanced as it is today, and the crisis did not affect the planned economy of the Soviet Union. We don’t yet know how grave and lasting the consequences of the present world crisis will be, but they certainly mark the end of the sort of free-market capitalism that captured the world and its governments in the years since Margaret Thatcher and President Reagan.

Impotence therefore faces both those who believe in what amounts to a pure, stateless, market capitalism, a sort of international bourgeois anarchism, and those who believe in a planned socialism uncontaminated by private profit-seeking. Both are bankrupt. The future, like the present and the past, belongs to mixed economies in which public and private are braided together in one way or another. But how? That is the problem for everybody today, but especially for people on the left.

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Sadiq Khan says US foreign policy on Pakistan is damaging Britain

By Jamie Doward and Rajeev Syal
Observer.gaurdian.co.uk

Young Pakistanis ‘blame UK for drone deaths’

Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, on the Andrew Marr Show on February 3 2008. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Sadiq Khan: claims the UK must distance itself from American foreign policy. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

The UK must distance itself from American foreign policy if Pakistani youths are to be prevented from growing up hating Britain, according to the government’s social cohesion minister.

The comments by Sadiq Khan, who has just returned from a fact-finding trip to Pakistan, follow the arrests of 12 men – 10 of whom were Pakistani nationals – in the north-west of England last week on suspicion of planning a terror attack. They are likely to be given short shrift from Number 10, which has been keen to ally itself to the Obama administration. Earlier this month Gordon Brown stressed the two allies were united in their fight against terrorism in Pakistan.

But Khan, London’s first Muslim MP, said the UK must differentiate itself from the US after attending meetings at universities in Pakistan. “I listened to the anger and pain over the challenges that young people growing up in Pakistan face, including the anger and frustration over US drone attacks,” he said.

The attacks by unmanned US drones have provoked fury in Pakistan, where scores of militants have been killed in the country’s remote border regions, along with innocent civilians.

“The anger and frustration at the drone attacks was huge,” Khan said. “The view they [the students] had was that the UK was somehow responsible for this. They haven’t understood this was purely a US matter. They lumped us together with the US, which to me is a poison. It demonstrates to me we have a big problem.”

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The Dark Side of Dubai

Factsnews  – This is a spectacular article about Dubai and how its slave labor population that created this awe-inspiring city. He describes how the city is a dictatorship built with slave labor from India and the Philippines. Most of the Westerners living and working in Dubai love their lavish, party all the time lifestyle complete with maids and servants. In reality, this city is a false city with fake trees, feces filled water and beaches and empty hotels and shopping malls. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Dubai was meant to be a Middle-Eastern Shangri-La, a glittering monument to Arab enterprise and western capitalism. But as hard times arrive in the city state that rose from the desert sands, an uglier story is emerging. Johann Hari reports.

The wide, smiling face of Sheikh Mohammed – the absolute ruler of Dubai – beams down on his creation. His image is displayed on every other building, sandwiched between the more familiar corporate rictuses of Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders. This man has sold Dubai to the world as the city of One Thousand and One Arabian Lights, a Shangri-La in the Middle East insulated from the dust-storms blasting across the region. He dominates the Manhattan-manqué skyline, beaming out from row after row of glass pyramids and hotels smelted into the shape of piles of golden coins. And there he stands on the tallest building in the world – a skinny spike, jabbing farther into the sky than any other human construction in history.

But something has flickered in Sheikh Mohammed’s smile. The ubiquitous cranes have paused on the skyline, as if stuck in time. There are countless buildings half-finished, seemingly abandoned. In the swankiest new constructions – like the vast Atlantis hotel, a giant pink castle built in 1,000 days for $1.5bn on its own artificial island – where rainwater is leaking from the ceilings and the tiles are falling off the roof. This Neverland was built on the Never-Never – and now the cracks are beginning to show. Suddenly it looks less like Manhattan in the sun than Iceland in the desert.

Once the manic burst of building has stopped and the whirlwind has slowed, the secrets of Dubai are slowly seeping out. This is a city built from nothing in just a few wild decades on credit and ecocide, suppression and slavery. Dubai is a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing – at last – into history.

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UK “Green Advsior” Says Population Must Fall to 30 Million

Jonathan Leake
Times Online
March 23, 2009

Editor’s note: Mr. Porritt may set an example by removing himself from the planet immediately.

JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.

Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.

The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.

Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.

“Each person in Britain has far more impact on the environment than those in developing countries so cutting our population is one way to reduce that impact.”

Population growth is one of the most politically sensitive environmental problems. The issues it raises, including religion, culture and immigration policy, have proved too toxic for most green groups.

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