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London-based Global Witness has just put out a good report on how some major international banks, including Citibank, “have been dealing with some of the world’s most corrupt regimes.” Gavin Hayman, the group’s Campaigns Director, said, “The same lax regulation that created the credit crunch has let some of the world’s biggest banks facilitate the looting of natural resource wealth from poor countries.”
Among the findings:
Barclays kept open an account for the son of the dictator of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea
long after clear evidence emerged that his family were heavily involved in substantial
looting of state oil revenues.
A British tax haven and a Hong Kong bank helped the son of the president of
Republic of Congo, another oil-rich African country, spend hundreds of thousands of
dollars of his country’s oil revenues on designer shopping sprees.
Citigroup facilitated the funding of two vicious civil wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia
by enabling the warlord Charles Taylor, now on trial for war crimes in the Hague, to
loot timber revenues.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”