In the September Tax Justice Network podcast, the Taxcast: How a conman can devastate the lives of thousands of ordinary people, aided and abetted by the offshore industry – with banks, law firms and accountants all happy to look the other way and not ask questions. Plus, we discuss: the latest leak from the Bahamas, #BahamasLeaks; and Apple’s 13 billion euro underpaid tax bill: a defining moment in the battle between the low/no-tax world big corporations would like to see and democratic, accountable governance in the public interest. (more…)
What is corruption? Well, that’s a political question, and the answer depends on who you ask. In this podcast we discuss the anti-corruption summit in the City of London, the world’s capital of sleaze and ask if the sun ever set on the colonial era and the idea that corruption is a poor country issue. We explore extortive corruption versus collusive corruption and look at a new Poll which indicates for the first time the vast gulf between what the British people consider corrupt, and what has become a ‘normal’ way of doing business and politics. The overlap between the public and private spheres raises serious questions about democracy – and the nature of global fraud.
In the Tax Justice Network March 2016 podcast: Is the US president really serious about tackling corruption in the finance sector? Are the presidential candidates? Now they can prove it.Bank Whistleblowers United tell us how they can restore the rule of law to Wall Street and avoid the next financial crisis in 60 days without any new legislation. Plus: why a wave of tax amnesties is likely to sweep across the world (how does 1% tax and immunity from prosecution sound?) and what the very first transparency data on banks exposes about how they do business. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.
“it doesn’t matter what the rules are if you put people in charge who are committed to not enforcing the rules…not a single banking leader of the three fraud epidemics that drove the US financial crisis and much of the global financial crisis has been prosecuted for leading those fraud schemes, not one.”
William Black, Bank Whistleblowers United (serial whistleblower, former senior US regulator, white collar criminologist and Associate Professor of Law and Economics) Follow him on Twitter
Democracy Spring A mass nonviolent action on a historic scale to save US democracy in April 2016, Washington DC. Follow them on Twitter
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Corruption isn’t just bribes and influence-peddling: it’s protecting the privileges of the few at the expense of the many. Rampant pollution is corruption writ large: the profits of the polluters are being protected at the expense of the millions being poisoned.
This is why capital and talent are fleeing China: systemic corruption has poisoned the nation and raised the cost of doing business.External costs such as environmental damage must be paid eventually, one way or the other.
While these agents will almost undoubtedly receive no real punishment, perhaps some good will come from this: End the idiotic war on drugs.
Well we now have access to an internal DEA report on the incident, and find out that, unsurprisingly, the agents involved received barely a slap on the wrist. Moreover, it appears some of the women hired for these parties may have been teenagers.
The era of living off borrowed money is over in Greece, and the Greek people now have a choice.
Almost four years ago I wrote Greece, Please Do The Right Thing: Default Now (June 1, 2011). Default remains the only real way forward for Greece and Europe.Consider the destructive “gains” reaped by four years of lies, predation, debt-serfdom and austerity in service to kleptocrats: tremendous suffering by many Greek citizens, all for nothing but propping up the evil of debt-serfdom to the Greek kleptocracy and the financial royalty of Europe.
The truth is Greece squandered four years propping up a patently false illusion that using the euro as a currency was worth everything, when it was always worth nothing.
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been long viewed as one of the most corrupt of American institutions – and that’s saying a lot. Putting aside all the accusations with regard to silver manipulation in recent years, the most stunning controversy occurred back in 2010 when a retiring judge accused the other remaining judge of being a total bought and paid for Wall Street crony.
What’s the difference between the U.S. Congress and corrupt petty officials taking bribes at a Third-World border crossing? Only one of scale.
Corruption ceases to be corruption when it becomes the Status Quo; what was once recognized as corruption is seen as just another cost of doing business. Our political order is structurally corrupt: the key dynamic in every level of governance is favoritism and extortion.
The essence of crony-capitalism is the merger of state and corporate power–the definition of fascism.
When it comes to the real world, the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is semantic. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite hot-word, fascism, which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini defined as “the merger of state and corporate power.” In other words, the state and corporate cartels are one system.
The Internet is enabling sellers and buyers to bypass the predatory State and the parasitic middlemen the State enforces.
Why do we read commentaries and analyses? To understand why the Status Quo is dying and to have a hand in shaping the new way of living that will replace it.Longtime correspondent Zeus Y. recently encapsulated the core dynamic of our era:
“Here’s the deal between the two worlds right now: the Status Quo is dying but trying to take everything with it and the other is trying to hold the old world up enough to avoid complete collapse, buy time, and construct the airplane of the new world, all while flying.”
Humans avoid changing current arrangements until there is no choice left but to change them–usually when the arrangement collapses in a heap. Greece is an interesting example of just this dynamic: the political parties left, right and center are desperate to keep the corrupt Status Quo intact, while those whose slice of the swag has vanished have already moved on to new arrangements that no longer depend on Central State swag or the many layers of middlemen that skimmed off most of the wealth for various monopolies, cartels and Elites: After Crisis, Greeks Work to Promote ‘Social’ Economy.
Here’s the Status Quo arrangement: the Elites trying to take everything they can before their vast skimming arrangement finally collapses:
China and India are both powder kegs awaiting a spark for the same reason: systemic corruption.
The conventional view of China and India sports not one but two pair of rose-colored glasses:Chindia (even the portmanteau word is chirpy) is the world’s engine of growth, and this rapid economic growth is chipping away at structural political and social problems.
Nice, especially from a distance. But on the ground, China and India (not Chindia–there is no such entity) are both powder kegs awaiting a spark for the same reason: systemic corruption in every nook and cranny of both nations. The conventional rose-colored view is that corruption will inevitably decline with modernization and economic growth.
This is simply wrong on multiple levels: as the opportunities for crony/neofeudal skimming increase, so does corruption. As the scale of the economy increases, so does the scale of corruption.