The 2021 Corporate Bamboozle On World Food Systems

Mega-corporations are all set to walk away with the keys to global governance of food and agriculture at the UN Food Systems Summit later this year. Pat Mooney talks about what is at stake and The Long Food Movement counter strategy. Please donate at http://theanalysis.news/donate

The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One – BILL BLACK (1/9)

Bill Black traces the history of modern American financial fraud starting in this episode with the S&L Banking scandal. Bankers continue to loot their banks, customers, and society to this day. Part 1/9 on theAnalysis.news with Paul Jay.

 

Transcript

Paul Jay

Hi, I’m Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news, please don’t forget the donate button and the subscribe button if you’re on YouTube, and be back in a second.

In 2014, a billion dollars disappeared from three Moldovan banks. The Republic of Moldova is a tiny, landlocked country in Eastern Europe. How did a billion dollars do a vanishing act? That’s 12 percent of the country’s GDP.

As the title of Bill Black’s book says, the best way to rob a bank is to own one and that’s more or less what happened in Moldova. The heads of the three major banks created a Ponzi scheme between them, loaning and hiding money with each other, moving it offshore to hide the assets. A carousel borrowing scheme was applied. Loans in one bank were paid off with loans from another. The banking fraud in the United States that led to the crash of 07 and 08 makes the Moldovan scandal look like child’s play.

Here’s the thing, in Moldovia, many of those that were responsible for the fraud went to jail, in the U.S. other than one mid-level trader, it was none that went to jail. Not a single senior executive ever charged in one of the biggest financial frauds ever. Has the situation changed? Could such a scam repeat itself? A docuseries titled The Con breaks down what happened during those years leading up to 2007 08? Here’s a trailer from the docuseries.

Excerpt from The Con

“I’m neither an economist or a scholar. I’m just an average American who lost my home and very nearly my family to foreclosure when the market imploded, and I’ve spent almost every day since trying to find out why. Once the dust settled, it quickly became clear that my story was no different than millions of other Americans. We all thought that we were alone. We all thought that we’d failed, but none of us really knew why. With a gun in her hand, Addie Polk apparently shot herself in the chest as deputies were knocking on her door with eviction papers in hand. This dramatic increase in mortgage fraud cases was the canary in the mine. It was the warning. This was money chasing people. This was not somebody looking for a loan. It was all designed to maximize profits for all of the different players.

The person who sold you a loan made more money if they sold you a higher rate loan. They were sold a lot. They’re selling to their very clients these loans that they know are a disaster. I lost my home not because of money, because of fraud. I don’t believe Addie Polk took out the mortgage on my home. I don’t believe she signed any documents. They just generated all this junk, took home huge bonuses, and then when it collapsed, they said, oh, not us. This notion that the financial crisis was there wasn’t fraud and there wasn’t crime is absolutely wrong. It’s dead.

We were targeting, in many cases, minorities. We were waiting for the leadership to say, go, that never happened. The investigation was suppressed. This was all part of the same puzzle that was falling apart. This is the largest conspiracy of lies in the history of the world. This investigation has just begun.

Paul Jay

Now joining us to discuss the history and present state of what he calls control fraud is Bill Black, who’s in the film and was an adviser to its producers. Bill is an American lawyer, academic, author, and former bank regulator with expertise in white-collar crime, public finance, regulation, and other topics in law and economics. In fact, he’s an associate professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City in Law and Economics. As I mentioned, he’s the author of the book The Best Way to Rob a Bank is To Own One. Thanks for joining us again, Bill.

Bill Black

Thank you.

Paul Jay

So, let’s start with this term you use, “control fraud’. What is it and when does this start to appear in finance?

Bill Black

Well, it started to appear in finance as soon as there was finance, and it isn’t unique to finance either. It’s obviously an ungainly term. I mean, what the heck is control fraud, and here’s the reason for the ungainliness. The insight we had was that when the people who control a seemingly legitimate entity, whether it’s the government or a nonprofit or a for-profit firm, are able to use that seemingly legitimate entity as a weapon to defraud and predate, and a shield that protects them largely against being held responsible, accountable for their depredations, then you’re going to get massively more harmful forms of fraud and predation. And why control? Because the context we developed it in was the savings and loan debacle and the most notorious fraud there was Charles Keating, and he never held the position with Lincoln Savings, the entity that he was using as his weapon and shield, yet he utterly controlled every aspect of the institution.

Paul Jay

OK, now I assume that a lot of our viewers, especially younger ones, but others as well, have no idea what you’re talking about. What happened during the savings and loan crisis? When was that? And out of that, how did the control fraud appear?

Bill Black

OK, so by the way, as we discuss this, it’s the 30th anniversary of one of the key events in that savings and loan debacle when that Charles Keating, who was the most notorious fraud, Looting his savings and loan, was able to bring together a whole series of senators to try to extort first the head of our agency and then a group of us who were the regional regulators in San Francisco, and they went on.

Paul Jay

What’s the agency?

Bill Black

Well, the agency was called at the time the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, but it was about to change its name to the Office of Thrift Supervision. So that gets a little complicated, and we were in a regional entity that had still another name. So, I’m going to avoid the names so much and describe what they functionally did most of the time in all of this. In any event, we realized that if you controlled the firm first, people wouldn’t believe that you would loot the firm. That seemed crazy to them, but of course, if you think about it, that’s who you can loot with impunity because you know where all the safeguards are. Indeed, you are supposed to be the principal safeguard. It’s like a homeowner who wants to commit insurance fraud, right? You have a code, and you turn off the home alarm system and you take the things out of your house. You can do that very easily. Well, the CEO can do that even more easily, and what we realized was they use seemingly normal corporate mechanisms to do this. They just use accounting to massively overstate earnings, and then under modern executive compensation, that automatically triggers a huge bonus, and the company then pays the CEO and the other officers these huge bonuses.

If you stuck your hand in the till in America as a CEO and took just ten thousand bucks, you’d go to prison for 20 years, but you could take out twenty million, forty million, two billion, through the mechanisms I just explained and never go to jail. This was a really sweet scheme that people had developed, and the way we figured it out is we did autopsies of every failure in the savings and loan debacle. Everybody knew. Everybody told us it’s not fraud, it’s just people “gambling for resurrection”. It was almost a Christian, type of thing, right? The bank was losing money, and so the valiant CEO took high-risk, and sadly, they often lost those high-risk gambles and such. We said no, that doesn’t make any sense, and here are two reasons it doesn’t make any sense. So first, if you were just gambling, you wouldn’t have the pattern of purported success that they were reporting, right? If you’re taking a bunch of high-risk honest gambles, you’d win some big you’d win a few small and you’d lose a lot big. Right.

Paul Jay

Now, the gambles are loans they’re making.

Bill Black

That’s right. The gamble is making riskier loans, went the logic. You would expect to see a pattern like that, some winners, some losers type of thing. Except that everybody that followed this pattern that we identified as actually being looting, looting the savings and loan through accounting fraud, reported winning at first and not just winning, but winning at first, right, and they were literally reporting in places like Lincoln Savings, Vernon’s Savings, which we in the regulatory ranks refer to as vermin. Right, by the time we got through the speaker of the House, Jim Wright’s efforts to prevent us from taking the place over, 96 percent of its loans were in default.

Paul Jay

Give us an idea how many banks were involved and when was this? This is during Reagan.

Bill Black

This is Ronald Reagan. This begins in 1981-ish. So right at the beginning of the Reagan revolution, and it’s facilitated through the first appointee as the top regulator for savings and loans by Ronald Reagan. An academic account economist Dick Pratt, very smart, very quick, clever guy type of thing, but a huge believer in laissez-faire.

He deregulated and he said, hey, we have this, in jargon, it’s called a natural experiment, because there are many different jurisdictions in the United States. 50 different states, and they have different state regulatory patterns. So, we’ll look and find in all of the United States which state has the most successful savings and loans, and then our deregulation will emulate their deregulation where they’ve already deregulated, and they looked and they said Texas, Texas is the model that you need to follow. It’s far and away reporting the best results. Well, of course, it was that’s where the fraud started because that’s where the deregulation started, and the frauds are a sure thing. They are mathematically guaranteed if you follow what we identified as the recipe for accounting control, fraud for looting. If you follow that recipe, it is a sure thing, right? You will absolutely report record profits. They won’t be real, but you’ll report record profits. So, he used the worst possible model for his deregulation and then he deliberately set off what economists called a race to the bottom, which they thought was a good thing because regulation, bad, deregulation, good.

Remember this. In fact, it had begun with Jimmy Carter at the national level before Ronald Reagan. Both parties really believed in this deregulation stuff. So great, Texas is deregulated already, now the United States at the federal level will deregulate even more than Texas. That will set off a race to the bottom where Texas and California will try to deregulate even more and for good reason. In the United States, we have this doctrine called supremacy of the federal government, which means that we can preempt any state efforts to get in the way. So, if the feds deregulate, the state can’t do anything to you, but if the state can’t do anything to your savings and loan to either help you or hurt you, why should you make political contributions to the state banking chairman of the Senate or House answer. You wouldn’t, so that was a powerful incentive to keep the flow of money to the key committee chairmen to deregulate, and California and Texas won the race to the bottom, and these two states produce 60 percent of the total losses out of the savings loan debacle of the 1980s and 1990s.

So good policy, right, in all of these things, in our jargon, I have a doctorate in criminology and I study elite fraud and corruption principally within those fields. This is going to mean what we call a criminogenic environment, and that’s a direct steal from natural science, where we talk about pathogenic environments, an environment, like a cesspool that produces lots of bacteria and viruses and such and causes lots of infections where you get the same thing happening throughout whatever portion of the economy you deregulate.

In particular, finance is most susceptible to this. So they deregulated at the worst possible time in the worst possible way, and they said simultaneously, they put in writing, we don’t have to worry about no stinking fraud. Fraud is inherently trivial. Right, and I’m not overstating. I mean, it’s not the exact words, but I’m not overstating.

Paul Jay

Who said that?

Bill Black

The head of the agency [Dick Pratt], a top academic economist, expert in finance, said.

Paul Jay

Well, were they in on it? The fraud?

Bill Black

What my saying is of this era, it always is. The sad fact is you didn’t have to bribe anyone. They really believed in laissez-faire, so to skip ahead a few years, there’s this road to Damascus experience. Apparently it’s a big biblical day in our talk. His successor, Ed Gray. Now, his successor is a personal family friend of both of the Reagans, Mrs. Reagan as well. Critical to his survival, and he’s a PR guy, right, that’s his thing. So, in the midst of the worst financial scandal in U.S. history at the time, President Reagan says, let me put a PR guy in charge, because what the hell, right? And the trade association, which political scientists rated the third most powerful in the United States. It was called the League of Savings Institutions. They go and tell Ed Gray, you’re getting this position because of us. We lobbied with the administration and we lobbied to get you because we were sure you would do what we want done, they tell him this and he tells us the senior staff. So, this is the world, and then two things happen. First, the examiners, the examiners are the people that actually go out into the field and they don’t just look at what the institution writes in propaganda policies and such. They look at what’s actually happening. They’re the people closest, and it turns out to that to be able to run the scams I’m talking about, you have to destroy what’s called the loan underwriting process. Now, that’s insane because the loan underwriting process is what makes banks profitable, honestly profitable.

Paul Jay

They evaluate the risk.

Bill Black

Should we take it and if so, at what price? Right. So, it’s the most critical thing that you would never do if you were an honest banker, which is of course how spoiler alert, we’re going to convict of felonies over a thousand elites, out of the savings and loan debacle, completely different than what’s going to happen in the great financial crisis. OK, so Ed Gray comes in and the first thing he does is he listens to the examiners.

They put in every month these Significant Supervisory Cases, and this is the coming problem. There are roughly three thousand savings and loans and the number in this SSE case book grows from around one hundred to around five hundred. OK, and they are short write-ups, but Gray reads them religiously and he goes. Oh, shit. None of this is running the way the economists claim it’s running, it’s a coming disaster, and then he has the peak of his road to Damascus experience. This wonderful, laconic Texan, with a pronounced Texas twang, no art at all, in a Texas accent, but he knows his stuff about underwriting and such, and he drives and he’s taking pictures like the eight-millimeter stuff in those days. This is 1982-ish, 1983-ish. So, he’s driving for miles with the camera stuck out and narrating as he’s going along. In an utterly no inflection voice. He’s not excited, Gray calls it financial pornography, watching it because it’s mile after mile after mile of real estate developments that aren’t really being developed where they are just wasting all the material. You can see it rotting on the ground and it goes on for over an hour driving around this huge complex, even goes up in a plane and does the same thing looking down. Many of these things were so bad that they never got beyond the concrete pad for the home.

Paul Jay

And these are all phony loans for building these things.

Bill Black

Right, we call them Martian landing pads. Gray, who’s this ardent anti-regulator; He really loves Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Reagan, goes this is obscene and it’s going to produce a catastrophe. It is my duty, though, I hate it, to try to do everything I have to throw myself in front of this bus. He predicts to us that it will destroy his career both in business and in politics. He’s like 52 prime, super high in a significant position, a riser, and a personal friend, as I say, of the folks, and he knows it’s going to piss off the Reagans. He starts re-regulating. Charles Keating, alleged super Christian, who’s actually a massive fraudster, is an incredible lobbyist, and since he’s looting Lincoln Savings, what does he care? He knows the institution is going to fail if you spend an extra 20 million on lobbying. So what? So he lobbies like crazy. He hires Alan Greenspan as a lobbyist. Alan Greenspan personally walks around the Senate recruiting the five U.S. senators who will become known as the Keating Five when they meet with us on April 9th, 1987, to try to extort us to not take enforcement action against Lincoln Savings on behalf of and I quote “our good friend Charles Keating” type of thing. When Gray begins this reregulation, this majority at the express request of Charles Keating’s lobbying effort. Keating was a top 100 granter, a donor to Reagan and Bush. He was very politically connected. A majority of the House of Representatives co-sponsored a resolution telling us to stop the re-regulation. The entire leadership of both parties in the House signed that. So think of this, you’ve got the president against you, Vice President Bush is running the financial deregulation task force. He hates you, the chief of staff, the former Marine, the former head of Merrill Lynch hates you and is against you. OMB is trying to destroy you. OMB files a criminal referral against Ed Gray on the grounds that he’s closing too many insolvent savings and loans.

Paul Jay

And how many had he closed by that point? But they were insolvent.

Bill Black

Yes, but you have to understand the highest priority of the Reagan administration vis a vis the savings and loan debacle at all times, the red line was that you could not say it’s going to require a federal bailout, because that would mean the federal deficit was really $150 billion bigger and of course, President Reagan’s top priority was getting the tax cut, and the argument against it was the deficit swelling, and so if they had to admit that the deficit was really much larger, they might not get the tax cut.

Paul Jay

The hole of the bank debt was about 150 billion bucks?

Bill Black

The hole in the insurance fund, so the industry was insolvent on a market value basis by roughly $150 billion, and there were $6 billion in the insurance funds still. So, we went to work every day wondering whether there was going to be a nationwide run for five years.

Paul Jay

How much of this was public at this time?

Bill Black

It was not made public because this was the red line, right? Gray knew that if he crossed this red line he’d be removed immediately. So, we just didn’t talk about how much it was ultimately going to cost, we just went about trying to make sure it cost as little as possible.

Paul Jay

So, thousands of banks are involved in fraud?

No, three hundred savings and loans were growing more than 50 percent annually, and we’re following this looting strategy of fraud, but Gray’s first action, which was before he saw the Texas guys tape, the financial pornography, just reading the examiners Significant Supervisory Cases. The first thing he did, which was in November of 1983, which was essentially when the deregulation that his predecessor had put in place was kicking in, Gray stopped any new savings and loans from starting in California, Texas, and Florida, and the frauds, were almost always real estate developers who were failing, and of course, the dream of every real estate developer is to own their own captive lender like a bank or a savings and loan, because that’s what you need as a real estate developer– funding. If you have your own bank or savings and loan, that’s never an issue type of thing. So, this was like the dream of all time for these sleazy developers.

Paul Jay

And whose money is in these savings and loan?

Bill Black

Well, overwhelmingly ours, right? They are deposits. In America as opposed to other countries the liability side of a bank is almost entirely deposits and in the American context, almost all of those deposits are fully insured by the federal government. So, who’s on the hook really? The taxpayers are on the hook. Europe has many more large loans, typically from other banks. That is uninsured hot money, as it’s called. So, you can see Gray is going to commit political and career suicide and knows that he’s going to commit it. The trade association, of course, instantly turns against him as well. So, if you look at the correlation of forces as the military talks about it, it’s everybody on one side against Gray and pretty much Gray on the other. So obviously, we’re going to lose, and here’s the remarkable thing, yeah, we lost personally. We’re unemployable in government, but we stopped this raging epidemic of fraud and the new entrants. Gray by saying no more of these real estate developers are going to come in the door in California and Texas and Florida, he prevented it from becoming any kind of even mild recession, much less a great financial crisis. That’s just the second stage.

The third stage turns out to actually be the great financial crisis, and for that, you have to know what Gray’s big legacy was. Gray did something really simple. He knew, as I said, that the two great disasters were California and Texas, so he asked everybody he had respect for who were the two top financial supervisors in America, and then he personally recruited them, and appointed them in California and Texas.

The guy in Texas was Joe Selby, who had twice risen through the ranks at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the acting comptroller of the Currency, but of course, he would never be made head because you’d have to be politically powerful to get that kind of thing. So getting him was a real coup and he put him in the absolute worst place, which was Texas. Selby was from Texas. Selby knew that this was going to end disastrously for him because Selby was gay, and the speaker of the House, the Democratic speaker of the House, Jim Wright called up Ed Gray and demanded that Gray get rid of Selby on the grounds that Selby was a homosexual. This is how recently these things were that badly screwed up. Even after we brought Charles Keating down, he sued, and one of his lieutenants began a deposition demanding to know who the employees at the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, where I was the top lawyer by then, were homosexuals. Under the allegation that gays are secretive, and they must have a secret conspiracy against Charles Keating because he’s a Christian. The chief judge, based on what we call a proffer by the lawyer that says, I have a good faith basis for this conspiracy. I’m not just making this shit up right – the judge, the chief judge in Arizona, which is where Lincoln Savings Home was, the parent company, allowed those questions. Now, after that good faith basis, the second question of that lawyer was, have you ever heard a rumor about who might be gay at San Francisco Bank, which is kind of inconsistent with a proffer. Our moderately senior supervisor who is being deposed came back at lunch break in absolute tears. She was just completely broken down by this outrageous treatment, and so this is the first I hear about it and I say the deposition is over, we are going to go for emergency writ in front of the judge, and of course, we destroyed them in that. They had absolutely no basis, but at that hearing, they started the hearing by making a motion to exclude me from the courtroom.

The lawyers for the Keating lieutenant say you shouldn’t allow Bill Black to be in this room, and the judge said that may have worked with Danny Wall, Gray’s infamous successor who caves into Keatings demands and extortion, but it is not going to work in this courtroom, and then because he’d been lied to in the proffer, he basically chopped the heads off these folks. That lieutenant I saw in other depositions. I went up to him and told him how scurrilous I thought he was. He said, I can’t be bigoted. I’m black. Well, I guess you proved it. Again, people forget how recently this kind of homophobia was absolutely dominant and could destroy executives. The point is, Selby prevented a Texas disaster from becoming a Texas catastrophe, knew it would lead not under Gray, but under his successors to his being smeared and fired and did it anyway for America. Mike Patriarca, a name people have not heard was his counterpart in California that I worked with, and he stopped the first aspect that I’ve talked about, this looting.

Now, I want to transition to the second aspect, which Patriarca also stops, and that is what becomes the great financial crisis, which actually is the third act of the savings and loan debacle of the early 1990s. This is literally true, Orange County, California, is the financial fraud capital of the world, not America, the world. We were out there and California had jurisdiction over it, and so the examiners came to us. Again, the examiners are the hero of this story, and they said there’s a new scam, and you’ve got to stop it.

Paul Jay

What year are we in?

Bill Black

This is 1990. All right, there’s a new scam and you’ve got to stop it now. So in 1990, we are still dealing with the second act of the savings loan debacle, the looting that I was talking about, and we are incredibly overwhelmed.

Is anybody charged at this point?

Oh, yes, hundreds, but you’re right to ask. It doesn’t happen immediately and I’ll bring you back, but I’ll tell that story briefly. No one was being charged in the 1980s. There wasn’t even a criminal referral system that was coherent. So first under Gray. Gray said, look, here are two top priorities. One, get the frauds out of controlling the savings and loan because as long as they’re in control, the losses are going to mount exponentially. Two, once you get them out, hold them personally accountable wherever possible by criminal prosecution. Also by lawsuits, not against the savings and loan, lawsuits against them, where you grab their funds.

So that’s what we did. So we figured out we had to develop a criminal referral system. So we started making referrals and soon we were making thousands of referrals. We decided to make them public every month. Well, this is back in the day when there were actually more reporters in places and pretty soon places like The Washington Post noticed. There are five thousand criminal referrals and only three prosecutions. What the hell’s going on? And they would start writing stories.

Paul Jay

Criminal referral means your agency tells the Department of Justice there’s a case here. It’s a referral to the DOJ. Am I right?

Bill Black

That is correct, And the FBI. They’re not just, hey, we think we got a problem. We had criminal referral coordinators and they met periodically with their counterparts, the FBI and Department of Justice. We got feedback on every major referral and then we would retrain folks about, OK, this is what they want, they think is weak. This is the strong part, and it got better and better. Continuous improvement regime and B school type jargon. These became superb. In major cases, the text was 40, 60 pages, and 200 to 400 pages of attachments with all kinds of easy things about how to find the most useful stuff. We really set out the entire path to make the prosecution successful.

Paul Jay

So, hundreds of these types of referrals and how many actual charges at that point.

Bill Black

So, thousands of these referrals and in the mid-1980s, essentially two or three prosecutions. The attorney general actually puts in his memoir that they just got tired of getting bashed with all of this. When a new guy comes in after the disgraceful Danny Wall, who gave in to the pressure of the five senators and the speaker of the House. The new guy was Tim Ryan. This is Bush one appointing Tim Ryan to be the new head of the agency. A very bright lawyer, and he hires a very aggressive litigator as his person because as he explains to me personally, he met with Bush and Bush said, corruption-george-h-w-bush

OK, new regime. He gets appointed in like 1992-ish and such there are over 20,000 thousand criminal referrals, by then there were 30,000 criminal referrals. By then there were a meaningful number of prosecutions, but Tim Ryan also sacrificed his career for the public knowingly, and what he did is bring an enforcement action. We massively increased enforcement actions as well. He brought an enforcement action against the son of a sitting president of the United States of America, and he’s been unemployable since.

Paul Jay

Which one?

Bill Black

Neil Bush. He’s the guy that brought that enforcement action and everybody knew what was going to happen if he did that, he was a super-fast tracker.

Paul Jay

If you go back to Gray and the gentleman you’re talking about now and you and your team, if all of you had caved to the pressure, what would have happened?

Bill Black

Something akin to the great financial crisis would have happened in the mid-90s.

Paul Jay

Which means these banks would have all failed, the federal insurance plan would have to have stepped in at the rate of.

Bill Black

Oh, it couldn’t have. They would have had to bail out the insurance plan, not in terms of billions, which they did eventually, but in trillions of dollars.

Paul Jay

Now, the Reagan administration, the professionals even on Wall Street, they must know this is how it’s unfolding, and you said earlier they don’t want this to go public because how do you do a tax cut in the midst of all this? So, I mean, it’s really part of the fraud that this keeps getting covered up.

Bill Black

Yeah, but I would go easy on the idea that they knew, right? Remember, the conventional wisdom that I gave you from Dick Pratt was well fraud by elites can’t ever be serious.

Paul Jay

Right, one person doing a $20 check is serious.

Bill Black

Well, they look like us, they can’t be real crooks. They dress nicely. They speak well. They can’t be real crooks; they can’t cause real problems.

Paul Jay

But when Gray gets his head around how serious this is and he’s a friend of Reagan. He must tell Reagan. So, from at least that point on.

Bill Black

No. Your point is absolutely logical, and I went to Ed Gray to make exactly that point. I said, you’re a personal friend. Tell him, and he said, you don’t understand, it’s impossible. I guarantee you, he’s right, because I know Ed Gray, not because I know Ronald Reagan. If Ed Gray says it was absolutely impossible, it was.

Paul Jay

Yeah, but from what I’m learning about Reagan. I’ve just been interviewing the guy Matt Tyrnauer who did this four part series called The Reagans for Showtime and reading some other stuff. Reagan didn’t want to hear what he didn’t want to know, not because he didn’t know, but he didn’t want to hear what he didn’t want to know.

Bill Black

Yeah, but what does he know about banking?

Paul Jay

Nothing, he just knows that the people that help make him president want such and such, so he doesn’t go against them.

Bill Black

As human beings, we are primed for those people that help us the most. They’re the last people in the world we see as cheats and fraudster’s, and Charles Keating was one of his leading donors.

Paul Jay

Was Keating part of that kitchen cabinet that helped get Reagan to run?

Bill Black

No, but Ed Gray was at the savings and loan that was at the heart of the San Diego savings and loan that was at the heart of that kitchen cabinet.

Paul Jay

Because, I mean, they deliberately created Ronald Reagan to be a front man for their agenda.

Bill Black

But again, that’s the point, right? So, Don Regan is his consiglieri. Don Regan is the self-professed Marine tough guy who his first words out of his mouth when he meets Ed Gray is you’re going to be a team player, aren’t you? And felt that he could intimidate folks and by the way, the very first thing the Bush administration did within months, its first major legislative proposal, was to make sure that this could never happen again. Now, this is not the crisis. This is Ed Gray. Could never happen again.

Paul Jay

Really?

Bill Black

Yeah, so the first thing the legislation did– we were an independent regulatory agency and they eliminated that and made it a bureau within the Treasury – a member of the executive branch, so that there could never be someone independent using their judgment again, I’m quite serious. That’s the first thing that they decided to get away with. So, again, you get this immensely successful prosecution. Let me make clear how successful this was. Our key strategic disadvantage, of course, was money. In the form of lobbying, in the form of political contributions. That’s how the terrible things were happening. That’s how at the behest of Charles Keating, the most notorious fraud in America, our jurisdiction in San Francisco, was removed over Keating, at the demand of the five senators and the speaker of the House, Jim Wright, and the cowardice of Gray’s successor, Danny Wall. For the first time in U.S. regulatory history, he removed the jurisdiction at the demand of the crooks because we had insisted on going forward with our recommendation that it be taken over by the federal government and we had made a criminal referral.

Paul Jay

And you’re including these senators in the crooks, these five.

Bill Black

Well, they were assisting the crooks. You can see my notes of the meeting, which is what made it something before the Senate Ethics Committee. Ultimately the only way to get them to back off was to tell them we were about to make a criminal referral and do they really want to be going full force for a massive felon.

Paul Jay

OK, we’re going to end this here and do a part two and I don’t know how many other parts, but we’re going to let this story unfold. And in the next part, I’m going to start by asking Bill, a thousand prosecutions or more. Some people actually went to jail out of all this, and by 2007, 2008, as this whole subprime of the crisis that unfolds, another massive essentially financial fraud, the people involved are not very worried about going to jail. So why when so many people eventually did go to jail, do the next crop of these fraudsters seem absolutely unconcerned that this is going to come down on their heads. So we’ll take that up in the next part with Bill. Thanks for joining us on theAnalysis.news. Thank you, Bill, and look out for part two of our series.

Haiti: Canada & U.S. Support Coups and Dictators

In Haiti, President Moise refused to leave when his term was over, and hundreds of thousands have protested in the streets demanding his resignation. Canada and the U.S. have supported dictators and coups in Haiti for decades. Joining Paul is Jafrik Ayiti, an author, radio show host, public speaker, activist, artist; and Yves Engler, a Montreal-based activist, and author. He has published 11 books, including his latest “House of Mirrors: Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy.”

Global Coup d’État: Mapping the Corporate Takeover of Global Governance

00:03
[Music]
00:07
hello and welcome i’m lynn fries
00:08
producer of global political economy
00:10
or gbe news docs today i’m joined by
00:13
nick
00:14
buxton he’s going to be giving us some
00:16
big picture context on the great
00:18
reset a world economic forum initiative
00:20
to reset the world
00:22
system of global governance a worldwide
00:25
movement crossing not only borders but
00:28
all walks of life
00:30
from peasant farmers to techies is
00:33
fighting against this initiative on the
00:35
grounds that it represents a major
00:37
threat
00:38
to democracy key voices from the health
00:41
food education indigenous people and
00:44
high
00:45
tech movements explained why in the
00:48
great
00:48
takeover how we fight the davos capture
00:52
of global governance a recent webinar
00:54
hosted by the transnational
00:56
institute today’s guest nick buxton
00:59
is a publications editor and future labs
01:02
coordinator
01:03
at the transnational institute he’s the
01:06
founder
01:06
and chief editor of tni’s flagship
01:09
state of power report welcome nick
01:13
thank you very much liam nick the
01:16
transnational
01:17
institute was was co-organizer of the
01:20
great takeover webinar so what is it
01:24
that you’re
01:25
mobilizing against uh in opposing this
01:28
great
01:28
reset initiative what we’re really
01:31
concerned about is
01:32
this initiative by the world economic
01:34
forum
01:35
actually looks to entrench the power of
01:37
those most responsible for the crises
01:39
we’re facing
01:40
um and in in many ways it’s a trick it’s
01:43
a sleight of hand
01:45
uh to make sure that things continue as
01:48
they are
01:49
to continue the same and that will
01:51
create more of these crises more of
01:53
these pandemics will
01:54
deepen the climate crisis which will
01:56
deepen inequality
01:58
and it’s not a great reset at all it’s a
02:00
great corporate takeover
02:01
and that’s what we were trying to draw
02:02
attention to what we’ve been finding
02:05
in in recent years is that um really
02:07
there is
02:08
something i would call it a kind of a
02:10
global
02:11
silent coup d’etat going on in terms of
02:14
global governance
02:15
most people don’t see it and people are
02:17
familiar have become familiar with the
02:19
way that corporations
02:21
have far more influence and are being
02:24
integrated into policy-making and
02:26
national level
02:27
they see that more more in front of them
02:30
people see their services being
02:32
privatized
02:33
and they see the influence of the oil
02:36
companies or the banking sector that has
02:38
stopped
02:39
actions such as regulations of banks or
02:42
are dealing with the climate crisis what
02:43
people don’t realize is at a global
02:45
level
02:46
there has been something much more
02:48
silent going on which is that their
02:50
governance which used to be by nations
02:53
is now increasingly be done by
02:55
unaccountable bodies
02:57
dominated by corporations and part of
03:00
the problem is that that has been
03:02
happening in lots of different
03:03
sectors but people haven’t been
03:05
connecting the dots
03:07
so what we’ve been trying to do in the
03:08
last year is to talk with
03:11
people in the health movement for
03:12
example people involved in
03:14
public education people involved
03:17
in food sector to say what what is
03:20
happening in your sector and what we
03:22
found is that in each of these sectors
03:24
global decisions were used to be
03:25
discussed by bodies such as the wh
03:28
o or such as the food and agriculture
03:30
organization
03:32
were increasingly done by these these
03:34
unaccountable bodies
03:36
and just to give an example uh we have
03:39
now the global pandemic and one of the
03:41
key bodies that is now making the
03:43
decision
03:43
is is a facility called kovacs you’d
03:46
have thought
03:47
global health should be run by the world
03:49
health organization it’s accountable to
03:51
the united nations
03:53
it has a system of accountability well
03:55
what’s actually happening is that world
03:57
health organization
03:58
is just one of a few partners that
04:01
really
04:02
has been controlled by corporations and
04:04
corporate interests
04:05
in this case is gavi and sepi and they
04:08
are both bodies which which don’t have a
04:11
system of accountability
04:13
where it’s not clear who chose them who
04:15
they’re accountable to
04:17
or how they can be held to account and
04:20
what we do see is that there’s a lot of
04:22
corporate influence in each of these
04:23
bodies
04:24
what this webinar was about was bringing
04:26
all these sectors together
04:28
who are seeing this silent coup d’etat
04:30
going on
04:31
in their own sector to map it out and so
04:34
one of the things that you’ll
04:35
have seen in the in the webinar is is
04:37
this mapping of the different sectors
04:40
who are um who are seeing this going on
04:43
and the
04:43
idea is just to give a global picture
04:45
that this is something happening we’ve
04:47
had
04:48
we’ve had more than a hundred of these
04:50
um of these mult they’re called
04:52
multi-stakeholder bodies
04:54
uh coming to coming to the fore in the
04:57
last 20 years
04:58
um and and there’s been very little kind
05:00
of taking note of that and taking stock
05:02
of what’s emerging
05:04
and what’s emerging is this silent
05:06
global coup d’etat
05:08
so what you find then in the big picture
05:11
that you’re getting
05:12
is that a global coup d’etat has been
05:15
silently emerging and at the heart of it
05:18
is a move
05:19
towards multi-stakeholder model of
05:21
global governance and
05:23
that this is the model that’s the path
05:25
and mechanism
05:27
of a corporate hijack of global and
05:29
national governance
05:30
structures and the world economic forum
05:32
agenda fits into all this is the wef of
05:35
course is
05:36
one of the world’s most powerful
05:38
multi-stakeholder institutions
05:40
so nick in explaining what all this
05:42
means let’s start with some of your
05:44
thoughts
05:45
on the history of how we got here
05:49
i think what we had was in the 90s was
05:52
the kind of height of neoliberalism we
05:53
had
05:54
we had um the increasing role of
05:56
corporations as
05:58
and the deregulation of the state and it
06:01
really started to come through in 2000
06:02
with the global compact
06:04
and where the un invited in uh you know
06:07
corporations and the idea was that we’re
06:09
going to need to involve corporations
06:11
one because
06:12
we will need private finance became the
06:15
kind of motto
06:16
the mantra so we need to involve
06:18
corporations they can be part of the
06:20
solution so it was
06:21
partly financed it was partly the
06:22
withdrawal of state
06:24
from kind of global cooperation um
06:27
and and that started to invite
06:30
corporations into the global government
06:32
where corporations were increasingly um
06:34
being invited into these kind of bodies
06:37
that dovetailed with this whole movement
06:39
um called
06:40
the corporate social responsibility that
06:42
sid corporations
06:44
weren’t just profit-making vehicles they
06:46
could be socially responsible
06:48
actors um and and so increasingly
06:51
corporations were pitching themselves as
06:53
as not just um corporate entities but as
06:57
global citizens
06:59
um and and one of the key vehicles for
07:02
that of course is the world economic
07:04
forum which has
07:05
really been articulating
07:08
through klaus schwab and through their
07:10
whole and through their whole
07:11
work uh this idea that’s that
07:14
corporations
07:16
should firstly be social responsible and
07:18
secondly as part of that they should be
07:20
treated
07:21
as social entities and should be
07:24
integrated into governance and decision
07:26
making
07:27
that we needed to move from what was
07:29
considered an
07:30
antiquated state-led
07:33
multilateral approach to a much more
07:36
agile governance system
07:38
and this is again the kind of mantra of
07:39
coming in of the private sector being
07:42
efficient
07:43
that the private sector if you involve
07:44
them in decision making
07:46
you would get more faster decisions you
07:48
get agile decisions you’d get better
07:50
decisions
07:51
and so this all really came together um
07:53
and and
07:54
in in some ways it’s even being
07:56
consolidated even further
07:58
the irony is that as as you’ve had
08:00
nationalist governments come to power
08:03
that the kind of trump america firsts of
08:06
the world or modi
08:07
india first they articulate a
08:10
nationalist agenda but they haven’t
08:12
actually questioned the role of
08:14
corporations in any way whatsoever
08:16
and as as they’ve retreated from
08:18
multilateral forums like the united
08:20
nations
08:21
they’ve left a vacuum that corporations
08:23
have been able to fill
08:24
corporations now say we can be the
08:27
global actors we can be the responsible
08:29
actors
08:30
we’re the ones who consort to tackle the
08:32
big crisis we face such as inequality
08:35
such as climate change
08:37
um such as the pandemic and so so really
08:40
this
08:40
this we’ve had this convergence of
08:42
forces coming together
08:44
where as states have retreated um
08:47
corporations have filled the vacuum
08:49
you mentioned earlier that the world
08:50
economic forum was one of the key
08:52
vehicles for these
08:53
ideas and the wef also went big in
08:57
filling that vacuum that you’re talking
09:00
about
09:00
tni reported the wef global redesign
09:04
initiative
09:05
stretching back to 2009 created
09:08
something like
09:09
40 global agenda councils and industry
09:12
sector bodies so in the sphere of global
09:15
governance the wef
09:17
created space for corporate actors
09:19
across the whole spectrum
09:21
of governance issues from cyber security
09:23
to climate change you name it
09:25
so yeah the global redesign initiative
09:27
was one of the first initiatives that
09:29
the world economic forum launched
09:31
in the wake of the financial crisis um
09:35
and their idea was that we needed to
09:37
replace what was
09:39
uh an inefficient um multilateral system
09:42
that was not able to solve problems
09:45
with a new form of things so they were
09:46
saying instead of a multilateral where
09:48
nations make decisions in global
09:50
cooperation
09:51
we needed a multi-stakeholder approach
09:54
which would bring together
09:55
all the interested parties in small
09:58
groups
09:59
to make decisions and the global
10:01
redesign initiative was really a model
10:03
of that they were trying
10:04
to say okay how do we resolve um
10:07
issues such as the governance of the
10:09
digital economy
10:11
and their answer to it is we bring the
10:13
big tech companies together we bring the
10:15
governments together and we bring a few
10:17
civil society players
10:19
and we’ll work out a system that makes
10:21
that makes sense
10:23
um and and so you had a similar thing
10:26
going on in all these other redesigned
10:28
councils really their models
10:29
for how they think governments should be
10:31
done and some of them have not just
10:33
become models they’ve actually become
10:34
the real thing
10:36
so many of the multi-stakeholder
10:37
initiatives we’ve seen emerge today
10:40
have emerged out of some of these
10:42
councils
10:43
um the coalition for epidemic
10:45
preparedness one of the key ones leading
10:48
kovacs right now the response to the
10:49
pandemic was launched at the world
10:51
economic forum so the world economic
10:53
forum is now becoming a launch pad for
10:55
many of these
10:56
multi-stakeholder bodies we should also
10:59
note the world economic forum is a
11:01
very well funded launch pad as
11:04
a powerpoint from the great takeover
11:06
webinar put it
11:08
corporations do not pay tax but donate
11:11
to multi-stakeholder institutions and
11:13
the wef of course
11:15
is funded by powerful corporations and
11:18
business leaders
11:19
the powerpoint also noted the bill and
11:21
melinda gates foundation is one of the
11:23
main funders of multi-stakeholder
11:26
institutions
11:27
in contrast multilateral institutions
11:30
are being
11:31
defunded on the back of falling
11:33
corporate tax revenues
11:35
for nation states given it depends on
11:39
government donors the
11:41
u.n regular budget that’s the backbone
11:43
of funding for the one country one vote
11:45
multilateral
11:46
processes of intergovernmental
11:49
cooperation and decision making
11:51
has taken a big hit perhaps you could
11:54
comment on some big picture implications
11:57
on this kind of
11:58
changing dynamic that’s going on between
12:01
corporate actors and nation states
12:03
yeah yeah i think i think what we’re
12:06
seeing is that the
12:07
um as gradually the corporations have
12:09
become more powerful
12:11
they they have weakened the capacity of
12:14
the state
12:15
so they have reduced the tax basis you
12:18
know most corporations have seen
12:20
corporate tax rates drop
12:21
forward dramatically and even more
12:23
trillions are now siphoned away in tax
12:26
havens
12:26
so the the entire corporate tax base
12:28
which used to play a much bigger role in
12:30
state funding has reduced um at the same
12:34
time
12:35
they they their influence over policies
12:38
which benefit corporations
12:40
has increased so they’re reducing the
12:42
regulations that were on them they’re
12:43
reducing all the costs that used to be
12:45
opposed
12:46
on the things so you’ve had a weakening
12:48
of the state and the strengthening of
12:49
corporations
12:51
and what’s happened at a global
12:52
governance level is that they have also
12:54
moved
12:55
not just from influencing dramatically
12:58
through their power
12:59
their economic power political decision
13:01
making
13:02
but in an easy global governance thing
13:04
it’s the next step forward because
13:05
they’re not just saying
13:06
that we want to be considered and we
13:09
will lobby to have our position heard
13:11
they’re saying
13:11
we want to actually be part of the
13:13
decision-making bodies themselves
13:16
um and the classic again is if we look
13:18
at the pandemic with kovacs
13:21
is that um what i looked actually at
13:24
just at the board of
13:25
gavi the the global alliance of vaccines
13:28
um if you look at the body it’s the
13:31
board is dominated firstly
13:33
by big pharmaceutical companies um
13:36
secondly you have some nations and some
13:39
and
13:40
civil society representatives but you
13:42
have far more
13:43
interest in the almost half a large
13:45
number of the board
13:46
are financiers they come from the
13:48
finance sector they come from big banks
13:51
um so they’re they’re i don’t know what
13:53
they have to do with public health
13:55
um and wh show is just one of the
13:58
players so it’s it’s suddenly over
14:00
crowded by others who have no um
14:03
public health representation they’ve
14:06
been dominated by finance and
14:08
pharmaceutical companies
14:09
starting to really shape and guide um
14:12
decision-making
14:13
and and on the finance side of course
14:15
bill gates foundation
14:17
has is now the big player in many of
14:19
these things and it’s
14:21
it’s it’s not just donating it’s also
14:23
involved now in shaping policy
14:25
so those who give money um in a
14:28
philanthropic way
14:30
no matter how they earn that money or no
14:32
matter what their
14:33
remit is and who they’re accountable to
14:35
they’re only accountable to the
14:37
to to bill and melinda gates um
14:40
ultimately are now part of the decision
14:42
making process as well
14:44
and this has become so normalized that
14:46
there seems to be very little
14:47
questioning of it
14:48
and we will bring together these players
14:50
now who chose them
14:53
who who chose this body to come together
14:55
who’s it accountable to
14:56
there was a british parliamentarian
14:58
called tony ben he says if you want to
understand democracy you need to ask
five questions
  1. what what power do you have
  2. who did you get it from
  3. whose interest do you serve
  4. to whom are you accountable and
  5. how can we get rid of you
15:14
if you look at a body that such as
15:16
kovacs um
15:17
who who where did they get the power
15:19
from they just self-convened
15:21
they just brought together a group of
15:23
powerful actors
15:24
they will make a token effort to involve
15:27
one or two civil society representatives
15:29
but the power very much lies with with
15:32
the corporations
15:33
and and with the financiers those who
15:36
are financing it
15:38
and it’s not accountable they chose
15:40
their body
15:41
uh if the interests are very clear who
15:43
it serves it clear
15:44
it serves the pharmaceutical companies
15:46
they will of course do certain things
15:49
um within the remit um but ultimately
15:52
they will not undermine their best
15:53
business
15:54
model even if that business model is
15:55
getting in the way of an effective
15:57
response to the
15:58
pandemic we can’t get rid of them
16:01
because we never chose them in the first
16:02
place
16:03
so it fails really the very fundamental
16:05
principles of democracy
16:07
and yet it’s now been normalized that
16:09
this is the way that global governance
16:11
should happen
16:12
nick comment briefly on an agreement
16:14
that was quite a milestone
16:16
in this process of normalization of
16:19
multi-stakeholderism
16:20
as the way global governance should
16:22
happen i’m thinking
16:23
of the uh strategic partnership
16:26
agreement signed
16:27
by the office of the un secretary
16:29
general with the world economic forum in
16:32
2019.
16:33
so what’s some background in your
16:35
response to that
16:37
uh un-w-e-f agreement
16:41
well the world economic forum has been
16:43
um advocating this mod
16:45
model of multi-stakeholder capitalism to
16:47
replace multilateralism for a long time
16:50
and and they have been um gradually
16:54
i would say kind of setting up parallel
16:56
bodies these multi-stakeholder bodies to
16:58
make decisions
17:00
um on major issues of global governance
17:02
whether it’s the digital economy or
17:04
whether it’s
17:04
how to respond to a a pandemic
17:08
um and and so they’ve they’ve been
17:10
advancing this model
17:11
um alongside the un for some time but
17:14
what what was really concerning to us is
17:16
that they’re starting
17:18
to increasingly um
17:22
engage with the un and start to impose
17:25
this and start to push this model within
17:27
the united nations
17:29
and the classic example was this
17:31
strategic partnership which was signed
17:33
in
17:33
i believe june of 2019
17:37
i don’t think it went even in front of
17:38
the general assembly so it wasn’t
17:40
discussed amongst the members it was a
17:42
decision
17:43
by the secretariat of the un without any
17:46
at least any
17:46
formal systems of accountability to sign
17:49
a deal with the world economic forum
17:51
that would essentially in start to
17:53
involve you
17:55
world economic forum staff within the
17:58
departments of the un
17:59
they would become so-called kind of
18:01
whisper advisors that
18:02
the world economic forum would start to
18:05
have its staff mingling with un staff
18:07
and starting to make decisions
18:09
um and there was no system of
18:10
accountability there was no system of
18:12
of um of consulting more widely
18:16
and and we know the world economic forum
18:19
is is this business forum if you look at
18:21
its board it’s completely controlled
18:23
uh by by some of the most wealthy and
18:26
powerful corporations and many of those
18:27
corporations
18:29
are responsible for many of the crises
18:31
we face and yet here they were being
18:32
open
18:33
open armed and welcomed into the united
18:37
nations to play a very significant role
18:38
and
18:39
and we we protested that we said that
18:42
this is not
18:43
this is not a way to solve global
18:45
problems to involve those who have
18:47
actually responsible for the crisis to
18:48
resolve it
18:50
will only lead to solutions that are
18:51
either ineffective or actually deepen
18:53
the crises we face
18:55
um we understand why the u.n is doing it
18:57
it’s because of this
18:58
lack of national support is because of
19:00
the defunding
19:02
they’re looking to kind of survive as an
19:03
organization and they’re going to the
19:05
most powerful players in the world which
19:07
are the corporations
19:08
but what they’re going to end up doing
19:09
is as ultimately undermined in the
19:12
united nations it will actually
19:14
damage the united nations because it
19:15
will remove all the democratic
19:17
legitimacy that it currently has
19:20
we desperately need global collaboration
19:23
and cooperation
19:24
but it must be based on public and
19:26
democratic systems of governance
19:29
not um unaccountable secretive forms of
19:32
governance dominated by corporations
19:35
so that’s pretty clear you oppose
19:38
multi-stakeholderism because it’s an
19:40
unaccountable
19:41
secretive form of governance dominated
19:44
by corporations
19:45
so as well as being unaccountable the
19:49
multi-stakeholder model is a voluntary
19:52
and a market-based approach to problem
19:55
solving
19:56
comment on how that also uh fits into
19:59
why you oppose the multi-stakeholderism
20:03
yeah the the solutions they’re looking
20:05
for are volunteeristic
20:07
where you can come in or out and they’re
20:09
market-based
20:10
so they will never actually challenge
20:12
the business model as it is ultimately
20:14
what happens is that they make decisions
20:16
which are not binding and actually force
20:19
actors like corporations to do certain
20:21
things
20:22
they’re based entirely on this voluntary
20:23
meth model um but it’s a kind of to take
20:26
it or leave it governance where you can
20:28
do things that you
20:29
that look good for your for your annual
20:31
report
20:32
but don’t actually change the way you
20:36
actually operate
20:37
um and so ultimately they won’t resolve
20:39
the crisis that we’re facing
20:41
so it’s not just that they’re
20:42
unaccountable but they’re actually
20:44
ultimately very ineffective so if we
20:45
look at the climate crisis for example
20:47
we’ll say
20:48
the only way that we can deal with the
20:50
climate crisis is market solutions
20:52
even if we know that really the scale of
20:55
the climate crisis the urgency
20:57
and the timing requires us to take much
20:59
more drastic solutions which will be
21:01
state-led which will require
21:02
corporations to reduce emissions
21:04
and that will start to transform
21:06
economies um
21:08
that will have to be taken these kind of
21:10
public decisions
21:12
we’re ignoring that entirely for a model
21:14
which is based on of market
21:15
incentives which really do nothing to
21:18
change the business model that has
21:19
created the climate crisis
21:21
okay so that goes a long way in
21:22
explaining why you say the world
21:24
economic forum great
21:25
reset initiative is no reset at all
21:29
nick briefly touch on some of your
21:31
further observations
21:33
like why is the multi-stakeholder model
21:36
is based on
21:37
market solutions when push comes to
21:41
shove
21:42
the profit motive will always win out
21:45
under this
21:45
approach to global governance yeah no
21:48
absolutely i mean corporations will
21:50
accept market solutions which give them
21:52
the power
21:53
to uh to really control the pace of
21:56
change
21:56
and so you’ll see it they’re very happy
21:58
to to produce these corporate social
22:00
responsibility reports but
22:02
they will fight tooth and nail for any
22:04
regulation which actually enforces
22:06
social environmental goals and so and
22:09
they will
22:10
fight on an international level to have
22:13
trade rules to actually
22:14
prevent states imposing social
22:17
environmental goals
22:19
so so there’s very much an approach
22:21
where they’re willing to have
22:22
been washed they’re willing to have the
22:24
propaganda around social environmental
22:26
goals but they will absolutely oppose
22:29
and in any rules would actually
22:32
control their their environmental and
22:34
social impacts
22:36
they do not want anything which actually
22:38
requires regulation
22:40
and and impacts which will actually
22:42
force them to do certain changes they
22:44
want their changes to be very much ones
22:46
that they
22:47
control and which they shape and
22:48
ultimately that they can ditch
22:51
at the moment it starts to challenge the
22:53
profits that they want to make
22:55
let’s turn now to the coalition in
22:58
in fighting for a democratic reset
23:01
on uh global governance so a future
23:04
where decision making over the
23:06
governance of global commons like
23:08
for example food water health and the
23:11
internet
23:12
is is done in the public interest and i
23:15
see this
23:16
coalition put together resources and
23:18
it’s posted on your website
23:19
you’re in the nexus of all this so this
23:21
time around in the wake
23:23
of the covet pandemic what’s your read
23:27
on the situation
23:28
of peoples versus corporate power
23:31
this global coup d’etat that’s been
23:34
going on silently in so many different
23:36
sectors has been advancing because there
23:39
hasn’t been enough information and
23:41
knowledge about it
23:42
and also people haven’t been connecting
23:44
the dots to see this is happening in
23:45
every sector
23:47
so what’s really important this year in
23:49
as
23:50
as and i think it’s particularly
23:52
important in the wake of the pandemic is
23:54
that
23:54
so many movements are coming together um
23:57
people’s health movement
23:59
has come together a lot of groups
24:01
involved in food sovereignty uh the
24:04
trade union sector
24:05
coming together they’re all saying uh we
24:08
do this
24:08
this is not in our name um and of course
24:11
these are all groups that you’ll never
24:12
see
24:13
in a in a multi-stakeholder initiative
24:16
whenever they do have civil society
24:18
partners they don’t involve people on
24:19
the front lines you won’t find one
24:23
health union worker in in the kovacs
24:27
initiative you won’t have public health
24:29
people really represented
24:31
represented so these are movements now
24:33
starting to come together to say that we
24:35
don’t want this and
24:36
one of the things we did was launch this
24:38
letter it’s an open letter and it’s
24:40
really saying that
24:41
it’s really alerting people to what’s
24:43
going on it’s saying that we’re facing
24:46
this
24:46
in so many different sectors uh the un
24:49
is is opening the door the un secretary
24:52
i should say is opening the door wide
24:54
open
24:55
uh to the world economic forum which is
24:57
the key body advancing
24:58
multi-stakeholders
25:01
and and it’s changing governance as we
25:03
know it it’s
25:04
and it has no systems of accountability
25:06
or justice embedded in it
25:08
and these movements are now coming
25:09
together to say we we’re
25:11
we’re opposing this we’re uniting our
25:13
forces
25:14
and we’re going to fight back against
25:16
this we know
25:18
more than ever before with the pandemic
25:20
that nationalist
25:21
solutions to the global crisis will not
25:25
work we need global cooperation we need
25:27
global collaboration
25:29
but if we hand over all that decision
25:31
making to the pharmaceutical companies
25:34
for example we won’t be dealing with the
25:36
real issues
25:38
such as as trade protection and trips
25:42
and i um patents and everything that
25:45
that really benefit pharmaceutical
25:47
companies and don’t advance public
25:48
health because they
25:49
are in control of the process they won’t
25:51
allow things that affect their profits
25:54
so we need global solutions but they
25:55
cannot be led by the corporations
25:58
which are actually worsening deepening
25:59
the crisis we face
26:02
so as we close i just wanted to play a
26:04
clip of a comment
26:06
you made back in 2015 about a book you
26:09
had co-edited
26:11
titled the secure and was dispossessed i
26:14
found a review of the book
26:15
so relevant to our chat today i just
26:17
want to cite a few lines
26:19
it said among the books that attempt to
26:21
model
26:22
the coming century this one stands out
26:25
for its sense of plausibility
26:27
and danger it examines several current
26:30
trends in our responses
26:32
to climate change which if combined
26:34
would result in a kind of oligarchic
26:37
police state dedicated to extending
26:40
capitalist hegemony this will not work
26:43
and yet powerful forces are advocating
26:46
for it rather than imagining and working
26:48
for
26:49
a more just resilient and democratic way
26:52
forward
26:53
all the processes analyzed here are
26:55
already
26:56
happening now making this book
26:59
a crucial contribution to our cognitive
27:02
mapping
27:03
in our ability to form a better plan
27:06
so nick in wrapping up briefly comment
27:10
on that book
27:11
and then uh play the clip yeah back in
27:14
2011 we noticed a trend going on in
27:17
terms of climate change where there was
27:19
was
27:20
was a lack of willingness to really
27:22
tackle the climate crisis on the scale
27:24
it needs and with the
27:25
with the with the tools and instruments
27:28
that it needs
27:29
but there was increasingly uh plans by
27:32
both
27:33
the military and corporations for
27:35
dealing with the impacts of climate
27:37
change
27:38
um and they very much looked at it in
27:41
terms of how do we
27:43
secure the wealth of those and secure
27:45
those who already have power and wealth
27:48
um and and and what that would mean so
27:51
in the face of climate crisis
27:53
the solution was very much a security
27:55
solution we’ve already seen
27:57
really an increasing role of military
28:00
and policing
28:01
and security and the real process
28:04
of militarization of responses to
28:06
climate change the most obviously in the
28:08
area of the borders
28:09
we see we see border walls going up
28:12
everywhere
28:13
the response to a crisis has been has
28:16
been to kind of retreat between behind
28:18
fortified fortifications no matter the
28:20
consequences
28:22
um and so that that was really that’s
28:25
that’s really a trend that we
28:26
that we see increasingly is that climate
28:29
our response to climate adaptation by
28:30
the richest
28:31
countries is really to military to
28:33
militarize our response to it
28:36
and that’s that’s a and that’s a real as
28:38
as that quote you just read
28:40
that’s a real concern because um it’s
28:43
the kind of politics of the armed
28:45
lifeboat
28:46
um where basically you rescue a few and
28:48
then you
28:50
and then you have a gun trained on the
28:52
rest
28:53
and it’s it’s both totally immoral and
28:55
it’s also ultimately
28:57
one that will sacrifice all of our
28:59
humanity because
29:01
we need to collaborate to respond to the
29:03
climate crisis we need to find solutions
29:05
that protect the vulnerable
29:07
we cannot just keep building higher and
29:09
higher walls
29:10
against the consequences of our
29:11
decisions and we need to actually start
29:13
to tackle the root causes of those
29:16
crises and that that was very much
29:19
a picture we started to paint back in
29:21
2015 with the launch of the book the
29:23
secure and the dispossessed
29:25
but if anything it’s more pertinent and
29:27
more pressing than ever before
29:30
nick paxton thank you thanks
29:36
keeping the profits the huge profits
29:38
rolling um even though it’s wrecking the
29:41
planet so they have no intention long
29:42
term
29:43
of changing their business model their
29:45
business model is wrecking the planet
29:47
and their determination is how to keep
29:49
that going and what we see in all of
29:51
this is that
29:52
corporations in the military are very
29:53
much responding
29:55
in a in a paradigm of control it’s it’s
29:58
security
29:59
and this word security suddenly infected
30:01
every part of
30:02
daily debate we see it food security
30:05
we’ve seen it really recently now with
30:07
everyone saying we need
30:08
security of our borders to protect
30:09
against refugees we need water security
30:12
and in all of these cases what you see
30:15
is those who are being secured
30:17
are the corporations and those who have
30:20
wealth
30:21
and those who are losing out are those
30:22
who are actually suffering the most from
30:24
climate change
30:25
so the peasant who has their land
30:27
grabbed in the name of food security
30:30
the community that no longer has control
30:32
of their river
30:33
because a corporation has has taken it
30:36
in the name of
30:36
water security all the protesters
30:39
against coal power station are actually
30:40
trying to stop the climate crisis
30:42
being repressed and having the civil
30:45
liberties taken away in the name of
30:47
energy security
30:49
in each of these cases the security is
30:51
quite clearly
30:52
for a small proportion of people and
30:55
insecurity
30:56
for the vast majority i think this is
30:58
one of the most important issues of our
31:00
age is
31:01
is do we want to leave our future in the
31:04
hands of corporations in the military