Privatization & Procurement
Four years after the disintegration of the financial system, 24 million people jobless or underemployed. Yet claims of financial fraud against companies like Citigroup and Bank of America have been settled for pennies on the dollar, with no admission of wrongdoing. Executives who ran companies that made, packaged and sold trillions of dollars in toxic mortgages and mortgage-backed securities remain largely unscathed.
Charles M. Smith, the senior civilian overseeing the multibillion-dollar contract with KBR during the first two years of the war, says he was ousted for refusing to approve payment for more than $1 billion in questionable charges to KBR. The Pentagon has recently awarded KBR part of a 10-year, $150 billion contract in Iraq.
The Chilean government has granted Endesa, a Spanish corporation, permission to carry out exploratory studies in the south of the country for the purpose of building four hydroelectric plants, in a move opposed by environmentalists, who are planning several demonstrations.
The suicide of a top Air Force procurement officer casts a cloud of suspicion, threatening to plunge a service still struggling to emerge from one of its worst scandals into another quagmire.
Between April 2003 and June 2004, $12 billion in U.S. currency--much of it belonging to the Iraqi people--was shipped from the Federal Reserve to Baghdad, where it was dispensed by the Coalition Provisional Authority. Incredibly, at least $9 billion has gone missing, unaccounted for, in a frenzy of mismanagement and greed.
Ten years after the first democratic elections in South Africa brought the African National Congress to power, critics claim that privatization and neoliberal economic policies have usurped the promise of democracy. Soweto Resists Privatization Moves Trevor Ngwane/Walter TurnerANC Privatizations Fail to Deliver in South Africa, Patrick Bond