Privatization & Procurement

Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs employee in London, has quit the company with a fiercely critical op-ed in the New York Times in which he accuses the Wall Street investment bank of losing its moral compass.
TIME has obtained an incident report prepared by the U.S. government describing a fire fight Sunday in Baghdad in which at least eight Iraqis were reported killed and 13 wounded. The loss of life has provoked anger in Baghdad, where the Interior Ministry has suspended Blackwater's license to operate around the country.
Bechtel, a global engineering and construction company based in San Francisco, today reached agreement with the government of Bolivia, dropping a legal demand for $50 million after a revolt over privatizing water services in the city of Cochabamba forced the company out of Bolivia in April 2000.
A senior official at Lockheed Martin Corp. in charge of the Deepwater contract for the Coast Guard refused a meeting with one of his own division employees in 2004 to discuss shortcomings in the program's converted patrol boats, charged Deepwater whistleblower Michael DeKort in a just-released letter to two members of Congress.
This weekend marks the fifth anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan. Fariba Nawa, an Afghan-American who returned to her native country to examine the progress of reconstruction, uncovers some examples of where the money has (and hasn't) gone, how the system of international aid works (and doesn't), and what it is really like in the villages and cities where outsiders are rebuilding the war-torn countryside. Click here to download the complete report.An HTML text version of the report is also available. Listen, watch or read an interview with Fariba Nawa on Democracy Now! about reconstruction, security, and life in Afghanistan five years after the invasion.
Overhead costs have consumed more than half the budget of some reconstruction projects in Iraq, according to a government estimate released yesterday, leaving far less money than expected to provide the oil, water and electricity needed to improve the lives of Iraqis.
International financial consortia have already squeezed local shareholders out of banks in El Salvador, and now they are expected to sideline the state, all of which will contribute to widening the gap between rich and poor.
Former managers working for Custer Battles, a high-profile private security company in Iraq, are accusing the firm of using companies in the Cayman Islands and other "tax haven" countries to fraudulently overcharge on government contracts by tens of millions of dollars.
Halliburton is hiring temps to work in Iraq: $100 a month for locals, $300 for Indians and $8,000 for Texans. Meanwhile taxpayers are getting charged top dollar, prompting investigations from the United States military.
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