Privatization & Procurement
Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street investment bank, is being sued in London for selling Libya "worthless" derivatives trades in 2008 that the country's financial managers did not understand. Libya says it lost approximately $1.2 billion on the deals, while Goldman made $350 million.
State and Defense department officials took a tongue-lashing today, trying to explain to a Senate subcommittee how the government has poured $6 billion since 2002 into building an effective Afghan police force with disastrous results.
The U.S.-backed Iraqi cabinet approved a new oil law Monday that is set to give foreign companies the long-term contracts and safe legal framework they have been waiting for, but which has rattled labour unions and international campaigners who say oil production should remain in the hands of Iraqis.
In 2003, U.S. Steel bought up the bankrupt Sartid steel mill in the eastern Serbian town of Smederevo for $33 million, the first private enterprise to enter the country after the downfall of former leader Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. On Feb. 1, U.S. Steel sold the mill back for a dollar.
Sixteen Indiana national guardsmen filed a lawsuit yesterday against military contractor KBR. The complaint alleges that several reservists contracted respiratory system tumors and skin rashes after guarding reconstruction work at the Qarmat Ali treatment plant, strewn with the toxin chromium dichromate.
Want a billion dollars in development aid? If you happen to live in Afghanistan, the two quickest ways to attract attention and so aid from the U.S. authorities are: Taliban attacks or a flourishing opium trade. For those with neither, the future could be bleak. This piece take a look at the lack of reconstruction aid in areas like Bamiyan, Afghanistan.
The launch of Russia's stock markets in the early 90s and privatization of state assets has profoundly impacted Russian society. As the case of mining giant Norilsk Nickel illustrates, this experiment has given rise to both immense personal wealth for a new elite, and economic uncertainty for the ordinary citizen.
In "HALLIBURTON'S ARMY: How a Well-Connected Texas Oil Company Revolutionized the Way America Makes War" (Nation Books; February 9, 2009; $26.95), muckraking journalist Pratap Chatterjee conducts a highly detailed investigation into Halliburton and its former subsidiary KBR's activities in Kuwait and Iraq, uncovering much new information about its questionable practices and extraordinary profits.