Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 11 Num. 67 ======================================= ("Quid coniuratio est?")
Thanks To Secret Bail-Outs
Canny Yuppie Investors Take Note! Secret Negotiations Can Benefit YOU! ------------------------------------
Portions of an open letter to Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, formerly(?) a high-level employee of the Kuhn-Loeb financial powerhouse, written by Ralph Nader and Robert Weissman, give insight on what crafty Bill Clinton and friends are up to. Here are excerpts from the letter, published in the Jan. 26, 1998 issue of Nation magazine.
-+- "Stealth Meetings and Secret Decisions" -+-
Dear Secretary Rubin,
One of the more disturbing traits of the architects of economic globalization is their penchant for secrecy and apparent disdain for democratic processes. This modus operandi is problematic not only on procedural grounds alone, but also because it tends to foster policies that serve narrow corporate interests, over broader taxpayer, consumer, worker, environmental and other citizen interests.
The Asian financial crisis and the South Korean meltdown merit open debate and explanation of policy choices by government officials -- not stealth meetings, secret decisions, concealed information, intentionally obscure comments from you and other officials and sudden reversals of policy.
-+- The Clinton Two-Step -+-
In the first weeks of the South Korean crisis, you and members of the Clinton Administration repeatedly asserted that U.S. funds would be involved in the South Korea/Citicorp bailout only as "a second line of defense." But on December 24, in what may become known as the Great Christmas Eve Reversal, the Clinton Administration agreed to lend South Korea $1.7 billion in January as part of a $10 billion emergency loan package. In exchange for the loan, you extracted a series of additional South Korean economic conditions that are of questionable benefit to the South Korean economy, though of certain advantage to big U.S. banks and other corporations, which will now be able to acquire majority stakes in South Korean firms at fire-sale prices.
-+- Big Banks Win In "The Great Free Market" -+-
The international banks that made loans to South Korean enterprises and are complicit in whatever imprudent loans were made will apparently be bailed out by the I.M.F. and Christmas Eve Reversal packages -- suffering no more than deferred payments. Furthering the inequity, the I.M.F. and the reversal packages require South Korea to open its economy to foreign mergers and acquisitions -- meaning that Citicorp, J.P. Morgan, Bankers Trust, Bank-America, the Bank of New York, Chase Manhattan and others are not only bailed out but then given the opportunity to buy up lucrative sectors of the South Korean economy -- a double windfall.
-+- =Who= Does Secretary Rubin Work For? -+-
How does the man who preached about the risk of "moral hazard" justify such a generous package for lenders and such a harsh package for the borrower? Your handling of the South Korean/Citicorp bailout is a textbook study of the dark side of globalization. It is time for you to remember that you are employed by the people of the United States, not by the banks and financial houses on Wall Street.
RALPH NADER and ROBERT WEISSMAN
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