Category Archives: Foreign Takeovers

Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings

theeconomiccollapseblog.com | Jan 29, 2013

By Michael

Who-Runs-The-World-Solid-Proof-That-A-Core-Group-Of-Wealthy-Elitists-Are-Pulling-The-Strings-294x300Does a shadowy group ofobscenely wealthy elitists control the world?  Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes?  The answer might surprise you.  Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control.  And today we live in a neo-fuedalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings.  When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars.  As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt.  That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible.  Under this ne0-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments.  Just look around – everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.  But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth.  They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations.  The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet.  They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line.  They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system.  They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world.  It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.

The ultra-wealthy don’t run down and put their money in the local bank like you and I do.  Instead, they tend to stash their assets in places where they won’t be taxed such as the Cayman Islands.  According to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.

U.S. GDP for 2011 was about 15 trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at about 16 trillion dollars, so you could add them both together and you still wouldn’t hit 32 trillion dollars.

And of course that does not even count the money that is stashed in other locations that the study did not account for, and it does not count all of the wealth that the global elite have in hard assets such as real estate, precious metals, art, yachts, etc.

The global elite have really hoarded an incredible amount of wealth in these troubled times.  The following is from an article on the Huffington Post website

Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.

The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.

The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.

He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.

But as I mentioned previously, the global elite just don’t have a lot of money.  They also basically own just about every major bank and every major corporation on the entire planet.

According to an outstanding NewScientist article, a study of more than 40,000 transnational corporations conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich discovered that a very small core group of huge banks and giant predator corporations dominate the entire global economic system…

An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

The researchers found that this core group consists of just 147 very tightly knit companies…

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

The following are the top 25 banks and corporations at the heart of this “super-entity”.  You will recognize many of the names on the list…

1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
4. AXA
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
7. Legal & General Group plc
8. Vanguard Group Inc
9. UBS AG
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
17. Natixis
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation

The ultra-wealthy elite often hide behind layers and layers of ownership, but the truth is that thanks to interlocking corporate relationships, the elite basically control almost every Fortune 500 corporation.

The amount of power and control that this gives them is hard to describe.

Unfortunately, this same group of people have been running things for a very long time.  For example, New York City Mayor John F. Hylan said the following during a speech all the way back in 1922

The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.

They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business.

These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.

These international bankers created the central banks of the world (including the Federal Reserve), and they use those central banks to get the governments of the world ensnared in endless cycles of debt from which there is no escape.  Government debt is a way to “legitimately” take money from all of us, transfer it to the government, and then transfer it into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy.

Today, Barack Obama and almost all members of Congress absolutely refuse to criticize the Fed, but in the past there have been some brave members of Congress that have been willing to take a stand.  For example, the following quote is from a speech that Congressman Louis T. McFadden delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives on June 10, 1932

Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board has cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladministration of that law by the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.

Sadly, most Americans still believe that the Federal Reserve is a “federal agency”, but that is simply not correct.  The following comes from factcheck.org

The stockholders in the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks are the privately owned banks that fall under the Federal Reserve System. These include all national banks (chartered by the federal government) and those state-chartered banks that wish to join and meet certain requirements. About 38 percent of the nation’s more than 8,000 banks are members of the system, and thus own the Fed banks.

According to researchers that have looked into the ownership of the big Wall Street banks that dominate the Fed, the same names keep coming up over and over: the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Warburgs, the Lazards, the Schiffs and the royal families of Europe.

But ultra-wealthy international bankers have not just done this kind of thing in the United States.  Their goal was to create a global financial system that they would dominate and control.  Just check out what Georgetown University history professor Carroll Quigley once wrote

[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.

Sadly, most Americans have never even heard of the Bank for International Settlements, but it is at the very heart of the global financial system.  The following is from Wikipedia

As an organization of central banks, the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 58 member central banks. While monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation, it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies. Failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time, preferably as a simultaneous policy among all 58 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund, have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be based on unrealistic assumptions.

The ultra-wealthy have also played a major role in establishing other important international institutions such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  In fact, the land for the United Nations headquarters in New York City was purchased and donated by John D. Rockefeller.

The international bankers are “internationalists” and they are very proud of that fact.

The elite also dominate the education system in the United States.  Over the years, the Rockefeller Foundation and other elitist organizations have poured massive amounts of money into Ivy League schools.  Today, Ivy League schools are considered to be the standard against which all other colleges and universities in America are measured, and the last four U.S. presidents were educated at Ivy League schools.

The elite also exert a tremendous amount of influence through various secret societies (Skull and Bones, the Freemasons, etc.), through some very powerful think tanks and social clubs (the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Bohemian Grove, Chatham House, etc.), and through a vast network of charities and non-governmental organizations (the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, etc.).

But for a moment, I want to focus on the power the elite have over the media.  In a previous article, I detailed how just six monolithic corporate giants control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day.  These giant corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.

Considering the fact that the average American watches 153 hours of television a month, the influence of these six giant corporations should not be underestimated.  The following are just some of the media companies that these corporate giants own…

Time Warner

Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Walt Disney

ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books

Viacom

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1

News Corporation

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
DIRECTV
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan

CBS Corporation

CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network

NBC Universal

Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Trio
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video

And of course the elite own most of our politicians as well.  The following is a quote from journalist Lewis Lapham

“The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern the universities, control the philanthropic foundations, the policy institutes, the casinos, and the sports arenas.”

Have you ever wondered why things never seem to change in Washington D.C. no matter who we vote for?

Well, it is because both parties are owned by the establishment.

It would be nice to think that the American people are in control of who runs things in the U.S., but that is not how it works in the real world.

In the real world, the politician that raises more money wins more than 80 percent of the time in national races.

Our politicians are not stupid – they are going to be very good to the people that can give them the giant piles of money that they need for their campaigns.  And the people that can do that are the ultra-wealthy and the giant corporations that the ultra-wealthy control.

Are you starting to get the picture?

There is a reason why the ultra-wealthy are referred to as “the establishment”.  They have set up a system that greatly benefits them and that allows them to pull the strings.

So who runs the world?

They do.  In fact, they even admit as much.

David Rockefeller wrote the following in his 2003 book entitled “Memoirs”

“For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

There is so much more that could be said about all of this.  In fact, an entire library of books could be written about the power and the influence of the ultra-wealthy international bankers that run the world.

But hopefully this is enough to at least get some conversations started.

So what do you think about all of this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

The Great Seal Of The United States

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Foreign holdings of US debt increased to record $5.56 trillion in November

Associated Press | Jan 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in November, further evidence that overseas investors remained confident in U.S. debt despite looming budget battles in Washington.

The Treasury Department says foreign holdings of U.S. Treasurys rose 0.6 percent in November from October to $5.56 trillion. It was the 11th consecutive monthly gain.

China, the top foreign holder, increased its portfolio by $200 million to $1.17 trillion. Japan, the second-largest holder, boosted its investments by $900 million to $1.13 trillion.

Demand kept rising even as Congress neared a deadline to raise its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit. The government reached its borrowing limit on Dec. 31, but began using bookkeeping maneuvers to keep operating. The Treasury is expected to exhaust those measures by mid-February to early March.

It’s back: Texas in ‘Super Highway’ deal with Spain

nasco_corridor

Perry signs agreement 3 years after public opposition halted project

wnd.com | Dec 29, 2012

by Jerome R. Corsi

NEW YORK – Believe it or not, the Trans-Texas Corridor is back.

Very quietly, Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Department of Transportation, or TxDOT, signed in October a comprehensive development agreement to construct a toll-road redevelopment of Interstate 35 north of downtown Fort Worth.

TxDOT signed the 50-year deal with NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3 LLC, a U.S.-based wholly-owned subsidiary of Cintra, the Spanish-owned construction company. TxDOT picked Cintra in 2005 to build what some critics called the “NAFTA Super Highway.”

Chris Lippincot, the former TxDOT information officer who is currently acting as the new public relations man for Cintra in the United States, also announced TxDOT signed a contract in September with Cintra to build a privatized State Highway 130 toll road in San Antonio.

Jerome Corsi’s “America for Sale” exposes the globalists’ effort to put America on the chopping block

Perry may never have abandoned his original idea to build what during the presidential administration of George W. Bush was known as the Trans-Texas Corridor project, a 4,000-mile network of privately built and operated toll roads to crisscross the state, with Spanish development company Cintra scheduled to earn the tolls under 50-year leases.

In 2009, Perry scrapped the TTC plan after a series of combative town hall meetings throughout the state showed TxDOT it faced massive taxpayer resistance.

But now, the plan apparently is being implemented in small chunks, without the fanfare of divulging a statewide blueprint Perry and TxDOT may still have tucked away in their back pockets.

Was TTC ever really dead?

Operating below the radar of public opinion, Texas currently has $20 billion in roadwork underway through public-private partnerships, according to Ted Houghton, TxDOT chairman, the Texas Tribune reported earlier this month.

Despite Perry’s pledge in 2009 to end the Trans-Texas Corridor project with Cintra, TxDOT has kept the public-private partnership toll road concept alive by proposing smaller projects for the approval of the Texas state legislature.

Nicholas Rubio, the president of Cintra’s U.S. arm in Austin, told the Texas Tribune that Cintra currently has contracts for three road projects in Texas, consisting of approximately $5 billion in private investment against about $1 billion in public subsidies.

“You have to recognize, in general, that policymakers in Texas have been ahead of the curve,” Rubio told the Tribune. “The states that have been developing P3s (public-private partnerships) are Texas, Florida, Virginia, and that’s about it.”

In October, Perry and Rafael del Pino, chairman of Ferrovial, Cintra’s parent company in Spain, attended the grand launch of a 41-mile stretch of State Highway 130 P3 project between Austin and Sequin.

Texas owns the land on which the SH 130 P3 project is built, but a private consortium owned and operated by Cintra is scheduled to build the toll road. It’s to be operated under a 50-year lease, with Cintra taking the lion’s share of the tolls collected over the next 50 years to recover construction costs and to make a profit.

To make the SH 130 toll road palatable to Texas drivers, the speed limit will be set to 85 miles per hour, the fastest posted limit in the United States.

A look-back to the Bush era

Quietly but systematically, the Bush administration in conjunction with Perry in Texas advanced the plan to build a huge highway, four football fields wide, through the heart of Texas, parallel to Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Texas, to the Texas border with Oklahoma.

The Trans-Texas Corridor moved ahead to begin construction following the re-election of Perry in November 2006.

Plans to build TTC-35 were fully disclosed on KeepTexasMoving.org, a now defunct official TxDOT website.

On March 11, 2005, a “Comprehensive Development Agreement” was signed by TxDOT to build the “TTC-35 High Priority Corridor” parallel to Interstate 35.

The contracting party was a limited partnership formed between Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., a publically-listed company headquartered in Spain, majority controlled by the Madrid-based Groupo Ferrovial, and a San Antonio-based construction company, Zachry Construction Corporation.

The Cintra deal meant that once the TTC was completed, anyone who wanted to drive on it would have to pay an investment consortium in Spain for the privilege of driving in Texas.

Although somewhat incomprehensible to most U.S. citizens, these public-private partnerships involve selling off key U.S. infrastructure projects to foreign entities.

Granted, the “ownership” rights of projects like TTC-35 would have remained with the state of Texas, yet selling off the leasing rights amounts in the thinking of most U.S. citizens to selling off the highway to foreign interests for the term of the lease.

Under the terms of the TTC agreements with TxDOT, Cintra would have had the rights to operate TTC-35 for 50 years and to collect all tolls on the road in that period of time.

The Comprehensive Development Agreement called for Cintra-Zachry to provide private investment of $6 billion “to fully design, construct and operate a four-lane, 316-mile toll road between Dallas and San Antonio for up to 50 years as the initial segment of TTC-35.

For this, Cintra-Zachry paid the state of Texas $1.2 billion for the long-term right to build and operate the initial segment as a toll facility.

In April 2006, TxDOT released a 4,000-page Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, for what was described as the “Trans-Texas Corridor-25 Oklahoma to Mexico/Gulf Coast Element.”

The April 2006 EIS made clear that Cintra-Zachry planned to build a 1,200-foot-wide (approximately four football fields wide) complex with 10 lanes of highway – five lanes in each direction, north and south.Three lanes in each direction would be reserved for passenger vehicles and two separate lanes reserved for trucks.

The EIS design included six rail lines running parallel to the highway, with separate rail lines in each direction for high-speed rail, commuter rail and freight rail.

Finally, the design called for a 200-foot wide utility corridor that would include pipelines for oil, natural gas, water, telecommunications and data, as well as electricity towers.

According to the TxDOT Trans-Texas Corridor Plan adopted in June 2002, TxDOT ultimately would build some 4,000 miles of highway-railway-utility super-corridors throughout Texas over the next 50 years, using some 584,000 acres of what is now Texas farm and ranchland, at an estimated cost of $184 billion.

The TTC plan left little doubt TTC toll-road super-corridors were designed to facilitate international trade, primarily speeding trucks and trains carrying “inter-modal” containers from Mexican ports to destinations in the heartland of the U.S.

The full TTC build-out was designed to move goods through Texas rapidly, bypassing the major cities.

Australians must work harder: Treasury head

Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson is warning Australians face declining living standards if they do not work harder.

The debate has resurfaced after a state-controlled Chinese mining company bought 43 farms in northern New South Wales.

abc.net.au | Jun 30, 2011

By Lexi Metherell, staff

Dr Parkinson says Australia cannot rely on the mining boom alone. (AAP: Alan Porritt, file photo)

In a strongly worded speech in Melbourne last night, Dr Parkinson blamed what he called populist media campaigns for undermining bipartisan support for reform.

The Treasury Secretary said Australia could not rely on the mining boom to prop up the economy and if productivity was not improved, incomes would take a dive.

“Our productivity growth, again measured in terms of both labour productivity or multi-factor productivity, has slowed and importantly there’s little reason to believe it will improve in the immediate term,” he said.

“Indeed the rate of improvement in the living standards of Australians, or at least that part that’s captured by income measures, has already begun to deteriorate, even with the sustained and unprecedented rise in the terms of trade.”

Dr Parkinson, one of Australia’s most powerful government officials, has also sounded a note of caution in the growing debate over foreign ownership.

He warns politicians to tread cautiously.

“The issue around whether foreign ownership, whether it’s of the mining sector or of agricultural sector, has to be handled quite carefully,” he said.

“You can see there have been a number of political interventions this week.

“I just hope that they are handled with clear recognition of where Australia’s national interest lies.”

The debate has resurfaced after a state-controlled Chinese mining company bought 43 farms in northern New South Wales.

The Greens, independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce want a review of foreign investment laws.

Senator Joyce says they need to be tightened to guard rich agricultural land for food production.

And independent MP Tony Windsor wants what he calls “sensitive lands” to be protected from mining.

But Dr Parkinson says foreign investment is in Australia’s national interest because there simply is not enough capital domestically to invest in developing assets.

“Once we get into the world of discouraging capital from any source, you know it’s got to be a legitimate source, but once we’re in the world of discouraging capital to come to Australia we are actually making a deliberate decision to lower our own potential wealth,” he said.

But at the same time, Dr Parkinson says Australia needs to get the right price for its valuable non-renewable resources, suggesting there is scope to increase taxes on the mining sector.

“Once sold, those assets cannot yield any further return for Australia’s citizens,” he said.

“This means that it is critical that society receives an appropriate return on the assets rather than the value being captured solely by the Australian and foreign shareholders of the companies that sell the assets.

“Arguably, this is not presently the case.”

Dr Parkinson says economic reforms should make it easier for people to move to rapidly growing mining areas.

He says lower stamp duty – which could encourage people to sell their houses and move – and other reforms that would make it easier for people to transition to new jobs were a sensible approach.

“Tax reforms that improve resource allocation and improve mobility, and especially state taxes such as stamp duty and property tax,” he said.

“Appropriate reforms to tackle climate change at minimum cost also make sense.”

Foreign shock troops enter Bahrain to put down protests


Foreign troops enter Bahrain as protests continue. AFP

CNN | Mar 14, 2011

(CNN) — Foreign troops arrived Monday in the strategically and financially important Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain after a month of citizen protests, the Bahraini government said.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s giant neighbor to the west, appears to have provided at least some of the troops, who arrived under the banner of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

In a statement, the government described the troops as “coalition forces” but did not say what countries were represented. Their mission was equally vague: “The GCC Peninsula Shield coalition forces arrived in the Kingdom of Bahrain today following recent events, to help protect the safety of citizens, residents and critical infrastructure,” it said.

The Saudi state news agency said its government had responded to Bahrain’s request for help in view of the importance of security there.

According to the state news agency of the United Arab Emirates, southwest of Bahrain, it too “decided to send a security force to keep the peace in the Kingdom of Bahrain” at that country’s request.

Anwar Mohammed Qerqash, the UAE minister for foreign affairs, described the move as part of his country’s responsibility within the Gulf Cooperation Council to bring “security and stability to the region.”

It was not clear how many foreign security troops had entered Bahrain. Various parts of the Bahraini government referred CNN questions to other government offices on Monday.

A witness said dozens of armored vehicles and buses full of soldiers crossed Monday afternoon from Saudi Arabia into Bahrain afternoon via the causeway linking the two countries.

The Gulf Cooperation Council comprises six Gulf states — Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar — and encourages cooperation among members in a number of areas, including the economy and security.

The movement of forces came on the same day that protesters seized control of a key part of the capital city of Manama, a Human Rights Watch official said.

About 100 demonstrators blocked access to the Bahrain Financial Harbour with barricades such as trash cans and cinderblocks, in effect shutting down the commercial district, Faraz Sanei said.

There was no police presence, he added.

“What we are witnessing in Manama is no peaceful protest,” Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid al-Khalifa said. “It’s wanton, gangster style takeover of people’s lives,” he said on Twitter.

A pro-government group of lawmakers was urging the king of Bahrain to impose martial law for three months in the wake of the protests.

The arrival of the troops followed a day of clashes between protesters and security forces that resulted in the hospitalization of more than 1,000 people, human rights activists said.

The protests were the latest in a series that has swept across the Arab world this year, toppling the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, but it was not clear that any other country had taken the step of calling in foreign troops for help.

“Temporarily, it should calm the situation,” said Simon Henderson, director of the Gulf and energy policy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He noted that the administration of Barack Obama has been urging political dialogue but said Monday’s move was not what the U.S. president meant.

“Sending in Saudi forces is hardly encouraging political dialogue,” Henderson said. “The great danger is, it will actually worsen the situation by encouraging Iran to get involved. Not militarily, probably, but certainly diplomatically and rhetorically.”

The underlying concern is that Iran, an overwhelmingly Shiite state, could seize the opportunity to meddle in Bahrain’s internal affairs. Bahrain has a Shiite majority population, but its rulers are Sunni.

Saudi Arabia’s eastern province is home not only to many of the country’s rich oil fields but to its largest concentration of minority Shiite as well. In recent weeks, Shiite demonstrators there have protested the Saudi government, whose leaders are overwhelmingly Sunni.

The Saudi government would presumably be concerned that any uprising by Shiite Muslims in Bahrain could inspire the Shiite population in nearby Saudi Arabia to follow suit.

Protests on Sunday appeared to have been among the most violent since last month, when police tried to clear the capital’s Pearl Roundabout, leaving seven people dead, according to demonstrators.

Most of Sunday’s injured suffered gas-related injuries, including burns and breathing problems, according to Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Doctors and nurses were among the injured. At least five people were in critical condition, and at least two people lost their eyes because of bullet injuries, he said.

Manama was sealed off Monday, journalists there said. The highway stretching from the Pearl Roundabout to the Bahrain Financial Harbour was blocked by trees and other debris.

The government denied accusations Sunday that unjustified force was used against protesters at the harbor, along a key highway and at Bahrain University.

Britain’s Foreign Office warned Sunday against all travel to the Gulf kingdom until further notice, saying, “The risk of further outbreaks of violence has increased.”

The nation’s Independent Bloc of lawmakers called on Bahrain security forces to intervene to protect national security and stability, the Bahrain News Agency reported Sunday. The bloc is composed of the 22 pro-government members of the lower house of the legislature.

“Extremist movements are resorting to escalation and sectarian mobilization, which led to an unprecedented disruption of security and hostile sectarian polarization at health and educational institutions,” the group said in a statement.

The members of parliament asked King Hamad to enforce a curfew and deploy security forces across the country.

During protests in the tiny island nation, moderates have been demanding a constitutional monarchy, and hardliners have called for the abolition of the royal family altogether.

China’s CNOOC buys one-third stake in Colorado, Wyoming energy project


China’s CNOOC Ltd has agreed to pay $570 million for one-third of US firm Chesapeake Energy’s shale oil and gas project

AFP | Jan 31, 2011

BEIJING — China’s CNOOC Ltd said Monday it has agreed to pay $570 million for one-third of US firm Chesapeake Energy’s shale oil and gas drilling project in the American states of Colorado and Wyoming.

The investment in the 800,000-acre (323,749-hectare) project in two basins is the second deal between the firms since October and signals greater efforts by both energy-guzzling countries to develop the hard-to-reach resources.

CNOOC’s wholly owned subsidiary CNOOC International would buy the 33.3 percent stake, the Chinese company said on its website. In addition, it will fund two-thirds of the drilling costs up to $697 million.

“It is a great pleasure to establish further cooperation with Chesapeake in shale oil and gas development,” said CNOOC chairman Fu Chengyu.

“The project highlights the joint interests of energy companies in both US and China to accelerate the development of shale oil and gas, increase energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Chesapeake announced in October it had reached a deal with CNOOC to sell about a third of its interest in the Eagle Ford Shale project in South Texas for $1.08 billion.

Chief executive of the Oklahoma-based company, Aubrey McClendon, said the latest deal would “provide the capital necessary to accelerate drilling” in the project in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming and create thousands of jobs.

Shale gas comes from deep reserves that were thought inaccessible until the advent of new drilling methods. But costs still are usually above conventional gas, and some environmentalists worry about pollution in drinking water.

Chinese companies are investing in resources from Australia to Africa to Latin America as Beijing tries to secure access to raw materials needed to fuel the fast-growing economy.