Followers

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Global Taxes?

CNBC is an “industry partner” of the World Economic Forum this week.

CNBC is a subsidiary of General Electric, whose GE Capital is receiving a $139-billion taxpayer-financed loan guarantee as part of the Wall Street bailout. CNBC’s sister networks are NBC and MSNBC.

Other “industry partners” of the WEF include Reuters, the British-based news agency. A Reuters story about the meeting that starts on Wednesday sounds like a press release from the organization, hailing its “achievements” over time but failing to note that Reuters is a sponsor of this year’s event.

CNBC is advertising a “No Way Back – the Road to Recovery” debate hosted at the conference by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo. One of the participants is Steve Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of the Chinese-funded and partly owned Blackstone Group.

Representing Chinese economic dominance in what Henry Kissinger has labeled a “New World Order,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is speaking to a special session of the conference on its first day.

The event’s corporate sponsors, which pay about half a million dollars each to participate, include several failing institutions that have received tens of billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers. They include Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley. These entities are termed “Strategic Partners” of the World Economic Forum.

But will CNBC highlight this kind of extravagant spending when the cable business network is helping sponsor the event?

In a major embarrassment, the WEF has released a report, “The Future of the Global Financial System,” which acknowledges “intellectual stewardship and guidance” provided by a steering committee co-chaired by John Thain, the former Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive officer who was recently ousted from Bank of America in a scandal. Thain oversaw the disastrous sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America and was criticized for lavish spending on office decorations, including a $1,405 waste basket and $87,784 rug.

The other co-chair of the committee was David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, who has been quoted as saying that China holds the key to the world economy’s future. One report notes that Rubenstein says Carlyle “was an early investor in the Chinese marketplace,” that its China office “has hired many native-born Chinese, and the company is seeking to build its buyout and growth-capital businesses there.”

“The Global Agenda 2009” report says that “sovereign states do not adequately address problems reaching across borders” and that “international taxation” may be needed to generate the “additional resources” for “global governance.”

Read it all here.

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