Asking people about how they make their money is simply not the done thing. Unsurprisingly, bankers nurture this custom. No questions asked means no dirt exposed. That’s why those squeaky-clean Swiss bankers – portrayed as the epitome of banking etiquette because of their ‘discretion’ – have been able to hide the proceeds of theft by Nazi criminals or corrupt officials in Africa for decades. Under this shroud, bankers everywhere have quietly furthered their monopoly in the business of money making, setting up tax-avoidance schemes and shifting capital in quantities beyond the imagination of ordinary people. Few discover how. It’s all too complex.
Or is it? This month, the NI explains in straightforward language how banks make money.
Every month, we put up a selection of articles from the magazine. To enjoy the complete magazine, subscribe and receive three free issues and a world map. Or buy a digital subscription which gives you unlimited access to all magazines since 2007 and for a year after purchase on your computer or mobile device, in their original full-colour design.
I was on an assignment at Domra Kanda, an asylum for the mentally ill in Kishoreganj, Bangladesh, where the only medications provided are these ‘medallions’ filled with spiritual spells and ‘blessed water’ from traditional spiritual healers.
Together with a whistleblower, Lucy Komisar exposes the offshore operations of the world’s biggest bank.
Havana Black by Leonardo Padura and translated by Peter Bush
The true owners of the silver in the vaults.
The Death of Mr Lazarescu directed by Cristi Puiu
Chris Abbott argues that the ‘long war’ is the wrong war on terror.
New Internationalist campaigners explore alternative banking and resources.
Dheepthi Namasivayam goes in search of banks that refuse to lend to arms traders.
As the credit card consumes Chile, Lezak Shallat takes stock.
Belize is a renowned eco-tourist destination for ‘reef and rainforest’ holidays. Tourism has come at a cost though, including damage to the reef, adding to that from pollution and global warming.
Government desperate to restrict the spreading rural revolt
Chris Richards steps into the secret world of high finance.
(1847-1931), US inventor of the light bulb, phonograph and movie projector.
The Chagos Islanders: Lindsey Collen introduces the women who have kept the decades-long struggle alive.
and local environmentalists causing an international stir in Latin America.
Banks ditch the poor, reports Yvonne Chua from the Philippines.
Anil Netto finds out how Malaysian Government money ends up in the pockets of the wealthy.
Fences are marching across the Patagonian wilderness, displacing indigenous peoples and turning pure water into private property. Tomás Bril Mascarenhas reports on another conquest, this time by foreign investors.
Two million hectares have been earmarked for women and indigenous peoples.
Does repeating a thing make it true? The followers of mainstream economic dogma must surely think ‘Yes’. After the financial crash of 2008 and the malaise ever since, they haven’t changed their tune much. Their prescriptions don’t work but the patients – you or me – are still being dosed with ‘freemarket’ medicine. We’ve worked on this edition in the spirit of providing something of an antidote. The economic bottom line is inevitable, say the powers that be. Just the way things are. Well, we – and an ever-growing legion of dissenting economists and fed-up-to-the-back-teeth members of the general public – say, ‘No’. These cherished myths are causing real harm and we need to ditch them.
In a nutshell: the countries most recently featured in the New Internationalist magazine.
Sharp insights from an array of guest writers.
Personal stories from our own correspondents.
Interviews with inspirational people.
Reviews of the latest books, films and music.
Seeing the world through a Southern lens.
A regular column from some of the best writers of the South.
Taking aim at the rich and powerful.
If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.
– Emma Thompson –
Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.