New Internationalist

Cover for August 2006 - Issue 392

August 2006's Issue

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.

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Featured in issue 392

Md Main Uddin

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.

Confessions of a banker

Together with a whistleblower, Lucy Komisar exposes the offshore operations of the world’s biggest bank.

Havana Black

Havana Black by Leonardo Padura and translated by Peter Bush


Iraqis flee in terror from the war on terror

The Servant Problem

The Servant Problem by Rosie Cox

The banks are made of marble

The true owners of the silver in the vaults.

The Death of Mr Lazarescu

The Death of Mr Lazarescu directed by Cristi Puiu

Sustainable security

Chris Abbott argues that the ‘long war’ is the wrong war on terror.

On the people's account

New Internationalist campaigners explore alternative banking and resources.

Little Fish

Little Fish directed by Rowan Woods

Introducing Etran Finatawa

Introducing Etran Finatawa by Etran Finatawa


Techari by Ojos de Brujo

The bang in the buck

Dheepthi Namasivayam goes in search of banks that refuse to lend to arms traders.

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Plastic smiles

The cultural transition from savings to credit.

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Ok-Oyot System

Ok-Oyot System by Extra Golden

Give them credit

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.

Robert Friedland

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Assault on free speech

Government desperate to restrict the spreading rural revolt

The kingdom of capital

Chris Richards steps into the secret world of high finance.

Thomas Alva Edison

(1847-1931), US inventor of the light bulb, phonograph and movie projector.

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Let the dirty tricks begin!

Vets for Freedom comes under scrutiny.

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Banks - The Facts

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Empire's exiles

The Chagos Islanders: Lindsey Collen introduces the women who have kept the decades-long struggle alive.

Interview with Lalo Moreyra

and local environmentalists causing an international stir in Latin America.

Transfer the problem

Banks ditch the poor, reports Yvonne Chua from the Philippines.

Polyp's Big Bad World - August 2006

Spot the Greedy Bastard in Polyp’s cartoon.

Banks against the wall

Anil Netto finds out how Malaysian Government money ends up in the pockets of the wealthy.

The privatization of Patagonia

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.

The trouble with models

View from Lagos by Ike Oguine

Paradise Regained

Chagos islanders resist superpowers

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Bolivian land returned to the people

Two million hectares have been earmarked for women and indigenous peoples.

One laptop at a time?

A small but powerful $100 laptop designed for school children in the Majority World.

Cover of the Peace in Colombia? Hope and Fear of New Internationalist

On Newsstands

Peace in Colombia? Hope and Fear

Peace in Colombia? Hope and fear


Online now

World Fiction

Fiction has entered a new era. Writers of novels and short stories are no longer writing only for their own nation or even for readers speaking their own language but are breaking national boundaries and reaching a worldwide audience. In the process authors from Africa, Asia and Latin America are winning greater prominence – and a new phenomenon identified as ‘world writing’ has emerged.

This issue of New Internationalist not only analyses these developments but also showcases four exquisite short stories as examples: ‘Fat’ by Krys Lee from South Korea; ‘In The Garden’ by FT Kola from South Africa; ‘Ghosts’ by the Cuban-American Ana Menéndez; and ‘The Lake Retba Murder’ by Efemia Chela from Zambia and Ghana.

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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 –

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