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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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.
World Fiction Special
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.
A relic of a bygone era – or a billion-strong social movement fighting for workers’ rights everywhere?
The reality of trade unionism today falls somewhere in between. In the Western world, union-busting laws, globalization and internal conflicts have left many trade unions reeling. In some countries of the Global South, trade unionists face discrimination, danger and even death. Meanwhile, workers’ rights are being sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed gone mad: zero-contract hours, sub-contracting, privatization, outsourcing and special economic zones are all part of a ‘race to the bottom’ being run by transnationals concerned only about their profits.
Yet all is not lost. From Colombia to China, Bangladesh to Barcelona, workers are still fighting for their rights – and, sometimes, winning. This issue, New Internationalist looks at the state of the unions, how they need to adapt to the new reality for workers in the 21st century, and why they are more important than ever.
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 –
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