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 Smiley-faced monopolists of New Internationalist

On Newsstands

Smiley-faced monopolists

Smiley-faced monopolists

For Facebook, Amazon and Google, we have traded our privacy for something we find useful and put on hold our support for ethical shopping in exchange for the ease of low (or no) price and almost-instant gratification. This month's magazine looks at just how far down the line we are and asks how deeply exploitative and anti-democratic is this new ‘surveillance capitalism’ under which we now live. This month’s contributors include security expert Bruce Schneier, psychologist Robert Epstein and engineer and software activist Prabir Purkayastha.


Online now

After Ebola

The world’s media extensively covered the Ebola crisis at its peak, but now the epidemic’s impact on communities in West Africa has fallen off the news agenda. And while millions of donor dollars eventually poured in to help contain and defeat the virus, its after effects – social, cultural and economic – will continue to be felt for years to come. We take a critical look at the humanitarian response and health systems deficit. Ebola is not a new disease – it’s been around since 1976 – so why did over 11,000 West Africans die 2014-16? Did we learn the right lessons from the outbreak, and, with Ebola considered endemic in the region, is Sierra Leone ready if the virus returns?

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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.

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