News Release

An Enron Model for the World?

GREG PALAST
Palast is an internationally recognized expert on regulation of power markets and author of Regulation and Democracy, an upcoming U.N. study. On a Jan. 24, 2001 news release by the Institute for Public Accuracy, he said: “The California blackouts are a simple case of greed run amok…. The big winners in this monstrosity are Enron — the largest career contributor to George W. Bush — and other energy companies who have strangled the market. ‘Deregulation’ is a lie — it is simply moving regulation from democratic government agencies to an unelected circle of market manipulators.” Palast said today: “There’s a whole band of power pirates out there fiddling the books, rigging the markets, and buying and selling politicians like bags of sugar — from Argentina to Houston to Washington to New York. In fact, you simply can’t divide the collapse of Enron from the collapse of Argentina. Enron wasn’t a bad apple — the entire system of deregulating electricity is rotten, root and branch. Arthur Andersen didn’t have a few bad boys. As an investigator, I’ve watched their financial finagling run amok — all under the name of ‘innovation.’ They just don’t get it: one, two, a hundred Enrons are charging down on us, and a dozen Argentinas — unless we restore the right to put the reins on these let-the-markets-rule pirates. That’s why kids were in the streets of Seattle, and are now protesting the World Economic Forum. It’s more than a protest, it’s a wake-up call…”
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COLLEEN FREEMAN
Freeman is a grassroots coordinator for Friends of the Earth, which is a co-coordinator of the “Public Eye on Davos” coalition. Speaking from New York, she said today: “In the institution’s own words, the WEF is a private club for the world’s ‘foremost corporations.’ In this secluded space away from the public eye, they promote a one-sided model of economic globalization that overwhelmingly enriches the industrialized countries and their corporations while deepening global economic inequities and further degrading the environment.”
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SIMON GREER
Program director at Jobs With Justice, Greer said today: “Ironically, this year as New York City faces the aftermath of Sept. 11, as the nation struggles with a harsh recession, and as the insecurities of the global economy become more and more real, the WEF claims they are coming to New York to demonstrate their concern. Yet, nowhere in their agenda do they face the fact that the last 20 years have been an abject economic failure for the entire set of low and middle income countries. Nor do they seem prepared to address the re-emergence of sweatshop, child and slave labor as a gruesome foundation of the profit-driven global economy that they have blueprinted. Presenters at the WEF will likely promote the notion of deregulation, and to them we will offer a one word question: Enron?”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167