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FIFA vs International Bank Scandals
By John Perkins
Join me in Colombia this December and in Guatemala in January. Details below.
You don’t have to be a soccer fan to know about the recent FIFA scandal. FIFA is the governing body for soccer, the world’s most popular sport. Leaders in the organization have been charged with corruption, graft, extortion, and stunning disregard for the human costs of their success. But FIFA is just one in a long tradition of giant, arrogant members of the corporatocracy who seem to think they are above the law.
While this scandal is certainly newsworthy, the real outrage is the criminal bankers who have been making untold billions by illegally manipulating exchange rates for years. The world of sports is acting as a smoke screen, shielding the Justice Department from blame for irresponsibly ignoring the banking world. Instead of indicting individual bankers, the true masterminds behind this “breathtaking conspiracy,” as US Attorney General Loretta Lynch has called it, all the attention has been directed at the banks as entities. There are individual men and women behind the crimes of these international banks, people who should be brought to justice instead of protected by an armor of wealth and power. After the 2012 banking scandal around Libor – the “London Interbank Offered Rate” – there is no excuse for letting this travesty get swept under the rug.
International banking and the interest and exchange rates it controls are much more significant to all our lives than soccer. There is a bigger scandal brewing there, major banks have admitted to criminal activities, agreed to pay fines of about $10 billion, and yet not a single banker has been indicted. Why, we should all be asking ourselves, are banking executives above the law while those at FIFA are not? Clues: which group belongs to the corporatocracy? Who hires tens of thousands of Washington deal-makers and lobbyists? Who owns US Congress people?
Calling themselves the “Cartel,” a conglomerate of international banks has come under fire for manipulating foreign exchange rates, among other charges, to illegally increase the banks’ profits exponentially. These once-respected financial institutions, including Barclays, the Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, and JP Morgan Chase, acted as if they were untouchable and pursued wealth at all costs. The punishments for this long standing betrayal of the world’s trust are fines and penalties, with the occasional firing of bankers. The amount of these fines is hardly a punishment that fits the crime. The Justice Department needs to indict the ringleaders, the human beings behind these criminal acts. They cannot be allowed to hide behind shadowy and impersonal corporate logos.
Even while turning a blind eye to the crimes of the banking empire in favor of the sports arena, indicting a few members of FIFA is too little too late. Arresting members of a multinational sports corporation will not change the way the corporatocracy exploits the people of the world and damages the future for all of us. And the fact that corporations like Nike that are partners of FIFA seem to escape the net in this case, illustrates the selective immunity of money and power.
While it is good that the Justice Department is going after individual executives at FIFA for criminal activities, it is hard to ignore the blatant double standard. Individual bankers and other members of the corporatocracy are committing much more serious crimes, ones that impact the global economy and the lives of all of us. Yet those people whose job it is to bring justice to the US and the world are focusing on sports, hoping to distract us from the more egregious issues by other multinational corporations and organizations. We must hold them to a higher standard and demand that they pursue not just the company as a whole but the men and women who think they are above the law.
A Journey to the Land of Transformation:
The Mountains, Jungles & Caribbean Coast of Colombia
Shapeshifting Ourselves and the World with John Perkins and Daniel Koupermann
December 4th – 13th, 2015
John and Daniel will be leading a transformative trip to Colombia as 2015 winds to a close. Colombia is known as the “keystone” to Latin America – the birthplace of ancient traditions and harbinger for hope. It is where John Perkins learned the lessons of an Economic Hit Man in the 1970s. Today it is leading the way to healing the wounds that cause environmental devastation, economic and social upheaval, and terrorism. (Please see the Trip page for a full itinerary and registration details.)
A Journey to the Lands of the Maya: Guatemala
Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness with John Perkins and Daniel Koupermann
January 15th – 22nd, 2016
John and Daniel will be leading a trip to the sacred sites of Guatemala in January (Please visit the trip page for dates and Itinerary). John and Mayan shamans will facilitate magical life-changing fire ceremonies. You will learn how to apply “shapeshifting” approaches, elevate yourself to higher states of consciousness, and transform yourself and the world around you.
For information about making a deposit to reserve your space for either or both of these trips, please contact Linda Leyerle at email@example.com.
Innovation Takes All of Us
By John Perkins
This post was originally published on CSRwire: http://www.csrwire.com/blog/posts/1576-innovation-takes-all-of-us
Our history and our experience should teach us that what we’ve been doing isn’t working. When it’s clear that the status quo, the normal, the “way it’s always been,” isn’t good for the planet or we humans who live on her, we must look for new ways to thrive. If we value the world that we will give to our children and grandchildren, then we must innovate not only in areas such as energy and fuel efficiency but also in our perspective, our mindsets, and our consciousness. This isn’t optional or just for those who “have time;” changing the system of our world is an urgent responsibility for all of us regardless of political affiliation, belief system, or socio-economic background.
There are many examples of what I call the Death Economy: war as a highly profitable industry, the wealthiest 85 people possessing 50% of the world’s assets, small farmers and ranchers struggling in the face of giant corporations like Monsanto that are poisoning their communities and sabotaging their livelihood, among others. The human costs are staggering, as people die every day from preventable causes such as hunger, exposure, disease, and violence. And the environmental costs are also extremely high: oil is ruining Amazon rainforests, Roundup and Big Agro are contaminating rivers and farmland, and overfishing is depleting the ocean’s population, to name a few examples.
ISIS and Al-Qaeda are tearing apart the Middle East, but the US military intervention there for the past few decades has played a large role in setting the stage for such groups to move into the vacuum. We can’t deny our part or our responsibility, though many in the government and the media try to convince us otherwise. The mutant form of predatory capitalism of our culture has allowed war to become big business, for massive profits to be made on the backs of the poor, and for pollution and vandalism of the earth to be acceptable if it helps corporate bottom lines.
What can you do? Begin by educating yourself, find resources you trust, and look for the stories behind the story. Although the mainstream media may not report damaging facts about the corporatocracy, the information is out there thanks to courageous outlets such as CSR Wire, Democracy Now!, Common Dreams, Mother Jones, and The Guardian. Support the truth, and then share it with your friends and family so that we can be stronger together.
Just recently, The Guardian has started a petition to demand that two large organizations, The Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, follow the example of the Rockefeller Foundation and immediately divest their fossil fuels interests in order to save the planet. This is an example of change happening with the power of all of us. You can sign the petition here. Look under the surface of what’s reported by the major outlets, instead of believing everything you are told. The US government, some NGOs, USAID, and other organizations that say they are doing “good” work around the world are often in bed with the corporatocracy, lining their own pockets or increasing their prestige and power, and exploiting the vulnerable. Their work, profiting off war and violence to people and nature, results in more death, more poverty, and more despair.
Take action; don’t let yourself off the hook. You have more power than you may realize and more power than the Corporatocracy wants you to believe you have. Let’s use our power together to innovate, to shift the message and let the world know that it’s not ok to pursue profits over people; let’s tell the corporatocracy and government that our Living Earth is more important than the bottom line. Share the truth and encourage those around you to act with you.
We can move from the Death Economy to the Life Economy by not only changing our actions and plans, but first and most importantly changing our mindset, our worldview, our dream. We have entered the Consciousness Revolution! Let’s make history – big time! It will take each one of us and all of us, together.
The New Story: Interbeing
By John Perkins
I’m excited to be co-hosting the annual Love Summit organized by Dream Change this summer. Please join us! Information below.
The old story: violence to end violence. Destruction of resources to create economic growth. Profiting from separation. “They” are different; “they” are the problem.
Netanyahu clamors for war with Iran – and wins the election. ISIS terrorizes the Middle East. US civilian-killing drones wreak havoc on peace negotiations. Moscow and Washington face off across the Ukraine.
What will it take for us to live together on this fragile space station, Earth?
Policies and profits have created this world of stark contrasts that is unsustainable if we want a future in which our children and grandchildren can enjoy peace, spiritual prosperity, and basic human rights.
Far from wanting to lead the world into peace, many in the US make themselves rich off the violent clashes in other countries. The problem isn’t just that violence doesn’t stop violence, but that there are people and organizations who see dollar signs by creating and exacerbating violence and war.
A recent study by IHS Inc., cited at Common Dreams demonstrates that nations and multinational corporations compete for money and power at each other’s expense – and at the expense of innocent lives. This trend is predicted to continue to rise as the potential for profits increases.
The “defense trade” is a booming business that depends on war, violence, and bloodshed – or the mere threat of these – and the ravaging of the Earth’s resources. It is time to turn this Death Economy into a Peace or Life Economy (based on businesses that clean up pollution and benefit from peace and Earth stewardship).
When we live in fear of each other and are focused on our differences instead of our similarities, we miss the joy that comes from collaboration and the solutions that will create a better future.
A new story. The story of Interconnectedness, or (to use Charles Eisenstein’s word) Interbeing.
By flexing our power in the marketplace and with our letters and calls to our elected officials, we can change the way businesses work. When we reward companies that are committed to people and nature instead of just maximizing profits and when we boycott companies that exploit war and the environment, we create a new system.
Dream Change, a non-profit I founded more than 25 years ago, is committed to the New Story and is sponsoring an annual Love Summit, dedicated to bringing compassion into business and establishing a global Life Economy. Businesses clearly have a powerful impact on the world; they can be either creative and sustainable or destructive. By teaching executives that “compassion – love – is good business,” we can shift the story in meaningful ways.
The Love Summit is a big step in that direction. It is a recognition that “business as usual” is not working – even for those who profit financially from the Old Story – and that those businesses that transform themselves will be the success stories of the future.
It is time to stop thinking about separation, about differences, and about the things that keep us apart. Let’s change the story of separation that has dominated human philosophies for far too long into a story of solidarity. Let’s turn the Death Economy into a Life Economy — the War Mentality into a Peace Mentality, the Hate Reaction into a Love Reaction.
June 13th, 2015: The Love Summit
Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015
Location: Portland, OR at the Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency
Registration: Early Bird Tickets on sale until April 15: http://dreamchange.org/the-love-summit-2015/buy-tickets/
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