Global Taxes and Global TV Now on the Agenda
by CLIFF KINCAID
January 27, 2009
President Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is being urged to lay the foundation for “global governance” by considering “international taxation” measures to loot more money from U.S. taxpayers.
The recommendation is included in the report, “The Global Agenda 2009,” which is being considered by the World Economic Forum (WEF), meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 28th - February 1st. The WEF is not an official government group but does include dozens of government, corporate and labor leaders at its annual meetings.
Media companies such as News Corporation (parent of Fox News, the Fox Business Network, and the Wall Street Journal), CNBC, and Forbes are official sponsors of the WEF meeting. News Corporation is listed as one of about 100 “strategic partners” of the World Economic Forum.
“Look for live coverage on CNBC, all day every day,” reports CNBC “Squawk Box” co-anchor Becky Quick. “We kick things off at 6 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday on Squawk, with serious interviews from the headliners.” Her report, however, fails to disclose that CNBC is an “industry partner” of the World Economic Forum this week.
CNBC is a subsidiary of General Electric, whose GE Capital is receiving a $139-billion taxpayer-financed loan guarantee as part of the Wall Street bailout. CNBC’s sister networks are NBC and MSNBC.
Other “industry partners” of the WEF include Reuters, the British-based news agency. A Reuters story about the meeting that starts on Wednesday sounds like a press release from the organization, hailing its “achievements” over time but failing to note that Reuters is a sponsor of this year’s event.
Representing Chinese economic dominance in what Henry Kissinger has labeled a “New World Order,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is speaking to a special session of the conference on its first day.
The event’s corporate sponsors, which pay about half a million dollars each to participate, include several failing institutions that have received tens of billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers. They include Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley. These entities are termed “Strategic Partners” of the World Economic Forum.
But will CNBC highlight this kind of extravagant spending when the cable business network is helping sponsor the event?
In a major embarrassment, the WEF has released a report, “The Future of the Global Financial System,” which acknowledges “intellectual stewardship and guidance” provided by a steering committee co-chaired by John Thain, the former Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive officer who was recently ousted from Bank of America in a scandal. Thain oversaw the disastrous sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America and was criticized for lavish spending on office decorations, including a $1,405 waste basket and $87,784 rug.
The other co-chair of the committee was David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, who has been quoted as saying that China holds the key to the world economy’s future. One report notes that Rubenstein says Carlyle “was an early investor in the Chinese marketplace,” that its China office “has hired many native-born Chinese, and the company is seeking to build its buyout and growth-capital businesses there.”
“The Global Agenda 2009” report says that “sovereign states do not adequately address problems reaching across borders” and that “international taxation” may be needed to generate the “additional resources” for “global governance.”
Could this become a source of new bailout money here and abroad?
“As current global governance problems come from market failures, sovereign failures and intergovernmental failures that cross boundaries, sacrificing sovereignty for greater gain may become an option,” the report says.
The report says the UN’s Law of the Sea Treaty, which is a top priority for Senate ratification under the Obama Administration, is a measure that has “earned the acceptance and compliance” of most nations. The treaty would turn over oil, gas, and mineral resources to the UN and authorize access to them through payment of a global tax to a UN body.
The so-called “Council on Global Governance” of the World Economic Forum includes Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs who has been picked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning. Slaughter wrote the 2004 book, A New World Order.
In terms of media interest and backing for the controversial event, one of the co-chairs is Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, the Fox News Channel parent company. Another co-chair is Kofi Annan, the disgraced former UN Secretary-General. As director of UN peacekeeping, Annan was accused of ignoring genocide in Rwanda. As Secretary-General, he was investigated for presiding over the oil-for-food corruption scandal involving Saddam Hussein’s Iraq regime.
Annan, however, claimed that he was “exonerated” by a report issued by Paul Volcker, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman and now one of Obama’s chief economic advisers.
In the past U.S. officials have been major participants in the World Economic Forum. But it’s not clear if any of Obama’s top officials will be going to this year’s event. However, some of his labor backers, including Andrew Stern of the Service Employees International Union, and John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, are listed as participants.
In addition to global taxes, “The Global Agenda 2009” report urges creation of a global television channel.
“Media has the capacity to connect the world, bridging cultures and peoples, and telling us who we are and what we mean to each other. The media can also ensure that no voice goes unheard,” it says. “We believe that this new moment also calls for a new media platform, across all media channels, a global non-profit ‘CNN’ providing a new form of independent journalism to inform, illuminate and deepen knowledge about issues that improve the state of the world.”
The report doesn’t explain how this new global TV channel will be financed. But global taxes cannot be ruled out.
Perhaps this new era of transparency and disclosure can start with disclosing details about media sponsorship and backing of the World Economic Forum and its plans for “global governance.”