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For The Record  

FTR #277 Rags to Riches: The Marc Rich Pardon

MP3 One Seg­ment
NB: This RealAu­dio stream con­tains FTRs 276 and 277 in sequence. Each is a 30-minute broad­cast.

1. Even after Pres­i­dent Clin­ton left office, the media have remained obsessed with his alleged wrong­do­ing. As the Bush admin­is­tra­tion pro­ceeds with its agen­da, much of the jour­nal­is­tic dis­course has cen­tered on Clin­ton’s par­don of fugi­tive financier Marc Rich. Curi­ous­ly, the Bush admin­is­tra­tion and the Jus­tice Depart­ment have shied away from the con­tro­ver­sy. (“U.S. Attor­ney to Probe Par­don of Rich” by Robert L. Jack­son and Richard A. Ser­ra­no; Los Ange­les Times; 2/15/2001; p. A1.)

2. This is unchar­ac­ter­is­tic of the attack dog men­tal­i­ty that has per­vad­ed the Repub­li­can Par­ty in the past. One pos­si­ble hint of the rea­son for the Repub­li­cans’ ret­i­cence on the sub­ject was pre­sent­ed by Bill Clin­ton, who stat­ed (cor­rect­ly, as it turned out) that Dick Cheney’s chief of staff (Lewis Lib­by) had been one of Rich’s lawyers. (“Clin­ton Denies Wrong­do­ing in Par­don, Cites Israeli Influ­ence on Rich’s Case” by Tom Brune and John Riley [News­day]; San Jose Mer­cury News; 2/16/2001; p. 15A.)

3. Anoth­er hint lay in the fact that Rich had exten­sive deal­ings with Iran and Iraq dur­ing the 1980’s, and those deal­ings were report­ed to the Mossad by Rich. (“Israel Pressed for Rich’s Par­don” by Jodi Enda and James Kuhn­henn; San Jose Mer­cury News; 2/15/2001; pp. 1A-10A.) Note that this fact sug­gests the pos­si­bil­i­ty that Rich may have been involved in the over­lap­ping Iran-Con­tra and Iraq­gate scan­dals.

4. A sub­stan­tive hint that Rich may very well have been involved in the Iraq­gate scan­dal was con­tained in the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee’s report on the scan­dal-plagued BCCI. (“Avenue of the Amer­i­c­as: The Cen­tre of it All;” Finan­cial Times; 2/6/2001; p. 15.) (“Appen­dices: Mat­ters for Fur­ther Inves­ti­ga­tion” from the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee’s report on BCCI.)

5. Agri­cul­ture Depart­ment cred­its were a major ele­ment in the arm­ing of Sad­dam Hus­sein. BCCI was deeply involved in the Iran-Con­tra scan­dal oper­a­tions. The For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee’s report also rec­om­mends fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion of links between the BCCI and the Atlanta Branch of the Ban­ca Nazionale Del Lavoro. (Idem.)

6. The Atlanta Branch of BNL was a main vehi­cle for effect­ing the Iraq­gate machi­na­tions. In addi­tion, the report rec­om­mends the inves­ti­ga­tion of the BCCI’s role in trans­fer­ring funds from Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries and Amer­i­can finan­cial insti­tu­tions. (Idem.)

7. Next, the pro­gram excerpts FTR-186. The dis­cus­sion reviews the links between alleged CIA oper­a­tive James R. Bath, BCCI and Arbus­to Ener­gy, George W’s first oil com­pa­ny. (For­tu­nate Son; J.H. Hat­field; St. Mar­t­in’s Press; copy­right 2000 [HC].) (The Out­law Bank; Jonathan Beat­ty and S.C. Gwynne; copy­right 1993; Ram­jack [pub­lished in the Unit­ed States by Ran­dom House] )

8. The report on BCCI also rec­om­mends inves­ti­ga­tion of pos­si­ble links between BCCI and Monz­er Al Kas­sar, one of the top arms and drug deal­ers involved in the Iran-Con­tra affair. (“Appen­dices: Mat­ters for Fur­ther Inves­ti­ga­tion” from the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee’s report on BCCI)

9. Next, the broad­cast high­lights con­nec­tions between Osama Bin Laden and Al-Kas­sar. (“The Great Hunt” by Pino Buon­giorno; Panora­ma; 1/25/2001; p. 83.) Bin Laden attempt­ed to buy $400 mil­lion worth of weapons from Al-Kas­sar.

10. The rest of the pro­gram excerpts FTR-228. The excerpt high­lights a meet­ing in Jerusalem in July of 1986 at which George Bush and Army intel­li­gence agents McK­ee and Gan­non were present. (This meet­ing had been a major point of inter­est for Iran-Con­tra Spe­cial Pros­e­cu­tor Lawrence Walsh. (Iran-Con­tra: The Final Report; pub­lished by Times Books.)

11. Both McK­ee and Gan­non were killed in the bomb­ing of Pan Am flight 103. (Gideon’s Spies; Gor­don Thomas; Thomas Dunne; copy­right 1999.) (The name of arms and drug deal­er Monz­er Al-Kas­sar has come up in con­nec­tion with the bomb­ing of Pan Am 103. The Pan Am insur­ance inves­ti­ga­tor’s report claimed that Al-Kas­sar was the author of the bomb­ing and that the attack was allowed to go for­ward in order to silence McK­ee and Gan­non. Al-Kas­sar was piv­otal­ly involved in the Iran-Con­tra scan­dal. If the BCCI affair were ful­ly inves­ti­gat­ed, it seems prob­a­ble that the result­ing scan­dal would bring down the Bush admin­is­tra­tion in that Bush, his father, Dick Cheney and Col­in Pow­ell are impli­cat­ed in one aspect or anoth­er of the Iran-Con­tra affair, the Iraq­gate scan­dal, or the machi­na­tions of Osama Bin Laden.


5 comments for “FTR #277 Rags to Riches: The Marc Rich Pardon”

  1. Have fun in Lon­don with your new Aus­tri­an cit­i­zen­ship Denise. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out:

    Socialite Denise Rich dumps U.S. pass­port

    By Lynn­ley Brown­ing

    Mon Jul 9, 2012 9:47am EDT

    (Reuters) — Denise Rich, the wealthy socialite and for­mer wife of par­doned bil­lion­aire trad­er Marc Rich, has giv­en up her U.S. cit­i­zen­ship — and, with it, much of her U.S. tax bill.

    Rich, 68, a Gram­my-nom­i­nat­ed song­writer and glossy fig­ure in Demo­c­ra­t­ic and Euro­pean roy­al­ty cir­cles, renounced her Amer­i­can pass­port in Novem­ber, accord­ing to her lawyer.

    Her maid­en name, Denise Eisen­berg, appeared in the Fed­er­al Reg­is­ter on April 30 in a quar­ter­ly list of Amer­i­cans who renounced their U.S. cit­i­zen­ship and per­ma­nent res­i­dents who hand­ed in their green cards. (link.reuters.com/naq28s)

    By dump­ing her U.S. pass­port, Rich like­ly will save tens of mil­lions of dol­lars or more in U.S. tax­es over the long haul, tax lawyers say.

    Rich, who wrote songs record­ed by Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and Jes­si­ca Simp­son, is the lat­est bold-faced name to join a wave of wealthy peo­ple renounc­ing their Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ship. Face­book co-founder Eduar­do Saverin gave up his U.S. pass­port to become a cit­i­zen of Sin­ga­pore, an off­shore tax haven, before the com­pa­ny’s ini­tial pub­lic offer­ing in May.

    Near­ly 1,800 cit­i­zens and per­ma­nent res­i­dents, a record since data was first com­piled in 1998, expa­tri­at­ed last year, accord­ing to gov­ern­ment fig­ures.

    Rich, who was born in Worces­ter, Mass­a­chu­setts, has Aus­tri­an cit­i­zen­ship through her deceased father, said Michael Hei­dt, a lawyer in Hol­ly­wood, Flori­da, who rep­re­sent­ed her in a recent law­suit.

    He said Rich had dumped her U.S. pass­port “so that she can be clos­er to her fam­i­ly and to Peter Cervin­ka, her long-time part­ner.” Rich’s two daugh­ters live in Lon­don; Cervin­ka, a wealthy prop­er­ty devel­op­er, is an Aus­tri­an nation­al. Rich plans to make Lon­don her main res­i­dence and does not intend to acquire oth­er pass­ports, Hei­dt said.


    Rich’s ex-hus­band, com­modi­ties trad­er Marc Rich, fled the Unit­ed States in 1983 when indict­ed on charges of tax eva­sion, fraud, rack­e­teer­ing and ille­gal trad­ing of oil with Iran. They divorced in 1996.


    While Aus­tria, like the Unit­ed States, gen­er­al­ly tax­es its cit­i­zens on their world­wide income, it has gen­er­ous tax breaks for cit­i­zens who spend half the year abroad.

    In Jan­u­ary, Rich put her 5th Avenue pent­house in New York on the mar­ket for $65 mil­lion, accord­ing to the list­ing agent, The Cor­co­ran Group. New York prop­er­ty records show Rich acquired a 100 per­cent stake in the apart­ment, described by Cor­co­ran as “the epit­o­me of lux­u­ry and grandeur,” for $200,000 in 2006. Bon­nie Evans, the Cor­co­ran bro­ker for the prop­er­ty, declined to dis­cuss details.


    The recent law­suit against Rich was filed on behalf of Lee Gold­berg, the for­mer pro­tec­tor of a Cook Islands trust of which Rich is a ben­e­fi­cia­ry, in Feb­ru­ary. The case was dis­missed in April, court records show.

    The Cook Islands, a South Pacif­ic tax haven, offers Swiss-style secre­cy for wealthy investors.

    The law­suit accused Rich and Richard Kil­stock, a British real estate entre­pre­neur who is mar­ried to Rich’s daugh­ter Daniel­la, of “trans­fer­ring, mov­ing or secret­ing trust assets, in vio­la­tion of the trust’s guide­lines and with­out the knowl­edge or per­mis­sion of Gold­berg.”

    Rich and Kil­stock denied the charges and accused Gold­berg of alter­ing trust doc­u­ments, court fil­ings show.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 9, 2012, 1:24 pm
  2. “The appeal of barter deals is that because pay­ments are made in goods rather than mon­ey, trans­ac­tions are kept off the inter­na­tion­al finan­cial grid and are less like­ly to be iden­ti­fied by gov­ern­ments try­ing to curb Iran’s nuclear pro­gram.” Tip of the ice­berg?

    Exclu­sive: Glen­core bartered with firm linked to Iran nuclear pro­gram

    By Louis Char­bon­neau

    UNITED NATIONS | Fri Mar 1, 2013 1:15am EST

    (Reuters) — Com­modi­ties giant Glen­core sup­plied thou­sands of tons of alu­mi­na to an Iran­ian firm that has pro­vid­ed alu­minum to Iran’s nuclear pro­gram, intel­li­gence and diplo­mat­ic sources told Reuters.

    The pre­vi­ous­ly undis­closed barter arrange­ment between Glen­core, the world’s biggest com­modi­ties trad­er, and the Iran­ian Alu­minum Com­pa­ny (Iral­co) illus­trates how dif­fi­cult it is for West­ern pow­ers to curb Iran’s abil­i­ty to trade with the rest of the world. Even as the West impos­es strin­gent restric­tions on banks that do busi­ness with Iran, Unit­ed Nations diplo­mats say that Tehran keeps find­ing new ways to do busi­ness with will­ing part­ners.

    Reuters first learned about Glen­core’s barter deal with Iral­co, and an alu­minum sup­ply con­tract that Iral­co had with Iran Cen­trifuge Tech­nol­o­gy Co (TESA), from a West­ern diplo­mat­ic source in ear­ly Novem­ber. That was about six weeks before the Euro­pean Union’s Decem­ber 2012 deci­sion to levy sanc­tions on Iral­co for sup­ply­ing alu­minum met­al to TESA, which is a sub­sidiary of the Atom­ic Ener­gy Orga­ni­za­tion of Iran (AEOI).

    The source showed Reuters a West­ern intel­li­gence report con­cern­ing Glen­core’s arrange­ment with Iral­co. It described how Baar, Switzer­land-based Glen­core pro­vid­ed Iral­co with thou­sands of tons of alu­mi­na last year in exchange for a less­er amount of alu­minum met­al. The report’s authen­tic­i­ty was con­firmed by U.N. diplo­mats.

    It is not known whether any of the alu­minum pro­duced by Iral­co from Glen­core’s alu­mi­na raw mate­r­i­al actu­al­ly end­ed up with TESA. As part of AEOI, TESA has been sub­ject to U.N. sanc­tions in place since 2006.

    In a state­ment to Reuters, Glen­core said it first learned about the TESA-Iral­co rela­tion­ship in Decem­ber and imme­di­ate­ly “ceased trans­ac­tions” with Iral­co. It said its last actu­al trade as part of the barter arrange­ment was in Octo­ber 2012, two months before the EU move.

    Glen­core acknowl­edged that it did sign the barter deal with Iral­co in August 2011, say­ing it was per­fect­ly legal and denied any wrong­do­ing by the firm or attempts to help Iran bypass sanc­tions. It declined to pro­vide details about the barter deal, the val­ue of which is unclear.

    Iral­co did not respond to an emailed request for a com­ment. Iran’s U.N. mis­sion said it was not in a posi­tion to com­ment.

    Iran denies alle­ga­tions by West­ern pow­ers and their allies that it is seek­ing atom­ic weapons and has refused to stop enrich­ing ura­ni­um. As a result, in addi­tion to four rounds of U.N. sanc­tions, Iran has faced much tougher U.S. and EU mea­sures, specif­i­cal­ly tar­get­ing its finan­cial and ener­gy sec­tors.


    Alu­minum can be used to make alu­minum tubes for ura­ni­um enrich­ment gas cen­trifuges, though most new­er gas cen­trifuges are made of a car­bon com­pos­ite mate­r­i­al. Alu­minum is also used in every­thing from cars to air­craft, build­ings and cans.

    Glen­core had sup­plied Iral­co with about five tons of alu­mi­na for every ton of alu­minum that Glen­core received in return, accord­ing to the intel­li­gence report. Giv­en that on aver­age it takes only about two tons of alu­mi­na to pro­duce one ton of alu­minum, the barter deal may have left Iral­co with more alu­minum after pro­cess­ing the alu­mi­na than it sup­plied to Glen­core.

    Iral­co cov­ered costs inside Iran, while all activ­i­ty involv­ing for­eign cur­ren­cy pay­ments was cov­ered by Glen­core, includ­ing ship­ping costs and insur­ance, accord­ing to the intel­li­gence report.

    In its state­ment, Glen­core said: “Glen­core com­plies with applic­a­ble laws and reg­u­la­tions, includ­ing applic­a­ble sanc­tions. We close­ly mon­i­tor all new legal devel­op­ments to ensure that we con­tin­ue to be in com­pli­ance with applic­a­ble laws and reg­u­la­tions, includ­ing applic­a­ble sanc­tions.”

    The com­pa­ny said that alu­mi­na and alu­minum met­al were not pro­hib­it­ed com­modi­ties under the sanc­tions, and that bar­ter­ing is one of the old­est and most trans­par­ent forms of trans­ac­tion and an accept­ed method in the met­als busi­ness.

    Swiss author­i­ties said they saw no evi­dence of U.N. or Swiss sanc­tions vio­la­tions by Glen­core. Iral­co is not under U.S. or U.N. sanc­tions.

    The intel­li­gence report described the Glen­core deal as a good way for Tehran to get around glob­al finan­cial restric­tions, though it did not say that Glen­core vio­lat­ed sanc­tions.


    A U.N. expert pan­el has repeat­ed­ly report­ed to the U.N. Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil that Iran has learned to dodge sanc­tions with the aid of shell com­pa­nies and inter­me­di­aries and a small group of friend­ly coun­tries. But it has become extreme­ly dif­fi­cult for any Iran­ian firm to make or receive pay­ments abroad due to sanc­tions on Iran­ian banks — includ­ing the cen­tral bank — and the bar­ring of Iran from the inter­na­tion­al bank­ing clear­ing­house SWIFT.

    The appeal of barter deals is that because pay­ments are made in goods rather than mon­ey, trans­ac­tions are kept off the inter­na­tion­al finan­cial grid and are less like­ly to be iden­ti­fied by gov­ern­ments try­ing to curb Iran’s nuclear pro­gram.

    “From Iran’s point of view, the busi­ness offered through the exchange agree­ment (with Glen­core) offers a mod­el that can be repli­cat­ed for trade in a range of com­modi­ties that it requires, by reach­ing sim­i­lar deals with oth­er for­eign com­pa­nies that have com­mer­cial inter­ests but are reluc­tant to deal with Iran in the cur­rent cir­cum­stances,” the intel­li­gence report said. “Each side ben­e­fits from the trade agree­ment, while risks of expo­sure through inevitable con­tact with third par­ties are dra­mat­i­cal­ly reduced.”

    The EU said it imposed sanc­tions on Iral­co in Decem­ber because the com­pa­ny was alleged­ly “assist­ing des­ig­nat­ed enti­ties to vio­late the pro­vi­sions of U.N. and EU sanc­tions on Iran and is direct­ly sup­port­ing Iran’s pro­lif­er­a­tion sen­si­tive nuclear activ­i­ties.” The EU said that Iral­co had a con­tract to sup­ply alu­minum to Iran’s cen­trifuge firm TESA from the mid­dle of 2012, accord­ing to the offi­cial EU bul­letin on the sanc­tions.

    A source close to Glen­core said that Iral­co received its last alu­mi­na ship­ment from Glen­core in Sep­tem­ber while Glen­core received its last deliv­ery of alu­minum from Iral­co in Octo­ber.

    The source declined to com­ment when asked if the firm con­tin­ued to do oth­er busi­ness with Iran. Glen­core announced an end to its fuel sales to Iran in Jan­u­ary 2010 to avoid breach­ing U.S. sanc­tions.


    Glen­core has been involved in con­tro­ver­sies before. It was found­ed as ‘Marc Rich & Co’ in 1974 by Marc Rich, who was charged by the U.S. author­i­ties in the ear­ly 1980s with evad­ing tax­es and sell­ing oil to Iran dur­ing the 1979–81 hostage cri­sis. He fled to Switzer­land where he lived as a fugi­tive for 17 years before being par­doned by then U.S. Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton just before he left office in 2001. After a bet on the zinc mar­ket failed, the firm strug­gled bad­ly and Rich even­tu­al­ly sold it through a man­age­ment buy­out in 1994.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 28, 2013, 10:36 pm
  3. Hmmm...perhaps let­ting hyper-secre­tive pow­er-obsessed worka­holics define the social-con­tract will prob­a­bly result in a world that works for no one. Except for maybe the pow­er-obsessed worka­holics:

    If you can’t work 70 hours a week, “you’re not com­pe­tent to do the work”
    5/14/2013 03:30:00 PM
    by David Atkins

    If any­one need­ed proof that cor­po­rate lead­ers should­n’t be mak­ing pub­lic pol­i­cy, this should seal the deal:

    For many, work-life bal­ance is seen as the ulti­mate goal. For oth­ers, that mind­set is hog­wash that’s hold­ing you back in your career.

    Tak­ing time off for fam­i­ly or pas­sions “can offer a nice life,” leg­endary GE CEO Jack Welch once told The Wall Street Jour­nal. But he said that it lessens the chances for pro­mo­tion or to reach the top of a career path.

    Welch is not the only one who believes this.

    Recent­ly, Glen­core Xstra­ta PC CEO Ivan Glasen­berg argued that exec­u­tives who start to focus on fam­i­ly and hob­bies will find them­selves under­cut and replaced by ones who don’t.

    It’s easy to dis­miss these atti­tudes as out­dat­ed, macho, and unrea­son­able. But it’s pos­si­ble that peo­ple seek­ing work-life bal­ance are just avoid­ing find­ing a way to work extreme­ly hard and be very hap­py about it.

    Mar­ty Nemko, a career coach, author, colum­nist, and radio host, argues that the most suc­cess­ful and con­tent­ed peo­ple pre­fer a heav­i­ly work-cen­tric life over work-life bal­ance.

    “The real win­ners of the world, the peo­ple that are the most pro­duc­tive, think that this notion of work-life bal­ance is gross­ly over­rat­ed,” Nemko told Busi­ness Insid­er. “Most of the high­ly suc­cess­ful and not-burned out peo­ple I know work sin­gle-min­dend­ly towards a goal they think is impor­tant, whether it’s devel­op­ing a new piece of soft­ware, invent­ing some­thing, or a car­di­ol­o­gist who’s see­ing patients on nights and week­ends instead of play­ing Monop­oly with his kids on the week­end...”

    He argues that many peo­ple who cham­pi­on work-life bal­ance aren’t over­worked, but are using the term as a polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect tool, a smoke­screen for the desire to not do work.

    So rather than focus­ing on work-life bal­ance, focus on being in the moment, on giv­ing every­thing at work instead of imag­in­ing relax­ing at home on the week­end. If you can’t bring your­self to work 70 hours occa­sion­al­ly or it feels like tor­ture, then you’re prob­a­bly at the wrong job.

    Even start­up founders, known for work­ing incred­i­ble hours under a lot of stress, should­n’t blame burnout on a lack of work-life bal­ance.

    “Don’t blame the hours,” Nemko says. “If some­body says they got burned out work­ing 70 hours a week it’s because they weren’t com­pe­tent enough to do the work, they hired the wrong peo­ple, or the prod­uct they were work­ing on was­n’t good enough, and they were try­ing to make it work when they real­ly should­n’t have.”


    Earth to our over­lords: You appear to have jumped ahead in your dystopi­an scripts. We aren’t the mind­less robots you so des­per­ate­ly want us to be quite yet. Give us a lit­tle more time. We’re work­ing on it.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 15, 2013, 7:51 am
  4. In the end, the grim reaper always gets the last extra­di­tion:

    Financier Marc Rich dies in Switzer­land
    John Heil­prin, AP Busi­ness Writer 11:18 a.m. EDT June 26, 2013

    GENEVA (AP) — Marc Rich, the trad­er known as the “King of Com­modi­ties” whose con­tro­ver­sial 2001 par­don by Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton just hours before he left office unleashed a polit­i­cal firestorm of crit­i­cism in 2001, died on Wednes­day. He was 78.

    Rich died of a stroke in a hos­pi­tal in Lucerne, Switzer­land, near to his long­time home, accord­ing to the Marc Rich Group. His Israel-based spokesman, Avn­er Azu­lay, said Rich would be buried in Israel on Thurs­day.

    Rich fled from the Unit­ed States to Switzer­land in 1983 after he was indict­ed by a U.S. fed­er­al grand jury on more than 50 counts of fraud, rack­e­teer­ing, trad­ing with Iran dur­ing the U.S. Embassy hostage cri­sis and evad­ing more than $48 mil­lion in income tax­es — crimes that could have earned him more than 300 years in prison.

    Rich remained on the FBI’s Most Want­ed List, nar­row­ly escap­ing cap­ture in Fin­land, Ger­many, Britain and Jamaica, until Clin­ton grant­ed him a par­don on Jan. 20, 2001 — the day he hand­ed over the keys to the White House to George W. Bush.

    Rich’s par­don cat­a­pult­ed him into the head­lines once again.

    Accord­ing to Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion records, Rich’s ex-wife, song­writer Denise Rich, gave $201,000 in polit­i­cal dona­tions to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty in 2000 as lawyers for the fugi­tive financier pressed the U.S. gov­ern­ment to drop the case. Rich’s attor­neys turned to Clin­ton when the Jus­tice Depart­ment refused to nego­ti­ate.

    Fed­er­al author­i­ties inves­ti­gat­ed but found no evi­dence of wrong­do­ing, while elec­tion offi­cials also dis­missed a com­plaint accus­ing Denise Rich of donat­ing cam­paign mon­ey and fur­ni­ture to Hillary Clin­ton in exchange for the par­don. Bill Clin­ton also denied any wrong­do­ing and said he act­ed on advice by promi­nent legal experts not con­nect­ed to the trad­er.

    Eric Hold­er, the cur­rent U.S. attor­ney gen­er­al, was deputy attor­ney gen­er­al to Clin­ton, and rec­om­mend­ed Rich’s par­don.

    Only weeks lat­er, how­ev­er, he told the House Gov­ern­ment Reform Com­mit­tee: “Know­ing every­thing that I know now, I would not have rec­om­mend­ed to the pres­i­dent that he grant the par­don.”

    Despite strong diplo­mat­ic pres­sure Switzer­land had refused to treat Rich — a bil­lion­aire trad­er in oil, met­als and oth­er com­modi­ties — as a crim­i­nal or hand him over to the Unit­ed States, because it had dif­fer­ent tax laws and no embar­go against Iran


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 28, 2013, 10:14 am
  5. Check out Glen­core Xstrata’s new chair­man: Tony “I just want my life back” Hay­ward:

    Tony Hay­ward is still fail­ing to clean up his act

    By Jack Gilbert
    Post­ed on April 14, 2014 by The Lon­don Eco­nom­ic

    In April 2010 mil­lions of gal­lons of oil seeped into the Gulf of Mex­i­co, killing off near­ly every­thing in its path. Birds encased in oil des­per­ate­ly wres­tled to escape their immi­nent death. Dol­phins were washed ashore pan­ick­ing and strug­gling to breathe. Local chil­dren in Louisiana and Flori­da com­plained of unex­plained symp­toms such as bleed­ing ears and nose bleeds. The then Chief Exec­u­tive of BP, Tony Hay­ward said, “I just want my life back.”

    For the thou­sands of peo­ple whose liveli­hoods were destroyed by the Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon Spill of 2010, and for the fam­i­lies of the 11 work­ers who died, this com­ment was seen as a lit­tle self­ish.

    Tony Hay­ward was forced to resign from BP fol­low­ing the spill, but it appears now that he has final­ly “got his life back,” as it is expect­ed that he will take over as the chair­man of glob­al com­modi­ties and min­ing giant Glen­core Xstra­ta – who has a rev­enue of $232.694 bil­lion.

    Rather than seek­ing a life of atone­ment for the dam­age his com­pa­ny has done, Hay­ward is set to lead Glen­core – labelled as the “biggest com­pa­ny you have nev­er heard of” and report­ed­ly asso­ci­at­ed with child labour, deal­ing with rogue states and pay­ing para­mil­i­taries to kill off locals.

    But despite the alle­ga­tions into Glencore’s human rights record and Hayward’s own con­tro­ver­sial past, we shouldn’t for­get that this man prides him­self on cor­po­rate respon­si­bil­i­ty, and deeply cares for pro­tect­ing the world and the peo­ple who work for him. In 2007 Hay­ward said that, “lead­ers must make the safe­ty of all who work for them their top pri­or­i­ty. My endur­ing pri­or­i­ties are, first­ly, con­tin­ued improve­ment in the safe­ty of our oper­a­tions all around the world.”

    How­ev­er this seems at odds with accu­sa­tions that Glen­core has been prof­it­ing from child labour in the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Repub­lic of the Con­go. Dur­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion by the BBC’s Panora­ma in April 2013, it was shown through hid­den footage that chil­dren as young as 10 were work­ing on the Tilwezem­be mine and climb­ing down hand built 150ft shafts with­out safe­ty equip­ment. Glencore’s chief exec­u­tive, Ivan Glasen­berg denied that his com­pa­ny were buy­ing cop­per from this mine, but accord­ing to doc­u­ments obtained by Panora­ma, cop­per from the Tilwezem­be mine was being sent to smelter at Glencore’s plant in Zam­bia. Film­mak­ers were also told that 60 min­ers had died at the Tilwezem­be mine in 2012.

    Hayward’s nev­er fal­ter­ing eth­i­cal code does not sim­ply extend to ensur­ing that all his employ­ees are kept safe how­ev­er. No he is also deter­mined to pro­tect the envi­ron­ment. In a moti­va­tion­al speech at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty in 2009, he said: “Our pri­ma­ry pur­pose in life is to cre­ate val­ue for our share­hold­ers. In order to do that you have to take care of the world.”

    But thus far it appears that Glencore’s record of tak­ing care of the world has not been espe­cial­ly good. In Zam­bia in 2011 offi­cials claimed that Glencore’s Mopani mines were caus­ing acid rain­fall that was result­ing in health prob­lems for some of the 5 mil­lion peo­ple who lived in the area. In Colom­bia, Glencore’s coal oper­a­tion was fined $700,000 in 2009 for pro­duc­ing coal with­out an envi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment plan and waste dis­pos­al with­out a per­mit. It has also been report­ed that Glen­core have been dump­ing acid waste into the Luilu riv­er in Con­go, killing off fish and ecosys­tems.

    For Hay­ward his all-encom­pass­ing vision of lead­er­ship is built upon form­ing close bonds with the peo­ple involved in his com­pa­nies. He told Stan­ford stu­dents in 2009: “If you want peo­ple to fol­low you, you need to con­nect with their hearts as well as their heads.”

    But for cer­tain peo­ple who have stood in the way of Glencore’s thirst for prof­its, this pos­i­tive lead­er­ship mod­el has not always been applied. In 2002, ten Colom­bians liv­ing on land called El Pra­do, next to Glencore’s Calen­tu­ri­tas coal min­ing con­ces­sion were mur­dered by para­mil­i­taries. A court in Colom­bia con­firmed that the para­mil­i­taries had stolen the land so they could sell it to Prode­co, an off­shoot of Glen­core, to start an open-cast coal mine. Alle­ga­tions that Glen­core paid these para­mil­i­taries were ardent­ly denied by CEO Glasen­berg, but the Panora­ma inves­ti­ga­tion showed sale con­tracts between Prode­co and the new own­ers of the land – who the author­i­ties claimed were hench­men of the para­mil­i­taries. Per­haps when Hay­ward takes over Glen­core, he will instil his pas­sion to win over the ‘hearts’ of locals, and move away from the dark his­to­ry of the com­pa­ny?


    But do not fear. If Glen­core is respon­si­ble for an envi­ron­men­tal cat­a­stro­phe, Hay­ward will be on hand to deliv­er anoth­er heart­felt TV apol­o­gy show­ing his true remorse for the dam­ages his cor­po­ra­tion has cost the earth.

    So does this count as “fail­ing upward”? Or is it more of a side­ways move? Either way, get ready for more croc­o­dile tears, both cor­po­rate and the real kind. Plus loon tears. LOTS of loon tears.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 8, 2014, 8:41 pm

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