digital-privacy

STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Transparency International Plots to Strip Global Privacy With Public Registry of Ownership
By Daily Bell Staff - April 08, 2016

The world is dotted with states and territories that make a specialty of providing services whose purpose is to facilitate ways to hide assets … Not all of what they do is illegal but so much of it is that the whole system needs changing.  – Transparency International Press Release

The so-called Panama Papers stolen from the Mossack Fonseca law firm specializing in shell companies has caused Transparency International to issue a press release listing three steps “to stop secret companies.”

We’d rather stop Transparency International.

This outfit, the largest entity of its kind with over 100 chapters around the world,  is determined to create an international registry that will list the “beneficial ownership” of all controlling legal entities. If you want to affix your name to a document asserting ownership of assets, be prepared to have that ownership revealed.

The group was founded by a former top executive of the World Bank.

We’ve been writing about the organization since 2011, and it seemed to us then as now that Transparency International’s idea regarding financial and business privacy was fundamentally wrong-headed. Contrary to what executives at Transparency International seem to believe, secrecy – privacy or anonymity – is an essential component of civilization.

Without privacy, authoritarianism flourishes because it is impossible to build and expand private networks that would act as a deterrent to government abuses. A worldwide transparency regime virtually guarantees abuses and corruption from those in  power.

This is a reason why the “cashless society” idea is such a bad one. When no one is able to use cash, financial histories will be easily available via electronic bank records.

Yet for reasons having to do with global power and control, it is obvious that larger elite powers are focused on generating the maximum amount of transparency possible. Individual people are to be stripped of any ability to maintain anonymity either at home or abroad.

The press release offers “3 steps to stop secret companies,” citing the release of the Panama Papers.

The first is that governments should establish central, registries that publicly disclose beneficial ownership information. “This will help law enforcement, journalists, and governments to do their job and help investors and citizens know who is behind the companies they invest in or buy from.”

The release informs us that Transparency International is attempting to create a Global Public Beneficial Ownership Registry, which can collect ownership information from governments around the world. Essentially, if you wished to create a legal document asserting ownership of assets of any sort, you’d find interests revealed on this registry.

Second, those who are involved in creating legal structures for ownership will apparently be held responsible for the use of those structures whether they had any further involvement or not.

Key language: “Professional enablers that are found to be complicit in corruption must be sanctioned.” Transparency International suggests, among other penalties, that “licenses could be withdrawn.”

In order to deter any criminal behavior as a result of the creation of ownership structures, “standards [will] require professionals in law and accountancy, real estate, as well as company formation agents and bankers to have in place anti-money laundering procedures and report suspicions of money laundering.”

Finally, “countries should require any company bidding for public contracts or purchasing property to disclose on whose behalf they are operating.”

Transparency International’s stridency is surely not coincidental. In May the UK is hosting a “global anti-corruption summit with world leaders.” This certainly smacks of a kind of coordination, given that this conference occurs so soon after the release of the Panama Papers.

In fact, many in the alternative media have suggested that the CIA or other intelligence agencies are behind the leak of 11.5 million emails because the operation is so massive.

And many of the “names” seem to be opponents of the current Western system.

For instance, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been targeted. “A cellist friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin shifted more than $200 million through Panama,” Transparency International informs us.

Also: “The wife of the prime minister of Iceland.” In fact, the Prime Minister of Iceland who help put Icelandic bankers in jail for financial crimes just resigned due to revelations in the Panama Papers.

The release adds:

Mossack Fonseca denies any wrongdoing. [But] instead of facilitating potentially corrupt acts, all law firms and other professionals should carry out the due diligence that is needed to prevent corruption when they take on clients. While many note that their actions are not illegal, the focus should be on acting with integrity to stop corruption worldwide.

Wrong. There is no integrity in attempting to strip people of the ability to conduct their affairs privately by threatening the use of blunt government force to force them to reveal interests– which is what Transparency International is suggesting.

Transparency International’s press release along with the upcoming “worldwide” corruption conference in London and the speed of various regulatory moves around the world do seem coordinated.

For instance, the U.S. is readying “a bank rule on shell companies amid ‘Panama Papers’ fury,” according to Reuters.

The U.S. Treasury Department intends to soon issue a long-delayed rule forcing banks to seek the identities of people behind shell-company account holders, after the “Panama Papers” leak provoked a global uproar over the hiding of wealth via offshore banking devices. A department spokesman said on Wednesday the rule would “soon” be turned over to the White House for review and issuance.

The EU is acting as well, according to the AP:

A European Union official threatened Thursday to sanction Panama and other nations if they don’t cooperate fully to fight money laundering and tax evasion, after a leak of data showed the small country remains a key destination for people who want to hide money. “People are fed up with these outrages,” said Pierre Moscovici, who heads financial affairs for the 28-nation EU.

Is that so? It seems to us that many people are also “fed up” with Western government over-reaching, excessive taxation and public corruption.

Conclusion: Ironically, there are ways to gain privacy over assets that involve little to no paperwork. For instance, buy silver and gold privately and store it nearby in a non-reporting facility. That’s just one suggestion. There are other ways.

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  • GAD1066

    Am I correct in saying that individuals are property of the State? Should I a British citizen earn a Thousand Dollars pay my tax then I buy stock in a Gold mine in Timbuktu I am required to pay tax in the UK?

    • FreeOregon

      So far the US is the leader in the slavery trend.

      • GAD1066

        Agreed, is but the UK the same?

        • FreeOregon

          I am not a UK citizen but my understanding is they do not yet tax all citizens without regard to residence. But I do think if you live in the UK you pay the UK. Not sure about your hypothetical gold mine.

          The rules are so complex there’s no rule of law. The old common law assumed everyone knew what local mores and traditions required.

          In some countries resident citizens pay but non-citizen residents do not.

          One advantage of a corporation incorporated outside the jurisdiction of your citizenship is to create a non-citizen resident. At least in the US “corporations are people.”

          Thinking about all this – remember that Obama does not own the US, but he gets to write the checks. Cameron’s dad owned the entity but David writes the checks, or controlled the person who does. China has an interesting system. The person in control has a seal. It’s fairly easy to hand the seal to the next generation.

    • Samarami

      “…earn a Thousand Dollars pay my tax…”

      The question: “…are individuals the property of the State?…”

      My answer: Once one ceases thinking in terms of and/or using the phrase “…pay ‘my‘ tax…” she will no longer be property of the State. Meditate upon that for a minute or two.

      You are what you own, and you own what you think. Sam

      • Marten

        Good post Sam….”I am “not” what happened to me, I “AM” what I choose to become ” -Jung-

        • Samarami

          If you say you can, you are correct. If you say you can’t, you are also correct. Sam

  • FreeOregon

    Stop the ogre of government and you eliminate many reasons for people wanting privacy.

    Taxes are an anachronistic relic of the age of commodity based money. Today governments can print what they need without taxes, fees or tariffs.

    It’s true we cannot trust governments and politicians to live within rules, like limiting the amount of newly created money to, say, 3% of GDP. They lie about everything, including the numbers. But consider, debt and the specter of paying interest has failed to reign them in.

    What other mechanism might we invent? Is the best answer to eliminate professional politicians? One term and out!

    • Samarami

      “…What other mechanism might we invent?
      Is the best answer to eliminate professional
      politicians? One term and out!…”

      I’ve developed a couple other mechanisms (not exactly my inventions):

      1) I have ceased using the term “we“. I can’t speak for you, and I’d like for you to not attempt to speak for me.

      2) Abstain from beans:

      http://www.anarchism.net/anarchism_abstainfrombeans.htm

      There is no such thing as a “non-professional politician” — that would amount to an egregious oxymoron. I’m certain there are unprofessional individuals who choose to become politicians, but no non-professional politicians. Each has an agenda — even those who ostentatiously sign their “pay checks” back to that brainless abstraction called the state.

      Shoot for “no terms and never ‘in'” Sam

      • FreeOregon

        The Bible’s Book of Judges is an interesting document. Leaders emerged to solve a problem, then returned to their flocks. Very Libertarian, or more to the point, Classically Liberal.

        My own preference would be self-governance. You do not delegate decision making except in rare instances, and then only to those with whom you regularly break bread.

        The idea of a social contract is a fiction to keep people compliant.

        What if government were so powerless it were incapable of using force and threats of violence to achieve objectives? Perhaps then people would begin to respect one another and talk with one another about goals and aligning goals.

        A first step might be to disarm the police and instead recruit people with actual courage when unarmed, empathic people who are comfortable relating to others.

        A world in which people us force and threats of violence wastes most of human potential on counter force and counter threats of violence, non-cooperation, etc. To achieve human potential people need to act on a want to basis, for their own reasons.

        • Samarami

          I agree, Oregon. The Hebrew Book you reference is the best selling non-fiction book on the market, year-after-year, hands down. Yet you would not get many, if any, of the thousands upon thousands of religious leaders — who claim to base the entirety of their “doctrines” upon it — to acknowledge that it is a book of anarchy from stem to stern.

          The force and threats of violence will go on until they do acknowledge it, and then do something about it. Sam

          • dauden

            Someone has already “done something about it” and they, individually, as each of us will respond one way or another. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. The force and threats of violence will go on until this dispensation of the age of grace is over and God begins to judge the earth. Christs’ death brings life to all who put their trust in Him and the work He did on our behalf. Sin is the issue and God’s grace is the answer now. Don’t wait till you face judgement without the cross as your defense.

      • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

        “I have ceased using the term “we”. I can’t speak for you, and I’d like for you to not attempt to speak for me.”

        Excellent! I did so decades ago. You might like to read my essay on this subject at: http://selfsip.org/fundamentals/we.html

        • Samarami

          Your “Collectivism In Language” identifies exactly what another very astute (but little known) libertarian writer has outlined. The late Delmar England wrote two major anarchist essays, then up and died:

          “Insanity As the Social Norm”

          http://www.anarchism.net/anarchism_insanityasthesocialnorm.htm

          and the longer

          “Mind and Matters: The World In A Mirror” https://commonsensical.liberty.me/mind-and-matters-the-world-in-a-mirror-by-delmar-england/

          Most “libertarian” (quotes intended) writers and forum participants give him very little recognition, if any. Google “Delmar England” and you will not find much about him.

          I am convinced that one of the primary reasons true anarchist writers get very little “play” has to do with their 100% individualistic nature. Genuine, undiluted individualism is truly a scary state. Whole anarchy is virtually unthinkable — yet is the way most live their lives throughout every day. Read this (pdf):

          http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/Obvious.pdf

          Thanks for your response, and for sharing the link to your excellent article. It exposes the soft underbelly of language usage — and why most cannot be free. I will monitor myself and my proof-reading much more intensely as the result of having it in my “bookmarks”. Sam

          • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

            Hi Sam,
            I am pleased that you understood and liked the depth of my essay. Very few people appear to be willing to agree with my thoughts about the subconscious psychologically distorting effects of incorrect language usage, particularly usage of plural pronouns such as “we”, “you” and “they”, without clear definitions as to which limited collectives they apply. For example, there is generally nothing wrong when I refer to myself and my wife as “we” as long as it is clear that collective is to which the “we” refers. Unfortunately, many “libertarian” writers, such as George H Smith (whose thinking/writing is excellent in many important respects), regard the hyper-usage of “we” as merely “stylistic” and refused to even consider any negative effects of it.

            Thanks also for the information about Delmar England, who I had not heard about, but will now make an effort to investigate.

          • Samarami

            Paul, you and the late Delmar England have much in common. You use the phrase, “…subconscious psychologically distorting effects of incorrect language usage…” (as being detrimental to liberty and freedom). I (and England) definitely agree. I’ll submit that, as a result of those psychologically — and subconscious — distorting effects, most “libertarian” and/or “anarchist” writers (once again, quotes intended and quite necessary) wind up flailing away at hobgoblins and phantoms.

            “Transparency International” does not exist. People exist. There are individuals who presume to be “officers” of group(s) by that name (and a host of other names) who are without doubt working out agenda not friendly to your or my individual freedom. And if I allow those culprits “Kings X” by lumping them into the mirage called “Transparency International” (or “China”, or “Syria”, or ” ‘our’ leaders”), I have (psychologically) fumbled the message of liberty.

            Your essay specifically zeroes in upon the first person plural collectivist pronouns — as well it should. But the theme can be expanded to include reification — the tendency to allow psychopaths to hide behind brainless abstractions such as “China” or “The United States”.

            Last time I voted in a political “election” was 1964, for Barry Goldwater — now well over 50 years ago. In the time since I’ve come to understand that I must be free — here, now, where I’m “at”. I’d like for you and your wife to be free also; but I must be free regardless. Since you see and understand that major psychological impairment to freedom I need not have fear for you.

            All we can do is broadcast the message, knowing that precious few will listen. Sam

    • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

      “Stop the ogre of government and you eliminate many reasons for people wanting privacy.”

      A good start, but I just wrote something even stronger. In fact, if there is no State then there will no longer be *any rational reason* for privacy. If you are proud of all your actions then why hide them? If you are not proud of one of your actions then change it!

      • FreeOregon

        What if you want to live your own life your way, and what you do is no one else’s business?

        Seems to me that pride is irrelevant if you are the measure of your own conduct.

        • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

          If you are not willing to be completely open, why should others completely trust you? Unless all your actions are known, others will not have sufficient information to fully appraise you and to correctly interact with you positively or negatively (socially preference relative to you). Because of this others would always tend to choose to interact with those who are more fully open. So if you wish to interact with others in a free society for your and their optimal benefit, then you will want to be fully transparent. In a truly free society your actions will and should be quite naturally everyone else’s business! Granted that we are nowhere near that yet. My mission (at SelfSIP.org) is first of all to determine just how that goal society can operate fully without anything resembling today’s coercive State.

          Yes, pride, per se, is irrelevant (and often quite irrationally selfish), but the resulting actions of a person with true self-esteem (as opposed to false pride) are what will be judged by others wishing to interact with him/her.

          • FreeOregon

            Transparency is more complicated than you suppose. You will need to define your terms.

            To live without a coercive State, one early step would be to disarm the police. Instead of recruiting veterans from war zones, recruit people with actual courage when unarmed, people with empathy, people from the local communities.

            Eliminate the military as it exists. Either everyone is armed, or no one. Since disarming everyone is unlikely unless and until people learn to talk to one another, a militia makes sense. I do worry about an everyone armed society. Switzerland works. Other countries do not. The difference is culture, and US culture by and large is confrontational.

            In my ideal world each of us governs himself. You delegate, if at all, only to others with whom you regularly break bread. Do it yourself governance.

            I also like the idea of common law based on local custom and usage. Do we really need administrative agencies and a legislature? The courts are dishonest. You cannot become a judge without compromising your integrity at a bare minimum by being willing to take a quiet call and decide a case as instructed.

            In all probability nothing changes until a catastrophic collapse provides opportunity. The phoenix looks pretty hopeless before it’s reborn.

          • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

            “You will need to define your terms.”
            Excellent that you see the clear need for this. Unfortunately, so few people in cantankerous debates understand this and end up essentially talking past one another. My whole system began with an extreme effort to make such definitions of all the words that I use and are multiply defined in current cultural usage. Those definitions are the preliminary portion of the Natural Social Contract which I have referred to elsewhere in this set of comments.

            Re “disarming the police” and “eliminate the military”; in a society of total liberty (necessarily without anything resembling any current State) there would also be nothing resembling the current police or military. Any contractual disarming of anyone would be totally the prerogative of the property owner on which a person was located (a term of being given permission to enter the bounds of the property).

            In general, however, the delineation of steps to attain a society of total Liberty is a separate (and even more difficult topic) than defining/describing the operation of that goal society, which is what I have sought to do because all others have failed (there are glaring holes – inconsistencies – in their descriptions), and the destination needs to be fully elucidated *before* the journey begins (otherwise you can go in the wrong direction or even circularly, which is what all revolutions have done – even including the American Revolution).

          • Fred

            Seems to me . . . Jealousy and envy are reasons for wanting privacy. And consider security from those coveting what you have, in particular big governments with big guns and big appetites. It’s “how much do you have, I want it all.” Trust between involved parties is best accomplished with binding, legal, and private contracts.

          • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

            Without coercion, the jealously/envy of others is of no effective harm. To the extent that it is known by others it can and should be negatively socially preferenced, since it is essentially irrational. Everyone has some highly positive characteristics/assets. You should be happy with
            what you have and/or working hard to attain what you want, rather than envious/covetous relative to what you do not
            have which another does

            Without a State, security can be provided by privately contracted protection agencies and, more importantly/powerfully, by strong, public negative social preferencing (to the point of complete social ostracism) toward those who initiate any violation.

            Please remember that I am not describing conditions and operating methods that are fully attainable in the present Statist society, but rather first defining/describing a workable goal society to which those wanting fully liberty and maximal freedom should aim. I agree that it would be folly to be fully open about all of one’s life in the present society. I am simply trying to describe why those wanting better should be hiding from others as little as possible, with the only goal of that hiding being to prevent real harm to themselves.

            “Trust between involved parties is best accomplished with binding, legal, and private contracts.”

            Re Contracts, I heartily agree with their importance, particularly written so that all parties fully understand and agree to the contracted actions. Please see my Natural Social Contract at: http://selfsip.org/solutions/NSC.html and its internal definition/description of the operation of valid contracts. However, without a State there is no meaning to the word “legal”. In a society of total liberty the sense that you want for both “legal” and “binding” will be accomplished by every valid contract having at least three parties – an arbitrator being one of them – plus the extreme negative social preferencing from everyone if a contract is broken. This last is the reason why contracts should never be private (again, in a society of total liberty, not in the current one).

          • Fred

            “Willie” Sutton, the notorious bank robber, was once asked (so the story goes) why he robbed banks. His bewildered answer was “because that is where the money is”, like, duh, isn’t it obvious. Ask a politician why he became a politician and he will not tell you “because that is where the money is”. Willie was an “honest” crook. The politician was a “devious” crook. But both are predators. I would not tell Willie that I had money and neither would I willingly tell a politician that I had money.

            Go in the forest and see how many chipmunk signs you see that say, “Home of “Charlie Chipmunk. Nothing to hide here, we are just two fat, hard working chipmunks that have worked hard to store up 442 acorns. “There is a reason they try real hard to hide their presence. There is a reason governments want so badly to do away with privacy. Make no mistake about it, “we are prey.”

          • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

            The first approach to avoiding predators, is to stop acting like prey.
            I acknowledge that because social preferencing is not operating in the current society except relative to market choices of products and some services (and even there not well), it is very hard to see how it can strongly enough adjudicate all human actions to create a self-ordered, Stateless society.

            However, If you realize that all interactions between individuals in any society are essentially a marketplace and you begin to optimally apply choice making to all such interactions, then you will begin to understand that social preferencing in a fully open society with individual ownership of all resources will so ostracize predators, that they will cease to exist.

  • Tradewinds

    What do you expect coming from a former World Bank staff member, that bastion and stronghold Keynesian socialistic economic thinking.. First, today almost all
    offshore companies and structures are not Shell Companies but Investment
    Holding Companies used most non-us citizens to invest in US securities.. Why then the use of an investment holding company?? It is used purposely to avoid oppressive and discriminatory US Estate Taxes when the account’s beneficial owner becomes deceased.. Nothing is or needs to be secret as the beneficial owner is fully disclosed and known to the overseas agent as well as the US custodian.. This structure arises in response to discriminatory US tax policies where individual investors desire to invest in a managed portfolio of US securities.. Otherwise they would invest in ETF’s from within financial institutions in London, Hong Kong and other jurisdictions.. Secondly, as for corrupted politicians and/or political heads of state, confidentially and disclosure becomes more important issues depending on their individual circumstances..

  • Praetor

    Competition most be eliminated at all cost! Rothschild, calls the U.S. the biggest tax haven in the world. Is it avoidance or evasion. Corruption can also be in the realm of competition. My corruption is better than your corruption. Leviathan will not tolerate any competition on any level of society and that includes corruption. From the center of corruption, Chucky Schumer, wants to seize passports of citizens with overseas assets.

    It all comes down to property and self-ownership, and this Leviathan will not tolerate any of it. Self-preservation, will be like the little rat people just before the dinosaurs went extinct. The little rat people crawled out of the dinosaur muck, and rebuilt the world. It looks like we will have to do it again!!!

    • dauden

      You mean repeat the cycle of man’s ugly history? Yeah, one day we’ll all reach utopia because we’re so smart. Has history taught you nothing? Has the Bible not left your bookshelf? There’s a problem inside the heart of man which eventually destroys each and every one of us. The Story which God who created all things good, says man was given a choice to obey or disobey and through the deception (to be like God and know all things) of a fallen angel chose to doubt God. On the other side now, we also have the choice to believe Him or continue in our rebellion. God took on the form of man, through Jesus Christ, and took our penalty on Himself. By trusting this alone, we can put on the righteousness of Him and receive the gift of eternal life.

      • Praetor

        AHHH! Eternal life, humans, Jesus, Satan, the bible, and God. All a total different subject matter than the analysis as written. The history of humanity is not all ugly. What history taught me is that Leviathan has manipulated, deceived and lied about humans, Jesus, Satan, the bible and God. The truth is “Well” truly unknown. A persons belief is a one on one experience, with he’s or her God, and has nothing to do with any collectivist belief system, this is why the collectivist are wrong. As ordained, mandated by God, Natural law and individual liberty combined with human action can make thing better, That is what we’re suppose to do!

        Satan did not doubt God, he wanted to be God, and had to have what God created. And that’s why he is wrong.

        Believe what ever you want. That’s the beauty of it all!!!

        • dauden

          Praetor, subject matter can be interrelated as thoughts and ideas intertwine. True…..our history is not all ugly. Man can and has acted in his better judgment given knowledge with understanding and wisdom. If you replace “Leviathan” with “Lucifer” than I get you.
          “The truth” is, none of us have it completely but Jesus called Himself…..”the way, the truth and the life….”. Can you dispute His own words as preserved in a King James Bible? Agreed, we are accountable individually before God and who we trusted in will determine our guilt or innocence when we come into judgement after death. God judges the heart of man not the company he keeps. Since we, individually, all fall short of the glory of God, we must, individually, put our trust in He who saves us by his grace.
          Human action under natural law and individual liberty result in a better world and I personally live in this freedom, if sometimes only in my mind, as the Bad Guys compel me to act differently in some cases.
          I didn’t say Satan doubted God. I said man did. Cheerio!

  • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

    DB is wasting energy and distracting readers by aiming at the wrong target!
    It is not privacy and anonymity that is needed, but rather the total elimination of the coercive power of the State. In fact, if there were no coercive State power, complete openness of everyone’s individual actions would be necessary in order to enable positive and negative social preferencing to adjudicate a correctly self-ordered society of total liberty (absence of unpermitted coercion) and maximal personal freedom (the set of actions which are available to a person). See details at: “The Philosophical Basis

    of a Stably Ordered Optimal Society” – http://selfsip.org/fundamentals/index.html

    • northernraven

      The operative word is “IF”.
      Small word; big meaning.

      • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

        But the accomplishment of that “if” is what every individual should be working for rather than wasting time and energy on interim targets, particularly when those targets (promoting privacy, secrecy and anonymity of one’s actions) are contrary to what will be needed in the goal society and, thus, people will be trained to want a social structure and interactions which cannot possibly accomplish an ordered society without a State being necessary. People must start thinking and acting as a society of total liberty and maximal personal freedom requires, or it surely will never come to pass.

        • dauden

          Good luck thinking that will ever happen. Never has since the fall of man and never will until the God of the Bible destroys this form of society and creates another without the human sin nature. It seems man will either continue seeking power to rule over others, follow some charismatic despotic leader, or exalt the “inherent goodness” of man to eventually rule himself without a higher authority to judge righteousness. Utopia on this earth has not been found anywhere. I’m not espousing religion which is contributing to the problem. I’m espousing the Story God gave to man to understand himself and the world which He made for us to live in. The only eternally sound way out (and into the new world re-created in Peace is found trusting in I Corinthians 15:1-4, King James Authorized V.

          • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

            “Good luck thinking that will ever happen. Never has … and never will…”
            A society of total liberty and maximal personal freedom surely will not come to exist unless people shun such horrible pessimism and actually try to create it by starting to operate in the necessary manner as much as possible without enabling others to cause them real harm.

          • dauden

            Paul, it is not pessimism that inhabits me; it is reality. And that of following history and knowing The Story given to us and preserved by our Creator to understand who we are and why we are here. You will never be able to re-create peace in a fallen race. The HEART of man needs to change and can only do so by trading our unrighteousness for God’s righteousness which was accomplished on His part at the cross and on our part by trusting in it.

            2 Corinthians 5:19-20 King James Version
            To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

            Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      DB is not a friend of the state, as literally thousands of articles show. However, privacy is certainly a personal decision even without a state. It’s up to the individual.

      • http://selfsip.org/ Paul Wakfer

        I certainly know that DB is no friend of the State. However, I still stand by what I wrote. At the least, DB should preface remarks such as in today’s article with something such as: “while we are fully aware that in a society of total liberty it will be optimal for each person to be fully open about all his/her actions, unfortunately while the oppressive State remains, it is necessary to keep private as many actions as possible which the State might access in order to tax, fine, incarcerate and/or otherwise harm.”

        “However, privacy is certainly a personal decision even without a state. It’s up to the individual.”

        Yes, in a society of total liberty all actions are, by definition, “a personal decision”. But it is also a “personal decision” and “up to the individual” to preference for or against all individual actions (disassociate from or associate with the individual who took such action to the extent of the degree of harm or benefit of the action), even to the extent of total social ostracism if and when such actions are sufficiently harmful to other individuals.

        And unless there is total personal openness then there is insufficient personal information available to effectively make such personal decisions and act on them. Note that this also works both ways. If someone irrationally preferences negatively or positively towards another person, then those aware of this will preference against hir accordingly.

  • Yannick Erst
  • alaska3636

    Pepe Escobar calls the Panama Papers a limited hangout. I haven’t heard that term in awhile…
    “So the Panama Papers, stripped to the bone, may reveal themselves essentially as an infowar operation by the NSA – targeted mostly against “enemies” (as in the BRICS nations) and selected disposable pawns; a weaponized psyops posing as an ‘activist leak’, straight from the Hybrid War playbook.”

    Very similar to DB.

    Also, his conclusion his interesting for pointing out that: A) Panama is small change: who puts their money in Panama and not the Caymans? B) No Americans were outed because Panama is apparently a political fiefdom of the US and, seriously, who puts their money in Panama?

    “And that leads us to the cherry in the corruption cake; how come there are no Americans in this limited hangout leak? Of course there are none. Panama is for suckers. Too obvious. Too rakish. Too crude. Ergo, forget about The Cayman Papers.”
    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Dance-to-the-Panama-Papers-Limited-Hangout-Leak-20160405-0036.html

    It is a good article, but his conclusion is a little too fairy tale for me with the government taxing the hidden income and spending on infrastructure and “sustainable growth”. The DB’s conclusion is much closer to the truth of taxation.

    Which reminds me of a Fred Reed article today. Fred wants to know: if everything is supposed to be different, how come it is all the same?

    “Writers and thinkers of classical times both in style and cast of mind read like moderns: Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Archimedes, Julius Caesar, Ovid, Papinian, Ulpian, all the gang. The sense of humor is the same: Juvenal could be Mencken’s (very) long-lost brother. The ancients spent their time as we do, making war on anyone within reach. Twenty-five hundred years of rapid evolution seem to have produced a net of zero.”

    http://www.unz.com/freed/evolution-and-refrigerators-new-insights/

    • http://www.ur2die4.com/ amanfromMars

      Hi, alaska3636,

      Regarding …. “So the Panama Papers, stripped to the bone, may reveal themselves essentially as an infowar operation by the NSA – targeted mostly against “enemies” (as in the BRICS nations) and selected disposable pawns; a weaponized psyops posing as an ‘activist leak’, straight from the Hybrid War playbook.” ….. in a world where nothing is at it seems because of fictions and factions into mainstream media corruption and misrepresentation of facts, is the truth an object of Great Gamesplay and subject to being disguised with many faces designed to discombobulate …… http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-08/was-panama-papers-leak-russian-intelligence-operation

    • Wilbur

      You have to wonder why so many convenient things keep happening to foster the need to remove privacy and impose a crushing global dictatorship on the planet.
      The AntiChrist is coming, doubt it not.

  • Jim Kluttz

    Interesting list showing those who support Transparency International. https://www.transparency.org/whoweare/accountability/who_supports_us/2/

  • Martin O’Hara

    Transparency International was founded by Peter Eigen, who was no more a ‘top executive’ of the World Bank than I was. And it was decades ago when the Bank was arguably quite other than it now is. Cheap shot.

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      “A lawyer by training, Eigen worked in economic development for 25 years, mainly as a World Bank manager of programs in Africa and Latin America.” -Wikipedia

      • Martin O’Hara

        Indeed. Not in dispute. Your article originally read, ‘top executive’. To confuse a. IDA Project or Program Manager with a ‘WB top executive’ is therefore either ignorant or meant to mislead: take your pick.

        • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

          The article reads exactly as before: “former top executive.” If we make article changes after the fact we usually note it at the bottom of the article.

          • Martin O’Hara

            I know, it still says ‘former top executive’. Over and out.

  • The Ballstone Group

    I frequently see editorials in the developing world arguing for more transparency. It is as if Transparency International is supporting a letter writing campaign. As most of the authors work in NGO’s I would not be surprised if the individuals in question attended some seminar or workshop paid for by globalist institutions, and ultimately the western tax payer.

    The articles are almost all weak repeats of what they have been saying before. Quantity over quality seems to be the strategy.

    The solution to government corruption seems obvious. Close the government institutions which enable corruption. Let private individuals choose their own solutions on the free market without state compulsion.

    • NoMorePoliticalParties

      The government (in spite of what you are being told by the elites media channels) is the only thing that stands between you and absolute aristocracy ruling everything. You call for free markets but unregulated you get the corruption we are seeing. no phrase has enabled more corruption in the US than “free markets”.

      • The Ballstone Group

        I am not sure which ‘elite media channels’ you are referring to here. As far as I can see, they all rationalize government authority in their own way. Corruption is directly proportional to the power wielded. Under a truly free market system you would have the choice to withdraw from that which you disagree with. Contrast this to government programs which are compulsory.

        The use of the phrase free markets in regards to neoliberalism is a misnomer. The waters have been deliberately muddied by propagandists. If you’ll take some time to pursue the difference between classical liberalism and neoliberalism the issue will become clearer.

        As for aristocracy, no monarch in history ever held as much power as the executives of today’s democratic republics.

  • charliesix

    No way, it means only more centralization and control by the powers that be. Headed by a former World Bank executive and you will trust him? Forget it.

  • alaska3636

    Links!
    Thomas Jefferson, the rapist; Alexander Hamilton, the hero
    http://www.vox.com/2016/4/8/11389556/thomas-jefferson-sally-hemings-book

    The musical Hamilton is the latest re-casting of American history, based on the book by Chernow.
    From Wiki:
    “If Chernow’s sense of historical context is sometimes superficial, his understanding of psychology is acute and his portraits of individuals memorable.”

    Four legs good; two legs bad.

    From another article:
    “If Alexander Hamilton represents everything currently in the zeitgeist—he’s an immigrant, he’s an orphan, he’s a self-made man, he doesn’t want the country to get into foreign wars—Jefferson represents everything that’s out-of-fashion. He’s a slave-owning aristocrat whose father was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses and who left him two-thirds of his estate, including 60 slaves, 25 horses, and 7,500 acres of land. Despite promises to free his 175 slaves upon his death, Jefferson only freed five—those related to his mistress Sally Hemings.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/08/how-hamilton-recasts-thomas-jefferson-as-a-villain/401669/#article-comments

    Albert Nock has a much better and more accurate portrayal of the strengths and weaknesses of the man, Thomas Jefferson. Read it for free here:
    https://mises.org/library/jefferson

    Armstrong’s monetary histories are always engaging. This is about the vikings:
    https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/history/ancient-economies/vikings/

    “This demonstrates that real wealth is not really gold or silver, it is commodities in barter. Money in all forms becomes “representative” of wealth as it emerges as the medium of exchange. During Dark Ages, wealth becomes the most basis form; food and clothing. We can see at the birth of the Bronze Age, Minoan bronze ingots become the medium of exchange.”

    It is important to remember that gold and silver coins are ubiquitous historically. I impute from this that barter to commodity-currency to precious metal coinage happens fairly rapidly as capital accumulates and the need to reduce friction in an economy increases.

    Finally, Forbes is trying to get out in front of those crazy conspiracies about the Panama Papers:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2016/04/10/the-panama-papers-where-are-the-americans/#55d11cfb6ad0

    “Despite the suggestions of payoffs, government influence and more, the reality is that American names have surfaced in the Panama Papers. Preliminary reports indicate that there are more than 200 people with U.S. addresses named in the Panama Papers.”

    Nothing to see here.

    • http://www.thedailybell.com/ The Daily Bell

      Thanks.

  • r2bzjudge

    Is there a government transparency international? Obama said he was going to have the most transparent government ever. Hasn’t turned out that way.

  • steve

    GOlly…sounds eerily like elements of the last Bond film….whereby the villian and Bond were hinted as being on the same side….funny that….Helegian Dialectic at work.

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