Brussels, the capital and largest city of Belgium, has a long history of hosting the institutions of the European Union within its European Quarter; while the Union itself claims it has no capital and no plans to declare one--despite the fact that Brussels hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament. In any event, it is here--in this centre of smoke and mirrors--that exists one of the largest concentrations of lobbyist power in the world. The Brussels Business scratches the surface of this extensive world hidden-from-view by looking at the direct influence of lobbyists and the complete lack of transparency in the decision-making processes. Speaking with lobbyists and activists themselves, The Brussels Business reveals the beginnings of a vast landscape of PR conglomerates, front companies, think-tanks and their closely-interlinking networks of power and ties to political and economic elites. The questions then become: Who actually runs the European Union? How? And why?
Why did appointed officials of the Australian Reserve Bank and its employees break sanctions in Iraq and cosy up to Saddam Hussein through a frontman during the late 1990s, early 2000s and beyond? Why did a former Deputy Governor and other directors hand-picked by the Reserve Bank to safeguard its subsidiary companies from corruption, end up--over a decade--overseeing some of the most corrupt business practices possible? How did they allow millions of dollars to be wired to third parties in foreign countries--including a known arms dealer--in order to win banknote contracts knowingly using bribery and supporting corruption?
For more than two years the Eurozone has teetered on the edge of an economic precipice. But how exactly did it get into the current financial mess? Talking to historians, economists and politicians, The Great Euro Crash takes a long view of the euro--from Churchill's vision of a United States of Europe; to the bail-outs of Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Meeting a property developer in Ireland, a taxi driver in Rome and a German manufacturing worker; the film exposes the high cost being paid by European workers today for the dream of monetary union--and how close the entire European Union came to a complete banking meltdown. The crisis could yet claim another victim--Britain, with its vast financial sector, would be dragged down by the collapse of the euro. The cost for saving the euro may be high, but the alternative would be a return to the economic mayhem of the 1930s...
Far from ending with the abolition of slavery, the trade in human beings is thriving more than ever before. Today, 27 million men, women and children are held, sold and trafficked as slaves throughout the world. From the sex slaves of Eastern Europe to China's prison labour slaves; from Brazil's hellish charcoal slave camps to entire families enslaved in Pakistan's brick kilns, this series exposes the people behind modern slavery and the companies who profit from it.
The Tax Free Tour travels the globe to expose the workings of offshore tax havens and the elite banking systems of the world's billionaires which operate in extreme secrecy. Using examples from multi-national corporations such as Apple Computer and Starbucks, the film traces sizeable capital streams that travel the world literally in milliseconds--all to avoid local laws and paying tax. Such routes go by resounding names like 'Cayman Special', 'Double Irish', and 'Dutch Sandwich'. The Tax Free Tour is a sobering look at how the world's rich live in an entirely different world than the rest of us...
With the recent global financial crisis, governments across the world promised decisive action -- the biggest financial stimulus packages in history, along with gargantuan bail-outs of corporations and floods of money into private banks and investment firms. But what crazed logic is this: propping up bad debt with…more bad debt? Overdose reviews the happenings of the bail-outs over these years, showing how dangerous the situation continues as a burst bubble is re-inflated globally. What happens next?
Over six desperate days in October 1929, the New York Stock Exchange crashed leading to the collapse of three thousand banks, taking people's savings with them. In a matter of days, the United States economy was obliterated. The crash was followed by a devastating worldwide depression that lasted until the Second World War. Finances did not regain their pre-crash values until 1954. This film recounts the story of a financial disaster that we hoped could never happen again, revealing the familiar tune of cheap credit, consumerism, greed, corruption and cronyism in the current-day financial crisis...
Corporations On Trial is a five-part series following just some of the many lawsuits being brought against multinational corporations for war crimes, conspiracy, corruption, assassinations, environmental devastation and payments to terrorists. Such serious charges have forced some of the world's largest companies to hire high-profile defence lawyers to protect public relations in cases often brought by plaintiffs who are barely literate. These five films reveal a growing anxiety about the power and influence of big business, as many multinational corporations have annual revenues greater than some countries' national budgets and indeed increasingly hold governments to ransom by their economic power. Around the world, ordinary people are fighting back and asking how many more times their interests should be sacrificed for corporate greed and shareholder profit...
Exploring the collusion between the richest people in the United States and the figureheads of power in government, this film focuses on Park Avenue in New York which is currently the home to the highest concentration of billionaires in the United States. As of 2010, 400 people controlled more wealth than the bottom 50 percent of the populace--150 million people--as well as seizing power. Park Avenue travels through these happenings to illustrate why the concept of "upward mobility" is a myth in modern capitalist economics, and also to unpack the workings of plutocracy--the current day rule by the rich, and the implications of this power--with clear examples...
Mongolia is the next target for the world's biggest copper mines. The Oyu Tolgoi mine currently under construction in the South Gobi Desert is a combined open-pit and underground mine due to start operations in the next few months, which alone will account for 30 percent of Mongolia's entire "GDP". But the Oyu Tolgoi deal between the Mongolian government and the massive Australian mining company Rio Tinto is truly indicative -- Mongolia gets just 34 percent, while Rio Tinto is exempt from a profits tax and receives open access to scarce desert aquifers and the provisioning of water to people living close to land that the mining company now 'owns'. Has this rapid mining-driven growth come at the expense of nature and the local way of life?
The End of Poverty? traces the growth of global poverty back to colonisation in the 15th century to reveal why it's not an accident or simple bad luck that there is a growing underclass around the world. Featuring interviews with a number of economists, sociologists, and historians, the film details how poverty is the clear consequence of free-market economic policy which has allowed powerful nations to exploit poorer ones for their assets, turning the money back to the hands of the concentrated few. This also follows on to how wealthy nations--especially the United States--thereby exert massive debts, seize a much disproportionate exploit of the natural world, and how this deep imbalance has dire consequences on the environment and on people...
Six years after the housing bubble burst in the United States in 2008, the worst is yet to come. After a recent landmark settlement, major banks have lifted the freeze on foreclosures, with evictions again in full swing. Public housing budgets have been slashed, while the thin line between home ownership and homelessness grows ever more blurry. People are angry about the impunity of the banks and some have found innovative ways of fighting back in an age of austerity. For Sale travels to Chicago and California to see how people at the forefront of the crisis are confronting the collapse of the 'American dream'.
Perfect Storm offers an initial analysis of the underlying causes and wider context surrounding the riots throughout England in 2011. Contrary to the portrayals presented by mainstream media and trite political rhetoric around law and order, were the riots sparked by poverty, inequality and frustration over police killing a young man in Tottenham? And how does the damage weigh up to the criminal conduct of banks and corporate tax avoiders when the costs of the riots are 4,320 times less of the recent financial crisis?
From the front-lines of conflicts in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Palestine, Korea, and the North; from Seattle to Genova and the "War on Terror" in New York, Afghanistan, and Iraq, The Fourth World War documents the stories of women and men all around the world who resist being annihilated in this war. Centred around economics and systems such as NAFTA, GATT, the G20, APEC and others, this is a war which plays along with the spread of rapacious globalisation, a feat that has pervasive consequences in the real world...
Inside Job provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted government and academia...
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a presentation by John Perkins, based on the book by the same name published by him in 2004. Perkins provides an account of his career with consulting firm Chas. T. Main in Boston and how that before his employment with that firm, he was interviewed for a job with the National Security Agency, detailing later that this interview effectively constituted an 'independent screening' which led to his subsequent hiring by Einar Greve, a member of the firm (and alleged NSA liaison) to become a self-described economic hit-man...
John Pilger examines the policy of western banks making loans with third world countries, which are then unable to meet the crippling interest charges -- debt is a weapon. It also analyses 'Structural Adjustment Programs', which are proclaimed to enable countries to compete in the global economy, but have the opposite effect of lowering wages which in turn further transfers the wealth from the poor to the rich...
Along the way to winning an eight-hour workday and fair wages in the early 20th century, the Wobblies were one of the few unions to be racially and sexually integrated and often met with imprisonment, violence, and the privations of prolonged strikes. The Wobblies airs a provocative look at the forgotten American history of this most radical of unions, screening the unforgettable and still-fiery voices of Wobbly members -- lumberjacks, migratory workers, and silk weavers -- in their 70s, 80s, and 90s.
"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." By providing a simple introduction to the concept of exponential growth and doubling over time, Professor Al Bartlett explains the impacts and consequences of exponential growth on a finite planet. Observations of this growth are applied to fossil fuel consumption, population and economic growth -- the bizarre unsustainable figures of which are most often quoted by "experts", politicians and the mainstream media...
Money is a new form of slavery and is only distinguishable from the old slavery simply by the fact that it is impersonal--that there is no human relation between master and slave. Debt in government, corporate and household has reached astronomical proportions. Where does all this money come from? How could there be that much money to lend? The answer is that there isn’t...
What kind of person is the corporation? Since the current day legal status of the corporation is a person, what would happen if it sat down with a psychiatrist to discuss its behaviour and attitude towards society, culture and the environment? Explored through specific examples, this film shows how the modern day business corporation has developed into the dominant institution of our time...
We have not just been living through a global recession, but what amounts to the largest coordinated, economic crime in recent history. Now, having barely survived a complete collapse of the financial system, the global economy is tottering on the brink. We’ve reached the limits of what our desires demand of the planet and what it can deliver. But, by looking to past failed civilisations, can we learn what not to do with our future? Like the ancient Mayans, we’re reaching peak everything -- oil, land, population, climate, food and water and the question is whether we can manage the change. But as we embark on a quest for re-building a sustainable economy and a sustainable planet, is this crisis the wake-up call we desperately need to have? Do we need to turn eco-warriors into eco-capitalists and launch the next great bubble -- a Green Bubble?
Life and Debt addresses the impact of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and current globalisation policies in a country such as Jamaica. By focusing on the stories of individual Jamaicans, the situation unfolds that the strategies for survival and parameters of day-to-day existence are determined by the U.S. and other foreign economic agendas...
S11 documents protest actions in Melbourne, Australia, 2000 against the World Economic Forum meeting. Specific accounts of police brutality and ferocious attacks on people protesting national and international issues are captured, in direct contradiction with mainstream media coverage, portraying activists as violent protesters.