By Cliff Kincaid
President Obamaâ€™s pick for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is being urged to lay the foundation for â€œglobal governanceâ€ by considering â€œinternational taxationâ€ measures to loot more money from U.S. taxpayers.
The recommendation is included in the report, â€œThe Global Agenda 2009,â€ which is being considered by the World Economic Forum (WEF), meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 28 - February 1. 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 â€œstrategic partnersâ€ of the World Economic Forum.
â€œLook for live coverage on CNBC, all day every day,â€ reports CNBC â€œSquawk Boxâ€ co-anchor Becky Quick. â€œWe kick things off at 6 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday on Squawk, with serious interviews from the headliners.â€ Her report, however, fails to disclose that CNBC is an â€œindustry partnerâ€ 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. CNBCâ€™s sister networks are NBC and MSNBC.
Other â€œindustry partnersâ€ 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 â€œachievementsâ€ over time but failing to note that Reuters is a sponsor of this yearâ€™s event.
CNBC is advertising a â€œNo Way Back â€“ the Road to Recoveryâ€ debate hosted at the conference by CNBCâ€™s Maria Bartiromo. One of the participants is Steve Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of the Chinese-funded and partly owned Blackstone Group.
Representing Chinese economic dominance in what Henry Kissinger has labeled a â€œNew World Order,â€ Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is speaking to a special session of the conference on its first day.
The eventâ€™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 â€œStrategic Partnersâ€ 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, â€œThe Future of the Global Financial System,â€ which acknowledges â€œintellectual stewardship and guidanceâ€ 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 economyâ€™s future. One report notes that Rubenstein says Carlyle â€œwas an early investor in the Chinese marketplace,â€ that its China office â€œhas hired many native-born Chinese, and the company is seeking to build its buyout and growth-capital businesses there.â€
â€œThe Global Agenda 2009â€ report says that â€œsovereign states do not adequately address problems reaching across bordersâ€ and that â€œinternational taxationâ€ may be needed to generate the â€œadditional resourcesâ€ for â€œglobal governance.â€
Could this become a source of new bailout money here and abroad?
â€œAs 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,â€ the report says.
The report says the U.N.â€™s Law of the Sea Treaty, which is a top priority for Senate ratification under the Obama Administration, is a measure that has â€œearned the acceptance and complianceâ€ of most nations. The treaty would turn over oil, gas, and mineral resources to the U.N. and authorize access to them through payment of a global tax to a U.N. body.
The so-called â€œCouncil on Global Governanceâ€ 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 Departmentâ€™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 U.N. Secretary-General. As director of U.N. 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 Husseinâ€™s Iraq regime.
Annan, however, claimed that he was â€œexoneratedâ€ by a report issued by Paul Volcker, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman and now one of Obamaâ€™s chief economic advisers.
In the past U.S. officials have been major participants in the World Economic Forum. But itâ€™s not clear if any of Obamaâ€™s top officials will be going to this yearâ€™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, â€œThe Global Agenda 2009â€ report urges creation of a global television channel.
â€œMedia 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,â€ it says. â€œWe believe that this new moment also calls for a new media platform, across all media channels, a global non-profit â€˜CNNâ€™ providing a new form of independent journalism to inform, illuminate and deepen knowledge about issues that improve the state of the world.â€
The report doesnâ€™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 â€œglobal governance.â€
Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.