| /

‘August, 2007’

Corruption: Another Lead in Siemens Bribery Probe?

<em>Corruption</em>: Another Lead in Siemens Bribery Probe?

Inter Press Service (IPS), Aug 30, 2007

U.S. officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation met with Munich prosecutors this week regarding the 1.3-billion-dollar bribe fund run by Siemens, the German multinational technology company.

After talking to the Germans about tracking the financial flows of the largest illicit slush-fund ever discovered, the U.S. investigators would do well to visit Luxembourg on Germany’s western border.
Clearstream list of Siemens accounts 2001
There they could seek information from Clearstream, the international financial clearing house, that might tell them how Siemens moved so much money and where it went. That is because Siemens has the unusual status of being one of only four non-financial companies among 2,500 Clearstream members. It gained membership on the insistence of a former CEO who was fired after a scandal.

Siemens has a $1.3-billion bribe fund; did it move payoffs through Clearstream?

Siemens has a $1.3-billion bribe fund; did it move payoffs through Clearstream?

Aug 15, 2007

Siemens, the German-based multinational technology company that made massive payoffs to get international contracts, has, according to the German press, a bribery slush fund of more than $1.3 billion. Siemens It moved money through a network of front companies, mostly in offshore Liechtenstein and the United Arab Emirates. Siemens is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as by public prosecutors in Germany and Italy.

How did Siemens officials move so much money about? Investigators ought to take a look at Siemens’ transactions through Clearstream, the international financial clearing house in Luxembourg, whose clients do not undergo the same due diligence scrutiny that regular banks apply.

Siemens is one of only four non-financial companies (out of 2500) with Clearstream accounts. Here — published for the first time — are listings of Siemens’ Clearstream accounts for 1995, 2000 and 2001.

Million-Dollar Media Yields Cheap Thrills

Million-Dollar Media Yields Cheap Thrills

Inter Press Service (IPS), Aug 10, 2007

Two Broadway plays, “Frost/Nixon” and “Talk Radio,” expose how the media and its stars, at both the high and the low end, manipulate politics to turn news stories into emotional confrontations.

The goal in each case, of course, is to reach the highest entertainment level — and the biggest buck.

Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” by British playwright Peter Morgan takes place in 1977. British talk show host David Frost (Michael Sheen), trying desperately for a comeback, wheedles and bribes disgraced ex-President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) to submit to hours of interviews whose high-spot turns out to be a confession to the crimes of Watergate.

Politics and psychology are a profitable combination. We see them again in Eric Bogosian’s “Talk Radio,” where Barry Champlain (Liev Schreiber) is the host of the call-in show, Night Talk.

Tax dodging helps Murdoch buy the Journal

Tax dodging helps Murdoch buy the Journal

Aug 1, 2007

Where did Rupert Murdoch get $5 billion to buy up the Wall St. Journal? Beyond normal profits, his coffers were stuffed by dodging taxes in the U.S. and elsewhere. Some of that is your money!

The Economist, in 1999, investigated Murdoch’s corporate tax affairs and discovered that a collection of 800 offshore companies help him cut corporate taxes to 6%!