Transnational Institute Forum:
18 February 2002, 20.00 - 22.00 hours
An evening of information and debate on global privatisation of energy and water sectors, with a special focus on the Enron debacle.
The World Bank and IMF are extensively involved in privatisation policies as advisers to governments, as private investors and through the provision of loan finance. Loan conditionality often includes privatisation of electricity distribution. Possibly inefficient public sector enterprises may be replaced with powerful private sector concerns, accountable to shareholders with no democratic responsibility in the country where they are delivering this essential resource. This is particularly significant in poorer countries where the institutional infrastructure is such that regulation is weak.
In India, the Enron project is the single largest foreign investment and was once seen as the showpiece of India's commitment to globalisation and economic reforms. Now, India struggles on with Enron, Indonesia with PT Paiton and two dozen other private-sector power providers. In one way or another, so do Pakistan, the Philippines, and other emerging countries across the globe, from Brasil to Zimbabwe to Russia.
Daniel Chavez from the Transnational Institute will chair the meeting.
More information with:
About the speakers:
Sociologist Kevin Danaher is a co-founder of Global Exchange, the noted human rights organization based in San Francisco. His areas of expertise include: Elite Globalisation vs. Democratic Globalisation, World Bank and IMF: Why the Protests Are Growing, The World Trade Organization: Secret Global Government, World Hunger, US Foreign Policy, Building the Alternative Economy. His most recent books are Ten Reasons for Abolishing the World Bank and the IMF, Democratizing the Global Economy: The Battle Against the World Bank and the IMF; Globalize This!: The Battle Against the World Trade Organization and Corporate Rule; Corporations Are Gonna Get Your Mama: Globalization and the Downsizing of the American Dream; and 50 Years Is Enough: The Case Against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Patrick Bond is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of the Witwatersrand Graduate School of Public and Development Management, where he teaches political economy and co-ordinates the Phd programme. He is also a research associate with the Alternative Information and Development Centre, and co-ordinator of the World Bank Bonds Boycott in South Africa for the Centre for Economic Justice (USA). He has written extensively on neo-liberalism in South Africa and the crisis in post-liberation Zimbabwe. His latest books include Against Global Apartheid (University of Cape Town Press, 2001) and The Elite Transition: From Apartheid to Neoliberalism in South Africa (Pluto, 2000).
Mary Lou Malig is sociologist and research associate of Focus on the Global South, and moderates Focus' e-zine Focus on the Philippines. She is currently working with Walden Bello on a book about the political economy of the Philippines, dealing with issues like the environment and cronyism.
Jayati Ghosh is economics professor and co-author with C. P. Chandrasekhar of "Crisis as Conquest : Learning from East Asia" (Orient Longman, New Delhi , 2000. She is currently working on two new books: Ten Years of Economic Reform in India (Leftword Books, New Delhi), with C. P. Chandrasekhar, and Globalisation, structural change and income distribution: An analysis of the world economy at the turn of the century, co-edited volume (Tulika Publishers, New Delhi). Jayati serves on the advisory board of Focus on the Global South (India).
Adam Ma'anit works with Corporate Europe Observatory, a European-based research and campaign group targeting the threats to democracy, equity, social justice and the environment posed by the economic and political power of corporations and their lobby groups. He is co-author of the book, Europe Inc.: Regional and Global Restructuring and the Rise of Corporate Power, and has written extensively on issues related to corporate lobbying, trade issues and climate change.