Multinational Monitor

NOV/DEC 2007
VOL 29 No. 5


Neither Honest Nor Trustworthy: The 10 Worst Corporations of 2007
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

High Flyers and the Grounding of Equality
by Samuel Bollier

The Pickens Water Play
by Andrew Wheat

Sin and Society Part III
by Edward Alsworth Ross


How Wall Street's Political Triumph Led to Economic Crisis
an interview with Robert Kuttner

How Eliminating School Fees Helped 2 Million Kenyan Kids Go to School
an interview with oil Mary Njoroge


Behind the Lines

Cops on the Corporate Crime Beat

The Front
Norway Nixes World Bank | Food Prices Boil Over

The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Greed At a Glance

Commercial Alert

Names In the News



The November/December Lawrence Summers Memorial Award* goes to New York lobbyist Sid Davidoff and his circle of powerful lobbyist friends, for considering hiring their own lobbyist to fend off bad press.

Lobbyists have gotten a bad rap in recent years thanks to debacles like the one surrounding Jack Abramoff, so Davidoff and others have begun thinking seriously about forming a trade association to boost their public image.

The New York Times reported, “Mr. Davidoff, whose clients have included Donald Trump, McDonald’s and the city’s largest firefighters union, stopped short of saying that the association, if it is formed, would hire a lobbyist. But for people who prefer to operate behind the scenes, it makes sense, he said, to have a ‘representative who can do a better job of educating the public, the press and even, when necessary, public officials.’”

Source: Ray Rivera, “For Lobbyists, This Campaign is Personal,” The New York Times, June 25, 2007.

*In a 1991 internal memorandum, then-World Bank economist Lawrence Summers argued for the transfer of waste and dirty industries from industrialized to developing countries. “Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs (lesser developed countries)?” wrote Summers, who went on to serve as Treasury Secretary during the Clinton administration and is the outgoing president of Harvard University. “I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that. ... I’ve always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly under polluted; their air quality is vastly inefficiently low [sic] compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City.” Summers later said the memo was meant to be ironic.


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