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According to the Collins English Dictionary 10th Edition fraud can be defined as: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage".[1] In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain
*As defined in Wikipedia

Monday, March 25, 2013

Goldman Sachs and Friends Looking to Privatize Water

We have already seen what happens when banking becomes globalized and seeks to off put risks onto the public taxpayer.  Globalization was, and still is, a financial disaster which we will be living through for some time to come.  The main effect of globalization of the financial system is great wealth inequality.

What do you think would happen if water sources and distribution systems were similarly privatized through globalization?  Goldman Sachs and other large companies are fully aware of the profit-making potential in controlling access to water supplies and are preparing for this next big profit-making scheme.

Goldman Sachs , GE and World Resources Institute (WRI) held a summit in February 2013 to discuss the US "deficit" in their water infrastructure.  These discussions included public-private partnerships, water rights, private activity bonds (which are tax-exempt), pricing, water efficiency, decentralized systems, fracking, etc.  The areas focused on were Southern Nevada, New York and Southern California.  The Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas was presented at the summit.  "Aqueduct will assist companies to think about water risks related to supply chain, manufacturing and investment."  The shared-risk model looks a lot like the financial risk model and we know how that turned out!

Corporate Land Grabs Reveal Hidden Agenda:  Controlling the Water
By Shiney Varghese - Alternet
. . . .
The financial industry has also zeroed in on water. In the summer of 2011, Citigroup issued a report on water investments. The much quoted statement by Willem Buiter (chief economist at Citigroup) gives an inkling of Citigroup’s conclusion [19]: “Water as an asset class will, in my view, become eventually the single most important physical-commodity based asset class, dwarfing oil, copper, agricultural commodities and precious metals.” Once again, several others had already seen water as an important investment opportunity, including GE’s Energy Financial Services [20], Goldman Sachs [21] and several asset management firms that are involved investing in farmland in Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe.

Given these recent trends, initiatives that track the water use of companies or map information regarding water related risks could be double edged. Some examples include the ‘water disclosure project’ and the ‘water-mapping project’. Both are initiated by non-profits/ think-tanks, the former by UK-based Carbon Disclosure Project and the latter by the US-based World Resources Institute. While distinct, they are linked by their shared constituency: global investors concerned about water-related risks. These initiatives could help companies identify and reduce their water footprint, or could lead to company investments that follow water and grab it.
. . . .
Aqueduct Alliance and its water mapping project [24], which aims to provide companies with an unprecedented level of detail on global water risks, seems at one level a direct response to the findings of the global water disclosure reports by CDP. General Electric, Goldman Sachs and the Washington-based think tank World Resources Institute are the founding members of the Aqueduct Alliance [25]. All of them identify water-related risks as detrimental to profitability, continued economic growth and environmental sustainability. The water maps [26], with their unprecedented level of detail and resolution, seek to combine advanced hydrological data with geographically specific indicators that capture social, economic, and governance factors. But this initiative has given rise to concerns [27] that such information gives companies and investors unprecedented details of water-related information in some of the world's largest river basins.

Many of these investors, described as the “new water barons” in Jo-Shing Yang’s article "Profiting from Your Thirst as Global Elite Rush to Control Water Worldwide [6]," are the same ones who have profited from speculating on agricultural contracts and contributing to the food crisis of the past few years. The food crisis and recent droughts have confirmed that controlling the source of food—the land and the water that flows under or by it—are equally or even more important.

Read the whole article here


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