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At 50, I am running out of time to start turning things around... if not now, when?
World Bank Whistleblower
Ms. Hudes has also been exposing the tremendous influence globally connected transnational corporations have on our markets and government, explained in this study.
I had an opportunity to ask Ms. Hudes some questions on what has motivated her recent efforts, efforts that span back years, and efforts that got her arrested for "trespassing" at the World Bank, where members supposedly have immunity from U.S. authorities; and efforts that had her family on the receiving end of veiled threats by phone - all because she wants to inform the public about the rampant corruption and collusion within our global markets.
Claude Morton: "Thank you Ms. Hudes for taking the time to answer some questions, and I also want to thank you for taking the risk you have, to expose corruption, that is very admirable and brave of you."
Karen Hudes: "You're welcome. I was doing my job, alongside other World Bank whistleblowers."
CM: "For our readers can you briefly explain why you chose to become a whistleblower?"
KH: "When I turned 50 I decided to act on a Human Resources "180 degree review" that asked my colleagues, bosses, and people who reported to me what my strengths and weaknesses were. They gave me a perfect score on the question "informs management what needs improvement". The Human Resources department counseled us to pay careful attention to not only what needed improvement but especially to what we were doing right, because we had a "comparative advantage" in the highly rated qualities. I thought to myself, "At 50, I am running out of time to start turning things around...if not now, when?"
CM: "Our Justice Department claims they do not have enough evidence to charge firms such as Goldman Sachs in a court of law for widespread financial maleficence, but willingly bring whistleblowers (like yourself) to court who are trying to provide the evidence the Justice Department would need. What do you make of our government's stance on such issues?"
KH: "H.L. Mencken said it best. "People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard." When will U.S. citizens demand for Eric Holder to step down?
CM: "You've alleged that corporate network control is leading to a dangerous game of currency wars between the BRIC and NATO nations, due to financial corruption and resource exploitation. With the recent volatility in the gold market, and with the announcement from China that they will be cutting back on aluminum production, are we beginning to see this war play out on the global markets?"
KH: "As I warned Chief Justice John Roberts, when the clerk of the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit refused to recognize the settlement of my bondholder litigation by 188 Ministers of Finance, "A stakeholder analysis derived from accurate game theory modeling
shows a clear fork in the road for the United States: rule of law and the transatlantic alliance or corruption and the ascendency of China."
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa announced that they would establish their own development bank in Durban, just prior to the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF. I have been warning the US authorities that lawlessness would undermine the continuation of the dollar as the international reserve currency. Actually ever since the UK Parliament started publishing my disclosure of faulty accounting at the World Bank, the stakeholder analysis has been predicting that the rule of law would prevail. It is clear that the corruption cannot continue. The gold markets are signaling the crisis in confidence in the fiat currencies as it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain immediate delivery of gold. Germany asked to repatriate 300 tons of gold three months after the New York Federal Reserve refused Germany?s request for a physical inspection of vaults in which Germany?s gold was stored. Instead, the US Treasury offered a paper audit. Office of the Treasury Inspector General, Audit of the Department of the Treasury's Schedule of United States Gold Reserves Held by Federal Reserve Banks as of September 30, 2012, Available here.
CM: "In 'The network of global corporate control' study, they point to that fact that there is so much entanglement within the corporate world, manipulation of the markets is inevitable, at the cost to fair market competition. You have alleged that gross corruption is taking place in places like the Philippines, where World Bank funds for anti-poverty programs are being subverted to a few wealthy people. Are those people using those World Bank funds to further consolidate our markets by purchasing mass shares of these already entangled corporations?"
KH: "I believe that the majority of the shares of the conglomerate referred to in that study as the "super-entity" are closely held by the same persons who own the central banks. The current corporation laws only require the ownership of corporations to be disclosed under very limited situations and so it is not possible to answer this question with authority. As the citizens untangle the corruption going forward, it will be necessary to revisit a number of paradigms. This whole approach to corporate law that has landed us in this degree of corruption certainly bears revisiting. So does the decision to leave regulation of the ethics of the legal and accountancy professions to the brethren in these professions. They have definitely not been up to the task."
CM: "Since antitrust regulators are clearly not guaranteeing fair competition in the markets nor investigating widespread collusion and corruption, especially in the financial markets (i.e. LIBOR scandal), what is someone in your position supposed to do besides whistleblow when you have exhausted all other avenues to expose said corruption?"
KH: "What I have done is to take an interdisciplinary approach by enlisting political scientists and sociologists. The stakeholder analysis has provided a blueprint to tell me where I could find and build a coalition to support the rule of law. I believe that the coalition now exists and that it has wrestled this corrupt conglomerate to the ground before it could do any more harm. We shall see shortly whether I am too optimistic or whether this is actually the case."
CM: "In your twenty years of working with the World Bank, did other people try to expose the long-term corruption in our markets? If so, how were you taught to view such a person, and now that you are that person, how has the entire ordeal changed your life?"
KH: "Before I came to the World Bank, the longest-serving general counsel of the World Bank, Aaron Broches, gave me the operation manual. Broches was a young lawyer in the Dutch delegation that negotiated the Bretton Woods treaties in 1944. Broches told me that the legal department held the key to the functioning of the World Bank and that when the Pentagon in the United States provided the President of the World Bank, there was going to be a problem with the rule of law. Broches told me about his problems after Robert McNamara assumed the presidency of the World Bank in 1968. My interdisciplinary training at Yale Law School and the University of Amsterdam taught me to enlist the strengths of different professions. When I worked on law reform in the World Bank's member countries, I learned how teams and coalitions could often overcome seemingly intractable problems. I have had a lot of help from the other whistleblowers. I would not describe my struggle as an ordeal. As captain of the NYU fencing team, I also learned that you can only train by fencing worthy opponents. I have always respected the conglomerate as a worthy opponent to be outmaneuvered with the help of many teams. We shall see who wins!"
Claude Morton, Column Editor: Claude Morton is an independent contributor, who mostly writes articles on politics, Veganism, philosophy, or local events. Claude has contributed to a variety of print and online outlets including Yahoo!, MovieMaker Magazine, and the Ann Arbor News. From Claude; I’m in the 1%, no, not that 1%. I’m a vegan, indie filmmaker, libertarian socialist, and a pacifist. I champion freedom as much as equality, and love discussing solutions about our country’s biggest dilemmas. ... (more...)