US Exxon Turns Off Sri Lanka’s Lights, and why no transparency on bankers?
‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 16-22 January 2022
Anyone hear the vroom of 500 million US dollars being paid to the white banks, last Tuesday? No clicking cameras, no clamorous reporters on location. How’s it done? Just a touch of a key? Who sent it from here? Who received it there? How was it divided? What were the loans taken for? Did Tuesday’s 32nd Association of Professional Bankers (APB) meeting give details? What happened to the predicted end-of-the-world? Postponed once again?
About 20% of our annual import expenditure is allocated to oil imports.
While total export earnings are less than $1,000mn a month,
we have to spend about $350mn a month on oil alone.
About 70% of the imported fuel is used as fuel for vehicles.
It costs about 21% to generate electricity. Only 4% is used for industry.
– President GR (see ee Agriculture, Green)
Ships, with overpriced crude oil, sail from US colonies in West Asia, sail past us to Singapore, to be refined, and then sail back here. We’re also a cemetery for Japanese used-cars. An expensive slow-moving parking lot for Tata & Bajaj. Is it just the US, India and Japan we must blame for promoting this deadly car-happy culture? Where does this energy go? Not into industry. Into the air, all to smog?
- US Exxon’s Chevron announced this week, their increased monopoly (47%) over Sri Lanka’s lubricant market, India’s IOC is 2nd with 20% control; US ExxonMobil via McLarens Lubricants, 3rd with 6%; Laugfs Lubricants 4th with 5.65%, SL-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was 5th with 4.73%. Lubricant sales are linked to travel, transport, and power generation (ee Industry, Caltex)
Who owns Exxon? Rockefeller et al. Who owns Pathfinder Foundation, Advocata, Verite, etc.? Rockefeller et al! Who owns our economists? Rockefeller et al. Who owns our economy?
- Who should we blame for this huge oil import bill? Where did the plans of DJ Wimalasurendra, GVS de Silva & SBD de Silva, to invest in our own energy sources and rural industry, end up?
Let us séance to call up the ghost of Laxapana Wimalasurendra: Perhaps England’s Pearson PLC could make this an exam question. After all, Pearson is now the world’s top seller of books and tests. Yet it was Whitehall Securities, the investment arm of Pearson PLC, later owner of The Economist, who undermined Wimalasurendra. Will students ever learn about their sabotage? (ee 1 Aug 20)
- In July 2021 the Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times (ee, 24 July 21) opposed fuel rationing, as ’a move that could have a debilitating effect on development activities and the economy’. What development activities? School children from villages, coming to see Port City (no China visa needed!), should also be given guided tours of Colombots’ garages, carriageways, reckless driving habits.
Spanish conquistadors introduced horses into the Americas? Colonial histories claim horses pushed the original people expand hunting territory, resulting in ‘inter-tribal’ warfare. What will private cars help do?
‘Is your journey necessary?’ was the English warning to car owners here, during their WW2. Japan had taken over Burma (from where England imported rice to Sri Lanka) and Singapore. England rationed food, textiles, and petrol. 5,000 schools joined the Emergency Food Production campaign. Colombo tennis courts were turned into vegetable gardens. The colonial government here imported & distributed (stolen Bengali & Egyptian) rice, wheat flour & (stolen Mauritian) sugar, froze prices, imposed rationing. To maximize production, they offered several ‘concessions’ to cultivators & workers, guaranteeing above-world prices to impoverished cultivators, under their Internal Purchase Scheme (ee 15 Feb 2020). Did the white-Blacks scream against import controls then? No! They remain loyalist as Royalists to their white colonial masters. Ah, those ‘good old days’ that sparked today’s ‘welfare’ state of so-called ‘free’ education & healthcare etc.
- Germany’s Goethe Institute is sponsoring ‘Music Matters’, while warships, from Germany playing Wagner, and from Japan brandishing the Rising Sun flag, cruised by Colombo Port’s Galbokka this week to demand ‘freedom of the seas’? Anyone hear cries about invasion? Where are the Colombot Anglomaniacs, who normally go all bonkers when a Chinese ship docks? Did a Hunnish Aryan choir singing Hadyn’s Deutschland Uber Alles greet it? Sri Lanka should sail a warship to the North Atlantic to demand ‘freedom of the seas’ and lebensraum – living room? (ee Sovereignty)
What links Rock’n’Roll, Mass Murder, Modern Art, Uber
& Economists’ Demand for Labor Flexibility in Silicon Valley?
By 1980 the Valley’s Stanford University had helped professors patent
more than 400 inventions. The top money earner was music:
Prof John Chowning’s FM synthesis observed – ‘at a certain frequency,
patterns of vibrations from 2 oscillators generated harmonic tones’
like those of musical instruments. Chowning sold it to Japan’s Yamaha…
Many 1960s white rock’n’roll ‘stars’ (Grateful Dead, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac etc) were babies of US Silicon Valley’s military-industry workers. Massive government funding inspired their affluence, highly individualized behavior, and sense of urgency about nukes, etc, while their parents were also designing more mundane but equally devastating weapons of mass murder.
Silicon Valley is hyped as the ‘hippest’ place on the planet. California-dreaming hype praises the flexibility of its labor market, with workers having to adapt to the fast-changing demands of the work process. Silicon Valley’s labor market is held up as the model policy for the world, engaging in the new economy to improve their prosperity and/or restructure their productive base. Yet most of its workers are treated very badly. As the cutting edge of ‘labor flexibility’, workers have little job security. Uber epitomizes such flexing:
- Uber is sponsoring ‘modern art’ in Colombo. World Bank-linked Keells and their American-Express-linked Nations Trust Bank etc, are all gaga about the grating Gratiaen and the Keytian krap of the Kala Pola etc. Along with the usual-suspect sponsors of art: the private property dealers. How can Uber sponsor art? Uber workers are given no shelter, no hole to pee in, shit or puke, let alone wash their monoxide-greased faces. Ever see a speeding Uber rider flying in the air, gourmet food splattered all over the road, after being hit by a crazed driver in one of them monster 4WDs? Uber pays no taxes. Posts no profits. Yet steals public space. So why not give Uber workers a private canvass? Perhaps some Uber workers could vomit their bodily fluids – some sorrow, tears and blood – on those canvasses, and call it installation or performance art.
The white-funded Colombutt art festival theme – ‘Language is Migrant’ – reminds that many of these ‘artists’ are the children of merchant market minorities, with regional and not national loyalties. These market minorities camouflage their economic class inside cultural and religious identities, of which they are the main funders.
- The new technologies, under capitalist domination, need to be transformed so as to enable greater cooperation among workers. It’s like making love. For some people it’s what happens in bed, or in a light-less place. Due to capitalist domination, and their need to prevent workers from organizing to replace them, work is turned lifeless and loveless. Each worker in it for themselves, at the expense of other workers.
- The capitalist media is full of ‘donations’ and ‘awards’, advertising and rewarding the ‘generosity and charity’ of imperialist governments, their banks (Citi, Standard Chartered, HSBC), multinationals (Unilever, P&G, Nestle etc), and local agents. The bulk of our so-called debt has to be paid to imperialist banks. This ee looks at these banks, and their links to the Paris Club of imperialist creditors, the London Club of private bankers, the Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) led by the OECD & the Berne Union to whom we owe money for buying their industrial goods (ee Focus).
- The Silence of the Bankers – The 32nd Convention of the Association of Professional Bankers (APBSL) took place January 18, while their white masters were meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, 17-21 Jan. On cue, Oxfam diverted the WEF game into lamenting the rise of billionaires, etc.
There’s still no news of what the APBSL discussed, only a rendition of the Central Bank Governor’s anodyne speech, where he asked them to be good citizens. Fat chance.
There was no reportage at all on the APBSL’s keynote speech by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation Country Officer for Sri Lanka and Maldives, Victor Antonypillai. The IFC is sticking their fingers into private banks and NGOs as well. The IFC’s Antonypillai (related to our Chettiar Bankers of yore?) is proud of investing in such Unilever fronts as Sunshine PLC ‘to help expand consumer access to quality fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and support the domestic supply chain’. In other words, to hijack Sri Lanka’s home market, preventing its use as a basis for modern industrialization.
It was also Antonypillai who ‘officially presented financial & digital financial literacy training modules to the Central Bank’. No wonder we remain illiterate and innumerate.
Antonypillai cannot highlight that our usurers have yet again sabotaged a public development bank. Last CB Governor WD Lakshman had promised such a bank. The main criticism of the present CB governor focuses on trivial matters, like his demand for a pension, or his insistence on paying the mythical debts owed. The media refuses to discuss the need for public development banks, let alone their diffusion throughout the society, or why WDL proposed such a need.
The hijacking of the DFCC and NDB came up again this week, with the NDB Investment Bank proudly claiming it had set a record of Rs75bn in capital raisings in 2021. Capital for what? Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, is the single largest shareholder of the hijacked NDB.
Absolutely no conversation is therefore allowed on how public investment by state enterprises is way more effective in avoiding slumps than Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Instead, we’re repeatedly harangued that state companies are bureaucratic and inefficient compared to the private sector and cannot be relied on.
The recent US Economists’ conference was reminded, ‘public investment by state enterprises would be much more effective in avoiding slumps than MMT’: It’s far better for a country to adopt a decisive policy of nationalizing financially troubled private companies instead of issuing more money for the unemployed. Totally the opposite of what economists here demand: robbing national enterprises! (ee Economists 15 Jan, ASSA)
Did Antonypillai suggest that all so-called debtor countries, large and small, form a club, more powerful than the Paris and London Clubs of loansharks, to turn the so-called creditors into debtors, and finally invest in modern industrial production, through collective action? Dream on!
Continued on: https://eesrilanka.wordpress.com/2022/01/22/usa-japan-india-turn-off-the-lights/