Multinational Corporations are the main actors driving economic globalisation which thrives when market forces are de-regulated, allowing essential goods and services to be allocated by commercial activity, not human need. The result is a world economy that favours affluent countries and their corporate interests whilst neglecting those living in extreme poverty who the market fails to reach.
We have now reached a stage where conspicuous consumption
has become the norm and is encouraged. But movements all over the world are calling for ethical
consumption, as well as voluntary, simple living that hearkens back to Gandhian ways. An interview with Prof Anwar Fazal, by Biju Negi.
In countries rich in minerals, private companies often benefit from their extraction while local populations remain poor. The way to fight the ‘curse’ of natural resources is to ensure their benefits are shared fairly to improve spending on basic needs, says a report by Oxfam.
Whilst many mining companies have signed up to ‘corporate social
responsibility’ initiatives in the last decade, debate remains as to whether voluntarism is effective. Are legal mechanisms required to ensure local
communities benefit from resource extraction? By Matt Kennard.
So-called ‘green consumers’ often seek to purchase what they perceive as eco-friendly products. But a company’s reputation for sustainability and the extent to which it has genuinely minimised its impact on the environment are not the same thing, finds an investigation by the New Scientist.
After eight years of investigation into allegations of corruption, BAE Systems has reached settlements with UK and US regulators totalling almost US$500 million. Is this outcome an encouraging move towards corporate accountability, or an affront to justice?
A US Supreme Court ruling has abolished long-standing
limits on corporate contributions to political campaigns. Does this edict uphold
the right to freedom of speech, or does it corrupt democracy by further entrenching the
electoral power of business interests?
Bribery and corruption in business are not only costing countries
billions of dollars in lost revenues, but are partly to blame for the global
economic crisis. Tackling these issues should be integral to the ongoing
reforms of the global financial architecture, says a report by Transparency International.