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The foreign debt trap

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16.11.2020

In the 2009 film “The International”, Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) an Interpol agent, and Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts) a US Assistant District Attorney for Manhattan, jointly investigate corruption in International Bank of Business and Credit (IBBC), a fictional bank based in Luxembourg. During the course of their investigation they meet Umberto Calvini (Luca Barbareschi) an Italian politician and big arms manufacturer to understand why IBBC is interested in being an arms broker and dealer in missile-guidance control systems:

You find this upsetting? But this is the very essence of the banking industry to make us all, whether we are nations or individuals, slaves to debt.

The name IBBC, Luxembourg and the indulgence in illicit or illegal activities remind me of close-to home-bank that used to be known as Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). In just 19 years it started and concluded it’s journey as a worldwide bank. It was an Arab-funded and Pakistani-run bank that took the world by storm. It had people like former President Jimmy Carter working with it. Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi who founded the bank in 1972, had earlier founded United Bank Limited (UBL). UBL is now one of the five largest banks in Pakistan. Over a period, BCCI had become rife with intra fights over control of the bank and externally went to bank with dictators of Latin America and Africa. Accused of money laundering and........

© Pakistan Today


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