Thanks To Secret Bail-Outs

        CITICORP, MORGAN, CHASE BANK PROFITS SURE TO RISE
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                Canny Yuppie Investors  Take  Note!
                Secret Negotiations Can Benefit YOU!
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Portions of an open  letter  to  Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin,
formerly(?) a high-level  employee  of  the  Kuhn-Loeb  financial
powerhouse,  written  by  Ralph  Nader  and Robert Weissman, give
insight on what crafty Bill Clinton  and friends are up to.  Here
are excerpts from the letter, published  in  the  Jan.  26,  1998
issue of Nation magazine.

        -+- "Stealth Meetings and Secret Decisions" -+-

  Dear Secretary Rubin,

  One  of  the  more  disturbing  traits of the architects of
  economic globalization is  their  penchant  for secrecy and
  apparent disdain  for  democratic  processes.   This  modus
  operandi  is  problematic  not  only  on procedural grounds
  alone, but also because  it  tends  to foster policies that
  serve narrow corporate interests,  over  broader  taxpayer,
  consumer,   worker,   environmental   and   other   citizen
  interests. 

  The  Asian  financial  crisis and the South Korean meltdown
  merit open  debate  and  explanation  of  policy choices by
  government  officials  --  not  stealth  meetings,   secret
  decisions,  concealed  information,  intentionally  obscure
  comments  from you and other officials and sudden reversals
  of policy.

                  -+- The Clinton Two-Step -+-

  In the first  weeks  of  the  South  Korean crisis, you and
  members of the Clinton Administration  repeatedly  asserted
  that   U.S.   funds   would   be   involved  in  the  South
  Korea/Citicorp bailout only as  "a second line of defense."
  But on December 24, in what may become known as  the  Great
  Christmas  Eve  Reversal, the Clinton Administration agreed
  to lend South Korea $1.7  billion  in  January as part of a
  $10 billion emergency loan package.  In  exchange  for  the
  loan,  you  extracted  a  series of additional South Korean
  economic conditions that are of questionable benefit to the
  South Korean economy,  though  of  certain advantage to big
  U.S. banks and other corporations, which will now  be  able
  to  acquire  majority  stakes  in  South  Korean  firms  at
  fire-sale prices.

       -+- Big Banks Win In "The Great Free Market" -+-

  The  international  banks  that  made loans to South Korean
  enterprises and are  complicit  in whatever imprudent loans
  were made will apparently be bailed out by the  I.M.F.  and
  Christmas  Eve  Reversal packages -- suffering no more than
  deferred payments.  Furthering the inequity, the I.M.F. and
  the reversal  packages  require  South  Korea  to  open its
  economy to foreign mergers and acquisitions -- meaning that
  Citicorp, J.P. Morgan,  Bankers  Trust,  Bank-America,  the
  Bank  of  New York, Chase Manhattan and others are not only
  bailed  out  but  then  given  the  opportunity  to  buy up
  lucrative sectors of the South Korean economy --  a  double
  windfall.

          -+- =Who= Does Secretary Rubin Work For? -+-

  How  does  the  man  who  preached about the risk of "moral
  hazard" justify such  a  generous  package  for lenders and
  such a harsh package for the borrower?   Your  handling  of
  the  South  Korean/Citicorp  bailout is a textbook study of
  the dark side  of  globalization.   It  is  time for you to
  remember that you are employed by the people of the  United
  States,  not  by  the  banks  and  financial houses on Wall
  Street.

                              RALPH NADER and ROBERT WEISSMAN

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