Posts Tagged ‘The Silent Takeover’

English author Noreena Hertz on globalization and her book, “The Silent Takeover: Globalization and the Death of Democracy”

MOYERS: All over the world there have been outbreaks of protest against globalization like those we just saw in Bolivia. My next guest knows first hand about those protests, and she’s written a book on why people have taken to the streets. It’s called, THE SILENT TAKEOVER, and it’s already a best seller in England where the Sunday TIMES OF LONDON named it one of the year’s best.

Noreena Hertz was born in England, received her MBA from the Wharton School of Business and her Ph.D in economics from the University of Cambridge, where she is Associate Director of the Centre for International Business. Ten years ago she helped Russia organize its first stock market. Welcome to NOW.

HERTZ: Thank you.

MOYERS: Tell my audience what you mean by THE SILENT TAKEOVER.

HERTZ: Governments have been ceding power to big multinational corporations in the market. We see the manifest in a variety of ways. Where governments are giving up power to big international institutions like the World Trade Organization or NAFTA, which are disabling governments’ ability to protect the rights of their own people.

MOYERS: How much is the real issue, those international finance — institutions that you talk about, the World Bank, the IMF,the World Trade Organization. I mean, to whom are they ultimately accountable? THE ECONOMIST of London says that the World Trade Organization is an embryo world government which no one has voted for. Now how much are they the problem?

HERTZ: Well, the World Trade Organization is an organization that defends trade interests. I think the problem is less that they exist. The problem is that internationally we’ve only got an organization that protects trade interests. Surely we need some kind of counterweight to protect human rights and the environment too.

Read the full transcript on the PBS website

The New York Magazine: Sexy Cause

June 17th, 2002 by admin

Meet the new face of the anti-globalization movement.

By Marion Maneker
Published: 17th June 2002

When you hear the word anti-globalization, you usually think of shattered Starbucks windows and stringy-haired kids carrying on some pantomime of the sixties. But suddenly, the movement seems to have gone glam on us, with people like Nobel-laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz and billionaire currency speculator George Soros jumping on the bandwagon.

And next week, the city gets its chance to meet the movement’s first rock star (Bono aside): Noreena Hertz, a certified infobabe who casually inserts statistics into a conversation the way socialites drop names.

Hertz will be in town to promote her new book, The Silent Takeover, a passionate argument against the antidemocratic grip of multinational corporations. (Her best fun fact: Of the world’s 100 largest economic units, 51 are not countries but corporations.)

At 33, Hertz is anti-globalism’s Jane Fonda or Angela Davis, an earnest, attention-grabbing spokeswoman who just happens to look great in leather pants. “A year ago, I’d never spoken publicly,” she says, demurely confirming that she now gets ten invitations a day. “I debate government ministers on a fortnightly basis.”

The daughter of Israelis who immigrated to London, Hertz got her M.B.A. from Wharton in 1991, with dreams of becoming an independent movie producer (“Going to America was the first step in going Hollywood”). But she deferred a job at William Morris in L.A. to work in Russia on a professor’s pet project: nurturing markets in the post-Soviet economy. “I was working on a commodities exchange,” Hertz says. “But the only things being exchanged were cigarettes and funeral urns in what looked like a school gymnasium.”

Read the rest of this profile on Noreena on the New York Magazine website




Most of our polls seem to suggest most people share your view that national parliaments have less power than big organisations. Why is it ,Dr Noreena Hertz, that mainstream politicians seem unwilling to grasp this problem?





Firstly, we have to realise that people really feel that you guys are not delivering.




When you say “people”, you’d better be a bit more specific.




Okay, I’ll be a bit more explicit. A survey of 16 to 24-year-olds showed that 71% of them felt that whoever they voted for out of the three mainstream parties, it would make no difference to their lives. Only 44% of people aged between 18 and 24 voted at the last election. There’s a crisis of confidence in politics. I think that’s coming about, and having spoken to some of the protesters who I was observing at the protests today, people feel excluded from the system. They feel that governments have handed over power to big corporations in the market and that they have got no say, and that governments and politicians, who are supposed to be protecting their interests and taking and looking after their concerns, are not doing so.

Read the full transcript on the BBC News website