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05 April
2007

Revelations

[World Social Forum] 

The "Institut für Wirtschaftsrecherchen (IWR) GmbH" in Saarbrücken may not be world-famous. However, observers of international and financial affairs have been aware of its existence since 2003, when it was founded by the Swiss banker and lawyer André Strebel together with the former banker from Luxemburg, Ernest Backes.

The IWR sometimes has figured in connection with the news stories about the fate of the Russian Yukos Oil company and its (former) chiefs Mihail Chodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. In case the IWR was mentioned, so was probably Menatep, the bank behind the Yukos company.

And the name of Ernest Backes is known to everybody who follows the development of the Clearstream affair. In 2001 Backes co-authored Révélation$ with French investigative journalist Denis Robert.

It was because of the revelations made by Backes and Robert about Clearstream and Menatep that the then CEO of Clearstream Mr André Lussi was sacked from Clearstream.

On 3 April, Stern, the German magazine, published an interesting story about The "Institut für Wirtschaftsrecherchen". Stern revealed that the Institut has been financed by BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst), the German intelligence service. And how did this leak out to the press? The reason is quite extraordinary: Mr Strebel wants to take the BND to court for having failed to comply to agreement. The BND has not payed the agreed salaries to the two Wirtschaftsforschern!

Let's hope that intelligence services all over follow the example of the BND and start sponsoring research into the world's most private finances! As the end result humanity may achieve a state called World Public Finances. On the condition, of course, that the researchers are paid their salaries throughout the duration of the research project.


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