Report Public Eye (formerly BD), 2012
‘Commodities – Switzerland’s most dangerous business’ paints a searing and detailed picture of one of globalisation’s biggest winners, a powerful industry whose dealings often take it into dangerous areas. In the last decade Switzerland has emerged as one of the world’s dominant trading hubs for commodities, handling from 15 to 25 per cent of world trade. All the world’s largest trading houses operate partly or mainly out of this seemingly peaceful and innocent country. But while these powerful companies experience an unprecedented boom, the population of many resource-rich developing countries remain mired in poverty. This book tackles the question of why?
By means of research and reportage, Public Eye (formerly BD) digs down to uncover the historical roots of Switzerland‘s role as a trading hub, scrutinises scandalous business practices and their political contexts, goes down a copper mine in Zambia, and exposes the leading Swiss companies and players in this discreet industry. The book reveals how commodity deals are financed and how taxes are avoided, provides insights into the social and environmental consequences for producing countries, and suggests how greater justice can be achieved in a business which is worth billions and upon which we all depend.