US: Bill Gates urges SEC to ignore corporate lobbying on corruption
Date: 16 Feb 2012
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has written to the US Securities and Exchange Commission urging it to disregard attempts by energy companies to water down anti-corruption legislation.
Gates has historically not been inclined to take such direct positions on public policy areas, but has said that he was concerned about extractive industries lobbying against a new law aimed at increasing transparency in dealings in developing countries.
Gates pointed out that Africa's natural resources were worth $246bn in exports - six times more than the figure the continent received in aid. "Little of this value remained in Africa. Transparency of financial flows is critical to ensuring these valuable resources are transformed into public benefits."
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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