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Thursday, December 03, 2009


"The Informant", starring Matt Damon, opens in cinemas today. From the
advertising, it's impossible to tell what the movie is about. It is actually
the story of one of the biggest transnational corporate crimes of the 1990s,
one which resulted in huge fines and top executives going to prison (the
corporate crimes of the recent global financial crash are much bigger but
instead of going to prison, the guilty are rewarding themselves with more
bonuses). It is seen through the eyes of Mark Whitacre, the informant of the
title (who also ended up in prison, in fact he got the longest sentence, by
far). The film is based on a book of the same title and it veers off from
the corporate crime into concentrating on the whistleblower, who is
portrayed as a pathological liar, big time thief, and fantasist with mental
health issues. Which is a pity, because it's a much bigger and more
interesting story than that.

This story is one that CAFCA highlighted nearly a decade ago, when the
American company in question - Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), one of the
biggest corporations in the world -- came to New Zealand. Here is our review
(from a 2000 issue of Foreign Control Watchdog) of another, better, book on
the case; plus an accompanying article from the same issue about ADM's
arrival in NZ and our unsuccessful attempt to get the then Overseas
Investment Commission (now the Overseas Investment Office) to do something
about that.

The NZ material is historic, the local references are nearly a decade old,
ADM moved on and out (and I wouldn't guarantee that any of the Web links
below still exist). But it's still a fascinating story, and if you plan to
review the movie, then please read this, as you'll learn a lot more about
the case from it than from watching "The Informant".

download avi torrent divx at piratebay dvd

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