Great news: WikiLeaks is set to target the banks
Neil Clark: Capital runs the world, not politicians, so the next ‘megaleak’ could be a real eye-opener
So Prince Andrew is "cocky" and Silvio Berlusconi has "a penchant for partying hard". If you're disappointed by the less than earth-shattering content of WikiLeaks' diplomatic cables, don't worry. Something far more interesting is coming next.
In an interview with Forbes magazine earlier this month, WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief Julian Assange announced that his site was planning another "megaleak" for early 2011, which would be from the private sector and involve "a big US bank".
"It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level", Assange predicted. He added that about 50 per cent of the documents WikiLeaks is currently sitting on relate to the private sector.
A WikiLeaks' shift from focusing on government to the world of big business would be hugely welcome. For the trouble with this week's release of US diplomatic cables is that it reinforces the belief that governments are the most important actors in world affairs. They're not. Capital runs the world, not politicians.
We saw this quite clearly here in Britain at the time of the general election in May. After the inconclusive general election result, "the markets" (whoever elected them, I wonder?) made it quite clear that they did not want a Labour-led coalition, which would cut public spending at a much slower rate than they required.
Such is the power of international finance capital today that the money men can, in effect, bring down any government they wish - and exert enormous pressure on governments to do their bidding.
The people who really decide what happens in the world today are not politicians or diplomats, but bankers, hedge fund billionaires, bond holders, international 'investors' and currency speculators. If they want massive cuts in public spending, then we'll get massive cuts in public spending. If they want "regime change" in a certain part of the world, then we'll get "regime change".
In the same week that WikiLeaks' embassy cables were released we saw once again the grip that international finance capital has over democratically elected politicians.
In order to make sure foreign bond holders get paid, Ireland has effectively signed away its independence, agreeing to a EU/IMF "rescue package" that will mean years of austerity for its people. Far from "rescuing" Ireland, the "bail-out" is, as activist Brian Denny claimed at the huge public demonstration in Dublin on Saturday, "an example of monopoly finance capital effectively running the country".
In the interests of democracy, it's the "confidential" communications of the global money men we really want to be reading, not the opinions of some American diplomat on Silvio Berlusconi's party habits.
WikiLeaks has done some good work in this regard in the past. In 2009, they made public a 210-page document from the Kaupthing Bank, an Icelandic multinational, which revealed that, just prior to Iceland's banking collapse, the bank had loaned billions of euros to its major shareholders. The exposure not only led to the arrest of several leading Kaupthing bankers, but a massive public outcry.
Now, WikiLeaks needs to do more to expose the shady world of international capitalism and the negative impact it has on world affairs.
"It was the power of Business, not the deliberations of statesmen, that shaped the destiny of nations," wrote the novelist Eric Ambler. That was back in 1937. It's even more true today. Over to you, Mr Assange. ·