Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Hey haters, Serco is just doing its best to make as much profit from misery as possible

As Serco continues to make money from Australia’s incompetent immigration detention centres, the company comes out swinging, claiming it cares deeply for “these people” (also known as asylum seekers) to Perth’s Sunday Times:

Refugee deaths in detention are just part of the migration service business, according to Serco, the company managing Australia’s detention centres.

In a rare interview, Serco Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia chief executive Bob McGuiness also rejected claims Serco was a secretive organisation.

“To be described as a secretive organisation I was completely gobsmacked, I find that astonishing,” he told The Sunday Times.

The company has drawn criticism for refusing to release many details of how it runs the country’s detention centres, while unions also critcised the WA Government’s decision to award the services contract for the new Fiona Stanley Hospital to Serco, saying privitisation would affect patient care.

Asia Pacific chief executive David Campbell said claims of secrecy were “nonsense” and came about because the company was often “contractually obligated” to not discuss its business.

Serco was in the spotlight last week after the Department of Immigration confirmed the eighth death in detention since August last year a 27-year-old Tamil man.

Mr McGuiness said it was “absolutely tragic”, but inevitable, when detainees died on his company’s watch.

“We do everything in our power to look after these people,” Mr McGuiness said.

“Is it in our power for no one ever to pass away under those circumstances? Actually no, it’s not in our power, we’re not God.”

But he said he got “satisfaction” knowing Serco provided the service because otherwise it “would not be done so well”.

But not everybody agrees.

“If they were a responsible company they should have said, ‘We don’t want any part in this’,” Refugee Rights Action Network spokesman Phil Chilton said.

He said the company had “plenty of other fingers in plenty of other pies around the world”.

To offer quality service, the refugee advocate said Serco would need to provide a psychologist “24/7” to help deal with the mental- health issues.

United Voice union has argued that Serco also poses a danger to health care in WA because privatising services at Fiona Stanley could result in profits before patient care.

The $4.3 billion contract is Serco’s biggest in its 23-year history in Australia.

Mr McGuiness said he guaranteed cost cutting would not result in service cuts because the company wanted to continue its relationship with the State Government and expand its WA operations.

The hospital contract is being investigated by a parliamentary committee, which held its first public hearing this week and was unsuccessful at getting a variety of documents needed to confirm the deal’s “value for money”.

Serco Group, which is the London Stock Exchange-listed parent company of Serco Australia, recently told shareholders the contract would create $30 million to $50 million in revenue in its “pre-operational phase”.

“From the opening of the hospital in 2014, annual revenues will be approximately $A160million,” it reported.

Mr McGuiness would not stipulate its profit margin, but said Serco like any other business would want to make a “fair return”.

Mr McGuiness said Serco wanted to develop its health care, defence, custodial and transport businesses in the region.

2 comments ↪
  • Victoria

    yeah, "why worry about one more dead refugee. I mean , it's just part of our business model"..glad to see Serco wearing its humanitarian heart on its sleeve.

    What is worrying is he is so unconscious about how this comes across..but hey perhaps there are a few too many Aussies that share the atitude

  • jason

    Wow the more research I do the ugly things get.. I thought I had a bone to pic but it seems like I have just now discovered the tip of the iceberg as far as SERCO's bad deeds are concerned. SERCO is also reeking havoc in the USA. These guys have to be stopped! I have had the misfortune of having to deal with SERCO in order to get my wife's VISA. They have been absolutely horrible throughout the process. It seems as though they make more money for time added to the process. They typically respond to e mails in 15 to 20 days and are miserably misinformed. Each time I make contact they have me pulling my hair out of frustration while my wife and baby are forced to live across the border while we endure though there incompetence.