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.

Corporate press routinely ignores real people in Papua New Guinea

Business reporting often ignores the vast bulk of human beings and focuses solely on company profits. Take this lead story in today’s Murdoch Australian:

Papua New Guinea specialist Highlands Pacific has long been known as an asset-rich, share-price-poor type of stock. There is a feeling out there that this year could well see that change for the better, due to a couple of milestones that are to be clocked up.

The first is the commissioning of the $US1.5 billion ($1.47bn) Ramu nickel-cobalt project in PNG, 8.56 per cent-owned by Highlands and with the ability for it to go to an eventual 20.55 per cent stake.

China’s MCC is the major partner and operator of the project, which has cost more than originally planned and is two years behind schedule.

None of that really matters to Highlands as it has been carried in the development.

Assume a long-term nickel price of $US9 a pound (now $US8 a pound) and Highlands could receive $US3 million-$US5m a year up until about 2018, when project debt is assumed to be paid off. After that, Highlands’ stake increases to 11.3 per cent and its share of free cashflow could be $US15m-$US20m a year, with the option to go to a 20.55 per cent equity interest should it desire.

All that is not bad in itself for a company that yesterday was being valued by the market at $106m (15.5c a share).

Given Ramu’s development cost, it seems fair enough to suggest Highland’s market cap is covered by the Ramu interest alone.

But just like a late-night TV ad throwing in steak knives as part of the deal, there is more to Highlands, most notably its 18.8 per cent stake in the Xstrata-led Frieda River copper-gold project in PNG.

It is one of the world’s biggest undeveloped copper-gold deposits (12.9 million tonnes of copper and 20 million ounces of gold). Xstrata delayed a feasibility study into its development to December this year.

That raised concerns in some quarters that Xstrata had gone cold on the project. But the reality is that Xstrata delayed it to study power options for Frieda River in greater depth. The emerging availability of gas in that part of the world means that the original plan for an $US810m hydro-power project could be replaced with the cheaper option of gas-fired power.

Like Ramu before it, the delay at Frieda River is neither here nor there, given that when it is developed it is going to be around for decades.

Throw in Highlands’ exploration hunt near the almost exhausted Ok Tedi copper-gold mine in the Star Mountains in PNG, and it is easy to see why valuations of Highlands runs well ahead of its current share price. Euroz settled on a 40c share price target in a recent research note on the company after first having arrived at a 51c valuation.

Understand any of that? Of course you didn’t, you’re a real person who actually wonders what social and environmental impact such explorations may have on the poor people of PNG.

Here’s the Oxford Business Group highlighting calls for the PNG government to make sure these vast revenues don’t all leave the country:

A series of significant mineral finds in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have highlighted the role exports are set to play in the nation’s economic future. However, there have been calls from industry players and opposition officials asking the government to do more to ensure revenues stay in the country.

In mid-April, state-owned Petromin announced that it had found a 364-metre intersection of porphyry copper, molybdenum and gold mineralisation at its Ipi River prospect, located 50 km north of its Tolukuma gold mine in Central Province.

In the same month, Australia-based Indochine Mining announced that gold and silver finds at Mount Kare had underlined the “outstanding potential” of the project to become one of PNG’s next major mining operations. Officials also revealed that KULA Gold’s Woodlark Island project, which has estimated reserves of 700,000 ounces, was on track to start producing in 2014.

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