excerpts from the book
The Silent Takeover
Global Capitalism and the Death of Democracy
Let Them Eat Cake
Manning The Door At Private sector HQ
by Noreena Hertz
Arrow Books, 2001, paper
Let Them Eat Cake
The global policy shift towards neo-liberalism that took place
during the 1980s and 1990s was supposed, according to its proponents,
to bring a convergence of living standards of richer and poorer
nations. This never actually happened. For the majority of developing
and transitional economies the East-West and North-South income
gaps are greater today than before.
The medicines doled out by the World Bank and IMF - 'shock
therapy', 'stabilisation', 'structural adjustment', 'trade and
financial liberalisation', 'deregulation' -.eroded labour institutions
and diluted union bargaining power, led to rushed through mass
privatisation programmes that only benefited a minority, and prohibited
countries from increasing public expenditure to meet their welfare
needs. Not only was the pill bitter, it was often force-fed. The
IMF and World Bank can dictate terms to the developing countries
that depend upon loans from the international community, by making
their loans conditional on the acceptance of their economic views
by these nations. Through financial dependence or the threat of
sanctions, these organisations coerce errant states into compliance.
Often the patient is made worse. Inequality declined within
many countries between 1945 and the 1970s, but since the tenets
of the 'Washington Consensus' became mainstream there has been
a reversal of this trend all over the world. ~ In the whole of
the former Soviet bloc, most of Latin America, and much of South,
South-East and East Asia, inequality has risen significantly over
the past two decades. And 'with the notable exception of East
Asia, the number of people living in extreme poverty - considered
here as living on less than a dollar a day - has increased over
this period in every developing country in the world.
... both the pursuit and the subsequent results of ... free-market
policies can polarise the population to an increasingly unacceptable
This growing polarisation is not just a Third World phenomenon;
we do not see it only in underdeveloped countries with weak democracies.
It is also happening here in the West... For in the West too the
gap between rich and poor is widening. In America, the spoils
of a long period of prolonged economic expansion and low unemployment
have not been widely distributed: 97 per cent of the increase
in income has gone to the top 20 per cent of families over the
past twenty years. While the rich earn more - average earnings
of the top fifth of male earners rose by 4 per cent between 1979
and 1996 - the bottom fifth saw a 44 per cent drop in earnings.
Some 36.5 million Americans (13.7 per cent of the population)
now live in poverty, while 40 per cent of the country's wealth
is owned by the top 1 per cent, compared with 13 per cent less
than twenty-five years ago. Incomes in the US are now less equal
than at any time since the Great Depression. While the national
unemployment rate in the USA is 5.4 per cent, on many of its Native
American reservations the rate is as high as 70 per cent. In isolated
rural areas in America, the unemployment rate is often two, sometimes
four, times as high as the national average. And social security
for the unemployed has become much more conditional. Only 39 per
cent of unemployed Americans have access to unemployment benefit
today, compared to 70 per cent in 1986.
... in the United States there has been a 28 per cent decline
since 1973 in entry-level wages in real dollars for male high-school
graduates, and a decline in wages and benefits for all unskilled
labour. A fifth of American employees work at rates below the
official poverty level, making a mockery of the low official unemployment
rates. Even workers carrying out hazardous jobs are bind paid
less. In the late 1980s the union wage for removing asbestos insulation
from old buildings was S31 an hour, but by the l990s the rate
had collapsed, thanks to the rise in non-union removal companies
and an influx of immigrants eager for work. Contractors had no
trouble getting workers for $12 to 15 an hour ...
Now increasingly able to operate globally, corporations 'bottom
fish', moving to countries with low labour costs to produce their
goods. Production continues to shift to lower-cost options: from
US factories to the maquiladora plants on the Mexican border where
nearly a million people are employed at wages of under $5 a day;
from Israel to nearby Jordan, putting scores of Israeli Arabs
and Druzes out of employment as a consequence; from Silicon Valley
to India and the former Soviet Union, where software is developed
for a fraction of the cost it would entail domestically, from
unionised workplaces to regions or countries where unions are
less militant or there are non-unionised labourers, just glad
to get a job.
And these jobs, even at reduced rates and with their spartan
packages, are not even secure. For many, job security has become
increasingly rare. Jobs are increasingly part-time, casual, contractual
for those who still are in employment. In Latin America, for example,
by 1996 the proportion of workers without contracts increased
to 30 per cent in Chile, 36 per cent in Argentina, 39 per cent
in Colombia and 41 per cent in Peru.
Technological advances have allowed machines to replace people.
The 'knowledge economy' requires less manpower. While the world's
500 largest multinational corporations have grown sevenfold in
sales, the worldwide employment of these global firms has remained
virtually flat since the early 1970s, hovering at around 26 million
Increased competition due to liberalisation of trade policies
has meant that inefficient industries have had to downsize or
streamline (euphemisms, of course, for sacking staff) or be forced
out of business altogether. Even before the recession, companies
that were performing at levels that in the past would have been
considered acceptable were firing staff, not because they were
struggling but because the pressure on companies to make high
returns was unprecedented (in many industries returns of between
20 and 35 per cent are now expected, with institutional investors
today on average turning over 40 per cent of their portfolio in
a year looking for higher returns), competition for investment
flows was ever greater, and corporations felt more vulnerable
than ever to threats of takeover or acquisition. IBM fired 122,000
people between 1991 and 1995 and reduced total wages by a third
in a bid to push up their dividends and share price. The return
for such 'prudence'? In 1995 the company's share price and dividend
beat all previous records. The announcement by the American food
company ConAgra that it would lay off 6,500 employees and close
down twenty-nine of its plants pushed the price of its shares
up so steeply that the company's market capitalisation increased
by 500 million dollars in twenty-four hours. 'For shareholders
and managers downsizing does pay o£ Wall Street now simply
prefers a dollar saved in costs to an extra dollar earned.
Even those who have jobs are losing benefits. In the USA,
where people are mostly dependent on corporations for health benefits
and pensions, the consequences are particularly worrying. While
70 per cent of American workers have pension plans, less than
1.0 per cent of those in the bottom tenth can rely upon any employer-financed
retirement benefits. And the 20 per cent of Americans now working
on temporary contracts or part-time receive no benefits at all,
or insignificant ones.
Add to this the problems engendered by the privatisation of
fundamental public goods and the situation is ever bleaker. In
the US there have been numerous cases of HMOs (for-profit corporations
that provide health care) having been exposed over the past decade
as 'cherry picking', that is, making sure that they attract healthy
people and avoiding those who will be heavy utilisers of services.
And most HMOs that were set up to take care of Medicare patients
(US Citizens over 65 years) are now going bankrupt and getting
out of the business since they cannot keep up with escalating
costs, especially prescription costs, of elderly patients.
But it is not just HMOs that are the problem. The ability
to secure health insurance at all is proving elusive for significant
numbers of Americans. Forty-five million Americans currently do
not have health insurance, 25 per cent of the chronically ill
do not have adequate coverage. Disqualified from some insurance
plans because of pre-existing health conditions, viewed as high
risk by others and facing premiums they cannot afford, millions
of Americans are facing potential crises.
The antidepressant market grew 16 per cent per year in G7 countries
between l989 and 1999. Sales of Prozac have eclipsed the GDP of
small nations... The seemingly unstoppable craving for wealth,
for the trophies of capitalism displayed on every billboard but
ever harder to bag, is destroying the very fabric of people's
former president of the German Bundesbank, Hans Tietmeyer
Politicians have to understand that they are now under the
control of the financial markets and not, any longer, of national
Pressure on governments comes not only from capital markets but
also from corporations. The world of the twenty-first century
is a seller's market for business. Advances in communications
and technology and the deregulation of capital markets have meant
that corporations are now increasingly portable, able to decamp
and set up elsewhere with relative ease.
Recognising the power that they now wield, multinational corporations
play countries and politicians off against each other, exacting
for themselves ever better and more lenient terms. Corporations
effectively auction off promises of new jobs, infrastructure investment
and economic growth to the highest international bidder, declining
to move to or threatening to pull out of countries whose employment
costs and taxes are too high, or where standards are too stringent
or subsidies and loans not forthcoming. Globally, dominant companies
increasingly call the shots, able to move money freely, deciding
for themselves where to invest and produce, where to pay taxes,
and playing these potential sites off against one another. Politicians
are left trying to stem the flow, offering sweeteners to corporations
to maintain factories so as to minimise the political and social
costs of closure, but without any long-term guarantees that the
firms will not eventually relocate. National governments appear
increasingly impotent in the face of the giant corporations, who
transcended national borders many years ago.
The levying of taxes, arguably the most fundamental right
of the nation state and a potential means of redressing social
and economic inequality, is being squeezed by corporate pressure.
As capital and highly-paid labour are now able to move more freely
from high-tax countries to low-tax ones, as the world becomes
more integrated in the wake of globalisation and developments
in communications, a nation's ability to set tax rates higher
than other nations is being put in question. The resultant mindset
is one of 'beggar thy neighbor'. Ireland opposes harmonising corporate
tax rates across the EU because its low rates give it an advantage
over other member-states in attracting multinational firms. Britain
blocks an EU savings-tax directive because it might hurt the City
of London. And corporate tax rates are pushed down the world over:
the rates of US affiliates operating in developing countries,
for example, dropped from 54 per cent to 28 per cent between 1983
In Germany, where revenue from corporate taxes has fallen
by 50 per cent over the past twenty years, despite a rise in corporate
profits of 90 per cent, Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine's attempt
to raise the tax burden on German firms in 1999 was thwarted by
a group of companies, including Deutsche Bank (assets over $400
billion), Dresdner Bank, the insurance conglomerate Allianz, BMW,
Daimler-Benz and RWE, the German energy and industrial group,
all of which threatened to move investment or factories to other
countries if government policy did not suit them.
'It's a question of at least 14,000 jobs,' threatened Dieter
Schweer, a RWE spokesman. 'If the investment position is no longer
attractive, we will examine every possibility of "switching
our investments abroad.' Daimler-Benz proposed relocating to the
USA; other companies threatened to stop buying government bonds
and investing in the German economy.
In view of the power these corporations wield, their threats
were taken seriously. So seriously that they were undoubtedly
a major cause of Lafontaine's resignation. He remained defiant
to the end: 'The heart isn't traded on the stock market yet,'
he said as he left. 'Things will be different now,' Bobo Hombach,
Chance for Schroders's closet aide, commented in response. 'We
have to move in a different direction. Gerhard Schroder will have
different priorities, that's obvious'. If Oskar Lafontaine's resignation
proved anything, it was that Schroder was willing to take the
pressure from business very seriously. Within a few months Germany
was planning corporate tax cuts which would reduce tax on German
companies below US rates. As one of Schroder's senior advisers
in Washington commented, 'Deutsche Bank and industrial giants
such as Mercedes are too strong for the elected government in
It is not just corporate tax that concerns corporations. Countries
with high rates of personal taxation are coming under pressure
from the international business community too. Several large Swedish
companies, including Ericsson, have threatened to leave their
home country because of high income tax which, they claimed, made
it hard to recruit highly skilled employees. (Ericsson actually
did fulfill its threat, moving several corporate and production
functions abroad and opening a big headquarters in London in 1999.)
And in the UK, Internet companies are in conflict with the Treasury
over national insurance charges on share options, which they claim
will encourage highly skilled workers to move overseas.
In the twenty-first century, corporations are increasingly
deciding how much tax to pay and where to pay it. The Internet
is only likely to make it even harder for governments to collect
taxes. A company can now locate in a low-tax haven, base its physical
production facilities (where it may angle for subsidies) elsewhere,
and sell to its customers from a virtual location - outside of
the reach of governments. And the greater the advances in communications,
the more cases we are likely to see of corporations locating in
one place, and paying tax in another or even nowhere at all. Companies
like the banking firm BCCI, which through a complex web of aliases
managed to be registered nowhere for tax purposes, and Rupert
Murdoch's News Corporation, which has earned profits of over $2.3
billion in Britain since 1987 but as of 1999, paid no corporation
tax there at all and no more than 6 per cent tax worldwide, may
well become the norm rather than the exception.
What is the impact of this non-collection of taxes from corporations?
At worst, such damage to tax systems that governments could become
unable to meet the legitimate demands of their citizens for public
services - in the USA, for example, federal expenditure on roads,
schools and universities fell as a proportion of GDP throughout
the 1990s even under a Democratic president. At best, the government's
ability to spend is severely restricted, and an ever higher burden
put on individual taxpayers' shoulders. If governments were willing
to implement such a redistributive strategy, that is. usually,
however, it appears they are not.
Not only are governments finding it harder to raise taxes, they
are also finding themselves having to provide 'welfare' to a not
terribly needy client - the private sector. In America direct
subsidies to businesses total over $75 billion annually, with
the poorest states - those where the difference in income between
rich and poor is greatest - offering the largest amounts.
So governments are caught between a rock and a hard place; unwilling
to risk losing the electorate's support by raising taxes, and
unable to increase spending for fear of market censure. But what
will be the impact of the enforced capping of government's social
spending? More inequity? A world in which the poor become ever
more marginalised, and the rich even richer? A world in which
the principal division is between those who are inside and those
who are outside the global corporation? A world in which the consumer
has some power, but those who cannot afford to be consumers have
Politicians from all mainstream parties have over the past
few years espoused noble aims of reconciling capitalism with humanity,
social justice with economic success. In the US and UK, Clinton
and Blair for example, talked of a 'Third Way', while Bush spoke
of 'Compassionate Conservatism'.
In the US at least, such aims sound increasingly shallow.
The country regularly stands last among developed nations in the
proportion of its GNP devoted to social programs or to redistribution.
Bush's phasing out of the 'death tax' which affects only the wealthiest
two per cent of the population with more than $1.35 million to
leave to their children, and his $1.35 trillion in tax cuts over
the next eleven years in ways that will substantially advantage
the better off in society, show very clearly the extent to which
his administration is intent on favouring the rich.
Manning The Door At Private sector HQ
In the post-Cold War era, in the age of international laissez-faire
capitalism, commercial and economic interests have tended to supersede
All other national interests. Instead of acting as a check on
corporations, governments are now doing All they can to romance
them, acting less as night watchmen - the role Adam Smith said
that they needed to play in order to ensure the success of free
markets and more as round-the-clock doormen at the headquarters
of Private Sector plc.
Economics has become the new politics, and business is in
the driving seat. Governments have redefined their role from that
of rule maker to that of referee, from warden to corporate champion.
Because of their dependence on the success of the private sector
and exports for wealth, stability, rising aggregate standards
of living, jobs - factors that can today be equated with political
power - governments do not just sit back and let the market take
its course. Instead they actively pursue policies that benefit
business, giving up in the process their ability to set an independent
agenda and favouring corporate Goliaths over individual Davids.
International politics in the twenty-first century is less
and less about territorial gains, and more and more about increasing
economic freedoms and market share. In advanced economies governments
now act as salesmen, promoting the fortunes of their own corporations
in the hope of providing a core prosperity for their state and
keeping themselves in power.
To quote Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State:
Competition for the world's markets is fierce. Often, our
firms go head-to-head with foreign competitors who are receiving
active support from their own governments. A principal responsibility
of the Department of State is to see that the interests of American
companies and workers receive fair treatment, and that inequitable
barriers to competition are overcome. Accordingly, the doors to
the Department of State and our embassies around the world are
open - and will remain open - to US businesspeople seeking to
share their ideas and to ask our help.
The predominant concern of governments in the free-trade,
free-market world of the early twenty-first century remains, even
post-September 11th, how to ensure their firms get a decent slice
of the global economic pie.
What about human rights?
It is not just that arms are being sold to repressive regimes;
the whole idea of safeguarding human rights, a concept that was
imbued with real meaning after World War II, has also fallen by
the wayside as Western governments perceive only their need to
promote trade and champion their firms' interests worldwide.
The European Union-agreed a customs union agreement with Turkey
at the same time that the European Parliament was voicing concern
on human rights violations and fears of genocide of the Kurds
in Turkey's eastern territories. It did little for years about
Nigeria's human rights violations under the regime of General
Sani Abacha, apart from routinely condemning them. Trade and oil
The US backed the dictatorial Taliban regime in Afghanistan
until 1997, despite its terrible record on human rights, its severe
oppression of women, public executions, and intransigent Islamic
fundamentalism. In large part, this was because the American oil
company Unocal had signed a deal with the Taliban to build a $2
billion gas line and $2.5 billion oil line to transport oil and
gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan. Washington
eventually got tough with the Taliban - but only after immense
pressure from the US feminist movement and because of the Taliban's
support for the Saudi terrorist Osama Bin Laden.
Saudi Arabia's human rights record is almost as bad, but foreign
governments unwilling to jeopardise their relationship with the
oil-rich sheikdom continue to supply the country with equipment
that can be used to torture or ill-treat prisoners. Between 1980
and 1993, the US government authorised export licences worth $5
million under the category OA82C, which includes thumb cuffs,
leg irons, and shackles.
The West continues to woo China despite its continuing poor
record on human rights - its gaoling of followers of the Falun
Gong spiritual and exercise group, underground Christians and
dissidents; its ignoring of the internationally recognised rights
of workers spelled out in the UN Convention on Human Rights; its
use of forced prison labour - because of the huge market opportunity
that China presents to Western firms. China has a good fifth of
the world's population, and Hong Kong and Shanghai (with Singapore)
lead economic and financial revitalisation in the post-crisis
East Asian economies and are becoming the main 'business hubs'
the region. It is not difficult to understand the attraction.
Cynics have long noted that American foreign policy is n~ driven
by a concern for the greater good. US government policy has long
been dictated by corporate interests. But whereas during the Cold
War corporate interests masqueraded as military interests, this
rationale is no longer convincing or relevant. In an ideal world
a superpower like the US, now that the Soviet military threat
has disappeared, would concentrate on important issues like human
rights. Instead, despite a growing rhetoric on human rights, we
see little willingness to make any sacrifice to guarantee them;
purely commercial interests are allowed to dwarf all others. The
spy satellites that are being used to pass on corporate secrets
to American companies could be being used to monitor human rights
abuses in, say, Burma instead.
When governments evaluate trade, sanctions and human rights
on purely economic rather than ethical grounds, they do not only
fail the people in the countries in question. They also fail to
respect the wishes of many of their own citizens. Choice is restricted
to what business or the markets want rather than the traditional
democratic notion of what the people want.
The Western public, to varying degrees, wants politicians
to be more proactive in this area. For example, according to a
recent opinion poll, 69 per cent of British people either strongly
agree or tend to agree with the statement that 'The British government
should do more to implement its human rights policies abroad.'
In Denmark and Sweden over 40 per cent of people want the European
Parliament to make human rights a priority. The human rights organisation
Amnesty International now has over one million members in over
170 countries. In the UK membership has doubled since 1990, suggesting
that the human rights issues are of increasing public concern.
And 62 per cent of Americans believe that America should not increase
trade with China until it gives more economic, political, and
religious freedom to its citizens.
However, the problem facing politicians is that despite these
espoused progressive beliefs, when faced with the realities that
prioritising human rights in foreign policy would entail, it is
unclear whether Western electorates would favour action (which
may incur personal costs) over doing nothing. How likely is it
really that people would be willing to risk their own comforts,
much less their own lives, to protect the lives of strangers in
faraway places? Until the public's rhetoric on human rights can
be taken to be a reality, until the public cries out for governments
to balance economic aims with other goals, corporate interests
with concrete aims and vote-winning outcomes (jobs, lower prices
and so forth) will prevail at the expense of what is perceived
to be and perhaps is an ambivalent public.
Confusing democracy with capitalism
But it is not just human rights that have been relegated;
democracy has also lost out to trade interests for much of the
past century. This is nowhere more striking than in the case of
the United States of America, the world's loudest proponent of
democracy, which has regularly allowed democracy to take a back
seat to capitalism, despite its claims that it is its main priority.
When the tanks carried Yeltsin into Red Square in August 1991,
Clinton said that democracy must prevail. What he probably didn't
mean was a system in which people had the vote. It is unlikely
that he really cared whether Russia was democratic; what he did
care about was that a system should emerge in Russia that was
favourable to US interests, and shared its economic values. A
Singaporesque authoritarian system would have been just fine.
Among potential investors in America and elsewhere in the West,
the prevailing view was that 'What Russia needs is a benevolent
dictator' - that is, a dictator sympathetic to the American capitalist
America's official line during the Cold War was: 'The overreaching
aim of our foreign policy is to spread democratic values'. The
truth, however, seems to be that foreign policy decisions were
and are driven by a belief that the American system and its values
are best protected by 'a global system based on the needs of private
capital, including the protection of private property and open
access to markets'.
In Iran in 1953 the CIA backed the fall of the popular government
of prime minister Mohammed Mosaddeq, who had been demanding that
the Anglo-Iranian Oil company (the antecedent of BP) share more
of its profits with Iran. Once the rule of Shah Mohammed Reza
Pahlavi was restored, the returning ruler renegotiated his country's
oil arrangements so that for the first time American oil companies
were able to operate there, taking a 40 per cent stake in the
international consortium of private oil companies that were now
to own and operate Iran's oil assets.
In 1954 the US helped overthrow the elected government of
Guatemala's President Jacobo Arbenz after he had expropriated
80 per cent of the Tiquisate and Bananera plantations then the
American-owned United Fruit Company. US State department interest
in the affair was intense, since the former law firm of the secretary
of state, John Foster Dulles, represented United Fruit, and the
head of the CIA, Allen Dulles, had been a member of the company's
board of trustees. Furthermore, Washington officials viewed this
behaviour as a serious threat to American investors' interests,
and thus to American security. Arbenz's reformist government -
which had undoubtedly made these expropriations in retaliation
for the fact that none of United Fruit's profits had been reinvested
or redistributed in Guatemala itself- was replaced by a CIA-backed
military dictatorship in 1954. 'Over the next forty years the
military built the worst human-rights record in the Western Hemisphere.'
In 1964 the USA encouraged the pro-military politicians Jose
de Magalhaes Pinto and Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco in their
successful attempt to overthrow Brazil's democratically elected
government, a government whose espoused economic policies were
again unacceptable to Washington owing to its leftist leanings.
'The new regime imposed military rule on Brazil for the next twenty
years. During those two decades, the US was the regime's best
trading partner, while Brazil attracted more US investment than
any [other] Latin American country.'
Reagan took up the battle cry for democracy in the mid-1980s.
The views of Jeanne Kirkpatrick, his ambassador to the UN, were
central in reconciling the apparent paradox between actively supporting
non-democratic regimes such as those of President Marcos of the
Philippines, General Pinochet of Chile, and South Africa's pro-apartheid
government, while continuing to demonise those in Cuba, the USSR
and China. According to Kirkpatrick there was no paradox once
a distinction was made between authoritarianism and totalitarianism.
Authoritarian regimes such as those in the Philippines, South
Africa and Chile were not democratic, often violently oppressed
their peoples and were usually corrupt but, because they shared
American beliefs in open economic systems, it was acceptable for
America to work with them. Totalitarian regimes, on the other
hand, 'were evil because they controlled every part of society
especially the economy which was closed to private enterprise
and foreign access'. If freedoms were ranked in order of priority,
the first seemed to be freedom for American corporations to make
Woodrow Wilson's proclamation that 'the world must be made safe
for democracy' has been presented as the driving ideology behind
US foreign policy for most of the last century. This is clearly
misleading. When the American government talks about spreading
democracy, what it really means is spreading its own flavour of
liberal democracy. In fact its policies suggest that what it cares
most about is just the 'liberal' element or, even more narrowly,
just the economic element of liberalism. It will encourage liberal
attitudes to human rights only to the extent that they favour
the development of a market economy - but in practice, as we have
seen, it often prefers authoritarian regimes. Other elements of
liberal democracy that it might value are the rule of law and
the protection of private property, since investors need to feel
secure from arbitrary seizures of their assets. But the 'democratic'
elements of liberal democracy - mass participation, an active
civil society, regular elections - have proved much more expendable.
Throughout the last century, the United States has cloaked
a foreign policy based on trade considerations, and centred on
safeguarding private economic interests in a veil of a concern
for democracy. The leading US diplomat in Asia in the early part
of the twentieth century, Willard Straight, was probably closer
to the truth when he observed that Americans make 'politics out
WTO- whose trade organisation?
Nearly all capitalist countries do the same today. Competing
economic interests have replaced ideological differences as the
most divisive force in world politics. But whose interests are
being fought over: corporations' or nations'? The answer today
must be corporations, although nations consistently support them
in fostering their interests overseas. Multinationals, many now
as large and as powerful as many nation states, have a larger
stake in the new world order than do many individual governments.
And where the interests of corporations and states come into conflict,
it is increasingly the corporate agenda that prevails.
a Colgate-Palmolive executive
The United States does not have an automatic call on our resources.
There is no mindset that puts this country first.
Clive Allen, Nortel Network's executive vice-president and chief
Just because we were born there [he was speaking about Canada]
doesn't mean we'll remain there. Canadians shouldn't feel they
own us. The place has to remain attractive for us to remain interested
in staying there.