New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks Buying the World’s Water

This article was first published on December 21, 2012 by Market Oracle and Global Research

A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The new “water barons” — the Wall Street banks and elitist multibillionaires — are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace.

photo: tap water. Investors and institutions appear to be buying water rights and related businesses and resources around the world. Is water the new oil?

Familiar mega-banks and investing powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Macquarie Bank, Barclays Bank, the Blackstone Group, Allianz, and HSBC Bank, among others, are consolidating their control over water. Wealthy tycoons such as T. Boone Pickens, former President George H.W. Bush and his family, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, Philippines’ Manuel V. Pangilinan and other Filipino billionaires, and others are also buying thousands of acres of land with aquifers, lakes, water rights, water utilities, and shares in water engineering and technology companies all over the world.

The second disturbing trend is that while the new water barons are buying up water all over the world, governments are moving fast to limit citizens’ ability to become water self-sufficient (as evidenced by the well-publicized Gary Harrington’s case in Oregon, in which the state criminalized the collection of rainwater in three ponds located on his private land, by convicting him on nine counts and sentencing him for 30 days in jail). Let’s put this criminalization in perspective:

Billionaire T. Boone Pickens owned more water rights than any other individuals in America, with rights over enough of the Ogallala Aquifer to drain approximately 200,000 acre-feet (or 65 billion gallons of water) a year. But ordinary citizen Gary Harrington cannot collect rainwater runoff on 170 acres of his private land.

It’s a strange New World Order in which multibillionaires and elitist banks can own aquifers and lakes, but ordinary citizens cannot even collect rainwater and snow runoff in their own backyards and private lands.

“Water is the oil of the 21st century.”
Andrew Liveris, CEO of DOW Chemical Company (quoted in The Economist magazine, August 21, 2008)

In 2008, I wrote an article […]

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The New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks are Buying up the World’s Water
Article Name
The New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks are Buying up the World’s Water
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New "water barons" - Wall Street banks and elitist multibillionaires - are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace. Is water the new oil?
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Global Research
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