Solution to inequality? UK Labour party embraces Land Value Tax (LVT) - GS on Land banking

Tony Gosling tony at
Tue Jun 4 23:56:05 BST 2019

could stop renters paying council tax in major property laws shake-up
<http://Labour has shown once again that it wants 
nothing less than the abolition of private 
property>Labour has shown once again that it 
wants nothing less than the abolition of private property
land: Winston Churchill said it all better then we can

Want to tackle inequality? Then first change our land ownership laws

[Major flaw: no guarantee land tax revenue will 
be used to give land to the landless, it'll be bought by corporations.
Far better to redistribute land directly. ed.]

Monbiot From housing costs to wildlife collapse, 
we pay the price while the rich boost their 
profits. But from today we can fight back 

Tue 4 Jun 2019 06.00 BSTLast modified on Tue 4 
Jun 2019 12.35 

  ‘We call for a right to roam across all 
uncultivated land and waterways.’ Photograph: Alamy

What is the most neglected issue in British 
politics? I would say land. Literally and 
metaphorically, land underlies our lives, but its 
ownership and control have been captured by a 
tiny number of people. The results include 
soaring inequality and exclusion; the massive 
cost of renting or buying a decent home; the 
collapse of wildlife and ecosystems; repeated 
financial crises; and the loss of public space. 
Yet for 70 years this crucial issue has scarcely 
featured in political discussions.

Today, I hope, this changes, with the publication 
of the report to the Labour party – 
<>Land for the Many – 
that I’ve written with six experts in the field. 
Our aim is to put this neglected issue where it 
belongs: at the heart of political debate and discussion.

Since 1995, land values in this country 
risen by 412%. Land now accounts for an 
of the UK’s net worth. Why? In large part because 
successive governments have used tax exemptions 
and other advantages to turn the ground beneath 
our feet into a speculative money machine. A 
published this week by Tax Justice UK reveals 
that, through owning agricultural land, 261 rich 
families escaped £208m in inheritance tax in 
2015-16. Because farmland is used as a tax 
shelter, farmers are being priced out. In 2011, 
farmers bought 60% of the land that was on the 
market; within six years this had fallen to 40%.

Homes are so expensive not because of the price 
of bricks and mortar, but because land now accounts for 70% of the price

Worse still, when planning permission is granted 
on agricultural land, its value 
rise 250-fold. Though this jackpot was created by 
society, the owner gets to keep most of it. We 
pay for this vast inflation in land values 
through outrageous rents and mortgages. Capital 
gains tax is 
than income tax, and council tax is 
proportionately more expensive for the poor than 
for the rich. As a result of such giveaways, and 
the amazing opacity of the system, land in the UK 
has become a magnet for international criminals 
seeking to 
their money.

We pay for these distortions every day. Homes 
have become so expensive not because the price of 
bricks and mortar has risen, but because the land 
that underlies them now accounts for 70% of their 
price. Twenty years ago, the average working 
family needed to save for three years to afford a 
deposit. Today, it must save 
19 years. Life is even worse for renters. While 
housing costs swallow 12% of average household 
incomes for those with mortgages, renters pay 36%.

Because we hear so little about the underlying 
issues, we blame the wrong causes for the cost 
and scarcity of housing: immigration, population 
growth, the green belt, red tape. In reality, the 
power of landowners and building companies, their 
tax and financial advantages and the vast shift 
in bank lending towards the housing sector have 
inflated prices so much that even a massive 
housebuilding programme 
not counteract them.

The same forces are responsible for the loss of 
public space in cities, a right to roam that 
covers only 10% of the land, the lack of 
provision for allotments and of opportunities for 
new farmers, and the wholesale destruction of the 
living world. Our report aims to confront these 
structural forces and take back control of the fabric of the nation.

A Labour government should replace council tax 
with a progressive property tax, payable by 
owners, not tenants. Empty homes should 
automatically be taxed at a higher rate. 
Inheritance tax should be replaced with a 
lifetime gifts tax levied on the recipient. 
Capital gains tax on second homes and investment 
properties should match or exceed the rates of 
income tax. Business rates should be replaced 
with a land value tax, based on rental value. A 
15% offshore tax should be levied on properties owned through tax havens.

To democratise development and planning, we want 
to create new public development corporations. 
Alongside local authorities, they would assemble 
the land needed for affordable homes and new 
communities. Builders would have to compete on 
quality, rather than by amassing land banks. 
These public corporations would use compulsory 
purchase to buy land at agricultural prices, 
rather than having to pay through the nose for 
the uplift created by planning permission. This 
could reduce the price of affordable homes in the 
nearly 50%.

We propose a community participation agency, to 
help people, rather than big companies, become 
the driving force in creating local plans and 
influencing major infrastructure. To ensure a 
wide range of voices is heard, we suggest a form 
of jury service for plan-making. To represent 
children and the unborn, we would like every 
local authority to appoint a future generations champion.

Councils should have new duties to create parks, 
urban green spaces, wildlife refuges and public 
amenities. We propose a new definition of public 
space, granting citizens a legal right to use it 
and overturning the power of private landowners 
in cities to stifle leisure, cultural events and protest.

We propose much tighter rent and eviction 
controls, and an ambitious social housebuilding 
programme. We also want to create new 
opportunities for people to design and build 
their own homes, supported by a community right 
to buy 
the kind that Scotland enjoys. Compulsory sale 
orders should be used to bring vacant and 
derelict land on to the market, and community 
groups should have first rights to buy it.

To help stabilise land prices and make homes more 
affordable, we propose a new body, called the 
Common Ground Trust. When people can’t afford to 
buy a home, they can ask the trust to purchase 
the land that underlies it, while they pay only 
for the bricks and mortar (about 30% of the 
cost). They then pay the trust a land rent. Their 
overall housing costs are reduced, while the 
trust gradually accumulates a pool of land that 
acts as a buffer against speculation, and creates 
common ownership on a large scale.

We call for a right to roam across all 
uncultivated land and waterways (except gardens 
and similar limitations). We want to change the 
Allotments Act, to ensure that no one needs wait 
for a plot for more than a year. We would like to 
use part of the Land Registry’s 
surplus to help community land trusts buy rural 
land for farming, forestry, conservation and 
rewilding. We would like a new English land 
commission to decide whether to make major 
farming and forestry decisions subject to 
planning permission, to help arrest the 
environmental crisis. And we want to transform 
the public’s right to know, by ensuring that all 
information about land ownership, subsidies and 
planning is published freely as open data.

These proposals, we hope, will make the UK a more 
equal, inclusive and generous-spirited nation, 
characterised not by private enclosure and public 
squalor, but by private sufficiency and public 
luxury. Our land should work for the many, not just the few.

Who owns the country? The secretive companies hoarding England's land

Fri 19 Apr 2019 06.00 BSTLast modified on Tue 4 Jun 2019 13.40 BST
  ‘Companies today own around 2.6m hectares of 
land – 18% of England and Wales.’ Illustration: Lee Martin/Guardian Design

Multi-million pound corporations with complex 
structures have purchased the very ground we walk 
on – and we are only just beginning to discover 
the damage it is doing to Britain. By 
<>Guy Shrubsole

Despite owning 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of 
land, managing a property portfolio worth £2.3bn 
and having control over huge swaths of central 
Manchester and Liverpool, very few people have 
heard of a company named Peel Holdings. It owns 
the Manchester Ship Canal. It built the Trafford 
Centre shopping complex and, more recently, sold 
it in the largest single property acquisition in 
Britain’s history. It was the developer behind 
the MediaCityUK site in Salford, to which the BBC 
and ITV have relocated many of their operations 
in recent years. Airports, fracking, retail – the 
list of Peel business interests stretches on and on.

Peel Holdings operates behind the scenes, quietly 
acquiring land and real estate, cutting 
billion-pound deals and influencing numerous 
planning decisions. Its investment decisions have 
had an enormous impact, whether for good or ill, 
on the places where millions of people live and work.

Peel’s ultimate owner, the billionaire John 
Whittaker, is notoriously publicity-shy: he lives 
on the Isle of Man, hardly ever gives interviews 
and helicopters into his company’s offices for 
board meetings. He built Peel Holdings in the 
1970s and 80s by buying up a series of companies 
whose fortunes had decayed, but which still 
controlled valuable land. Foremost among these 
was the Manchester Ship Canal Company, purchased 
in 1987. The canal turned out to be valuable not 
simply as a freight route, but also because of 
the redevelopment potential of the land that flanked it.

Peel Holdings tends not to show its hand in 
public. Like many companies, it prefers its 
forays into public political debate to be 
conducted via intermediary bodies and corporate 
coalitions. In 2008, it emerged that Peel was a 
dominant force behind a business grouping that 
had formed to lobby against Manchester’s proposed 
congestion charge. The charge was aimed at 
cutting traffic and reducing the toxic car fumes 
choking the city. But Peel, as owners of the 
out-of-town Trafford Centre shopping mall, feared 
that a congestion charge would be bad for 
business, discouraging shoppers from driving 
through central Manchester to reach the mall. 
Peel’s lobbying paid off: voters rejected the 
charge in the local referendum and the proposal was dropped.

Throughout England, cash-strapped councils are 
being outgunned by corporate developers pressing 
to get their way. The situation is exacerbated by 
a system that has allowed companies like Peel to 
keep their corporate structures obscure and their 
landholdings hidden. A 2013 report by 
Liverpool-based thinktank Ex Urbe found “well in 
excess of 300 separately registered UK companies 
owned or controlled” by Peel. Tracing the 
conglomerate’s structure is an investigator’s 
nightmare. Try it yourself on the 
House website: type in “Peel Land and Property 
Investments PLC”, and then click through to 
persons with significant control. This gives you 
the name of its parent company, Peel Investments 
Holdings Ltd. So far, so good. But then repeat 
the steps for the parent company, and yet another 
holding company emerges; then another, and 
another. It’s like a series of Russian dolls, one nested inside another.

Until recently, it was even harder to get a 
handle on the land Peel Holdings owns. Sometimes 
the company has provided a tantalising glimpse: 
one map it produced in 2015, as part of some 
marketing spiel around the “northern powerhouse”, 
showcases 150 sites it owns across the 
north-west. It confirms the vast spread of Peel’s 
landed interests – from Liverpool John Lennon 
airport, through shale gas well pads, to one of 
the UK’s largest onshore wind farms. But it’s 
clearly not everything. A more exhaustive, 
independent list of the company’s landholdings 
might allow communities to be forewarned of 
future developments. As Ex Urbe’s report on Peel 
concludes: “Peel schemes rarely come to light 
until they are effectively a fait accompli and 
the conglomerate is confident they will go ahead, 
irrespective of public opinion.”

While Peel Holdings is unusual for the sheer 
amount of land it controls, it is also 
illustrative of corporate landowners everywhere. 
Corporations looking to develop land have 
numerous tricks up their sleeve that they can use 
to evade scrutiny and get their way, from shell 
company structures to offshore entities. 
Companies with big enough budgets can often ride 
roughshod over the planning system, beating 
cash-strapped councils and volunteer community 
groups. And companies have for a long time 
benefited from having their landholdings kept 
secret, giving them the element of surprise when 
it comes to lobbying councils over planning 
decisions and the use of public space. But now, 
at long last, that is starting to change. If we 
want to “take back control” of our country, we 
need to understand how much of it is currently controlled by corporations.

In 2015, the Private Eye journalist Christian 
Eriksson lodged a freedom of information (FOI) 
request with the Land Registry, the official 
record of land ownership in England and Wales. He 
asked it to release a database detailing the area 
of land owned by all UK-registered companies and 
corporate bodies. Eriksson later shared this 
database with me, and what it revealed was 
astonishing. Here, laid bare after the dataset 
had been cleaned up, was a picture of corporate 
control: companies today own about 2.6m hectares 
of land, or roughly 18% of England and Wales.

In the unpromising format of an Excel 
spreadsheet, a compelling picture emerged. 
Alongside the utilities privatised by Margaret 
Thatcher and John Major – the water companies, in 
particular – and the big corporate landowners, 
were PLCs with multiple shareholders. There were 
household names, such as Tesco, Tata Steel and 
the housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, and others more 
obscure. MRH Minerals, for example, appeared to 
own 28,000 hectares of land, making it one of the 
biggest corporate landowners in England and Wales.

Gradually, I pieced together a list of what 
looked to be the top 50 landowning companies, 
which together own more than 405,000 hectares of 
England and Wales. Peel Holdings and many of its 
subsidiaries, unsurprisingly, feature high on the 
list. But while the dataset revealed in stark 
detail the area of land owned by UK-based 
companies, it did nothing to tell us what they owned, and where.

That would take another two years to emerge. 
Meanwhile, Eriksson had been busy at work with 
his Private Eye colleague Richard Brooks and the 
computer programmer Anna Powell-Smith, delving 
into another form of corporate landowner – firms 
based overseas, yet owning land in the UK. Of 
particular interest were companies based in 
offshore tax havens, a wholly legal but 
controversial practice, given the opportunities 
offshore ownership gives for possible tax 
avoidance and for concealing the identities of 
who ultimately controls a company. Further FOI 
requests to the Land Registry by Eriksson hit the 
jackpot when he was sent – “accidentally”, the 
Land Registry would later claim – a huge dataset 
of overseas and offshore-registered companies 
that had bought land in England and Wales between 
2005 and 2014: some 113,119 hectares of land and 
property, worth a staggering £170bn.
Victoria Harbour building at Salford Quays, owned by Peel Holdi

Private Eye’s work revealed that a large chunk of 
the country was not only under corporate control, 
but owned by companies that – in many cases – 
were almost certainly seeking to avoid paying 
tax, that most basic contribution to a civilised 
society. Some potentially had an even darker 
motive: purchasing property in England or Wales 
as a means for kleptocratic regimes or corrupt 
businessmen to launder money, and to get a 
healthy return on their ill-gotten gains in the 
process. This was information that clearly ought 
to be out in the open, with a huge public 
interest case for doing so. And yet the government had sat on it for years.

The political ramifications of these revelations 
were profound. They kickstarted a process of 
opening up information on land ownership that, 
although far slower and less complete than many 
would have liked, has nevertheless transformed 
our understanding of what companies own. In 
November 2017, the Land Registry released its 
corporate and commercial dataset, free of charge 
and open to all. It revealed, for the first time, 
the 3.5m land titles owned by UK-based corporate 
bodies – covering both public sector institutions 
and private firms – with limited companies owning 
the majority, 2.1m, of these. But there were two 
important caveats. Although we now had the 
addresses owned by companies, the dataset omitted 
to tell us the size of land they owned. Second, 
the data lacked accurate information on locations, making it hard to map.

Despite this, what can we now say about 
company-owned land in England and Wales? Quite a 
lot, it turns out. We know, for example, that the 
company with the third-highest number of land 
titles is the mysterious Wallace Estates, a firm 
with a £200m property portfolio but virtually no 
public presence, and which is owned ultimately by 
a secretive Italian count. Wallace Estates makes 
its money from the controversial ground rents 
market, whereby it owns thousands of freehold 
properties and sells on long leases with annual ground rents.

We also now know that Peel Holdings and its 
numerous subsidiaries owns at least 1,000 parcels 
of land across England – not just shopping 
centres and ports in the north-west, but also a 
hill in Suffolk, farmland along the Medway and an 
industrial estate in the Cotswolds. Councils, MPs 
and residents wanting to keep an eye on what 
developers and property companies are up to in 
their area now have a powerful new tool at their disposal.

The data is full of odd quirks and details. Who 
would have guessed, for instance, that the arms 
manufacturer BAE owns a nightclub in Cardiff, a 
pub on Blackpool’s promenade and a service 
station in Pease Pottage, Sussex? It turns out 
that they are all investments made by BAE’s 
pension fund; if 
missiles to Saudi Arabia doesn’t prove profitable 
enough, it appears the company’s strategy is to 
make a few quid out of tired drivers stopping for a coffee break off the M23.

The data also lets us peer into the property 
acquisitions of the big supermarkets, which back 
in the 1990s and early 2000s involved building up 
huge land banks to construct ever more 
out-of-town retail parks. Tesco, via a welter of 
subsidiaries, owns more than 4,500 hectares of 
land – and although much of this comprises 
existing stores, a good chunk also appears to be 
empty plots, apparently earmarked for future 
development. One 
by the Guardian in 2014 estimated that the 
supermarket was hoarding enough land to 
accommodate 15,000 homes. More recently, however, 
Tesco’s financial travails have prompted it to 
sell off some of its sites. Internet shopping and 
pricier petrol have made giant hypermarkets built 
miles from where people live look less and less 
like smart investments. In 2016, Tesco’s 
beleaguered CEO announced the company was looking 
to make better use of the land it owned by 
selling it for housing, and even by building 
flats on top of its superstores. As for the 
supermarkets’ internet shopping rival Amazon, 
whose gigantic “fulfilment centres” resemble the 
vast US government warehouse 
the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark – well, Amazon 
currently has 16 of those across the UK. And it 
has grown very quickly: all but one of its 
property leases have been bought in the past decade.

Companies are increasingly taking over previously 
public space in cities, too. Recent years have 
seen a proliferation of Pops – privately owned 
public spaces – as London, Manchester and other 
places redevelop and gentrify. You know the sort 
of thing: expensively landscaped swaths of 
“public realm”. Aesthetically, they are all very 
nice, but try to use Pops for some peaceful 
protest, and you are in for trouble. They are 
invariably governed by special bylaws and policed 
by private security, itching to get in your face. 
I once found this to my cost when staging a tiny, 
two-person anti-fracking demo outside shale-gas 
financiers Barclays bank in Canary Wharf. 
Wharf is partly owned by the Qatari Investment 
Authority, and – bizarrely – photography is 
banned. Within a minute of us taking the first 
selfie on our innocuous protest, security guards 
had descended en masse, and we spent the next 
hour running around Canary Wharf trying to evade them.

The Land Registry’s corporate ownership dataset 
contains millions of entries, and much remains to 
be uncovered. Some of the information appears 
trivial at first glance – a company owns a 
factory here, an office there: so what? But as 
more people pore over the data, more stories will 
likely emerge. Future researchers might find 
intriguing correlations between the locations of 
England’s thousands of fast-food stores and the 
health of nearby populations, be able to track 
gentrification through the displacement of KFC 
outlets by Nando’s restaurants, and so on.

But to really get under the skin of how companies 
treat the land they own, and the wider 
repercussions, we need to zoom in on the housing 
sector, where debates about companies involved in 
land banking and profiteering from land sales are 
crucial to our understanding of the housing crisis.

One particularly controversial aspect of the 
housing debate that has generated much heat, and 
little light, in recent years is the debacle over 
land banking, the practice of hoarding land and 
holding it back from development until its price increases.

In 2016, the then housing secretary, Sajid Javid, 
furiously accused large housing developers of 
land banking and demanded they “release their 
stranglehold” on land supply. Housebuilders, not 
used to such impertinence from a Conservative 
minister, hit back. “As has been proved by 
various investigations in the past, housebuilders 
do not land bank,” a spokesperson for the Home 
Builders Federation 
the Telegraph. “In the current market where 
demand is high, there is absolutely no reason to do so.”

So who is right? This is a complex area, but one 
that is important to investigate. Can the Land 
Registry’s corporate ownership data help us get to the bottom of it?

It is common for UK pension funds and insurance 
companies to buy up land as a long-term strategic 
investment. Legal & General, for example, owns 
1,500 hectares of land that it openly calls a 
“strategic land portfolio 
 stretching from Luton 
to Cardiff”. Its rationale for buying land is 
simple: “Strategic land holdings are underpinned 
by their existing use value [such as farming] and 
give us the opportunity to create further value 
through planning promotion and infrastructure 
works over the medium to long term.”

When I looked into where Legal & General’s land 
was located, I noticed something odd. Nearly all 
of it lay within green belt areas, where 
development is restricted. The company appears to 
have bought it with the aim of lobbying councils 
to ultimately rip up such restrictions and 
redesignate the site for development in future.

In the case of pension funds lobbying to rip up 
the green belt, it’s the planning system that is 
(rightly) constraining development, not land 
banking itself. And none of this implicates the 
usual bogeymen of the housing crisis, the big 
housebuilding companies. By examining what these 
major developers own, is it possible to say 
whether they’re actively engaged in land banking?

There is no doubt that many of the major 
housebuilding companies own a lot of land. What’s 
more, housing developers themselves talk about 
their “current land banks” and publish figures in 
annual reports listing the number of homes they 
think they can build using land where they have 
planning permission. As the housing charity 
has found, the top 10 housing developers have 
land banks with space for more than 400,000 homes 
– about six years’ supply at current building rates.

Prompted by such statistics, the government 
ordered a review into build-out rates in 2017, 
led by Sir Oliver Letwin. Yet when Letwin 
delivered his draft report, he once again 
exonerated housebuilders from the charge of land 
banking. “I cannot find any evidence that the 
major housebuilders are financial investors of 
this kind,” he stated, pointing the finger of 
blame instead at the rate at which new homes 
could be absorbed into the marketplace.

Part of the problem is that the data on what 
companies own still isn’t good enough to prove 
whether or not land banking is occurring. The 
aforementioned Anna Powell-Smith has tried to map 
the land owned by housing developers, but has 
been thwarted by the lack in the Land Registry’s 
corporate dataset of the necessary information to 
link data on who owns a site with digital maps of 
that area. That makes it very hard to assess, for 
example, whether a piece of land owned by a 
housebuilder for decades is a prime site accruing 
in value or a leftover fragment of ground from a past development.
Shoppers in the Trafford Centre, a shopping mall until recently
  Shoppers in the Trafford Centre, a shopping 
mall until recently owned by Peel Holdings. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

Second, the scope of Letwin’s review was drawn 
too narrowly to examine the wider problem of land 
banking by landowners beyond the major 
housebuilders. As the housing market analyst Neal 
Hudson said when it was published, the “review 
remit ignored the most important and unknown bit 
of the market: sites and land ownership pre-planning.”

In fact, if Letwin had raised his sights a little 
higher, he would have seen there is a whole 
industry of land promoters working with 
landowners to promote sites, have them earmarked 
for development in the council’s local plan, and 
increase their asking price. As investigations by 
Fraser of the Telegraph have revealed: “A group 
of private companies, largely unknown to the 
public, have carved out a lucrative niche 
locating and snapping up land across the UK.”

One such company, Gladman Land, boasts on its 
website of <>a 90% 
success rate at getting sites developed. Few of 
these firms appear to own much land themselves; 
rather, they work with other landowners, perhaps 
signing options agreements or other such deals. 
Consultants Molior have estimated that between 
25% and 45% of sites with planning permission in 
London are owned by companies that have never built a home.

This gets us to the heart of the housing crisis. 
Sure, we need housing developers to build more 
homes. But most of all we need them to build 
affordable homes. And developers that are forced 
to pay through the nose to persuade landowners to 
part with their land end up with less money left 
over for good-quality, affordable housing. By all 
means, let’s continue to pressure housebuilders 
whenever they try to renege on their planning 
agreements. But at root, we have to find ways to 
encourage landowners of all kinds – corporate or 
otherwise – to part with their land at cheaper prices.

Since the first appearance of modern corporations 
in the Victorian period, companies have expanded 
to become the owners of nearly a fifth of all 
land in England and Wales. Much of this land 
acquisition is uncontested: space for a factory 
here, an office block there. But some of it has 
proven highly controversial. Huge retailers and 
property groups like Tesco and Peel Holdings have 
eroded town centres and high streets by amassing 
land for out-of-town superstores, and lobbied to 
maintain a culture of car dependency. 
Multinational agribusinesses have exacerbated the 
industrialisation of our food supply and 
accelerated the decline of small-scale farmers. 
Property firms have made tidy profits from the 
privatisation of formerly public land – which 
might otherwise have gone into the public purse, 
had previous governments treated their assets more wisely.

Though the veil of secrecy around company 
structures and what corporations own is at last 
lifting, thanks to recent data disclosures by 
government, there’s still much that needs to be 
done to make sense of this new information. The 
Land Registry needs to disclose proper maps of 
what companies own if we are to get to the bottom 
of suspect practices like land banking, and give 
communities a fighting chance in local planning battles.

Legally obliged to maximise profits for their 
shareholders, and biased towards short-term 
returns, companies make for poor custodians of 
land. Nor are corporate landowners capable of 
solving the housing crisis. Hoarded, developed, 
polluted, dug up, landfilled: the corporate 
control of England’s acres has gone far enough.

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'From South America, where payment must be made 
with subtlety, the Bormann organization has made 
a substantial contribution. It has drawn many of 
the brightest Jewish businessmen into a 
participatory role in the development of many of 
its corporations, and many of these Jews share 
their prosperity most generously with Israel. If 
their proposals are sound, they are even provided 
with a specially dispensed venture capital fund. 
I spoke with one Jewish businessmen in Hartford, 
Connecticut. He had arrived there quite unknown 
several years before our conversation, but with 
Bormann money as his leverage. Today he is more 
than a millionaire, a quiet leader in the 
community with a certain share of his profits 
earmarked as always for his venture capital 
benefactors. This has taken place in many other 
instances across America and demonstrates how 
Bormann’s people operate in the contemporary 
commercial world, in contrast to the fanciful 
nonsense with which Nazis are described in so much “literature.”

So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish 
participation in Bormann companies that when 
Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the 
Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. 
Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities 
in no uncertain terms that this must never happen 
again because a repetition would permanently 
rupture relations with the Germans of Latin 
America, as well as with the Bormann 
organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish 
money to Israel. It never happened again, and the 
pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an 
Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most 
efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.'

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