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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

Author to discuss how money moves from
local bank to Thailand, Malaysia

Barbara Garson to address
URI Honors Colloquium Oct. 7

KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 29, 2003 -- Barbara Garson, author of Money Makes the World Go Round: One Investor Tracks Her Cash Through the Global Economy, from Brooklyn to Bangkok and Back, will speak at the URI Honors Colloquium, on Tuesday, October 7.

Garson’s lecture, "Money Makes the World Go Round: Globalization From Below," will be held in the Chafee Social Science Center, Room 271, at 7 p.m. Like all colloquium programs, her talk is free and open to the public. This year’s public lecture series is entitled, "The Futures of Globalization."

In her latest book, Garson "brings a sharp and sympathetic reporter’s eye to the effect of the global banking system on real people," according to Publisher’s Weekly. She follows her own $29,500 investment into a small, privately owned bank in upstate New York as it courses through several larger banks and is ultimately invested both domestically and abroad.

Garson shows how her relatively small investment helps build an oil refinery in Thailand and fund the export of jellyfish from Malaysia. Much more than just showing where her money goes, though, she is able to vividly depict whom it is affecting. She traces the path of her finances to the lowest common denominator and shows how the "global village" in which she invested her money changes lives on a personal level.

In an interview with The Witness, a publication that bills itself as a social justice publication aimed at both the Episcopalian and the Anglican community, Garson touches briefly on some of these stories. She shows how the pollution caused by "[her] shrimp farms" forces Malaysian coastal fishermen to fish farther out into the ocean. Garson explains in The Witness interview: "They either had to go out of business, or tie themselves to the global economy, in the sense that they now had to get a motor for their boat."

Garson also tells the story of two women who are street vendors outside the site of "[her] oil refinery." Because of the 9,500 workers camped outside the site, the two women were able to begin saving in order to buy a permanent market stand. "These are the sorts of opportunities that my money was producing," Garson explains in the interview.

Please visit for the most current colloquium information and a complete schedule of events and directions, or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or

The program’s major sponsors are: URI Honors Program and President’s Office, The Providence Journal, Fidelity Investments, URI Foundation, URI College of Arts and Sciences and the URI College of Business Administration.

Other sponsors are URI’s Office of Student Affairs, Alumni Association, Multicultural Center and College of Pharmacy.

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Page last revised Monday, September 29, 2003 .