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ECGD, the United Kingdom's export credit agency. They arrange credit and insurance from tens of thousands to hundreds of millions of pounds. They estimate that they underwrite £4billion a year.

It sounds like a very boring uneventful organisation. However, this is far from the truth. The ECGD is a large contributor to world debt and arms dealing. They step in to cover UK companies' losses if foreign governments default on repayments.

They have been the centre of some massive scandals, the most famous of which is the arms to Iraq scandal, where Saddam Hussein defaulted on £670 million-worth of exports paid for by the UK taxpayer.

Britain not only armed Hussein but it paid for the weapons.

A countries national debt is added to every time they default. Economic analysts suggest that 95% of developing countries debt to Britain is responsible to ECGD. As one can imagine UK weapons manufacturers love to use ECGD, and the ECGD cannot tell us what they do exactly because it would breach "commercial confidentiality".

-Source Mark Thomas and the official ECGD - Default Home Page - www.ecgd.gov.uk

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