After diplomatic assault, WikiLeaks targets US banks, to unfold how they behave at executive level

 | November 30,2010 11:48 am IST

After sending shock waves across world capitals leaking a quarter million State Department cables, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has threatened to unleash tens of thousands of documents that could "take down a bank or two."


A fresh "megaleak" will target a "big US bank early next year," he told Forbes in an interview posted Monday without naming the bank.


"Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up, that's a megaleak. It's not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it's either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it."


The bank leak would "give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume," Assange said. "Usually when you get leaks at this level, it's about one particular case or one particular violation."


He compared the coming documents to the emails that exposed US energy giant Enron's dealings amid its collapse.


"This will be like that. Yes, there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed, but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos ... and that's tremendously valuable," Assange said.


"You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it's also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that's not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they're fulfilling their own self-interest," he said.


Assange also told Forbes that the whistleblower website has material on many businesses and governments, including in Russia, and that it has some documents on pharmaceutical companies, which he did not identify.


Assange said that "about 50 percent" of documents held by WikiLeaks relate to the corporate world.