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pa28's Journal
pa28's Journal
March 29, 2015

TPP contains a provision for bailing out derivative losses. Is this what re-negotiating NAFTA means?

You probably remember President Obama's pledge during the campaign of 2008 to re-negotiate NAFTA on behalf of unions and environmentalists.

Never happened. However, as part of Obama's effort to sell the Trans Pacific Partnership the administration has depicted the agreement as an improved trade deal that would fix NAFTA's problems and make good on the President's promise.

Sounds good but the leaked environmental and investment chapters say it's not true.

TPP widens the scope of an "investment" to derivatives, opening the door for compensation from governments in the event of losses resulting from new law or regulation. Derivatives are side bets on the performance of an investment that have no equity stake in the underlying security or commodity price. Derivatives are NOT an investment and the scale of the derivatives market far exceeds that of the cash value of stock markets. This means a massive increase in taxpayer exposure to losses and increased incentive for banks to ramp up leverage and risky bets without actually investing in the economy.

Investment means every asset that an investor owns or controls, directly or indirectly, that
has the characteristics of an investment, including such characteristics as the commitment
of capital or other resources, the expectation of gain or profit, or the assumption of risk.
Forms that an investment may take include:
(a) an enterprise;
(b) shares, stock and other forms of equity participation in an enterprise;
(c) bonds, debentures, other debt instruments, and loans;23
(d) futures, options and other derivatives;

NAFTA limited the definition of an investment to money directly connected with an enterprise.

The leaked environment chapter also loosens rather than strengthens protections included in trade deals as recently as the Bush administration.

Sierra Club: Obama’s record on environment and trade worse than George W. Bush

Environmentalists told the New York Times that the Obama Administration was “retreat[ing] on a variety of environmental protections — including legally binding pollution control requirements and logging regulations and a ban on harvesting sharks’ fins — to advance a trade deal . . . .” Further the Sierra Club’s Ilana Solomon, saying “the draft omits crucial language ensuring that increased trade will not lead to further environmental destruction.” The problems in the draft are detailed in their Joint Analysis.

In a press release Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club says: “If the environment chapter is finalized as written in this leaked document, President Obama’s environmental trade record would be worse than George W. Bush’s. This draft chapter falls flat on every single one of our issues – oceans, fish, wildlife, and forest protections – and in fact, rolls back on the progress made in past free trade pacts.”

Banks and corporations are negotiating this agreement with former bankers and lobbyists who were paid huge exit bonuses to draft TPP on behalf of the American public. It's true that NAFTA is being "re-negotiated" by this agreement but it seems to me we're replacing it with something even worse.
March 22, 2015

Accidental moment of candor: Rahm Emanuel adviser reveals what is wrong with Democratic politics.


“Unless they get the crazy lefty money machine going nationally, it’s not going to matter that there’s a resurgent left,” said an adviser to Mr. Emanuel who did not want to speak publicly about strategy. “The liberals at Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park can think great thoughts and read poetry for Chuy, but nothing else will happen.”

By "crazy left" he means what was the "moderate left" 20 years ago. AKA people who have been "right" about just about everything ranging from the Iraq war to tax policy, trade policy and more.

It seems to me that this election is one battleground for the future of the Democratic party and Chuy has won something by just forcing a runoff.

Worth a read.


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Hometown: Sisters, Oregon
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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