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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 5,379

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The Icelandic rebels are at it again: taxing banks to write down home mortgages

The government plans to provide homeowners with as much as 70 billion kronur in direct writedowns of home-loan debt and give 80 billion kronur of tax exemptions over three years, according to a statement handed out in Reykjavik today. The deal is equivalent to 9 percent of Iceland’s $14 billion economy.

“The action requires the Treasury to serve as an intermediary in financing and implementing it,” according to the statement. “There is no need to establish a debt-relief fund, as the action will be fully financed. The net impact on the Treasury is expected to be insignificant each year during the period 2014-2017.”

Iceland’s Financial Services Association estimates the nation’s banks have forgiven about $2 billion in debt since 2008. At 14 percent of gross domestic product, that’s the highest in the world. Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson won April elections on promises to provide even more relief to households.

Iceland’s government intends to finance the writedowns by raising taxes on financial institutions, a move Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson said today would bring 37.5 billion kronur into Treasury coffers next year. The tax will also be levied on Kaupthing Bank hf, Glitnir Bank hf and Landsbanki Islands hf, all of which are undergoing winding-up proceedings.

More at WaPo.

It would seem protest DOES pay, as does collective rewriting of one's constitution.

On edit: the new constitution hasn't been voted on, yet. TY muriel_volestrangler!
Posted by BelgianMadCow | Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:58 PM (16 replies)

The TPP, if Passed, Spells the End of Popular Sovereignty for The United States

From Naked Capitalism:

The principle of popular sovereignty is the idea that a government’s power derives only from the consent of the people being governed. The Constitution’s first three words—”We the People…”—establish from the very start that the United States government draws its authority and legitimacy directly from the people. The concept of popular sovereignty differs from the old monarchical belief in the divine right of kings (in which the monarch was said to draw his right to rule directly from God) and also from the British principle of parliamentary sovereignty (in which ultimate authority rested with Parliament rather than with the people directly).

Making it all the more remarkable, or not, that our political class — Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch, a bipartisan caucus, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Editorial Board of The New York Times, to name a few of the usual suspects — would pursue an agreement, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that sells out popular sovereignty to transnational investors, and allows them to rule us. I know your friends think this sounds like nutty black helicopter stuff, but it’s true! It’s true! (Tell them to watch Yves on Bill Moyers, in a really sharp transcript.) So bear with me, please, as I work through the thesis. First, I’ll look at how TPP replaces popular sovereignty with transnational investor rule, in two ways. Next, I’ll take a very quick look at the state of play. Finally, I’ll suggest that all is not lost, and in fact the TPP can be defeated.


Yet in a manner that would enrage right and left alike, the private “investor-state” enforcement system included in the leaked TPP text would empower foreign investors and corporations to skirt domestic courts and laws and sue governments in foreign tribunals. There, they can demand cash compensation from domestic treasuries over domestic policies that they claim undermine their new investor rights and expected future profits. This establishes an alarming two-track system of justice that privileges foreign corporations in myriad ways relative to governments or domestic businesses. It also exposes signatory countries to vast liabilities, as foreign firms use foreign tribunals to raid public treasuries.

Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/11/the-tpp-if-passed-spells-the-end-of-popular-sovereignty-for-the-united-states.html

The eye-opening Bill Moyers segment with Yves Smith and Dean Baker mentioned above is here. DU thread on it here.

Something not mentioned in the NC post: this international court will be presided over by a judge chosen on a rotating basis from the corporate lawyers that plea cases in front of it. Its decisions cannot be appealed.

Corporate coup d'etat in motion. I hope you all are ready to get vocal to oppose fast-tracking of this secret NAFTA on steroids. I'll do my part on the corresponding and equally awful TTIP.
Posted by BelgianMadCow | Sun Nov 10, 2013, 06:45 PM (79 replies)
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