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Thu Jun 2, 2016, 12:28 PM

Money Merry-Go-Round: Emails Show How Wall Street Execs and Alums Crafted Trade Bill [View all]

This is why wages haven't grown, adjusted for inflation, in decades, why inequality has exploded, and why people have no faith in the system or either party. Whatever half measure you can point to that made some positive difference for working people, there are these massive corporate giveaways that far outweigh them. Keeping the status quo in place, which is exactly what is happening, means things will continue to get worse economically, and politically. THIS is being pushed, by the way, by a Democratic president.


FOIA disclosure documents chummy relationship between trade negotiator and big investment banks.

Foreign corporations could sue to undermine US protections for consumers’ health, safety and financial security under a provision added to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP) after executives of big banks pressed the nation’s chief trade negotiator, himself a former big-bank executive, to include it.

A series of emails, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and released last week by Rootstrikers, an organization that opposes the trade deal now pending before Congress, confirm the push by financial service companies for the “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” provision. ISDS, as it is referred to by the cognoscenti writing the emails, would, in the words of one critic, Public Citizen’s Lori Wallach, “elevate individual investors to the status of a nation-state” in trade disputes.

...The ISDS issues came up in an email from Shirzad and in another from Froman to an unidentified employee at JPMorgan Chase (names of recipients were redacted). “This is really not helpful” before appending a Politico story, clearly pegged to leaks, that described a split in the administration over ISDS, with several agencies, including the Treasury Department, opposing the provision and the trade representative’s office siding with the big banks in favor of it. In its online sales pitch for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade representative’s office argues that the ISDS provision will help protect Americans’ investments in other countries. But others vehemently disagree. As written, says Public Citizen’s Wallach, the provision represents “a huge expansion” of corporate power that would “empower major global financial firms to attack to US financial regulations using ISDS. That was the scenario outlined by Sen. Elizabeth Warren last year in a Washington Post op-ed. The Massachusetts Democrat warned that the trade pact’s ISDS provision will undermine US sovereignty by making it easier for US laws and regulations to be challenged by foreign companies. Kelleher thinks the ultimate beneficiary may be financial services companies right here at home. Wall Street firms “have a clear strategy, he contends, to use trade laws “to grease the skids to the regulatory bottom.”

Other emails in the Rootstriker disclosure appeared to be designed to reassure Froman that the financial services industry is using its muscle to win congressional votes for the Trans-Pacific trade deal. In a sign of the political radioactivity surrounding it, backers — including congressional Republican leaders and the Obama administration — appear to be teeing it up for vote in a lame-duck session of Congress later this year.

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Reply Money Merry-Go-Round: Emails Show How Wall Street Execs and Alums Crafted Trade Bill [View all]
GRhodes Jun 2016 OP
Faux pas Jun 2016 #1
840high Jun 2016 #2
Duval Jun 2016 #3
JDPriestly Jun 2016 #4
LS_Editor Jun 2016 #5
Guy Whitey Corngood Jun 2016 #6