“Free Trade” Run Amok: Canada Challenges U.S. Laws Reining In Banks

May 14th, 2015
in Op Ed

by Washington's Blog, Washington's Blog

We noted in 2013 that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would let big banks run amok, and would increase the cost of consumer loans.

Follow up:

Ellen Brown asked last month:

Under the TPP, could the US government be sued and be held liable if it decided to stop issuing Treasury debt and financed deficit spending in some other way (perhaps by quantitative easing or by issuing trillion dollar coins)? Why not, since some private companies would lose profits as a result?

Under the TPP or the TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership under negotiation with the European Union), would the Federal Reserve be sued if it failed to bail out banks that were too big to fail?

[U]nder the Netherlands-Czech trade agreement, the Czech Republic was sued in an investor-state dispute for failing to bail out an insolvent bank in which the complainant had an interest. The investor company was awarded $236 million in the dispute settlement. What might the damages be, asks Firestone, if the Fed decided to let the Bank of America fail, and a Saudi-based investment company decided to sue?

Michael Snyder noted:

[TPP] would give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives ....

We've all been proven right ...

Specifically, Reuters reported this week that Canada is trying to stop enforcement of America's law prohibiting big banks from engaging in risky "prop trading" for the banks' own gambling profit on Canadian debt:

The U.S. ban on its banks doing proprietary trading of Canadian debt likely violates an international agreement between the nations, Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Wednesday, urging American lawmakers to adjust the so-called Volcker Rule.

The rule, meant to curb risky Wall Street trading seen to have worsened the 2007-2009 financial crisis, would stop U.S. banks from trading non-U.S. government bonds with their own money unless exemptions are met.

"I believe, with strong legal basis, that this rule violates the terms of the NAFTA agreement," Oliver said of the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

"I hope the United States administration sees that changing the Volcker Rule is in its own best interests

TPP is NAFTA on steroids. If it passes, any ability of the U.S. to rein in the big banks will be lost ...

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