Earlier this week, the Nikkei Asian Review published At odds with US, Japan reaches out to other TPP partners. The title would lead you to believe Japan is working with other countries to strengthen opposition to the toxic, mislabeled trade deal known as the TransPacific Partnership.
The text of the article suggests otherwise, that Japan’s prime minister Abe will feel compelled to offer some concessions when Obama visits next month. On the surface, that would represent a significant shift.
I really enjoy speaking with Harry Shearer, both for his engaging manner and his thorough preparation. I also hope you’ll see fit to circulate this interview, since the more attention we can bring to this plan to legalize corporate pillage, the better.
While eyes in the US have remained focused on the budget cliffhanger in Washington, in Bali, two sets of meetings were taking place. The first was the latest set of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The US, led by John Kerry (Obama was supposed to make an appearance but the budget drama kept him away) met with representatives of the 12 nations it is pressing to agree to this deliberately mis-branded “trade deal”. The reason the label is misleading is that trade is already substantially liberalized; the real point of the TPP and its cousin, the pending EU-US trade agreement, is to weaken the power of nations to regulate, which will allow multinationals to lead a race to the bottom on product and environmental safety.
Yves here. This post is yet another reminder of how most companies’ first line of defense when they have engaged in seriously bad conduct is to lie, no matter how flagrant the lie is. Recall during British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon crisis when the oil producer repeatedly and grossly misrepresented the flow rate from its out-of-control well.
The financial media and investors were waiting tonight for Prime Minister Abe’s latest announcement on the extreme economic sport known as Abenomics. But his new installment dashed hopes, and after a short-lived rally, the Nikkei is down over 3%. But after the wild ride since May 22, when the Japanese index plunged 7.3%, a 3% decline is coming to look almost like normal daily volatility. (Well, now that it’s down nearly 4%, it might be a beast of a different color).
I welcome readers telling me I’ve missed something, but looking at the Fed’s problem from 50,000 feet, it appears that the the monetary authority appears to have set boundary conditions for its QE exit that it can’t meet.
This Real News Network video on resistance to the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Japan (one of our military protectorates) explains some implications of TPP for health care policy, but also gives a glimpse of how our post-national global elites would like the nature of the State to change. Of course, the TPP negotiations are secret, which cannot but give the impression that TPP’s advantages are not likely to be readily apparent to the citizens who putatively give sovereign states their legitimacy. So, although US discussions have focused mainly on content and intellectual property issues, it would seem that the powers that be have bigger fish to fry.
By Yanis Varoufakis, a professor of economics at the University of Athens. Originally posted at Australian Broadcast Corporation’s The Drum
In the long, unending wake of the global financial crisis, desperate governments and central banks are trying their hand at experimental economic policy mixes. Japan and the eurozone offer a glimpse of how radically different anti-crisis experiments can be.
I’ve mentioned repeatedly that Germany wants contradictory things: it wants to stop financing its trade partners (the periphery countries in Europe) and yet wants to continue to run large trade surpluses. I took this to be a sign of German wishful thinking, or just politicians figuring the incoherent strategy can still be maintained for the duration of their time in office.
A post by Yanis Varoufakis show that the Germans at least have better delusions that I realized.
A good piece in the Nation by Bill Greider, which focuses on Krugman’s long standing support of free trade, and how, contrary to his predictions, the results were not positive for ordinary American workers.