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Warren Answers Obama

“’We cannot afford a trade deal that undermines the government’s ability to protect the American economy,’ Warren said in the letter, also signed by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).”

In a later email to her supporters:

“‘The government doesn’t want you to read this massive new trade agreement. It’s top secret,’ Warren wrote in the email. ‘Why? Here’s the real answer people have given me: ‘We can’t make this deal public because if the American people saw what was in it, they would be opposed to it.’

‘For more than two years now, giant corporations have had an enormous amount of access to see the parts of the deal that might affect them and to give their views as negotiations progressed. But the doors stayed locked for the regular people whose jobs are on the line,” Warren wrote. “We’ve all seen the tricks and traps that corporations hide in the fine print of contracts. We’ve all seen the provisions they slip into legislation to rig the game in their favor. Now just imagine what they have done working behind closed doors with TPP.”

Besides watering down Dodd-Frank’s ownership restrictions (clip above) on risky derivative ownership (which Obama agreed to changes to requiring TBTF to separate risky investment ownership from TBTF and placing them in separate corporations not eligible for Main-Street-Rescue) during budget negotiation with the Repubs; Warren, Brown and other Senators have pointed out other potential issues with the TPP and fast tracking it besides fighting this one.

– “the deal could include provisions that would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. policies before a judicial panel outside the domestic legal system, increasing exposure of American taxpayers to potential damages.”

– “grant foreign companies access to U.S. markets without being subject to restrictions on “predatory or toxic financial products’ and that would restrict the U.S. government’s ability to impose capital controls, such as transaction taxes, on international firms.”

The TPP is not really about free trade amongst countries as much as it dictates who and who will not feel the impact of it. Corporations and a relative few at the upper end of the income chain have benefited the most from TPP agreements in the past at the expense of the lesser income classes (The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States).

Most of the countries included in this TPP agreement are poorer and have a greater abundance of Labor. The typical result for all countries in the agreement is total income increases with the end result in the US being most of the income is distributed upwards in the income chain. Unskilled labor producing goods in a highly skilled country will be worse off as international trade increases in relation to the global market producing a similar or the same product. In relation to the global market, a first world production worker is a less abundant factor of production than Capital when compared to 3rd world production workers. As Spencer England has shown productivity gains have been skewed heavily to Capital at the expense of Labor.

As I stated no TPP will be good for the middle class and a genuine trade agreement would also impact the middle class in an adverse manner even if there was an increase in total income unless there were stipulations and policies within it. President Obamas claiming Warren and other populist opponents of the TPP are wrong is not true as there is no indication this TPP will impact the middle class in a manner he suggests. Furthermore cloaking it in secrecy from the US and presenting it in a similar manner for an “up or down vote” as the former Bush administration did does not foster support for it. Main Street has already paid too much for corporations and rescuing Wall Street from their gambling.

Would you agree to a contract making you liable for someone else’s agreements and sight unseen? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not. Warren for Pres!

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Nope! Was the response when Senator Warren was asked about Harry Reid’s job.

By happenstance I heard today, Senator Warren’s interview on Here and Now.

I just wonder, was the answer to the question about running for the Democratic Senate top position adamant enough for those who keep pushing to have her run for a leadership position?  How is it that some of the leadership in the progressing/liberal genre not get that she is already a leader?  She’s leading already!  Now, let’s get a few more please.

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Senator Warren Puts Bank Regulators on Hot Seat

by Linda Beale

Senator Warren Puts Bank Regulators on Hot Seat

Elizabeth Warren started out her questioning of big bank regulators by noting that actual trials, where guilty parties are paraded before juries, information about their wrongdoing is spread over front pages, and everybody is aware that bad guys get punished for their bad deeds has an effect on whether the wrongdoing is committed in the first place. In the case of the big Wall Street banks, however, she notes that they made out like bandits during the speculative orgy that caused the financial system crisis, and yet not a one has paid by being taken to trial in this expressive way.

“Tell me,” she says to a group of bank regulators called before her Senate committee, “about the last few times you’ve taken the biggest financial institutions on Wall Street to trial. Anybody?”

The FCC representative, Tom Curry, notes that ordinarily they are just trying to move things along and correct deficiencies. Warren interrupts and notes–“yes, and you set a price for that… that’s effectively a settlement. What I’m asking is … when did you last take a financial institution, a Wall Street Bank, to trial? ” Curry “We’ve had a fair number of consent orders. We don’t have to bring them to trial.” Warren “I understand that you say you don’t “have” to but my question is when is the last time that you did?” (No further responsive answer).

(Dan here…a clip of her at the committee meeting is below the fold)

The same kind of interchange–can you identify when you last took Wall Street Banks to trial –was similarly nonresponded to by Elisse Walter. Nobody else even offered to comment. Certainly nobody offered a single date for “last time a Wall Street bank was taken to trial.”

Warren closed with a comment that made clear that she thought that a very different standard was being applied to Wall Street than is applied to ordinary citizens that commit even minor infractions. She noted that there are District Attorneys every day squeezing ordinary citizens on rather small matters and taking them to trial explicitly to set an example, but “For Wall Street banks, ‘too big to fail‘ has become ‘too big to try [take to trial]’. That just seems wrong to me.”

You go, Elizabeth. Without using the words “class warfare”, she has made absolutely crystal clear the class warfare problem that exists in our country today, where Wall Street institutions and their chiefs and chief owners get all kinds of protections while the little guy is shaken down for peanuts. As a commenter on the site already noted, if only there were 99 more like her in the Senate…..

cross posted with ataxingmatter

(Dan here…via Business Insider comes this clip about Senator Warren’s questioning at the hearing)

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