Tag: World Finance

Gordon Campbell on how class colours Panama Papers reactions

Column – Gordon Campbell Not many heroes so far in the Panama Papers saga, but any number of villains. Those villains happen to include: criminals laundering their ill gotten gains, terrorists funding their nefarious activities, and shadowy figures guilty of varying levels … Gordon Campbell on how class colours the reactions to the Panama Papers Not many heroes so far in the Panama Papers saga, but any number of villains. Those villains happen to include: criminals laundering their ill gotten gains, terrorists funding their nefarious activities, and shadowy figures guilty of varying levels of larceny stashing their wealth in bolt-holes, offshore. Much of the talk about the need for greater “transparency” and “reputational risk” is about whether New Zealand is aiding and abetting such people – either (a) consciously for gain (b) carelessly or (c) via an ideological reluctance to regulate the foreign trust sector. In the murkier, moral grey zone however, reside the lawyers and lobbyists and enablers who profit from this trade – some of which is legal, and some of which isn’t. There are also the pliable politicians, and the lobbyists out to influence them. In addition, there are the investors hiding money from the taxman quite legally – and apparently feeling few pangs of conscience about being social parasites. So far, the policy response to the Panama Papers revelations has reflected the differences – and...

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Gordon Campbell on (missing) US links to the Panama Papers

Column – Gordon Campbell Belatedly, US complicity in the global tax avoidance systems is now trickling out into daylight. To some, one of the suspicious aspects of the scandal to date has been how few firms and individuals from the US have featured in the document dump … Gordon Campbell on the (missing) US links to the Panama Papers, and Merle Haggard Belatedly, US complicity in the global tax avoidance systems is now trickling out into daylight. To some, one of the suspicious aspects of the scandal to date has been how few firms and individuals from the US have featured in the document dump from the Mossack Fonseca law firm. The Guardian did nothing to dispel the potential for paranoia about a Cold War agenda by making the scandal initially seem to be about Vladimir Putin and his cronies. Former British diplomat Craig Murray has come out strongly against the selective nature of the coverage to date. Calls have been made to release all of the Panama Papers documents – right now – assuming a suitable place is found to store what is said to be 2 terrabytes of data, or 11.5 million documents. (The entire Snowden trove by comparison amounted to only 60 gigabytes. Years later, we’re still getting news stories based on Snowden’s mine of information. The same will presumably apply in this case.) The Panama...

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Why the rush on TPP? asks US critic

Article – BusinessDesk Jan. 27 (BusinessDesk) – An American campaigner against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment agreement is asking “why does New Zealand have its pants on fire” to pass legislation implementing the deal when there is no guarantee … Why the rush on TPP? asks US critic By Pattrick Smellie Jan. 27 (BusinessDesk) – An American campaigner against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment agreement is asking “why does New Zealand have its pants on fire” to pass legislation implementing the deal when there is no guarantee it will survive the American political process. Speaking in Wellington at a media briefing organised by the Green Party, Lori Wallach of Washington DC-based Global Trade Watch said the New Zealand government’s arrangement of a signing ceremony on Feb. 4 in Auckland, involving the trade ministers of the 12 nation pact, and the intention to introduce legislation allowing various changes to implement it were part of a wider attempt by sponsoring governments to create “a stampede of inevitability” about the TPP’s eventual adoption. However, Wallach said the TPP faced an uphill battle being endorsed by both the US House of Representatives and the Senate, with the tiny majority achieved for President Barack Obama’s ‘fast track’ process already falling apart and key US politicians seeking to reopen negotiations to get greater protections for the US tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. Unless the...

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TPPA: Kiwis say it ain’t over. Don’t sign!

Press Release – It’s Our Future TPPA: Kiwis say it aint over. Dont sign! This weekend thousands of New Zealanders will join rallies, marches, picnics and protests at fourteen actions nationwide to call on the government to reject the TPPA. After six years of secrecy and government …TPPA: Kiwis say it ain’t over. Don’t sign! This weekend thousands of New Zealanders will join rallies, marches, picnics and protests at fourteen actions nationwide to call on the government to reject the TPPA. “After six years of secrecy and government spin, we can now see what’s in the TPPA. Buried in over 6000 pages of legal text are obligations that no government should sign up to”, said It’s Our Future spokesperson Barry Coates. “The TPPA would mean that we give away sovereign powers from democratically elected governments to unaccountable foreign corporations. We say: don’t sign.” Analysis of the final agreement is being undertaken by academics and researchers, through a rigorous peer reviewed process. A series of papers analysing the most crucial issues will be released over the forthcoming weeks. “It is already apparent that the government has used spin, exaggeration and misleading information to try to sell the TPPA. The benefits are far less than we have been led to believe, the costs have largely been ignored and the restrictions on the rights of future governments to act in the public...

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Imperilled by Unfree Trade

Article – Alastair Thompson We have the chance to open up more markets to goods and services backed by three proud words: Made in America. Imperilled by Unfree Trade: The TPP on Environment and LabourBinoy Kampmark “We have the chance to open up more markets to goods and services backed by three proud words: Made in America.” President Barack Obama, Feb 18, 2015 The estranged political classes continued their defiance of democratic practice by signing, again without the involvement of non-trade interests, a document that has been sold as a choice between the rash and the damned. The delegates at the Atlanta round of talks for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement came from twelve states, and some of them were acutely aware that domestic matters were pressing. The election cycle in the United States is starting to gain steam. Canada faces a close election on October 19. Australia’s new prime minister is hunkering down. The TPP is a monster in design on several levels. While it has been reported that China “cautiously” welcomes the agreement, there is little doubt that it has been shaped as a form of financial weaponry against the giants of the Asia-Pacific. Towards Russia, there is the Trans Atlantic Investment Agreement, framed to incorporate the European Union. Then comes the enveloping Trade Services Agreement. The chatter in advance of the agreement has been filled with...

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