- Naomi Klein discusses how entrenched corporate control through trade and investment agreements will prevent us from making any real progress against climate change. And Cory Doctorow weighs in on the Cons' FIPA sellout of Canadian sovereignty, while highlighting the NDP's petition to stop it.
- Meanwhile, Les Whittington writes that CETA will severely limit Canada's ability to regulate banks - which, as Barry Ritholz observes, only sets us up for predictable financial abuse which will never be properly investigated or punished:
Political access and lobbying go part way toward explaining the absence of prosecutions and, therefore, the lack of convictions [for financial sector criminality]. To understand why there were no convictions of senior bankers, you need to understand a bit of criminal law in the U.S. The American form of jurisprudence requires a criminal indictment to bring someone to trial. No indictment, no trial, no conviction. Where bankers and their lawyers have been so successful is stopping prosecutions before they begin. You don’t get to the conviction part if prosecutors don’t bring indictments.- Bruce Johnstone points out the limitations of a government which insists on its own impotence in cultivating genuine economic development. But unfortunately, the Leader-Post's editorial board undercuts a rare effort to build an alternative to total dependence on the corporate sector - in this case, when it comes to a municipal development agency.
As we have repeatedly shown, Treasury Department officials, including former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, had convinced prosecutors in the Justice Department of the dangers of prosecuting banks and bankers for the economy. This showed up in the news coverage over the years, and is still going on. Just consider this recent Bloomberg News article with the headline “Criminal Charges Against Banks Risk Sparking Crisis.”
So what crimes could we imagine? How about fraudulent mortgage underwriting; robo-signing and foreclosure perjury; falsifying Libor rates; manipulating gold and other metal prices; money laundering for drug kingpins and terrorists; and participating in Ponzi schemes. This is hardly an all-inclusive list and I could certainly make it longer.
If only the list of attempted prosecutions was as long.
- Katie Raso reminds us why we need to fight against for-profit health care which discriminates based on the ability to pay. And Mollie Reilly offers a galling example of what happens when that discrimination rears its ugly head.
- Finally, Andrew Cash highlights the fight against "pay-to-pay" rackets as an example of how public pressure can result in at least some policy changes.