How Obama’s Chief Negotiators on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty Received Huge Bonuses from Mega Banks

Anyone that has spent any time whatsoever looking into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade treaty, understands that it is a oligarch crony capitalists’ wet dream. Being negotiated entirely in secret, the treaty is designed to institutionalize corporate rule, giving companies the ability to sue governments and prevent them from exerting regulatory control over their own societies.

Bill Moyers has described the treaty as “Death for Democracy,” and now, unsurprisingly, we find out that several of the main negotiators for the TPP have received huge payments from taxpayer bailed out “Too Big to Jail” banks.

From the Republic Report:

Officials tapped by the Obama administration to lead the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations have received multimillion dollar bonuses from CitiGroup and Bank of America, financial disclosures obtained by Republic Report show.

Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, received more than $9 million in bonus pay as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.

Michael Froman, the current U.S. Trade Representative, received over $4 million as part of multiple exit payments when he left CitiGroup to join the Obama administration. Froman told Senate Finance Committee members last summer that he donated approximately 75 percent of the $2.25 million bonus he received for his work in 2008 to charity. CitiGroup also gave Froman a $2 million payment in connection to his holdings in two investment funds, which was awarded “in recognition of [Froman's] service to Citi in various capacities since 1999.”

Many large corporations with a strong incentive to influence public policy award bonuses and other incentive pay to executives if they take jobs within the government. CitiGroup, for instance, provides an executive contract that awards additional retirement pay upon leaving to take a “full time high level position with the U.S. government or regulatory body.” Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, the Blackstone Group, Fannie Mae, Northern Trust, and Northrop Grumman are among the other firms that offer financial rewards upon retirement for government service.

A leaked text of the TPP’s investment chapter shows that the pact would include the controversial investor-state dispute resolution system. A fact-sheet provided by Public Citizen explains how multi-national corporations may use the TPP deal to skirt domestic courts and local laws. The arrangement would allows corporations to go after governments before foreign tribunals to demand compensations for tobacco, prescription drug and environment protections that they claim would undermine their expected future profits. Last year, Senator Elizabeth Warren warned that trade agreements such as the TPP provide “a chance for these banks to get something done quietly out of sight that they could not accomplish in a public place with the cameras rolling and the lights on.”

Here’s a video to get you up to speed.

Crony capitalism 101. Yet barely a peep from the serfs.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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2 thoughts on “How Obama’s Chief Negotiators on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty Received Huge Bonuses from Mega Banks

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