How Vulture Investment Funds Use Free Trade's ISDS Suits to Create and Exploit a New Asset Class

Another very troubling aspect of the TPP and all the modern 'free trade' schemes that include the ICSID appeal mechanism to settle investment disputes and the ISDS secret tribunals to adjudicate them, is that these investment suits against democratically legislated objectives, besides undermining the democratic process, are becoming valuable even before claims are settled. What the corporations do now is take the money they hope to be gained in an investment depute to the market, not just to finance their legal case but to that expand their business.

International investors are using this system "...not only to sue for compensation for alleged expropriation of land and factories, but also over a huge range of government measures, including environmental and social regulations, which they say infringe on their rights. Multinationals have sued to recover money they have already invested, but also for alleged lost profits and “expected future profits”. The number of suits filed against countries at the ICSID is now around 500 – and that figure is growing at an average rate of one case a week. The sums awarded in damages are so vast that investment funds have taken notice: corporations’ claims against states are now seen as assets that can be invested in or used as leverage to secure multimillion-dollar loans. Increasingly, companies are using the threat of a lawsuit at the ICSID to exert pressure on governments not to challenge investors’ actions." - The Guardian

Over the last 10 years, and particularly since the global financial crisis, a growing number of specialized investment fund vultures have moved to raise money through these cases, treating companies’ multimillion-dollar claims against states as a new “asset class”. There are now thousands of international investment agreements and free-trade acts, signed by states, which give foreign companies access to the investor-state dispute system.

Though Canadians sometimes hear bits about how our national government is paying out huge sums to the US corporations through the secret tribunal rulings of NAFTA, abroad it's another story, where Canadian mining companies play the role of aggressor both on the land and in the courts. In a number of countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Columbia, Chile, Peru, El Salvador, Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Papua New Guinea it's Canadian corporations who wear the black hats.

Here in Canada we never hear about the abuses by the Canadian corporations in the mainstream media because the MSM is itself corporate owned and plays ball so as to keep the advertising revenues rolling in. But when traveling abroad or reading counter-culture media accounts it's apparent that Canada's corporations and investment funds are no better or worse than those in the US, EU, Australia, Germany or any other 'developed' country.

Call the enemy what you will: The New World Order - totalitarian world government - Dictatorship Of The Corportariat, the Bankers and Billionaire's Club...the fact is we are, and have long been, fighting a class war between the few and the many. National boundaries are irrelevant other than as corrals to be used by the elites to contain the many while the assets of the few move through them unimpeded. These bogus 'free trade' agreements are one theater in that war, they are tyranny. Tyrannies have to be crushed and excised. If the many are to survive in any capacity other than slave, corporate rule over the planet MUST be stopped.