Sunday, May 29, 2011

$6.64 Billion Damages Sought over Israeli Government and AIPAC Use of Stolen Classified US Trade Data

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today the Section 301 Committee of the US Trade Representative formally received a petition demanding $6.64 billion in compensation for US exporters. In 1984 US exporters were urged to submit business confidential data about their prices, market share, internal costs and market strategy to the International Trade Commission. The USTR guaranteed confidentiality and compiled the data into a classified report for use in negotiating the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement.

The Israeli government obtained the classified USTR report and passed it to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to use in lobbying and public relations. Declassified FBI investigation files in the petition reveal AIPAC's legislative director made illicit duplications before returning the report by order of the USTR. The FBI interviewed Israeli Minister of Economics Dan Halpern who admitted obtaining the classified document and giving it to AIPAC.

According to the petition Israel unfairly leveraged the business confidential data stolen from US corporations and industry groups to create new export oriented industries to penetrate the American market. Israel thereby gained an unwarranted systemic advantage. The US-Israel FTA is an anomaly among all bilateral FTAs in that it principally benefits the foreign party, providing a destination for 40% of Israel's exports. The petition claims it is now a private industry funded foreign aid program. In 2010 the US Israel FTA produced an $11.2 billion US deficit in goods trade. Over a decade the US deficit has averaged $7.09 billion per year. The cumulative US-Israel deficit in current dollars since 1985 is $80.9 billion.

Analysis of all other US-bilateral FTAs reveals that they do not deliver a systemic advantage to either partner. In 2010, the US had a $31.43 billion total surplus with its other bilateral FTA partners, though in 2006 and 2007 these same agreements produced a narrow US deficit.

The petition recommends the $6.64 billion be proportionally divided between nearly 80 US organizations according to their trailing 10 year revenues. If the Israeli government will not pay damages directly, the petition recommends the US implement a five year import duty over all Israeli exports to the United States to generate the compensation.

For information about the petition and compensation formula, contact Grant F. Smith at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, DC at 202-342-7325 or by email at

Greek leaders fail to agree as IMF deadline looms

Greek leaders meeting in Athens have failed to agree on Prime Minister George Papandreou's new austerity plan.

Conservative leader Antonis Samaras rejected the measures, saying they would "flatten the Greek economy and destroy Greek society".

Mr Papandreou, a Socialist, had been trying to secure cross-party agreement for further cuts.

The chairman of the eurozone finance ministers has warned the IMF may not extend further bail-out payments.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said IMF rules might stop it paying because Greece could not guarantee its solvency for the next year.

Mr Papandreou's government began a programme of privatisations on Thursday, but Mr Juncker has said the privatisation plan needs to be more ambitious.

A 12bn-euro ($17bn; £10bn) payment is due to be made to Greece on 29 June, 3.3bn euros of which should come from the IMF.

It is the fifth tranche of the 110bn-euro loan package from the EU and IMF and has not yet received final approval.

Mr Juncker said the IMF was assuming that if it decided not to make the payment, the EU would step in and make it instead, although he said that countries such as Germany, Finland and the Netherlands may oppose that.

'Correct errors'

In an interview with the Aachener Zeitung newspaper, the President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, also urged Greece to ensure financial stability.

"Greece must implement the programme fully and rigorously; this is very important to correct the errors of the past," he is reported to have said.

Under the terms of the bail-out, Greece was supposed to go to the financial markets to borrow 24bn euros in 2012.

However, as Greece has missed its deficit reduction targets, the chances of it being able to borrow money commercially next year are very small.

The IMF would like the EU to agree to make up the shortfall if necessary through a second bail-out package, but that could be unpopular among northern European taxpayers.

An IMF spokeswoman confirmed that the Fund would be unable to lend more money to Greece unless it was sure that next year's financing gap would be filled.

"We never lend when we don't have an assurance that there will be no gap," said Caroline Atkinson at a briefing in Washington.

"That is how we maintain the safety of our members' money."

But a spokesman for Mr Juncker later said that if the EU and IMF inspectors currently in Athens could be convinced by new Greek austerity measures, there would be no problem with the next tranche of loans.

Eleven million low and middle-income workers' pay will 'flatline' until 2015, experts warn

The average wage taken home by 11 million British workers will remain 'roughly the same' until at least 2015, experts have warned.

Think-tank Resolution Foundation said low and middle-income earners were not likely to benefit from the expected economic recovery.

It predicted that workers' pay in four years time would be the same as a decade ago, in 2001.

And it warned that government cuts to tax credits could make the situation even worse.

Stagnating wages, high levels of personal debt and a falling number of 'middle-skilled' jobs were all said to be to blame.

Report author James Plunkett said: 'We all know the recession has hit living standards hard.

'But something deeper has changed in our economy. Even during the so-called boom years, ordinary workers weren't seeing their living standards rise.

'The big question now is what will happen when growth resumes. Will ordinary workers reap any of the benefits? This report suggests that is far from certain.'

The report, based on the analysis of government projections, said people on low to middle incomes had already been losing out during the economic boom years.

It found that, between 2003 and 2008, average wages 'flatlined' and disposable income per head actually fell in every region of England apart from London.

This was despite economic growth of 11 per cent.

UK GDP and earnings

The rising cost of living was also said to have hit people on lower incomes harder than other groups.

This was because low to middle earners were facing inflation that was up to one per cent greater than for higher earners since 2006.

It had been compounded by the sharp fall in the number of people in that economic group who owned their own homes.

In 1988, 58 per cent of young people in the group were homeowners, and just 14 per cent rented in the private sector.

But by 2008, these proportions had reversed, and only 29 per cent were homeowners with 41 per cent renting privately.

In 2007/08, before the full impact of the credit crunch was felt, 30 per cent of lower earners who did buy their own home did so with a 100 per cent mortgage.

These are no longer available.

Dylan Ratigan: Foreclosure Fraud Whistleblowers Speak Out

Wall Street's War On America: Why Are We Chasing Terrorists Instead Of Banksters

Video - RT's Thom Hartman

Video: Tim Geithner Ambushed By Anti-Bailout Activists

Take a few minutes to watch all of these. They run 30 seconds each. The Geithner clip is at the bottom.

All are winning submissions for a national anti-bailout video contest conducted in late 2009. They are either really, really funny or just sickly depressing, depending where you find yourself on the moral hazard insanity spectrum.

This 8 year-old girl knows the various bailout programs better than Bernanke.


Video - End Government Bailouts with Nobailatol - Viagra parody


Tarp - just do nothing...what could be easier?


Thirteen year-old explains the bailouts.


Matthew Lesko: Free Bailout Money - He's so pissed off he's moving to Canada.


This is the original that started the contest. These guys attempt to deliver hundred-billion-dollar checks to AIG and Citi corporate offices on behalf of taxpayers. Well played. They sneak into Senator Olympia Snowe's offices and request her signature on a billion-dollar check. Hilarious bastards. And that's just the start, then they deliver invoices for $26k to unsuspecting taxpayers, Publisher's Clearinghouse style.

  • Watch this one all the way to the end when they ambush Geithner and throw cash at him as he walks by with Treasury bodyguards.

Update: I just noticed something I hadn't seen before when I first posted this in 2009, because no one had heard of him at that point...look at the last video...The taller guy with the beige overcoat has to be early james o'keefe, who later became famous for the acorn videos...maybe i'm wrong but it looks an awful lot like him...if so, my opinion just changed of the clip...granted, acorn is useless and even harmful to a certain degree, but o'keefe is a potentially racist, trollish malcontent who gives the now-defunct Right.Org a bad name.

Gerald Celente - College Degrees Are Worthless

Income Inequality Ignorance

Manny Badillo Interviewed By Bob Tuskin On False Flag Terror And Buildin...