What’s Uncle Sam’s Largest Asset? It’ll Haunt us for Years!

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A stunning chart.

By Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives:

Pop Quiz! Without recourse to your text, your notes or a Google search, what line item is the largest asset in Uncle Sam’s financial accounts?

  • A) U.S. Official Reserve Assets
  • B) Total Mortgages
  • C)Taxes Receivable
  • D) Student Loans

The correct answer, as of the latest quarterly data, is … Student Loans.

The rapid growth in student debt has been an ongoing topic in the financial press. A stunning chart that will continue to haunt us illustrates the rapid growth in federal loans to students since the onset of the great recession. The chart is based on the Federal Reserve’s Financial Accounts data (available here) for government’s assets and liabilities.

For a dramatic look at the data, here it is with a standard linear vertical axis.


And here it is with a log-scale vertical axis:


As we point out on the chart, the two callouts are for Q4 2007, the quarter in which the Great Recession began (December 2007) the most recent quarter on record, Q3 2015. The loan balance has risen and astonishing 818% over that time frame, most of which dates from after the recession.

This chart only includes federal loans to students. Private loans increase the debt burden. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York regularly tracks household debt and credit. In their most recent update, they calculate student load debt to be nearing $1.2 trillion.

But back to our quiz. Student loans may be a liability on the consumer balance sheet, but they constitute an asset for Uncle Sam. Just how big? It’s 45% of the total Federal assets. This is about 8.1 times larger than the 5.5% for the Total Mortgages outstanding and 6.0 times the size of Taxes Receivable at 7.6%.


Interestingly enough, the 45% referenced above is off the peak in Q1 of 2015. Here is a look at how this metric has changed since 1995.


Of course, assets are, sadly, the trivial side of Uncle Sam’s Financial Accounts balance sheet — about $1.98 Trillion. The liability side totaled $17.67 Trillion at the end of Q4.

The student loan bubble, the biggest slice in Uncle Sam’s asset pie, will haunt us for many years to come. By Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives

The bond market has enough problems already, and it doesn’t even include the S&P’s “pessimistic scenario.” Read…  Corporate Default Rate Jumps Past Lehman Moment

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  53 comments for “What’s Uncle Sam’s Largest Asset? It’ll Haunt us for Years!

  1. Petunia
    March 11, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    The no recourse student loan system and the for profit prison system are just two examples of the re-imposition of slavery through other means. Some people call it the New Jim Crow, except this time it is not only about race and money. Now it is only about money. They will have a claim on your income and productivity throughout your life. The new international treaties, like TPP, are to insure you don’t get away, no matter where you go.

    Vote them all out while you still can, and keep doing it while you still can.

    • Justin
      March 11, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      U said it perfect please tell everybody and thank you petunia

    • d
      March 12, 2016 at 4:15 am


      I know a fair Amount about what is in TPP, so

      Where is

      “The new international treaties, like TPP, are to insure you don’t get away, no matter where you go. ”

      in TPP.

      The US has FACTA, and the IRS double taxation on international employees, system.

      More than enough, if it wants you. Whit-out putting anything in TPP.

      Scaremonger over TPP is pathetic.

      • Petunia
        March 12, 2016 at 9:05 am

        The TPP was written to insure corporations have overpowering rights over their customers. That is where the power to pursue consumers over the entire globe resides. They are not going to say to American voters that TPP will allow all the signatories to pursue them anywhere the treaty can be enforced. But that is what the treaty will do. They will force you to pay your student loan in Asia and will force Asians to pay their Asian debts here. If you don’t see this, you have not been paying attention.

        • d
          March 12, 2016 at 11:10 am

          “The TPP was written to insure corporations have overpowering rights over their customers. That is where the power to pursue consumers over the entire globe resides. ”

          Where is your documentation to back these claims about TPP up

        • March 12, 2016 at 11:21 am

          Look, d, I deleted the rest of your comment. You can disagree, and you can be wrong on this site, that’s OK, but you cannot be this obnoxious to other commenters.

          And you’re wrong about part of what you said about the TPP. So you better read it. The White House posted a copy of it. It’s a bit long, thousands of pages, so it might take you a while to figure out what it says and whom it protects, and whose interests it propagates, and how it shifts power from national laws and court systems to multinational corporations. Really, check it out. It’s highly recommended.

        • d
          March 12, 2016 at 11:51 am

          Which part was I wrong on, the current version looks like a congressional budget, with a million pork barrel amendments.

          You need a dozen Lawyers now to make sense of it, which is probably why the US made it like that.

          Reminds me of the treaty of Waitangi. A disaster. As Waitangi, is actually a contract written by merchants, not a treaty written by Lawmakers..

          The FUD merchants are having a cherry-picking hay-fest with TPP.

          The facts still are.

          The US stole the agreement.

          The US Was not a target nation, in the original concept.

          Everybody, except the US would be better off, if the US didnt ratify it.

          The US should either ratify it, or tell everybody they arent going to.

          So everybody else can move, on instead of waiting on bended knee, for the US to decide. Whilst US FUD merchants, undermine it.

    • Ptb
      March 12, 2016 at 9:25 am

      I’ve heard that prison labor can be imposed on the inmates without compensation. Otherwise known as slavery

      • Petunia
        March 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm

        Someone I know applied for a job as a maintenance manager with one of the for profit prison companies in Florida. He turned down the job because he was told that his workers would be inmates. They are made to work in order to reduce the cost of maintaining the facility, and I guess increase the profitability.

    • Crazy Horse
      March 12, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Petunia, the answer is simple. Combine the no recourse student loan system with the for profit prison system. A true win-win solution.

      1- It would remove unemployable and potentially revolutionary youth from the general populace. Who knows what they might do in desperation when they realize that owing a no-recourse loan in a zero interest permanent deflation economy is a lifetime liability.

      2- It would facilitate the return of production for vital items like Apple i-phones to the shores of the Homeland. We would no longer have to rely on Foxcon slave labor in China if we simply put the criminal student loan defaulters to work in our own for profit prison system.

      Haliburton would be happy to build additional facilities to house the upcoming surge of inmates as long as the contracts were structured in the traditional cost-plus non-compete format.

  2. michael
    March 11, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    That is incredibly stupid. It suggests how bankrupt we really are as a country financially and morally

  3. Paper Mac
    March 11, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Has anyone worked out whether enrolment figures increased at a corresponding rate over this period and, if so, what unemployment would otherwise look like absent this expansion?

    • Petunia
      March 12, 2016 at 9:10 am

      I know for a fact that many people who are “retraining” are only doing it because the student loan money is supporting them. Otherwise they would be unemployed and homeless. These people are not considered in the unemployment numbers. Everybody now knows that higher education beyond a bachelors is basically worthless. But they need to stay alive to fight another day. BTW, the age range of these people is from very young to very old.

      • william
        March 12, 2016 at 12:03 pm

        Many job postings list ‘masters required’ and even ‘PhD preferred’. Unfortunately, many companies are staffed by hiring managers who feel they’ve paid their dues in higher ed and want new hires to have done the same.

  4. Kreditanstalt
    March 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    In this perverse world loans due years and years later can be considered assets – TODAY!

    When does an “asset” become a “liability”?

    Answer? It SHOULD all depend on the creditworthiness of the borrower.

    This will go a LONG way yet. I suspect that there is an implicit government guarantee lurking in the minds of the crazed lenders…

    Let’s disappoint them!

  5. r cohn
    March 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    An obvious question is what are the main drivers behind the huge increase in college costs in the last 20 years and what part did various governments play in these increased costs.

  6. Dan Romig
    March 11, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    My, the times they are a changing.

    Back in September of 1980 when I entered the University of Minnesota, I took out a small student loan at 9%, but that was well under the prime rate. Now, the US charges well over the prime rate to students. Great f@#$ing country, eh?

    I never took out another loan, and paid back the one I did take right after graduating. Back then, a full year’s tuition for in state residents at the U of MN was $1,150! I worked and paid my way through University, even though my folks could have written the checks for me.

    Those days will never return I’m afraid, but Bernie is promising they will if he’s elected. Good luck with that one Senator.

    • Lee
      March 11, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Yeah, I paid off my loan ASAP and even way back when in the ‘dark ages’ university/grad school was a costly event for me. Never got a cent of my education paid for by my parents.

      I now see that tuition at my grad school now costs “only” US$70,000 for the tuition portion of the degree…….

      MBA’s are a dime a dozen(and now IMO basically worthless) , but the cost of getting one has gone through the roof.

      • william
        March 12, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        With an MBA, I’ve been actively interviewing for 5+ years while working and while not. An MBA requirement in a job posting typically means an extra $20k/yr. When asked about salary requirements, I have two number depending on the educational requirements of the posting.

        This is just my observation. But websites like payscal, glassdoor, and some IT career websites do statistical analysis to support what I observe.

  7. polecat
    March 11, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Modern day indenture….what a joy.. just not for MILLIONS of serfs!!

  8. Chris
    March 11, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    The entire western world is mired in both public and private debt. These students will, as a group, never get jobs that match the debt they have incurred. Many folks that have mortgaged themselves to get a home back in the mid 2000’s will never see enough equity to sell and move on. Many consumers are so mired in debt that they cannot participate in our economy. All told, there is too much debt to ask the American consumer to spend us out of this recession and get the economy moving again (we are still in a recession dating back to 2008). I believe that we should be accountable for our own mistakes and this includes reckless accumulation of debt. However, that whole concept went out the window when the banks (among others) got a free pass for their reckless behavior. Wide scale debt forgiveness and a general reset of our economic system is the only hope now. Otherwise, expect conditions to deteriorate to the point where society begins to lose cohesion and civil unrest becomes the norm.

  9. rich
    March 11, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    So, how does Sallie Mae use that blood money it extracts from its student debt serfs?

    “It has been reported that Albert Lord, the former chief executive officer of the student loan giant Sallie Mae, is at the center of a federal corruption probe against Chaka Fattah, a longtime Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania.

    At issue is an illegal $1 million loan that Lord allegedly made to help Fattah’s failed 2007 bid to become the mayor of Philadelphia. The loan came at a time when Sallie Mae was scrambling to win over Democratic lawmakers to oppose efforts to cut or eliminate government subsidies to student loan providers before Congress successfully ended the bank-based program in 2010.

    Since August, two political consultants who worked on Fattah’s mayoral campaign have pled guilty to charges that they participated in a $1 million campaign laundering scheme on behalf of the Congressman.

    According to documents that the U.S. Department of Justice filed in November in the federal district court in Eastern Pennsylvania, Fattah approached Lord (identified in the documents as Person D) in April 2007, at a time when his campaign was struggling financially. The lawmaker had unsuccessfully challenged Philadelphia’s campaign contribution limits in the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

    Lord, who had already contributed $100,000 to an “exploratory committee” Fattah had set up in advance of his mayoral bid, agreed to make a $1 million personal loan to help the campaign, the court documents state. But because of the city’s contribution limits, Lord could not write out the check directly to the campaign. So instead, he made the loan to a consulting firm that was working with Fattah.

    Thomas Lindenfeld, the political consultant in charge of the firm, then steered the money to the campaign – using $600,000 of it to buy media ads and to provide “walking around money” to local party officials who were helping bring people to the polls. The rest of the money was returned to Lord.”


  10. Merlin
    March 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Inquiring minds really want to know how much of the student loan funds actually went to the college till as opposed to all other “costs” of college: dope, new car, spring break, clothes, cell phones, apartment rent, pizza, 1% demonstrations, ski trips, etc, etc… These loans were just damn wealth redistribution by Obama from the tax payers to potential democrat voters. And I would really like to know the demographics of the distribution of the “loan” takers and whether legal status to be in this country was verified. (yeah, right)

    • Jim
      March 11, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      This is not a serious comment, whatever your political leanings. Look at the outrageous increase in tuition cost over the past couple of decades, and you’ll see where the loan funds went.

      This country, like many other advanced industrialized nations, needs to fund education fully, from pre-school through grad school. Instead, the education sector is seen as ripe for the picking by salivating rent-seekers.

      • dan
        March 15, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        sir, you don’t really understand that tuition costs went sky high BECAUSE of government lending to students. your proposal of “fully funded education” form k through grad school will guarantee the debt (which is laughably considered “assets” on the feds balance sheet) will rise to unbelievable levels as long as we continue to protect the education monopoly that is higher education. by the way, the salivating rent seekers are both the education cartel and the government lenders. nice try though….

        • Jim
          March 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm

          The two developments are related: government cut back education funding, wages are stagnant. Yet higher education is held out as THE way forward for young people. But Look: We’ll Give You Loans to Pay For It!!! No different from auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards. Debt substitutes for wage growth. Until it doesn’t anymore…

          In earlier decades, higher education was made available at much lower cost to students and their families. Other countries maintain that policy to this day. The US could do it too. The country spends a trillion dollars a year on war. California now spends more on the prison system than on what was once the premier state higher ed system in the country. It’s a political choice. Do you support public education? If yes, then it’s a discussion regarding how far. Sixth grade? Eighth grade? University?

    • RickRod
      March 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

      My thoughts exactly. Student loans have become a form of stealth stimulus.

      • Jim
        March 11, 2016 at 7:04 pm

        Why do so many of you persist in attacking the victims?

        What’s been happening in the US is shrinking government support for education, particularly higher education. Combined with ballooning administration costs – mimicking life in the wonderfully financialized “private sector” – the result is skyrocketing tuition. Students are forced to take out loans to pay for degrees, without which they are unable to gain employment. Wages and salaries are stagnant or falling, while tuition, housing, health care costs go through the roof. Student loans cannot be discharged through bankruptcy, trapping more and more young adults in debt. You think student loans are a form a “stealth stimulus?” It’s really quite the opposite!

        Just for one example: the state of Washington now provides less than one third of the budget of the University of Washington. Tuition has been going up far above the rate of inflation, 150% over the last decade. My parents attended college with free tuition. My undergrad schooling cost about $1000/year in the ’70s. The current generation is getting royally screwed. It’s all part and parcel of the destruction of the “social wage.”

        • Lee
          March 12, 2016 at 12:18 am


          Sorry, but a university education is not a ‘right’.

          A university education is not something that everyone should have. In fact most of the people going to a university in the USA shouldn’t even be there: they are just too dumb.

          Here in Oz a government place at a university depends on the type of course you are taking. About A$7000 or so for the cheapest one.

          But why even bother? A trade will such as being an electrician, plumber, mechanic, bricklayer, carpenter or even an unskilled labor type job will pay more and you will probably always have a job. The types of jobs can never be outsourced to China.

          Unskilled labor in the construction industry in Victoria will earn around A$130,000 a year. Ah, the benefits of the union.

          Drive around and see the utes/trucks parked outside the million dollar houses and the Mercs/BMW’s outside.

        • Jim
          March 12, 2016 at 1:21 am

          This is in response to the comment by Lee, below, since the site won’t allow a direct response.

          Perhaps it is different in Australia, but in the US, many employers now expect/demand a college degree, even for jobs that do not necessarily require post-secondary studies. As such, young people priced out of college by family circumstance and ever-rising costs, are at a huge disadvantage going forward. In many ways, we are returning to the pre-WWII days, when a college education was a privilege reserved for the wealthy. Need I remind you that being born into luxury has absolutely nothing to do with having the brains or drive to attain a university education? Exhibit A: George W. Bush, who breezed into Yale with SAT scores 100 points lower than mine – and I would have been laughed out the door had I applied! I worked as a machinist for almost 40 years after a couple of years in graduate school. Many of my co-workers on the shop floor were a damn sight smarter than Dubya.

          I would expand the schooling that ought to be tuition free to trade and vocational schools along with university. Other countries do it, because they recognize that an educated and skilled population is valuable, and not just in strictly bean-counter terms. Once established, the “right” to public education extended through perhaps the eighth grade. Later it became high school, or grade 12. This has changed over time, as the economy developed and changed, and as labor and social movements pushed for greater rights and opportunities for more of the population. We’re now in a moment when the ruling wealthy are out to gut the gains of the last 100 years. That doesn’t mean we, as a society, “can’t afford” universal education through college, any more than we “can’t afford” universal medical coverage. You say “most of the people going to a university in the USA shouldn’t even be there: they are just too dumb.” I’m sure that very same attitude was expressed toward the children of coal miners, textile mill workers, etc, when they first gained entry to high school. The powers that be tell us incessantly that the future lies in education, as we move into a post-industrial world (in other words, after they offshore all the productive work!) If education is the key, then education needs to be available to all, as a right.

          Rights are socially determined, and result from people fighting to gain – and maintain – them. Nothing is fixed in stone.

        • Ptb
          March 12, 2016 at 10:02 am

          In California, the UC system had about 3 employees for every teacher back in the 1980s. Now it’s about 7 or 8. This huge expansion of operating expenses has also occurred as funding has been reduced over the years . The end result is tuition increases, or as they liked to call them ” reg fees”. When I attended in 1985 it was about $500/ year. Now it’s closer to $15000.

        • Lee
          March 13, 2016 at 7:40 am


          I’d really like to spend the rest of my ‘working life’ going back to school to get a Phd…………

          Maybe that should be my ‘right’. I’d really like you and the rest of society to pay for my education along with the cost of supporting me while I complete that degree.

          I’m really sorry that you couldn’t go to Yale and that you think that a SAT score is a measure of one’s intelligence and ability.

          Why is it that people always have to bring up George Bush and intelligence? I should point out that his grades were similar to John Kerry’s and that so called intellectual genius of the left, Al Gore.

          In addition as he was so dumb he was only able to complete pilot training therefore we’ll have to call into question the intelligence of all pilots as well………….

          (And by the way I don’t support many of the things he did as President including the war in Iraq.)

      • Negotiam Perambulans in Tenebris
        March 12, 2016 at 3:17 am

        A nation that ruins its youth has forfeited its future.

        Ye Thing that Walketh in Darkness

    • Petunia
      March 11, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      The state college my son attended in Florida built luxury campus housing costing as much as $1000 a month. The apts were shared by two students, each with their own bedroom, and each paying $1000. Totally unnecessary. These apts were built with bond issues which brought money to the college and were meant to impoverish students. A one bedroom apt in the local town was probably $500-$750.

    • Doug
      March 11, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      My boyfriend at the time was in his last year of law school when we went to Hawaii for his spring break. There was no hiding that this was paid for by his student loan for that year. He has since become a well paid lawyer and has probably paid back those loans. But yes at the time those loans were paying for a lifestyle to which he has since become accustomed (me not so much). I was happy to enjoy it at the time.

  11. memento mori
    March 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    While other countries provide free education to their youth, we load them up with debt.
    If we can have tariffs against dumping and other unfair trade practices, why cant we do the same for the students?
    Aren’t students in countries getting free educations unfairly subsidized by their government in a global economy?
    How is this different from giving subsidies to the solar or other industries?

    • Petunia
      March 11, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      The illegals all attend for free. They get in state tuition, state money, loans, and “scholarships” from money donated by local businesses. It is really disgusting.

      • Negotiam Perambulans in Tenebris
        March 12, 2016 at 3:31 am

        I live about 20 miles from the Mexican border and I taught math schools that were overwhelmingly Mexican and poor. The “illegal” students were very disciplined and hard working, determined to win a better life for themselves and their families than they could get in the slaughterhouse just on the other side of the border. The “citizens” were too often unmotivated, undisciplined and just plain lazy. Isn’t the attitude of the former class what made this country what it once was not too long ago?

        Yours truly,

        Ye Thing that Walketh in Darkness

        • Petunia
          March 12, 2016 at 1:27 pm

          As a Latina I know that some Latinos are indeed incredibly hard working and some are not. My comment was geared at our country supporting outsiders over its own citizens. A no no to me.

  12. John Doyle
    March 11, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    The government could easily pay out the loans. All the Fed has to do is keystroke numbers in reserve accounts at the fed and the loans will be paid off. So simple so stupidly not done already.

  13. Ralph
    March 11, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    With political candidates promising various plans to forgive student debt if that candidate gets elected, why not push off your student debt payments? The students who pay will be the students that get screwed! I’m surprised anyone pays now. Hey politicians: duhhhhhhh !

  14. Chicken
    March 11, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    We need to relax immigration laws another few notches, they tell us there aren’t enough people to fill the jobs boom!

  15. Keith
    March 11, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    This could prove interesting over the next few years. Aside from the fact that delinquencies are rising, there are also the forgiveness programs the govt offers. One for govt employees and employees of certain non-profits allows the entire debt to by forgiven after 120 payments (10 years) that went into effect during Bush’s years. We could start to see the effects of that, soon. The other is the Obama forgiveness program after 20 years. I wonder what a sudden collapse of these assets might spell for uncle same borrowing spree, because to be honest, we will not live within our means.

    Another issue, the moral hazard (and yes, I am guilty of this one). How many students seeking advanced degrees know they plan to work for govt and so just throw everything onto the loan, including expensive study abroad programs with the goal of shifting the burden onto the taxpayer? I know I am not the only one, especially as when I was in law school, law review articles specifically discussed these strategies.

    • Keith
      March 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Oh, and I forgot one thing. These programs create another incentive, to reduce taxable income. They typically review tax forms to determine how much you owe, including factors such as dependents and the cost of living for the area. This can push people to avoid taxable events and seek to increase wealth outside of the traditional tax structure, until they break free of the loan and then may seek to work harder and create/seek wealth.

  16. walter map
    March 11, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    The U.S. does not have an economy. It has a collection of rackets.

    There are very few economic activities which have not been turned into racketeering operations – government, military, medical care, retailing, investment services – you name it, there’s a con for it. Charities are notorious. Even babysitters have been known to collude on rates. Instead of a culture, the U.S. has marketing.

    European observers have been commenting on the venality of Amerikans since its founding. The rise of the Education-Industrial Complex was only a matter of time.

  17. d
    March 12, 2016 at 4:09 am

    There are two majorly scary things about US student loans that make them a big issue.

    1 The vast majority of them go to students engaged in study programs that will never provide a skill to the US Industrial or Technical, Economic base, Humanity’s, Etc.

    That have O bummer, no non white student can ever fail, pass rates.

    2 the vast majority of the loan goes on other than tuition and stationary. which promotes a milk the student as they can get the funding environment on many US campuses.

    So the degrees brought with the Loans, claimed as an asset, make no long term contribution to the future US Economy. This is not a wise state investment particularly. When you view the number who undertake state employment making minimum payments until they can claim the state employee loan amnesty’s.

    Creating an under 35, nonsense degree, no student loan, State work experienced, pool, seeking in the job markets.


    I know a fair Amount about what is in TPP, so

    Where is “The new international treaties, like TPP, are to insure you don’t get away, no matter where you go. ” in TPP.

    Facta And the ridiculous non Dom Employees, US double taxation tax system. Give the US that sort of power unless you forswear then move.

    Other nations do nasty things with student loans, tax debts, and fines, like protecting them from absolvement in bankruptcy’s.

  18. Ptb
    March 12, 2016 at 9:34 am

    The federal gov has altered the way it classifies the people who owe this money. As long as you’re paying 10% of your income every month towards the loan repayment, you’re considered “performing” on the loan. If you’re unemployed, and not paying anything, you’re not considered non-performing because 0% off 0 is 0.
    Also, if you have a gov job, you can have the debt “forgiven”.

    So, they’ve turned the repayment into a farce in order to persevere the youth of Americas ability to borrow in the future.

  19. william
    March 12, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I’m prepping my kids to get degrees in Europe where their mother is from. Nearly free education but only in non-English classes. Fortunately my kids are bi-lingual.

  20. Petunia
    March 12, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you for being a gentleman and trying to protect me from an obnoxious commentator, d. However, my interest is peaked as to what he actually said, and the New Yorker in me would have like the opportunity to punch him out.

    • March 12, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      I really don’t want this comment section to turn into a combat zone. Disagreements are great when expressed in a friendly manner, as you would among friends.

      If d wants to re-post his comment WITHOUT the personal attack parts, just stating his views and how they differ from yours, that would be great. And the two of you could debate (in a friendly manner) the differences. That would be fun to read, actually.

      • d
        March 13, 2016 at 4:41 am

        Baseless FUD is being hysterically created to suit anti TPP agendas.

        There was no personal attack, simply a negative response to baseless agenda-driven anti TPP FUD. Unlike this (and the New Yorker in me would have like the opportunity to punch him out.)

        I didnt keep a copy of the comment.

        You can edit what you claim as a personal attack and post it if you wish.

        There is much Hype, and deliberate Hysterica,l anti corporate, anti TPP FUD being promoted. Over the ability of Corporates to bring governments before a tribunal, of Corporate appointees. allegedly to overturn laws of sovereign states to protect corporate profits.

        There is the argument who the, are these Corporates, to demand the wright to overturn national laws and demand compensation from taxpayers over their future profits Etc Etc.

        Which carries considerable weight.

        When presented, unbalanced, in the Anti TPP, they will export our jobs to china, (when the US has just about finished doing that and china is not in TPP) hysterical environment.

        Why do Corporates need this power???

        The Philippines is Regularly branded as the most corrupt nation in South east Asia and one of the most corrupt in the world.

        How about it gets that branding, as it is the most transparent in the south china sea and indochina region, so people can actually see the majority of the corruption.

        IF you have done medium sized business in, Malaya, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, china, New Guinea, on the ground, you will know the Philippines is crystal clear and squeaky clean, compared to those Opaque places.

        You cant correctly rate corruption, when you cant see the data.


        How many times in recent history have Major corporations, gone into Developing and Commodity nation’s.

        Agreed projects, brought/leased land and made major investments, totaling hundreds billions of $. Based on an agreement that was profitable. Would return at least X on investment over Y period.

        Only to see a radical administration elected, normally leftist or Nationalist. That passed legislation that turned the project from profitable, to loss making, needing regular further investment to keep it alive, and preventing the entity, liquidating and leaving, at anything, but a huge loss

        Your girlfriend in Argentina did a lot of that.

        Hence the tribunal which stops states changing the rules, after they have Analysed how to extract an unfair share from the previous agreement. Made by the previous government, they opposed.

        Globalization has been abused by china and its American Globalist vampire Corporate allies, to leverage themselves to the top. At the expense of workers everywhere, particularly in Developed nations.

        It was not supposed to work like that. It is in fact a Huge failure as the rules of the WTO are not obeyed and every state has self interest rules, with holes in them, china and its vampire allies abuse terribly.

        Globalisation can only work as intended, if there is only 1 Global set of rules.

        TPP gives no NEW huge powers to corporates to persue debt. it simpoly streamlines the existing powers.

        TPP is a bunch of accesses and trade rules, for a group of nations.

        A level (ISH) playing field.

        An attempt to wright many of the wrongs in Globalisation.

        The error of it, was allowing the US to turn it into something so complex, it will need regular amendments for sometime to come, and an army of lawyers to correctly interpret. It is no longer a treaty, it is in fact a binding contract, between nations, Waitangi X 100.

        As I said before, everybody in TPP except the US, will be much better off, if the US congress does, not ratify it.


    • raoul
      March 14, 2016 at 7:34 pm


      It’s ‘piqued’ not ‘peaked’, but I understand what you meant.

      I enjoy reading your apparently informed and well written comments.

      Carry on.

  21. Oleaginous Outrager
    March 12, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I don’t wish to be reductionist, but in this case, correlation and causation are coterminous: that line first makes a jump in 2006. DO you know what happened in 2005 to make that happen? I know that’s centuries ago in internet time, but this is an easy one. (It also points out the incredibly simple solution which doesn’t require another prime-for-pluckin’ cash cow government program to solve).

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