So, a question

Disputes will be settled in a court of arbitration, where major corporations maintain the right to sue governments that make unilateral changes to the law that affect their profits. This is a mechanism tobacco companies have used to extract compensation for laws restricting or banning smoking.

There have definitely been ISDS cases brought by tobacco companies over restrictions. Think Philip Morris sued Australia over advertising bans, or plan packets, something like that?

They also lost, big time. Which becomes the question. Suits have definitely been filed. But have the ‘baccy companies won any of them?

42 thoughts on “So, a question”

  1. Dunno Tim, but the article is pretty LOL.

    Remember when the Remainers were saying nobody would trade with Brexit Britain, we’d be shut out in the cold, subsisting on pencil shavings and woodlice, etc.?

    Now that’s it’s a matter of public record that the world’s largest and most dynamic economy and our largest single trading partner wants a free trade deal, the story is that Americans eat poisonous food (do the millions of Brits who holiday in Florida and NYC know?) and want to force schoolchildren to smoke Marlboro Reds, or something.

    Johnson’s chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, knows that his efforts to eliminate the Northern Irish backstop depend on a continued alignment with the EU on trade to get around the problem of goods being checked at the border.

    Honestly, I was previously chillaxed about some sort of compromise over Ireland, etc. But after the shenanigans of their Teaset and the humiliation the EU had planned for us I hope Brexit is as difficult and damaging as possible for the potatoes.

    Fuck them and their shitty little politically correct fake country. Fuck their ostentatious lachrymosity over stuff the evil Brits did to them hundreds of years ago. Most of all, fuck Bob Geldof (not literally, he’s a manky bastard).

    The US president also wants to extract concessions on the implementation of privacy rules and data flows. The US has a more liberal approach to personal data than Britain, which operates under the EU’s more stringent GDPR standard.

    GDPR has been a hugely expensive nightmare with no tangible benefits to anyone except GDPR consultants. The real problem facing t’internet is censorship and the monopolisation that makes censorship possible, which the EU is in favour of.

    but Washington has long objected to the way the NHS negotiates the price of medicines, and this system, which keeps down the cost of drugs in the UK, could be the subject of a disputes claim.

    Could be, in the same sense that we could all be clawed and eaten by pussies in a Cat Uprising. Canada and Mexico have much cheaper drugs than the US and they’ve had a FTA with the Yanqui devils for decades, so I don’t think I’ll worry about Princess Fluffybottom starting the Furred Reich just yet.

    Trump has insisted that all countries seeking a trade deal agree to outlaw boycotts of Israeli goods

    Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the anti-semites!?!

  2. Do minor corporations get to sue the government for the regulatory creep that disproportionately affects their business?

    Do corporations that don’t exist because of the ever rising regulatory hurdles to entry get to sue?

    Do taxpayers get to sue the government because of legal changes to the tax rates that reduce their “profitability”?

    Thought not.

    And cheerleading this kind of special treatment for megacorps is supposed to be (classical) liberalism now?

  3. GDPR has been a hugely expensive nightmare with no tangible benefits to anyone except GDPR consultants. The real problem facing t’internet is censorship and the monopolisation that makes censorship possible, which the EU is in favour of.

    In my view, Brexit would be entirely justified if the only benefit were to save me having to click “FFS I accept cookies” on every single web site I visit.

  4. @BiG
    “Excessive and unnecessary government legislation is economically counter-productive, but only megacorps have the muscle to challenge it in court. So we should prevent them from doing so.” Have I understood your position correctly?

  5. Why shouldn’t you be able to sue a government for breach of contract or the law? For that is what ISDS is.

    Actually, we all think you should be able to do this. That’s what the ECJ does. Allows us to sue the government for breach of the law in a court not controlled by the government.

  6. BiG – Costa v ENEL, no? (brought about because an Italian bloke objected to legislative changes that prejudiced his financial interests)

    See also: judicial review.

    And cheerleading this kind of special treatment for megacorps is supposed to be (classical) liberalism now?

    This is a pretty good description of how the EU works in practice. No wonder the CBI is so keen on it.

    We don’t yet know what a UK-USA FTA will look like in detail, but it’s unlikely the Yanks will insist on the sort of deliberately intrusive and one-sided measures Monsieur Barnier has offered us.

  7. No ‘free’ trade agreement with the US is going to allow drug companies to sell at rest-of-the-world prices into the US market. and make no mistake it is the population of the US which is getting screwed here, they pay literally hundreds of times more for some drugs, and they will vociferously defend their right to do so lest ‘socialised medicine’ comes to the USA.

    As I may have mentioned before, when I lived in the US it was worth paying to fly to the UK to get three months worth of insulin rather than pay local prices.

  8. “Why shouldn’t you be able to sue a government for breach of contract or the law? For that is what ISDS is.

    Actually, we all think you should be able to do this. That’s what the ECJ does. Allows us to sue the government for breach of the law in a court not controlled by the government.”

    No the corporations would be allowed to sue for changes in law that affect them financially, which ordinary peons can’t do. I can’t sue the government for changing the law so my business is outlawed, or fundamentally reduced in profitability, so why so Global MegaCorp be able to?

    As an example I’m thinking of the recent law that came (or is being introduced soon) in banning the sale of knives over the internet, or over the phone, ie a knife can only be sold in person , face to face. A friend of mine makes high end bespoke bushknives, the sort of thing Ray Mears would use. Entirely handmade, £250 each, so not what Stabby McChav is going to be buying. His business has been built up on internet sales via Youtube videos of his bushcraft skills etc, this new law will significantly affect his business, as he will no longer be able to post out knives people have ordered from him remotely. Who can he sue?

  9. Incidentally its one of the reasons that there is so much antipathy towards ‘capitalism’ these days, and interest in socialism – its not that people want to be controlled, or don’t value freedom, they do. They just see that the way society has allowed BIg Business to run riot in ways that people are not allowed to do, and they are wondering if there’s a different way.

    Which of course there is, to break up large corporations in the way we did 100 years ago with Standard Oil etc, and introduce real competition to Big Business. And so called free market economic types like our host are doing free market capitalism no favours by constantly siding with Mega Corps over everyone else, in a misplaced sense of economic liberalism. Allowing Google et al to do exactly what they want is not liberalism, or capitalism. Its a version of fascism, and unholy alliance of Big State and Big Business, just without the snappy uniforms and barbed wire camps (yet).

  10. The free market does not require or permit collusion between corporate interests and legislators or the judiciary. While we should not object to any body corporate suing to right wrongs, they should have no way to change law outside the democratic process. No, don’t laugh.

  11. I still don’t understand why we need furriniers’ permission to not punish ourselves for buying stuff from furriners.

  12. So the EU entails handing over sovereignty to Johnny Foreigner to enforce their rules against us in their courts, but ISDS does not.

    Got that.

    r, US pricing of insulin is a classic example of regulatory unintended consequences. It’s regarded as a drug in the US, but because of the nature of the product it is impossible to produce a “generic” insulin. In Europe it is regulated as a biological product (which it is), opening the way to demonstrate that “generics” (biosimilars, technically) are as good as without demonstrating they are identical at the molecular level. In the US that route is not open to “generic” competitors to the 3 big insulin manufacturers.

    The FDA will catch up with the rest of the world next year and you will see sensible insulin prices in the US from around 2021/2022 onwards.

  13. Chris,

    Megacorps tend to like regulatory intereference as they can easily meet the costs that raise barriers to entry by new competitors. Just the right amount, of course, compliance costs of a few percent of turnover for them representing many years’ income for a small upstart startup. If you then give them the option to essentially get a refund on any additional compliance costs, you will see one side of their mouth lobbying for more and more regulation and the right side instructing lawyers to hit the government for a big refund. It’s actually recipe to completely tie up the entire economy in red tape, something that the US already excels at, at least as much as the EU.

  14. “So the EU entails handing over sovereignty to Johnny Foreigner to enforce their rules against us in their courts, but ISDS does not.”

    There is a loss of sovereignty in both, but there is a big difference between Johnny Foreigner being able to tell you to change your laws to what he wants (being in the EU) and Johnny Foreigner being able to sue you if you change your laws away from the how they are now (being under ISDS).

    Its the difference between the council being able to force you to paint your house purple and brick up all the windows at your own expense, and being issued with a planning enforcement notice if you did that yourself without the council’s permission.

  15. but there is a big difference between Johnny Foreigner being able to tell you to change your laws to what he wants (being in the EU) and Johnny Foreigner being able to sue you if you change your laws away from the how they are now (being under ISDS).

    I’m no tradespert, but I’m also pretty sure the International Sheep Dog Society isn’t predicated on an unworkable utopian idea of dissolving its constituent members into “ever-closer Union”.

    If the EU had been envisaged as a free trade area rather than the second coming of the Tower of Babel, it would be the greatest success since the invention of the blowjob and only loonies and cranks would oppose it.

  16. BiG – It’s actually recipe to completely tie up the entire economy in red tape, something that the US already excels at, at least as much as the EU.

    I reckon this is a yuge, bigly problem that President Trump has been manfully grappling with, with some apparent success -but he’s only one man even if he is the President. The direction of travel remains trending towards HyperGloboMega crapitalism dominated by a small number of increasingly obnoxious corporate behemoths and their rent-boy politicians. If we don’t like Disney-Marvel-Fox dictating transgender bathroom policies, or PayPal, Google and Facebook blacklisting people from participating in the online economy because of wrongthink, we’re going to have to figure out how to put them back in their box.

    With David Koch popping his clogs the other day, it’s time to speak ill of the dead. Koch, and the Koch-suckers on the so-called libertarian Right in the United States, exemplified pretty much everything Ayn Rand (peace be upon her) warned us about in politically-connected businessmen.

    A self-styled champion of “liberty”, Koch spent his life actively trying to turn the USA into Mexico Norte so as to avoid paying those pesky employees a decent salary. This, of course, means it’s increasingly difficult for small-government, free-market Republicans to win elections, because the migrant hordes vote socialist at a rate of something like 9:1, which is why Mexico is a shithole in the first place. AOC of crazy-eyes fame is the sort of person who will come to dominate the post-American political landscape.

    But Koch didn’t give a damn about little things like his country having a future, so long as he got his cheap labour subsidised by everyone else. His money was a major reason why – even when it won elections – the American Right found itself strangely unable to do anything its voters wanted but eminently capable of doing what billionaire donors demanded.

    He won’t need a coat where he’s going.

  17. A question for the tradesperts.

    When it comes to comparable product standards etc, which are important non-tariff barriers, why is it that countries have tended to accept these being set within trade blocs rather than international agreement, probably mediated through the relevant technical organisation of the UN? For example Protected Designation of Origin for food products via some committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization. Not a system everybody would necessarily sign up to, though food exporters at least might be keen to, but at least a single global system rather than yet another cause of technical hold-ups when trade blocs negotiate their deals.

    I know that the approach has been tried in some areas, e.g. the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, but not sure which areas it’s really taken off or proven successful in, or why it’s failed where it’s failed.

  18. “But have the ‘baccy companies won any of them? ”

    The American tobacco companies that existed during our big ‘fight’ against them managed to get a significant bit of protection incorporated in exchange for the concessions they were forced to make. Of course, that wasn’t suing to change the law but a legal fight between the companies and the states with a compromise agreement. Its not ‘law’ but a ‘contract’ between the agreeing companies and the participating states.

    And it pisses the tobacco companies *and* the states off to no end when they found out that the Master Agreement only applies to companies who signed it..

    “Concessions on food standards, data protection, taxes on tech giants … EU membership was never like this”

    What the hell is that author smoking – I want to ensure I avoid it since its obviously destroying their brain. That is, literally, all EU membership is.

  19. “Bloke in Germany
    August 25, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Do minor corporations get to sue the government for the regulatory creep that disproportionately affects their business?”

    Well, yes. Yes they do. At least in America they do. Quite often.

  20. “r
    August 25, 2019 at 11:18 am

    . . . and they will vociferously defend their right to do so lest ‘socialised medicine’ comes to the USA. ”

    How many new drugs are Canadian and European pharma companies creating?

  21. “r

    As I may have mentioned before, when I lived in the US it was worth paying to fly to the UK to get three months worth of insulin rather than pay local prices.”

    Uhm, what?

    Insulin is going for around 25 cents per unit. That’s like $10-12/day. Not cheap – but you’re not flying across the Atlantic – and back – for less than a thousand dollars. Oh, and requiring a month’s lead time to get the 1k ticket price.

    Oh, and because you’ve already paid an unseen cost for that insulin you picked up – it wasn’t free, you already paid for it. So you need to factor that into your total also.

  22. @Steve August 25, 2019 at 10:33 am

    +1 especially on RoI – let them whine and if they’ve any sense leave EU

    I’m sick of the constant C4 News about how No Deal “will” destroy RoI farming; ffs not our problem

    Last week a new one: No Deal “will” destroy French farming; again FO, not our problem.

    .
    @MBE

    Because some consumers don’t care about standards as long as the product does what they want and some Gov’ts agree with this freedom

  23. “How many new drugs are Canadian and European pharma companies creating?”

    Looking at the year to date, the scorecard according to the FDA is:

    Europe 15
    USA 9

    So, I guess, file under questions we can answer.

  24. Bloke in North Dorset

    Jim,

    I have a lot of sympathy for your friend because he’s collateral damage in the political fallacy of something must be done and this is something world in which we live. Furthermore, that’s a consequence of protecting the human rights of thugs and limiting stop and search.

    But AIUI, If he’d had a contract to supply, say, the SAS with his product and the contact stipulated ordering over the internet and delivering by post, he’d be within his rights to sue the government if they refused to compensate him. But only for that contract.

  25. “But AIUI, If he’d had a contract to supply, say, the SAS with his product and the contact stipulated ordering over the internet and delivering by post, he’d be within his rights to sue the government if they refused to compensate him. But only for that contract.”

    But thats not what is being suggested under these ISDS rules. Corporations could sue for loss of business purely on changes in the law, rather than only if they have an existing contract with the State. As pointed out, tobacco companies have sued for loss of business without any outstanding State contracts.

    And anyway, why just contracts with the State? If someone has any outstanding contract with a private party, and the government change the law in a way that makes the contract undeliverable, or uneconomic, why shouldn’t they get compensation too?

    Corporations being given special rights, or the ability to get their own way via the law in ways that ordinary people do not have is what is giving capitalism a bad name.

  26. Bloke in North Dorset

    Jim,

    But as Tim pointed out, they lost.

    Other than that, I agree with you, just pointing out what I understand as the position being argued.

    CBI delenda est.

  27. “But as Tim pointed out, they lost.”

    This time. But they can keep hammering away at things via the courts. They’re got unlimited time and lawyers, they’ll get their way eventually.

    The point is they shouldn’t have any opportunity to even go to law. If the government changes the law, then it should apply to everyone equally whether they are a corner shop or Walmart. Or everyone should be able to sue the government for losses arising from their changes in the law. But not some special system of recourse that only the mega wealthy and well connected can use.

  28. So:

    Zambia – maybe Zaire – signed a number of mining contracts. Come reopen the mines, here’s the royalty rates, you sign up you agree to spend $x on getting them running again.

    Mines are invested in, reopened. Govt gets royalties and taxes and then thinks, hey, we should be getting more. Royalty rates up by factor of 4.

    Should mining company be able to sue? In a court not controlled by the local government?

    Or Acacia Mining in Tanzania, gold mining. Tanzania makes actually physically impossible claim about amount of gold in the ore being sent off for processing. Demands billions in back taxes, clearly nonsense. Which court should hear the case?

    Alex Cobham, now of Tax Justice but then of CGD, makes claim about Zambian copper export prices against Glencore. Maya Forstater (with a little assist from me) shows the claim is complete bunkum. But we can at least imagine the Zambian government picking it up and trying to use it. Who should judge such a case? Which court, where?

    So, can we agree that at times companies need to be able to sue government in a neutral jurisdiction?

    One more thing. All trade treaties are reciprocal. We can’t, and don’t, say that your courts aren’t good enough but ours are. If they’ve got to allow neutral then so must we.

    So, investment treaties have ISDS. Good idea too.

    What’s your objection to this?

  29. Tim, if the royalties are a contract then sure. If they are the law, then your argument should apply equally to personal income tax rates. People should be able to sue for the reduced income due to the higher tax rate.

    And neutral is where you do business. If I have a tax dispute it is heard in the German tax courts. I don’t have recourse to a “neutral” extrajudicial procedure and neither do any of the small businesses I have ever worked for. If a place isn’t uncorrupt enough to do business then don’t do business. They will learn as investment dries up.

  30. “If I have a tax dispute it is heard in the German tax courts. I don’t have recourse to a “neutral” extrajudicial procedure and neither do any of the small businesses I have ever worked for.”

    Yes you do. If Germany decided to impose an extra tax upon those with dual nationality then you would have the ECJ – and neutral extrajudicial procedure – to go complain to. Because such an extra tax is a violation of the free movement of people, something the German govt has signed up to in a treaty.

    Note that ISDS rights stem from treaties being signed of course.

    This isn’t purely theoretical either. Some years back Ritchie started arguing that the UK should tax on the passport basis like the US. I pointed out that the EU wouldn’t allow this – free movement of people and equal treatment thereof – among Europeans. So his proposal changed to being only outside Europe.

    The EU is treaty based, it establishes a court for breaches of the treaty, a court by definition free of the influences of the national government being accused of the breach.

    And?

  31. If Germany decides to raise a new tax on its residents (irrespective of nationality, single nationality, dual, multiple stateless or otherwise) there is nothing any taxpayer can do about that.

    If Germany decides to raise taxes on cigarettes, or ban asbestos, or implement carbon trading schemes, or reduce the limits on how much pollution chimneys can pump into the atmosphere (all things it has done), global megacorps can, under this kind of deal, sue. But local mom and pop cannot sue.

    You create a situation in which there is one law for the locals and one for the globals, or at the very least, the appearance of such. The principle of equality under the law is destroyed, and as I mentioned earlier you create an environment in which MegaCo can lobby for increased regulation, shut down their own operations (as well as those of local competitors), and then sue for the lost profits in perpetuity. I agree with Jim that this will end up in a system that is (economically speaking) closer to fascism than liberal free market capitalism.

    And I also agree this support of the biggest robber barons gives capitalism a bad name. One rule for them, another for you, applies to other things too, like taxes. People may or may not understand the deadweight cost of taxes on business, but don’t understand why it’s fine to take up to 50% of wages off workers in taxes, then another 20% when they go buy anything. One rule for “worked for” money and another for “not worked for” money. To then see those taxes spent to “compensate” MegaCorp for lost profits because MegaCorp is no longer allowed to kill as many people in search of those profits leaves a very bad taste in many peoples’ mouths.

    And you wonder why people think the system is stacked against the little guy, and increasingly so?

  32. “Yes you do. If Germany decided to impose an extra tax upon those with dual nationality then you would have the ECJ – and neutral extrajudicial procedure – to go complain to. Because such an extra tax is a violation of the free movement of people, something the German govt has signed up to in a treaty.”

    The problem with all this is the barrier to claim is very high. It costs the same to send a disagreement to the ECJ whether its a dispute over hundreds of millions of tax, or whether its Hans the dual nationality plumber who thinks he’s been illegally charged an extra €1000. Hence the system is not available equally. Its available to Google et al, because they have the money (and time) to pursue cases, Joe Public doesn’t have either, so can’t. So in practice these extra-national justice systems are only available to the global mega corps to avoid the predations of the State, while the masses are fleeced as usual.

    Hence why supporting these systems is only supporting the mega corps and not the public. Either the mega-corps should have to suffer the capricious nature of the State like everyone else, or the public should also have some relatively easily available method to hold the State to account (in a ‘Claim your PPI insurance compensation’ way). Not a system thats nominally equal, but utter biased in practice.

  33. And thinking about it, supporting these extra-national judicial systems that are effectively only available to the global corporations and extremely wealthy individuals is in fact enabling the State to predate on everyone else.

    Because Google et al can avoid the taxes and imposts the State puts on its captive public, things never come to a head that might result in changes. The status quo is maintained. If Facebook say were to be taxed/regulated heavily in the UK, and being unable to legally get those taxes and regulations lifted decided to leave the UK, then this would precipitate a crisis. People would want to know why they couldn’t use their accounts any more, they would have first hand experience of what high taxes and regulations do – destroy economic activity. This would result in voter pressure towards lower taxes, lower regulation and smaller government. But allowing Facebook the legal means to avoid State predation means everything stays the same – the people have their free Facebook, and the State has the ability to fleece the public. Its the unholy alliance of Big State and Big Business vs the People.

    Preventing the State from over taxing and destroying the global corporations allows them to continue doing this to everyone else.

  34. Agammamon, I was not able to find insulin at 25c a unit, unit price was about three times that. Three months supply for me being therefore around $2000. I admit I didn’t shop around beyond that. This was in 2015. The airfare Dallas/Heathrow return was IIRC $700 or so. If you are saying I could have found my insulin cheaper, you may be right (Humalog 25 from Eli Lilly). At UK retail ,which nobody pays, it was about £90. And of course I paid for it through the NHS anyway, being still under UK taxation at that time

    (All numbers from memory..)

  35. Well, no:

    “And thinking about it, supporting these extra-national judicial systems that are effectively only available to the global corporations and extremely wealthy individuals is in fact enabling the State to predate on everyone else.”

    The actual numbers:

    In the OECD survey, it is shown that:
     48 % of the cases were brought by medium and large enterprises, varying in
    size from several hundred employees to tens of thousands of employees.
    o only 8% of these were extremely large Multinationals – i.e. those
    appearing in UNCTAD’s list of top 100 multinational enterprises;
     22% of the claimants in the sample were either individuals or very small
    corporations with limited foreign operations (one or two foreign projects);
     In 30 % of the cases, there was little or no public information on the type of
    claimant.

    And to BiG, about Germany. The list of ISDS cases:

    https://investmentpolicy.unctad.org/investment-dispute-settlement/country/78/germany/respondent

    Vattenfall seems to be the only one outstanding. And when the government nicks your nuclear power plants that seems fair enough.

    Another listing seems to give about the same result:

    http://www.german-investment-treaty-disputes.de/

  36. Well, let’s look at the whole list.

    And number 1, exhibit A, a claim against the government of Libya for not protecting a Turkish-owned construction site during the civil war there.

    How many civilians who lost their homes in the civil war have been compensated by the government of Libya (to the extent it has one?)

    Exhibit 8: damages of 39 million dollars awarded against Spain for reducing subsidies for renewable power generation. A perfect example of my contention that big companies will want this to happen as it narrows the field to competitors but they can socialise the loss of expected profits (i.e. socialise the risk of investment) on the basis they are incumbents. What, precisely, does this have to do with free market capitalism, red in tooth and claw? Why should investors not have to price in “legislative risk”?

    Exhibit 16: 9 million dollars awarded against Poland for a phased ban (over 6 years!) on slot machines outside of casinos. Illustrating the chilling effect this process has on new laws, and the differential treatment of external versus domestic investors.

    Exhibit 21: Award against Serbia for expecting an abbatoir to obey pollution laws. On the grounds that “waa waa waa is not fair you don’t make others do”. This must be the only court from which “waa waa waa is not fair” does not get laughed out.

    Fun fact: not one of the 16 cases brought against the USA were found in favour of the investor (including where state governments newly banned stuff, reneged on contracts etc).

  37. “In the OECD survey, it is shown that:
     48 % of the cases were brought by medium and large enterprises, varying in
    size from several hundred employees to tens of thousands of employees.
    o only 8% of these were extremely large Multinationals – i.e. those
    appearing in UNCTAD’s list of top 100 multinational enterprises;
     22% of the claimants in the sample were either individuals or very small
    corporations with limited foreign operations (one or two foreign projects);
     In 30 % of the cases, there was little or no public information on the type of
    claimant.”

    And as far as I can see all of them are not the nationals of the country being sued. Its all for the benefit of foreigners, who get more rights in my country than I do. As far as I can see the ISDS system means that if (for example) the UK government offers subsidies for wind farms and I invest my money as a UK citizen into one, and a US citizen does exactly the same, and then the UK government changes the rules such that wind farms get less or no subsidy, the US citizen can sue for damages, and I can’t.

    How exactly is that fair?

  38. the purpose of these laws is not to ensure fairness it is to increase the amount of foreign investment in an economy

    3rd world country is going to struggle to get the huge upfront investment in say mining without agreeing to indep arbitration. they need the foreign money as local savings are de minimis or shifted offshore as they are safe there

    there is a reasonable q on what point there is to intl arbitration provisions when a country is performing qe and has funds desperate for a home. it is worth noting that an awful lot of bits (bilateral investment treaties) have been allowed to lapse or terminated as the countries grew up.

    fairness is so personal it has little use in most discussions. the reasonable discussion is how do you balance
    – you get more money (and most money comes with tech attached)
    – vs the scope for poor quality litigation

    different rules for jonny foreignor vs local. suck it down. you have a home investment bias (and prob biased tax treatment) so the framework needed to get your investment dollar is different (see non dom tax rules benefit the uk )

    i have litigated within eu crazy govt expropriations and it is a very strange space to work in. frankly greece defaulted on 200bn in a crazy way and within a few years was issuing at sub 5pct, now trades way tighter. govt officials caution seems to protect investors more than their own prudence or careful choice of jurisdiction

  39. “the purpose of these laws is not to ensure fairness it is to increase the amount of foreign investment in an economy”

    Which is precisely whats wrong with them.

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