Investors have lost faith in Brazil, and rightfully so. The currency has lost 36% of its value against the U.S. dollar this year, plunging nearly 7% in the last week alone. Yields on its bond issues are spiking, as investors demand higher and higher rates to loan Brazil or Brazilian companies money.
Despite all the meetings, promises, and apocalyptic threats, global carbon emissions have risen from the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 until today -- from around 6.5 billion metric tons per year to nearly 10 billion. If both China and the U.S. had tackled this issue back in 2001, perhaps we wouldn't currently be in this pickle. Chalk that up as another opportunity cost (which might just cost us the planet). Instead of haggling over currency, hacking, and sea-lanes, the two superpowers should be thinking big. Between them, the U.S. and China account for nearly one-third of the global economy, nearly one-quarter of the world's population, and more than two-fifths of the world's carbon emissions. What these two countries do by definition has an enormous global impact.
We don't yet know what is in the TPP, because it is still secret and will remain so until shortly before the fast-track process requires Congress to vote. The president says to trust him, telling us that it will be great and "progressive" and create lots of jobs and expand the economy. Great. But the history on our trade deals -- especially those passed using fast track -- has been very bad. NAFTA was sold as creating a lot of jobs and growing the economy, but NAFTA destroyed jobs and expanded the trade deficit. China's entry into the World Trade Organization was sold as creating a lot of jobs and growing the economy, but it turned out to be absolutely devastating for America's working people, middle class and entire manufacturing ecosystem, and the trade deficit with China is now enormous. As a result of these agreements, entire regions of the country look like wastelands. Seriously, go look at Detroit.