We’re exercising our freedom and taking off the 3rd to celebrate the 4th. See you Monday!Hide

Corporate Sovereignty Tribunal Makes $50 Billion Award Against Russia

from the arbitrary-arbitrals dept

Techdirt has been writing about the dangers faced by nations that sign up to treaties containing corporate sovereignty clauses for some time now. These chapters are typically included in so-called trade agreements like TAFTA/TTIP and TPP -- although they actually go far beyond regulating trade -- but are also found elsewhere. For example the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) includes one, as Germany found to its cost when the Swedish company Vattenfall used the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism to claim €3.7 billion after the Germany state decided to phase out nuclear power stations -- thus reducing Vattenfall's future profits. Now the ECT's corporate sovereignty chapter has struck again on an even more staggering scale:
In an historic arbitral award rendered on July 18, 2014, an Arbitral Tribunal sitting in The Hague under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) held unanimously that the Russian Federation breached its international obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) by destroying Yukos Oil Company and appropriating its assets. The Tribunal ordered the Russian Federation to pay damages in excess of USD 50 billion to our clients who were the majority shareholders of Yukos Oil Company.
That comes from a press release issued by the lawyers acting for the Yukos shareholders, who are also doing quite nicely:
The Tribunal also ordered the Russian Federation to reimburse to our clients USD 60 million in legal fees, which represents 75% of the fees incurred in these proceedings, and EUR 4.2 million in arbitration costs.
Even for an oil- and gas-rich country like Russia, this is obviously a massive amount of money. A detailed and insightful post by Kavaljit Singh puts it in context:
In relative terms, the compensation award is equivalent to around 11 per cent of Russia's foreign exchange reserves, 10 per cent of annual national budget and 2.5 per cent of country’s GDP. Given the magnitude of compensation, the Award could be more damaging to the Russian economy than all the economic sanctions imposed by the West against Russia for its actions in Ukraine.
He goes on to point out one of the most worrying aspects of these awards by tribunals:
What is most astonishing is that the arbitral tribunal has not provided any standard or credible rationale behind awarding $50 bn in compensation to claimants. The calculations of total damages put forward by claimants are based on assumptions and hard evidence is lacking. The tribunal found that the claimants contributed to 25 per cent "to the pejudice they suffered at the hands of the Russian Federation." Hence, the amount of damages to be paid by Russia is reduced by 25 per cent to $50 bn from $67 bn. In its lengthy 615-page verdict, no explanation has been given by the tribunal on how did it arrive at 25 per cent of claimants' contributory fault? Why not 30 or 40 or 50 per cent?
The arbitrary nature of these awards, and the fact there seems to be literally no limit to the amount that might be awarded, are just some of the many problems afflicting investor-state dispute settlements. Singh notes another disturbing aspect of the current verdict:
It needs to be emphasized here that Russia only accepted the provisional application of the ECT (pending ratification) in 1994 meaning that the country will only apply the Treaty "to the extent that such provisional application is not inconsistent with its constitution, law or regulations." Same was the approach adopted by Belarus, Iceland, Norway and Australia.

Russia never ratified the ECT and announced its decision to not become a Contracting Party to it on August 20, 2009. As per the procedures laid down in the Treaty, Russia officially withdrew from the ECT with effect from October 19, 2009.

Nevertheless, Russia is bound by its commitments under the ECT till October 19, 2029 because of Article 45 (3) (b) states that "In the event that a signatory terminates provisional application…any Investments made in its Area during such provisional application by Investors of other signatories shall nevertheless remain in effect with respect to those Investments for twenty years following the effective date of termination."
That is, although Russia signed the treaty, it never ratified it. And yet under its terms, it can still be sued, as here -- another good reason never to sign up to these kind of agreements. Whether it will pay up is quite a different matter, of course. As Singh points out:
Shareholders will soon find it extremely difficult to enforce the Award as Russia has already decided to challenge it. The shareholders could seek to seize commercial assets of Russia (owned by country's state-owned corporations and sovereign wealth funds) in 149 countries which are signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Award (popularly known the New York Convention).

In any case, it is going to be a time-consuming and uphill process to enforce the tribunal Award in 149 contracting parties of New York Convention.
As he writes, the enormous award against the Russian government should stand as the starkest warning yet about the dangers of entering into these kinds of agreements:
Even though this Award is related to ECT, it provides important policy lessons to other countries which have already signed or currently negotiating bilateral investment treaties (that allow investor-to-state arbitration -- ISA) without any consideration of consequences and potential costs.
Here's why:
The existing investment protection agreements have failed to address the balance of rights and responsibilities of foreign investors as it offers numerous legal rights for investors without requiring corresponding responsibilities for them.
That's a hugely important point that all those countries taking part in the negotiations for TAFTA/TTIP, TPP and CETA would do well to consider carefully -- or they may find themselves on the wrong end of $50 billion award, as Russia now does.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Beech, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 1:12am

    With all the news of these tribunals awarding fines against sovereign countries, are any of those countries actually paying? Or is it a bunch of stonewalls, appeals, and downright "fuck that"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    David, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 1:19am

    Re:

    Given that Russia did not even ratify the treaty, I'd be surprised if anything but "f... that" came of it: any consequential sanctions are not likely to add up to the "fine".

    I am surprised that they get hit for a treaty they have not even ratified.

    That would seem to imply that if the European Commission (which is not democratically controlled and basically a bunch of lobbyists) goes on a treaty rampage without the parliament actually ratifying any of that, the bills for that will still end up at the tax payers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 2:52am

    50 billion... yeah, first of all, as noted in the article, good luck collecting that, and forcing the issue if Russia refuses to pay out.

    Second, the idea that even when they hadn't fully signed in to the 'agreement', and in fact turned it down, they still fell under it's rules seems just a titch out there. If other corporate sovereignty agreements have clauses like that, the various countries who've signed up with them are pretty much screwed, since even if they drop the 'agreements' now they'd still be beholden to them.

    Hopefully this will serve as a good warning to others to flat out reject and refuse to sign any treaty or agreement that comes packaged with any corporate sovereignty clauses in the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Donglebert The Needlessly Unready, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 3:08am

    I don't think this is quite the same sort of dispute

    I think all of us agree that a state should be allowed to make policy decisions without the threat of being sued for future potential earnings of companies.

    But this case doesn't look to be that sort of case. Russia was being charged with "stealing" the Yukos through various methods. That the head of the company was known to be anti-Putin lends their claims a certain credibility.

    If that is the case, then this might be the sort of thing that actually should be covered by a treaty. Much in the same way that eminent domain, compulsory purchase, etc requires reasonable compensation.

    But that then would lead to the question of how the company was valued at $50 billion. An even bigger question is how on earth do you spend $60 million on legal fees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 3:19am

    $50,000,000,000.00

    Wow that is a whole lot of zeroes to get for not doing work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 3:47am

    and what is going to happen if Russia just says 'go swivel'? is it going to lead to an atomic war? will all other countries stop dealing with Russia? will Russia suddenly not be able to sustain itself? i think the former will happen and no one will be able to do a damn thing! in my opinion, that would be exactly right! these ISDS clauses are ridiculous and are eventually gonna come back and haunt the originator of the idea! who was that, by the way? not the good old USA again, was it? trying to do it's usual thing anf fucking everyone else while holding the door open ready for it to make it's usual exit with 'now it's against us, we dont want ISDS included!!'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 3:51am

    Re: I don't think this is quite the same sort of dispute

    ...how on earth do you spend $60 million on legal fees.

    Bribes?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:45am

    Re: $50,000,000,000.00

    And none of it goes to those that actually made the wealth possible.

    What are the odds?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Whatever (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:48am

    The issue here is a pretty common one in many banana republics and communist hold overs: Forced nationalization or forced transfers of companies and assets to those more friendly with the regime.

    The owners of the assets in the end are Putin's best buddies. The gas and oil industries are pretty much what keeps Russia afloat these days, and getting his friends to control the taps is key to Russia being able to bully countries in Eastern Europe and such.

    50 billion ain't nothing compared to what shareholders lost.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:54am

    Corporate sovereignty removes risk to facilitate investment.
    Tort reform removes accountability for corp[orate negligence.
    Sounds like an adolescent wet dream.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:54am

    Re:

    The offence happened in 2003 when Russia dissolved the company for "unpaid taxes" after arresting the owner. It has been ruled by almost all other parties to be a political and illegitimate maneuver. The beneficiaries of the dissolution or "unlawful expropriation" are the state-owned: Rosneft and Gazprom. Hinky business it is.

    So the case is pretty clear in terms of responsibility and guilt has been concluded pretty well before too.

    The problem here is that the arbitration seems arbitrary. Corporate sovereignty is crap, but when you risk these kinds of nationalisations if you invest in a business in a certain country, the interest in investing there will be low.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anon, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:54am

    Pffft

    I already hate this "tribunal" more than most things I hate. I hope Russia does something most horrible to them.

    If these things can claim sovereignty, then one should be able to declare war against them. Make them an enemy of the state.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:59am

    Re:

    Depends on the kind of tort reform. What the republicans suggest ie. in Texas? Sure, that is really insane. European style reforms where fines are raised significantly to compensate? Not so much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    amoshias (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:05am

    If there is ever a just case for this kind of decision...

    If there was ever a just case for this kind of treaty, this is it. It's a great intellectual exercise, because if you can't accept its existence here it should never exist.

    I mean, this is a situation where - to enrich his own coffers, and bolster his power, Putin jailed the owner of the company for a decade, and broke up and seized the country. The charges are pretty much universally agreed to be trumped up. And there's no redress, because Russia is pretty much under Putin's thumb.

    So... what's the plan? Because while the idea of "corporate sovereignty" makes me want to throw up, it makes sense to me to have SOME kind of recourse when a dictator simply steals your company.

    While there's no question that if this kind of treaty IS the solution, there need to be much better checks and balances, written standards, etc., I think it's a much tougher question than Glyn makes it out to be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Case, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:18am

    Pacta sunt servanda

    Sooo, they signed a treaty with a certain cancellation period and remained bound by said treaty during that period...where exactly is the outrage? Read the bloody contract before signing

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:19am

    Re: If there is ever a just case for this kind of decision...

    Don't build your company where a dictator lives?
    And if you do build a company there, become friend with him,so he doesn't steal your company?

    From what I've read, that guy was asking for Putin to do something to bim, and Putin did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Shaun Wilson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re:

    I'd say my thoughts are pretty similar - at first glance it seemed almost obvious that the basic ruling was correct given the major corruption in the Russian government. The only question seemed to be whether the size of the award was appropriate and who should pay it - ideally Putin personally and whomever of his cronies received the stolen company assets.
    The story seems more complicated however as it appears that the shareholders themselves acquired the company - initially from the Russian government - through corruption so it seems a bit hypocritical of them to complain about the Russian government's corruption in stealing it back.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:33am

    What about the minority shareholders?

    "pay damages in excess of USD 50 billion to our clients who were the majority shareholders of Yukos Oil Company."

    So, screw the little guy shareholders who didn't have enough stock to be declared a 'majority' shareholder?

    Never have I seen a more blatant admission that these measures are met to protect the rich, not the middle class or poor who also happened to have some investments at stake in a foreign country. But hey, it's consistent with how collection agencies never pay up the money owed to the little guys.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:44am

    does that 'principle' work for the 99% too ? ? ?

    i know, foolish question...
    but if i get fired, can't i sue for 'loss of future profits' ?
    if not, why not ?
    ain't i as good as any korporate-person ? ? ?

    (don't answer, i already know...)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah Russia in the 1990's was extremely corrupt and the mass cowboy liberalisations without a functioning process were very problematic. But it is not necessarily the initial investors getting hit when they chopped it up and sold it to cronies.

    I guess there is a certain level of politics in it: Do you punish all investors at the time of the breakup or do you let the corrupt ones get away with it because of clean ones coming in?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:07am

    Re: Pacta sunt servanda

    Ratify schmatify, we doan need no stinkin signatures.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:09am

    Re: does that 'principle' work for the 99% too ? ? ?

    Sovereign citizen - lol - those guys are nuts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:45am

    US

    What would the US do in this situation?

    Well we already know the answer to that from the WTO case between the US and Antigua.

    Don't expect Russia to behave any differently.

    (And by the way the WTO that found against the US is far more fair, open and even handed than the tribunals the rule on the investor-state disputes)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 6:58am

    awarding "loss" for future earnings is a legal nonsnse, and void in Europe and in USA.

    You simply can't lose what does not exist yet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 7:09am

    Why a sovereign nation would give up its sovereignty in favor of a corporation is beyond me…

    …unless the people running the nation are actually working for the corporations rather than the nation itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Case, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: Pacta sunt servanda

    Ratification comes after signing. And the "provisional application" of a treaty which has not yet entered into force is fully supported by the Convention on the Law of Treaties, which Russia accessed on 29 Apr 1986

    A state government is not some poor granny who got scammed by a doorstep seller due to obfuscatory fine print. If a state signs a treaty, they are expected to have had a horde of lawyers double-check every comma before.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 7:16am

    Putin says , If there are no shareholders alive then there is no $50 billion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:05am

    Finally! At last!

    Now maybe the RIAA / MPAA can get some action out of the Special 301 Report.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_301_Report

    But they won't be messing with paltry sums like $50 Billion. After all, the RIAA says that copyright infringement alone is worth $75 TRILLION. (Just google for 'RIAA 75 trillion'. But do it quick before someone uses the 'right to be forgotten / censored'.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:58am

    Re:

    "50 billion ain't nothing compared to what shareholders lost."

    Yes, and?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:01am

    Re: If there is ever a just case for this kind of decision...

    "it makes sense to me to have SOME kind of recourse when a dictator simply steals your company."

    If you're doing business in a country where you have no such recourse, then you're a fool. Don't do business there.

    And THAT is the pressure that will cause nations to develop their own laws to prevent such theft. If they don't they get no outside investment.

    Things like ISDS are 100% unnecessary and harmful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:40am

    If Russia hasn't ratified it and officially backed out as a signee, what exactly is forcing Russia to pay up the $50 billion? It's not like Russia continues to gain something from a treaty they longed backed out of that can be taken away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    steell (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:26am

    Re: Pacta sunt servanda

    Signed, but not ratified. If signing is all that matters, then the US Senate would be powerless and the US President could become the US Dictator via Treaty signing.

    Treaties are normally not valid until Ratified.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:36pm

    Re: What about the minority shareholders?

    There is a question of who paid for the arbitration. If this was a real case in front of a real civil court, the minority shareholders would be able to sue later and get their money or settle with the guilty part out of court.

    In arbitration, I am not sure how that kind of thing works. If it is only to protect majority shareholders and companies against legislation, the problems of this kind of arrangement should be obvious since "due process" and/or "equality to the law" is basically non-existance in that kind of environment...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    Or owning the corporations? It is not uncommon in Russia Italy, China, the middle east as well as several less well-developed states to have a significant national involvement in making certain "private" companies gain advantages. Especially if said companies are "good for the state".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 1:24pm

    Re: I don't think this is quite the same sort of dispute

    An even bigger question is how on earth do you spend $60 million on legal fees.

    Based on my sample of one, lawyer fees are often a percentage of the value at issue. So the 60 million is nothing more than a fixed percentage of whatever they won in this case.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Marak, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 1:58pm

    And if they start seizing properties in other countries. Well i always did wonder how world war 3 would start.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 3:29pm

    Re:

    50 billion ain't nothing compared to what shareholders lost.

    Maybe, maybe not, the issue is that they seem to have pulled that '50 billion' number out of thin air, with no backing evidence to support it. Had they done that, provided documented evidence to support the claimed 'losses', and given what Russia had apparently done in this case, a lot less people would have a problem with this I'm guessing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 4:29pm

    In light of this, someone should ask the US government why it has such a hard-on for adding such clauses to all new trade agreements.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 7:16pm

    Re:

    Because the idea of any such clause being used against the US is completely unthinkable to those US negotiators pushing for them, so as far as they are concerned, there are simply no downsides to corporate sovereignty clauses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Cerberus (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:19pm

    Re: If there is ever a just case for this kind of decision...

    First, this is not really a foreign company, but a Russian company. So "foreign investors" is a bit of a leap: partly foreign shareholders?

    Secondly, Yukos was mostly bought by Chodorovsky for 310 million, even though it was probably worth far more. Putin is of course horrible, but, in a way, Chodorovski and the shareholders stole this money from the Russian people through corrupt officials, and they do not deserve the 50 billion either:

    "[O]wnership of some of Russia's most valuable resources was auctioned off by oligarch-owned banks... Although they were supposedly acting on behalf of the state, the bank auctioneers rigged the process-and in almost every case ended up as the successful bidders. This was how Khodorkovsky got a 78 percent share of ownership in Yukos, worth about $5 billion, for a mere $310 million..."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukos_Oil#Privatization_.281995.29

    Third, if this had been a Western company wronged by the Russian government, the more desirable situation would be for its country to stick up for it, not enabling a few very rich people to get an arbitrary amount of money from a country through an arbitrary tribunal. As in the WTO, it should be country v. country, if anything.

    Lastly, in general, I think nationalisation and otherwise depriving foreign companies of assets or profits is not always so bad per se, especially if the company's interests legitimately conflict with those of the country. And companies are free not to invest in a country that might do this. So do we need any mechanism at all to fight this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:26pm

    Err, Russia DID steal/destroy Yukos and arbitrarily imprison its founders

    Yet there's no mention of these crimes in this whiny post?

    Eff Putin and Russia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re: If there is ever a just case for this kind of decision...

    What a stupid comment. So you want a world in which Russia can steal a multi-billion dollar company, put its founders into siberian prison for 10+yrs and murder its counsel and opposition journalists who dared denounce the farce, and the sum total you're willing to do is carp, "buyer beware" (or something stupid like that)?

    In that case, then hopefully USA will NUKE Russia - since you don't seem to think Russia should follow the Rule of Law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Eldakka (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 10:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    FIFY

    "Yeah Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union was extremely corrupt.."

    err 2nd try:

    "Yeah Russia since the dissolution the Tsarist regime was extremely corrupt.."

    3rd try:

    "Yeah Russia in the later years of Tsarist regime was extremely corrupt..."

    Bah:

    "Yeah Russia has always been extremely corrupt..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Eldakka (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 11:15pm

    Re: I don't think this is quite the same sort of dispute

    What it comes down to: Investors do their research before investing.

    This includes taking into account things like: weather patterns, governmental impacts on your investment, government corruption, government stability, crime, phase of the moon if it's relevant to the investment, rate of return and so on.

    The riskier the investment, the bigger the return IF it pays off.

    There is NEVER a guarantee of an investment breaking even, let alone paying off. Even government bonds are not 100% (tho generally speaking pretty close to it, ask those people who invested in Argentinian government bonds in the 90's how safe that was ...) secure.

    If you invest in a region of high instability or corruption, that should be taken into account in the investment. Whats the chance of losing it all? Whats the potential return? Does the potential return warrant the risk of losing it all? Can I afford to lose what I've invested in that country if it does go down the tubes?

    Unless you have answers to all those questions, you shouldn't be investing. If the Risk vs Reward equation is not in your favour, don't invest. If you can't afford the downside (losing it all) don't invest.

    You don't need corporate sovereignty rules. Either you trust the courts in the country to not be corrupt, or you do. And that should be taken into account:

    "Yes I trust the courts, I trust the government, so it's a safe investment, so I only expect 5%p.a. return"; or

    "No, the courts are corrupt, the government is corrupt, so I won't invest what I can't afford to lose, and since I have a good chance of losing it, if it pays off I expect a 60%p.a. return."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 6th, 2014 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: If there is ever a just case for this kind of decision...

    You're misrepresenting my position. My position is that corporations should not have the ability to overrule the legal and political systems of countries. Period. Corporations are even less trustworthy than nations, and that's far, far too much power to hand them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.