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CEO Daily: A final victory for Sanders

Saturday Morning Post: The Weekly View from Washington

Anyone still doubting the impact of Bernie Sanders’s candidacy on his adopted party should skim the draft platform that Democrats released Friday afternoon. Across the board from Social Security to the death penalty, the document veers left from the party’s recent consensus positions. And the democratic socialist from Vermont can claim credit, since he’s made just such a wide-ranging rewrite of the platform the focus of his all-but-official post-candidacy.

Readers of this note will want to pay particular attention to the platform’s strikingly anti-corporate bent. The last time a Clinton earned the Democratic presidential nomination, in 1996, the furthest the platform went toward chiding corporate leadership was the admonition “that values like loyalty, fairness and responsibility are not inconsistent with the bottom line.” The Friday draft advocates a multi-front attack on corporate power: “Large corporations have concentrated their control over markets to a greater degree than Americans have seen in decades — further evidence that the deck is stacked for those at the top.”

To even the score, the party calls for more muscular antitrust enforcement, cracking down on the revolving door between the private sector and government, zeroing out inversions and ending deferrals on overseas profits. The document declares that “the profiteering of pharmaceutical companies is simply unacceptable,” pledging to impose price controls. And it requests the Justice Department investigate allegations of fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies for misleading shareholders and the public about climate change. But the finance industry gets especially tough attention. The platform backs barring firms from picking the credit agency that rates their product, imposing a financial transactions tax to curb speculation and high-frequency trading, adopting a “modernized version” of Glass-Steagall, breaking up too-big-to-fail financial institutions, and forbidding former financial regulators from lobbying their old colleagues for at least two years.

Trade remains the only front where Sanders appears to have been denied a victory. While the document expresses skepticism about past trade pacts, declaring that too many over the last three decades have “not lived up to the hype,” it equivocates on the 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership, saying merely that “there are a diversity of views in the party.” Antitrade advocates can make a final push for the party to get off that bubble when the full platform committee meets next week in Orlando.

Tory Newmyer

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The truth about trade

Trade has emerged, improbably, as this election season’s most galvanizing issue. But for all the rhetoric about the ruinous consequences of recent free-trade pacts — and the devastating potential of the pending Trans Pacific Partnership — trade accounts for a relatively small portion of U.S. economic activity and those displaced by it are a small and shrinking share of the workforce. So why all the heat? It may be that trade has become a stand-in for a far more widely felt sense of economic dislocation. Washington Post