Saturday, February 15, 2003

Old truths have been relearned; untruths have been unlearned. We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics. Out of the collapse of a prosperity whose builders boasted their practicality has come the conviction that in the long run economic morality pays.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1937

They [The Nazis] are in reality only miserable plagiarists who dress up old errors with new tinsel. It does not make any difference whether they flock to the banners of the social revolution, whether they are guided by a false conception of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by the superstition of a race and blood cult.
—Pacelli 1935

Off the Cuff: Rich People and Their Level of Greed

I join critics of the obscene $33 million payment to Chris Cuffe the former Colonial First State chief. I suggest people look at some reports published in the name of NSW Auditor General reports and penned by fearless Tony Harris in 1990s. In the world of materialism, there is only one way to know for sure if a character is worth admiring, or if the character is worth detesting -- and that is their public record on greed. As we all know too well Greed is a global disease. The closer you are to the trough whether it is called legislature, or executive board or just simply some kind of Labour Council there are more chances for you to catch the obscene virus.

In the US Sprint Corp has just fired its two top executives for (I love this part) a conflict of interest. It seems these gentlemen felt perfectly entitled to pay zero taxes on more than $100 million in stock-option gains. Isn't that special? But that's not why they were fired.
They were fired because Sprint's accounting firm Ernst & Young set up these lucrative tax shelters. After the IRS disallowed the shelters, the execs were at war with their own company's auditors. Not nice.

· Greed Corp [SLTribune]
· Not nice example [Alternet]

Taxes A swag of tax avoidance schemes

The Tax Office is eyeing about 60 avoidance schemes in Vanuatu - many involving Australian small businesses looking to lower their tax - involving about $56 million.
· Tax Heaven [SMH]