Sunday, July 26, 2009

On Saturday night Bawa and Dial with Ashni enjoyed the cooking of the Bohemian Kenyan chefs. Sunday as always was filled with iceberg swimming, Italian coffee and as Gabbie invaded us for the Beautiful Kate movie also with flea markets.

The business of tax avoidance, like the trade in derivatives, is ferociously complicated, and intentionally so: the fewer the people who understand what is going on, the easier it is to play the financial equivalent of a three-card trick and whisk your money off to a safe location. Tax dodgers have quite a sense of humour – or so it seems to me. Take transfer mispricing. One of the commonest forms of tax evasion, it accounts for much of the $160 billion. I could explain that this particular stunt involves transnational corporations exaggerating costs and minimising profits when they file their tax returns. I could mention surveys which estimate that more than 60 per cent of international trade takes place within TNCs, allowing companies to make up prices that suit their purposes. But the story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the firm that officially paid $972.98 for each plastic bucket it imported, or the toilet gloves which were priced at $4,121.81 per kilo Business of tax avoidance ;

Citizen satisfaction and trust: When a Blogger Voices Approval, a Sponsor May Be Lurking Ignorance of money helps bankers and politicians escape
Why is that so hard for people to understand? Keynes did - and he called it a paradox that what works for individuals is completely unsuitable for states - and yet the mindset of the grocer prevails in government.

Most assume that credit = savings, and that only by mobilising savings or surpluses (generated by production of one sort or another) is it possible for banks or financial institutions to lend money to finance economic activity. In other words, that money (deposits/savings/credit) exists only as the result of economic activity; and those deposits/savings/credit then create economic activity.
On the contrary: it is bank money/credit that creates economic activity - and only then are deposits, surpluses and savings generated. And not the other way around.
And this is why we can spend our way out of recession. Indeed it is why we must spend our way out of recession. Any other option costs more, increase debt, and causes more hardship.

Taxing Times; [ People fight a lot about priorities at DKos. Groups accuse other groups with different priorities of being "concern trolls" or "purity trolls" or of expressing "poutrage". No matter what you think is important, someone else will be happy to tell you it really isn't as important as their pet issue. Here's my way out of that dilemma.
Prosecuting criminal behavior is a post-Bush theme that unifies all groups. To solve our economic problems, we need to prosecute present (and, inevitably, past) criminal behavior and the malign deregulation that enabled such criminality. To get ourselves out of foreign wars, we need to prosecute the war crimes that got us into those wars and the ongoing war crimes and frauds that those operations continue to produce. To solve our healthcare problems, we need to prevent criminal behavior, such as recision, on the part of healthcare-denial companies. But, isn't fighting crime obvious? Not in the age of deregulation. Not in the age of the politicized DOJ. In order to fight crime, we must first restore regulations with teeth. We need to become "law and order Democrats". Below the fold I will lay out the rationale behind that seeming oxymoron. Its the Criminality, Stupid ; Successful innovation remains elusive for many organisations. Part of the problem concerns the myths that surround the innovation process - PDF - Four dangerous myths]
• · IF you've ever wondered how to fire up the folk who inhabit the blogosphere, you got an unambiguous answer last week - insult them. It worked a treat for the boss of News Limited, John Hartigan. In a speech to the National Press Club he said bloggers produced "something of such limited intellectual value as to be barely discernible from massive ignorance". For good measure he added that the blogosphere was "all eyeballs and no insight". Many blogs and a large number of comment sites specialise in political extremism and personal vilification Bloggers' rage show they're out of touch with reality ; IT'S Tuesday and I'm at a forum on the topic "Twitter's Impact on Media and Journalism", busily taking down the speeches in shorthand. As I do, the business-suited woman sitting on my left is tweeting about me on her laptop. Journalists take to the Twitterverse
• · · When Sarah Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, she gave a cursory announcement to journalists, then moved on to tell her story directly to her supporters using Twitter and Facebook. This is the latest example of traditional journalists being disintermediated by government and other newsmakers, and it will make a big difference in the careers of IT managers (and me too, as a journalist) Journalists Get Left Out By Social Media ; Katja Presnal, who recommends products on her own blog, is interviewed at elf cosmetics offices in New York. Marketing companies are keen to get their ... When a Blogger Voices Approval, a Sponsor May Be Lurking
• · LIKE a research scientist who gets a chance to play with a chemistry set, Sreenath Sreenivasan, a new-media professor at the Columbia Journalism School, returned to the roots of his chosen field last month riding home on the No. 1 train. How the Media Wrestle With the Web ; TJN and some of our partners in France have just issued a statement expressing great concern about a Cameroonian journalist, Jean Bosco Talla, who is being harrassed and intimidated as a result of his work in publicising a huge and detailed report outlining the scale of dictators' and élites' assets in a wide number of countries around the world, including in Cameroon – PDF ahead - Journalist under threat
• · · Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murders sound respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Old Orwell’s Instructive Errors ; How is the global financial crisis affecting our beliefs about work, money, the environment and each other? Broadcaster Libbi Gorr gathered Australia's top social researchers - Bernard Salt, Mark McCrindle & Dr Rebecca Huntley - to get the lowdown on the meltdown. Is Gen Y that bad? Yes!