Friday, December 18, 2015

Billionaire Bonanza: Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us

 Joe Josephs, Warren saw, was not to be judged by the gold threads in his weskit as being too fine for everyday use, or by the vainly perky hat he wore tipped back on his head, that would never stop any sun, and his gold teeth dangerously boasting the wealth that he carried in his smile.  He was a shadowed, thin, sharpish crook of a man, but a cheerful and apparently kindly fellow well met.

There is the same dreamy quality, that same sense of an ill-defined menace, the same hint of an oppressive presence, the same half-light and mistiness that veils the night, and that same sense of confusion that inhibits action.  And the same elusive people and places that the narrator does not and cannot ever know.
Suspended Sentences ...

Institute for Policy Studies – “This report – The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us (December 2015) – exposes the extreme wealth concentrated within the fortunes of the 400 wealthiest Americans and compares this wealth to the much more meager assets of several different segments of American society. The report proposes several solutions to close the growing gap between the ultra wealthy and the rest of the country. These policies include closing offshore tax havens and billionaire loopholes in the tax code that the wealthy exploit to hide their wealth. The report also proposes a direct tax on wealth to break up the concentration of wealth and generate trillions of dollars in new revenue to invest in wealth building opportunities for working families.”
“This report …draw[s] data from both the recently released 2015 Forbes 400 and the Federal Reserve’s latest triennial Survey of Consumer Finances

Kirill Shamalov the man who married Vladimir Putin's daughter and then made a billion fortune

"Yours and my worst nightmare," joked the Labour leader as he welcomed hacks for the first time. Unlike at Labour's staff party, he declined to quote any Communist leaders, joking that "there's a number of things I've been told not to say: not to mention Karl Marx, Mao Tse-tung or Enver Hoxha, so I haven't."  Jeremy Corbyn charms joke filled speech press drinks

Jeremy Hirschhorn Interactive ATO reveals corporate Australia's tax secrets

Neil Chenoweth is an author of a seminal tax haven abuse study, Packer's Lunch, a story which covers the Wickenby Typologies and explains how Trevor Kennedy, Graham Richardson and Rene Rivkin structured shares arrangements of The Alpine Off Printing. Neil is a multiple Walkley Award winning investigative journalist and his focus on the tax transparency is being read widely. 
Australian boardrooms are braced for the release of tax data on Thursday morning that will name 579 of the country's largest corporations that paid no tax in 2014. Tax office to name 579 companies that paid no tax

KPMG believes the existence or otherwise of a banking levy could be an important factor in determining the future domicile of some banks and other financial institutions
A Story About Bank Levy

Analysis: Loudest advocates of scrapping penalty rates don't get them and don't need them The tricky politics of Sunday penalty rates for Malcolm Turnbull

A reported technological glitch caused an ATM in Manchester to spit out “free money” as local residents queued down the block for a chance to capitalise on the supposed windfall. The machine was giving out double the amount people asked for by mistakenly disposing £20 bills when customers asked for 10s, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Buybacks enrich the bosses even when business sags Reuters. Note this is the feature, not the isolated bug

What price internet fame ...

Does science advance one funeral at a time ...

The little big thief Salim Mehajer on vote fraud charges

"NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley said the proposal was designed to shore up Parramatta, which has in the been dominated by Labor, as a safe Liberal seat. " Fit for Faking
***NSW councils are bracing for big changes with Premier Mike Baird expected to announce a series of forced mergers ... Gerrymanders on steroids Joh Bjelke-Petersen is turning in a grave ... State governments:  the forced amalgamation idea might apply also at state and territory levels - merger is ripe for NSW and NT fit for the future by 2020. ...
***Little Policy Knowledge is Dangerous
Forced council amalgamations could create povertystricken suburbs in western sydney advocate

Ex-MIT dean and son to serve prison time for hedge fund scam AP. Can’t these managerial types content themselves with paying themselves exorbitant salaries and screwing over the adjuncts? O tempora! O mores!

Mystical Deer - (Expensive)
Number of female billionaires increases sevenfold in 20 years  

More Fictitious Numbers from PwC's Total Tax Contribution: UK businesses' tax burden rises despite chancellor George Osborne's Osborne's cuts to corporation tax  

One percent of China billionaires jailed for bribery, other crimes - report  

On Thursday the European Commission announced an investigation of McDonald’s for allegedly illegal behavior. This follows decisions in late October that FiatChrysler and Starbucks would each be assessed 20 million-30 million euros ($21.2 million-$31.8 million). The EC (the European Union’s executive arm) has announced similar investigations of Amazon and Apple, which are expected to result in much larger assessments.Wall Street Journal op-ed:  Behind the European Raid on McDonald’s: Regulators Take a Dim View of Tax Breaks for U.S. Firms and Are Levying Big Fines. Amazon, Watch Out., by Michael J. Graetz (Columbia)

Canada’s corporate tax system has become far more competitive with other countries over the past 15 years. But we are now at risk of falling behind again. Jack Mintz (Calgary) presents An Agenda for Corporate Tax Reform in Canada at Toronto today as part of its James Hausman Tax Law and Policy Workshop Series

Congress delegates extensive and growing lawmaking authority to federal administrative agencies in areas other than taxation, but tightly limits the scope of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury regulatory discretion in the tax area, specifically not permitting these agencies to select or adjust tax rates. This Article questions why tax policy does and should differ from other policy areas in this respect, noting some of the potential policy benefits of delegation. James R. Hines, Jr. (Michigan) & Kyle D. Logue (Michigan), Delegating Tax, 114 Mich. L. Rev. 235 (2015)

Wal-Mart Sues Puerto Rico Over ‘Astonishing’ Tax Increases Bloomberg

Sweden has declared war on cash Business Insider 

When Undercover Credit Card Buys Go Bad Krebs on Security

Not every hot-coffee-spill case is like Liebeck v. McDonald’s. Sometimes defendants actually are negligent [Nick Farr/Abnormal Use, earlier here and many others]

**Psychiatric Drugs Are Being Prescribed to Infants New York Times. “As Bernie Sanders points out, the operating model for m​any​ of these corporations is GREED AND FRAUD….