Sunday, January 03, 2016

Tech Incs Dominated the World

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
Brad Paisley 

Why Does the FTC Keep Ignoring Endorsement Violations? The Fashion Law. Kendall Jenner “rakes in $300,000 for a single Media Dragon post.”

The Internet Tax Hostage  

Piketty vs. Piketty Brad DeLong, Project Syndicate

The keyboard and the spade New Statesman Subhead: “In the overdeveloped West, technology is making us forget what it truly means to be human.”

News from the Profession. Let’s Help Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen With His First Tweet (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern)

The world's spookiest philosopher is Nick Bostrom, a thin, soft-spoken Swede. Of all the people worried about runaway artificial intelligence, and Killer Robots, and the possibility of a technological doomsday, Bostrom conjures the most extreme scenarios. In his mind, human extinction could be just the beginning.
We are in a race that we need to win ;-) It's a race between the growing power of the technology and the growing wisdom we need to manage it. Right now, almost all the resources tend to go into growing the power of the tech 
 The AI anxiety: our preoccupation with superintelligence

Business Insider – This amazing Goldman Sachs chart shows how tech companies have come to dominate the world – Goldman Sachs released a huge note full of great charts for clients, including an end-of-year financial crossword. One of the more eye-catching graphics is of the top 20 companies by size, charted for the past 10 years. It shows how 2015 marked the first time the top three largest companies in the world were all technology firms.”
Winter Wonderland Photo
Maarten Floris De Wilde (Erasmus), Tax Jurisdiction in a Digitalizing Economy; Why ‘Online Profits’ Are So Hard to Pin Down

Global power is shifting from a society of nation states towards a society of global online companies. Many of the traditional roles of government such as the redistribution of wealth, the creation of public infrastructure and competition regulation are being tested by a growing constellation of planetary-sized online businesses such as Apple, Facebook, Alibaba, Tencent, Google and Amazon. Even in that most rarefied role of the public sector – intelligence, government's potency and efficacy is now in question.  In the latest 007 movie Spectre, James Bond's rival codenamed "C" says of their new impressive headquarters: "Her majesty's government wouldn't have the money to fund this – it's funded by a benefactor." And in the 2014 film Kingsman (which is intended to be a spy movie franchise) the central idea is one of a privately funded secret service, its founders having long given-up on the idea such an organisation could spring from and be run effectively in public hands Online Giants 
Illustration: Michael Mucci
Illustration: Michael Mucci
"I know the stories companies build up" for tax purposes. "Sometimes I giggle at companies because I've been there, building up these stories," as a top tax adviser at private firms. In his last private sector job, he was chair of KPMG's NSW business.  He's the poacher turned gamekeeper? "That's been used," he says wryly ...
Tax authorities had to talk to each other through legalistic tax treaties if they wanted information and that, says Jordan, was "slow, clunky and formal." This worked well for tax dodgers: "They used to rely on the fact that the authorities never spoke to each other."
But Jordan has led in the creation of a group of 30 national tax offices that cooperate with each other: "We can pick up the phone now and people are willing to help each other – it sounds like basic stuff but it's never been done before." Chris Jordan tax avenger leads the hunt for millions spirited overseas

Via ReCode – “Macquarie estimates that Amazon accounts for half of all sales growth in U.S. e-commerce, meaning online retailers not named Amazon are battling for around 50 cents of every new $1 spent online. As if that weren’t enough, Amazon also accounts for about a quarter of every new $1 of growth in all of retail, including brick-and-mortar sales, too.”

Swiss government: Fines, bribes should no longer be tax-deductible

Tax doctrines rest on a handful of concepts -- just six, in fact. Armed with six concepts, you can decipher the law. In the United States, more so than in any other developed country, the tax law hosts many of the government s most important social and economic policies. Health care, housing, financial markets, education,and poverty, for example, involve tax. In short, tax turns out to host many interesting and pressing public policy problems.

If you've only heard about the northern lights, get ready to meet a more stunning cousin.

Karen C. Burke (Florida), Comments on Taxation of Intellectual Capital: Better than Consumption-Tax Treatment?, 66 Fla. L. Rev. F. 47 (2015) In May, the Roosevelt Institute released a report by Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, among others, titled “Rewriting the Rules.” Its focus: how institutions and political power shape the economy. “The rules determine how fast the economy grows,” the authors write, “and who shares in the benefits of that prosperity.”

Similarly, in his doorstop Capital, a surprise best seller, Thomas Piketty writes, “The theory of marginal productivity and of the race between technology and education is not very convincing.” He says that to understand inequality, “we must introduce other factors, such as the institutions and rules that govern the operation of the labor market in each society.”

“If anyone is trying to tell you it’s not complicated, be very, very suspicious,” said Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University. “The inclination of economists is Occam’s razor. That’s a harmful tendency in today’s world.”  From Walter Frick on inequality at HBR.

Has the Lucky Country run out of luck? In short, if 'out of luck' means we have to rely on our own hard work to sustain and grow living standards, invest for the future and ensure fiscal sustainability, the answer is yes!
~ Former Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson The Lucky Country: Has it Run out of Luck? 

A series of recent commentaries and new books reminded me of what that visit to Darwin sparked in my mind – the idea that Australia’s growth, though impressive, seems a little too close to the frothy, wild, speculative growth that happened in Thailand in the 1990s and the United States in the mid-2000s. A new book by consultant and macroeconomist Lindsay David, Australia: Boom to Bust, argues that Australia’s housing market is wildly overpriced and is going to crash, and that overall Australia’s economic base is too narrow–housing, exports of natural resources to China, and (to some extent) financial services.

Law School Denies Prof Access To Admissions Data Despite Attorney General Opinion Treating Data As Public Records Under FOIA

Seeking Anonymity in an Internet Panopticon

A former employee of Russia’s top internet search engine Yandex  received two years’ probation from a Moscow court for stealing source code and trying to sell it, according to reports.
Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that the ex-employee took source code and algorithms contained in a piece of internal software called Arcadia.