Thursday, February 04, 2016

Socialising Losses and Privatising Profits

“You put me in this position,” Gleeson told prosecutors and lawyers for the bank during a hearing on Jan. 15. “I can’t for the life of me figure out why the sun shouldn’t shine.” Judge lets sun shine-on secret hsbc report on money-laundering

“A self that goes on changing goes on living,” Virginia Woolf wrote in her defense of letter writing as the humanest art

***Too poor to retire and too young to die LA Times

 The West Is Traveling The Road To Economic Ruin Paul Craig Roberts. Teejay: “Devastating commentary.”

 Loneliness grows from individual ache to public health hazard Washington Post

Doing the Math: Why Kommunist China’s Exports Aren’t Adding Up Bloomberg 

The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States Bloomberg (resilc). Not news if your read Nicholas Shaxzon’s Treasure Islands.

The California Public Utilities Commission has voted to approve a $7.6 million dollar fine levied against ride-sharing app provider Uber “for not adequately reporting legally-demanded data on its service to the disabled.” The paperwork dispute is distinct from any actual proceedings over claims of service denial. [Brian Doherty, Reason; earlier and related on what Doherty calls California’s “regulatory war on Uber” here (employee status of drivers), here (CEQA), etc.

Everyone is watching  Cuba. Can it morph into a decent version of “social democracy” without creating a nouveau-riche nouveau-ruling class ...

The EUs banking union: a recipe for disaster Pieria

Tories accused of shortchanging public as £26bn privatisation haul revealed Guardian. Wait, that’s the point of privatization…the mistake is the bad PR

Noel Towell Predicts: Business plots Medicare takeover   Kafkaesque's tenses updated from the Politics in the Pub by Sam Dastyari  (from commentariat:  Why does this government hate us so much? What have we done wrong (other than elect it)?  Private sector to deliver Medicare benefits under radical government proposal

Lawsuits Claim Disney Colluded to Replace U.S. Workers With Immigrants New York Times

Power Line, Federal Bureaucracies: Incompetent, Corrupt, Or Both?
The saga of Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service is almost unbelievable. After “joking” years ago that he would audit his enemies, it turned out that Obama’s minions were in fact delaying or blocking routine applications for 501(c) status by conservative organizations, in order to help the Democratic Party. When Congress tried to investigate, the Obama administration stonewalled at every turn. Evidence mysteriously disappeared and the key player in the scheme, Lois Lerner, pled the Fifth rather than answer Congress’s questions.

Advocacy group documents privatizing of US criminal justice system “Today, private companies hold contracts that allow them to profit from all corners of America’s criminal justice system. Consequently, many people charged with crimes are exposed to the profit-seeking of companies every step of the way, from entering the system to being released. These graphics depict the possible paths of people charged with different offenses, revealing the various privatized services provided by the corrections industry…”

Tim Dowd, Paul Landefeld & Anne Moore (Joint Committee on Taxation), Profit Shifting of U.S. Multinationals

Australia perceived as more corrupt ...


“Government Thinks You’re Too Dumb To Try Crowdfunding” [Ben Weingarten, The Federalist]

Precipitous Rents in Ski Country Push Workers to Edges New York Times

Owning a house is a part of the “American Dream” and perhaps as a result the US tax code subsidizes houses, especially for the rich. Most economists, however, think that the United States tax code is inefficiently biased toward housing. There is no good reason to bias people away from renting and towards buying. Germany is a wealthy country yet most people rent Most Germans don’t buy their homes, they rent. Here’s why
Behavioural economics tells us that we quickly get used to big houses but we never get used to commuting. So when you have a choice, go for the smaller house closer to work.

A report by the NSW Crime Commission found criminal gangs have exploited the property market as surging prices increased demand for funds into Australia. "This has provided greater opportunities for organised crime syndicates to launder millions of dollars," the commission found. The flow of money outside of Australia to settle drug transactions and the use of so-called "remittance agents", who facilitate the movements, have entangled legitimate offshore investors in money laundering schemes.
The commission used the example of an "individual of significant wealth" based overseas who bought into the Sydney real estate market. Real Estate and Money laundering ...

“One man appeared on state-run Chinese TV saying he’d voluntarily returned to the mainland to face justice in a 2003 drunk-driving case. Meanwhile, the wife of another said she had received a handwritten letter, purportedly from her husband, reiterating that he too had returned to the mainland of his own volition to assist with ‘investigations.’ Both of the men hold European passports.”  Los Angeles Times

University student Tom Wade spent an hour on the phone to Centrelink and got nowhere with his issue. So, he went up the chain of command, and here's how he did it.