Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ethical Lapses: Enjoy those little things every day like reading

Regardless of who you support this coming November — please try to be condescending and assume the worst of everyone you disagree with.
The Spirit of The Season ...

Ethical Lapses: The Treasurer’s Appointment to Corporate Boards Andrew Silton
Is ending offshore anonymity the answer to tax evasion?

The professional bodies say they deplore criminal corruption – but turn a blind eye to the real abuse their members facilitate

Mark and Matthew assure us that “with God, all things are possible.” But the apostles failed to check that statement with Vatican Bank Chairman Jean-Baptiste de Franssu, who has been on a mission from Christ’s current Vicar on Earth to clean things up at the Institute for the Works of Religion. Where formerly money-laundering was just about the only thing possible, now: “Impossible.
“Anyone who would be tempted to use an account in an institution to launder money, the last place he would want to come to is IOR,” Franssu told Vatican Radio….
The new rules strictly regulate which clients can open accounts, all staff have been given training, and the Vatican is drawing up tax agreements with various countries, Franssu said.

Public service fraud investigator wrote helpful guide, found himself in court

[Aristotle], On Trolling Journal of the American Philosophical Association (h/t Henry F)
Do no harm to life on Mars? Ethical limits of Prime Directive EarthSky

The ‘tax aversion’ effect is real, and can sway our opinion on anything
A tax by any other name is still a cost, as Shakespeare might have said. But of course the words we use to describe things can amplify or minimise, and some have greater power than others. One of these is “tax”. 

Tax-Dodging Corporate Inversions Accelerating
By Roger Bybee, a Milwaukee-based writer and activist who teaches Labor Studies at the University of Illinois. This is the first article in a three-part article, originally published in the May/June issue of Dollars & Sense

What Would a Good Result for This Week’s London Anti-Corruption Summit Look Like?

David Cameron calls Nigeria Afghanistan most unethical Countries

Corruption: Cameron points finger at Nigeria, Nigeria points back at UK The Canary. Chris g: “Smoothie Cameron is ignoring Panama Papers etc, other countries aren’t!”

Dark money: London’s dirty secret Financial Times. As Richard Smith says, “a nice deep dive,” but this is still relatively small fry: average account size only $800,000. 

Kevin Lacroix has a typically thoughtful post on the issue of ethics and social responsibilities

Michelle M. Kwon (Tennessee),The Criminality of Tax Planning, 18 Fla. Tax Rev. 153 (2015):

To end corruption, start with the US and UK. They allow it in broad daylight

: "activities like tax avoidance/evasion and regulatory arbitrage aren’t peripheral flaws in a financial system primarily concerned with the efficient global allocation of capital. They are the core business, without which the profits of the global financial sector would be a tiny fraction of the $1 trillion or so now reaped annually"
In recent years, the federal government has adopted an aggressive prosecution policy that targets tax advisors who help their clients evade taxes. Increased prosecutions coupled with the present-day sophistication of tax practice call for a critical examination of the willfulness standard applied to tax advisors who use the Code and Treasury regulations as part of their regular practices. This is something no previous legal scholarship has done Why is global finance so profitable 

Ernst & Young Scheme: The house always wins! Casino giants see tax savings result from new system of roulette wheels 
KPMG Testifies at Finance Committee: Will MPs Get Answers Canadians Need to Know?

BHS and the Pinstripe Mafia: Accountants 'advised firms on how to reduce pensions levy'

The Justice Index is part of a growing movement in America and around the world that understands access to justice as the key not only to fairness and justice, but also to stability and prosperity. In the United States, chief judges and chief court administrators have committed the state courts to the goal of “100 percent access to effective assistance for essential civil legal needs” and to adopting strategic plans “with realistic and measurable outcomes” that assure the goal will be achieved in all jurisdictions. You can read their formal resolution here. Around the world, member countries of the United Nations have adopted “Global Goal 16,” which recognizes that access to justice is a critical part of sustainable development of peaceful and inclusive societies. Goal 16 is part of a set of 17 “sustainable development goals” intended to end extreme poverty by the year 2030. Following in the path of the highly successful Millennium Development Goals, the new Global Goals call on all countries to use the power of the data revolution to both drive and manage change. The U.S. has already established a White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable charged with the responsibility to assist the United States in implementing Goal 16. You can read the Presidential Memorandum here.

Margot Honecker, hated DDR education minister, filled schools with indoctrination, informants. Glad that era’s over [Washington Post, Telegraph, SkyNews obituaries]

Above The Law previously covered judges who have found themselves embroiled in scandals having to do with nude photos, but those scandals were quite tame, really, having involved pictures of jurists “engaging in bondage, playing with sex toys, and performing oral sex.” These nude photo scandals have never involved allegations of judges handing out lighter criminal sentences in exchange for defendants performing “community service” at their homes until recently.
Judge Resigns After Thousands Of Photos Of Nude Defendants Are Found On His Computer

loon links

Lycamobile's opaque tax affairs confounding its own auditors

  Corporate Branding of National Parks: The Disturbing Link between Philanthropy and Privatization NonProfit News

Verizon's Latest Breach Report: Same Attacks, More Damage
Here's what the hack-attack and data breach landscape looked like over the past year, according to the new Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations report: Phishing attacks became more successful. Malware continued to be the dominant way that organizations got hacked. The number of ransomware infections increased.

Some airplane security measures we are all too aware of—miniature bottles of shampoo and X-ray scanners, for instance—while others we know almost nothing about, including how airlines protect their in-flight networks and computer systems from interference or attack

April 30, 2016
On the internet, just like nobody knows you are a dog, nobody knows you’re not really a famous hacker—and famous hackers can make a lot of money. Those two ingredients, mixed with the fact that the public has become painfully aware of the damaging consequences of stuff like ransomware and, to a lesser degree, denial of service (DDoS) attacks that take down apps or websites and cost several hundred dollars in maintenance costs, have created a new kind of online threat: the fake hacker.

In the last few years, private companies have embraced the progressive principles of “corporate social responsibility” and joined “public-private partnerships” with various government entities and non-governmental organizations, who liaise daily with their corporate partners and enforce “voluntary” corporate social responsibility principles, at all levels of government—federal, state, and local. ...

As Maggie Gallagher noted last month in National Review, although in the past corporations were eager to avoid public controversy, the “massive expansion of vague regulations under the Obama administration means that virtually every major corporation in America has some interest in keeping Washington off of their backs” and so they have waded “directly into the culture wars” as “a cheap strategy to curry favor.”
But, really, why would firms engaged in the production of good or services—activities that benefit everyone and should be non-political—choose to stake out extremely partisan positions and risk alienating many of their customers? Maybe they feel they have no choice.
Maybe they concluded there is just too much risk from free-wheeling progressive bureaucrats wielding regulatory mandates that could damage their image, cost them big money—even put them out of business, if they do not toe the radical line.

I don't buy it. I think it's a combination of virtue signaling, the business world equivalent of the Linda Greenhouse effect, and the Ivy League/Upper East Side bubble most of them live in. Most large corporation CEOs these days live in families and social circles where social conservatism is regarded as moronic, retrograde, trailer trash, flyover country nonsense. Acting out as SJWs keeps their spouses and kids off their backs, ensures that the NY Times will say nice things about them, gets their pictures on the society pages, and gets them invited to all the best parties. It lets them hobnob with Hollywood elites and hang out with at Clinton Foundation functions. And it differentiates them from the proles in the GOP base. At most, responding to regulatory pressure just tips them in a direction they were already moving on their own volition.

Robert S. Litt, The Fourth Amendment in the Information Age, 126 YALE L.J. F. 8 (2016),
“To badly mangle Marx, a specter is haunting Fourth Amendment law—the specter of technological change. In a number of recent cases, in a number of different contexts, courts have questioned whether existing Fourth Amendment doctrine, developed in an analog age, is able to deal effectively with digital technologies. Justice Sotomayor, for example, wrote in her concurrence in United States v. Jones, a case involving a GPS tracking device placed on a car, that “the premise that an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties . . . is ill suited to the digital age.

Kimberly A. Clausing (Reed College), Profit Shifting and U.S. Corporate Tax Policy Reform:
This paper argues that the erosion of the U.S. corporate income tax base is a large policy problem. Profit shifting by U.S. multinational corporations is reducing U.S. government tax revenues by more than $100 billion each year, and other countries are facing similar concerns.

Nobody covers all the bases like Austin! Council passes ordinance to delay criminal background checks

Does Franz Kafka like BBQ? Oh wait,Austin regulates against that, too!