Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Mismanaged Chaotic World: Greatness is a Moving Target

“Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom.”

Poems have a different music from ordinary language, and every poem has a different kind of music of necessity, and that's, in a way, the hardest thing about writing poetry is waiting for that music, and sometimes you never know if it's going to come.
— C. K. Williams

Economic and financial themes in the films of Charlie Chaplin, podcast ...

Shocking: School kids in Madhya Pradesh photocopied Rs 2,000 note and successfully bought confectioneries with it Indian Express

Bitcoin IRS
New York Times, Bitcoin Users Who Evade Taxes Are Sought by the IRS:

The IRS is on the hunt for people who used Bitcoin to evade taxes.

The tax agency sent a broad request on Thursday to Coinbase, the largest Bitcoin exchange in the United States, asking for the records of all customers who bought virtual currency from the company from 2013 to 2015.

A friend  lent us a copy of a movie called  Instinct ...  It is fascinating how our illusions are exposed ...  In the fall of 1969, two psychologists met behind closed doors at Hebrew University. They yelled and laughed and plumbed the inner workings of the  human mind  

Speaking of human mind, Pakistan Lets Qatari Prince Hunt Endangered Bird For Helping PM Sharif in Panama Papers Scandal 

Airbnb looks to secure 700 tax deals with cities Financial Times. Lambert of Naked Capitalism fame: 
So in other words, the business model really was to scale by breaking the law. Never occurred to me that the famous Silicon Valley saying (originally from Grace Hopper (!!) “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission” applied to the role of capital vis a vis and the State and the rule of law, so it’s nice to have that clarified… 

NSW Orange by-election won by Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party The global third way trend reflected in many corners of the globe

The election in 232 photos, 43 numbers and 131 quotes, from the two candidates at the center of it all

When Walls Are More Merciful Than Bridges...

Aaron Sorkin Donald Trump President letter daughter

New Report Examines How Country’s Largest Banks Finance the Private Prison Industry American

Donald Trump’s success is built on the ruins of the Third Way New Statesman 

Alan Viard (American Enterprise Institute) presented Progressive Consumption Taxation: The X Tax Revisited (2012) at NYU yesterday as part of its High-End Inequality Colloquium Series (more here) hosted by Robert Frank (Cornell) and Dan Shaviro (NYU)

National Tax Association (2016)The three-day National Tax Association 109th Annual Conference on Taxation concluded Saturday in Baltimore. Saturday's highlights included:
Session 72:  Taxation and Wealth
Session Organizer:  John Brooks (Georgetown)
Session Chair:  John Brooks (Georgetown)

Other Tax Prof presentations on Saturday included:

Implications of Bitcoin Not Being Actual Currency: The Espinoza Case
By Joni Larson, Professor, Indiana Tech Law School, Fort Wayne, IN
Bitcoin is not the first virtual currency. It has, however, garnered significant attention by being embroiled in several scandals. Through the lens of the Espinoza case, this article examinations the tax implications of selling bitcoin

Lew Taishoff, OH, CH J IRON FIST, YOU CRAFTY DEVIL! “Blogging Tax Court is so much fun.”

Caleb Newquist ponders the reduction in IRS scam calls since the big call center raid last month in India, and the doughty scammers still at work:

You have to wonder who’s been making the calls since the big bust? Is there some renegade leftover from the original scam center who’s simply that committed to his job? Or is it some scrappy IRS phone scam startup that just waiting for their big break? If it’s the latter, they’ll probably raise $100 million in VC money by the end of the month.

Jared Walczak, State Review Calls Virginia’s Economic Development Program Inefficient and Mismanaged (Tax Policy Blog).

Two years ago, Virginia officials posed for photographs with representatives of Lindenburg Industry, a Chinese-owned company with an ambitious plan to invest $113 million and employ 349 workers at an idled manufacturing plant in the town of Appomattox. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) boasted that Virginia had “successfully competed against North Carolina for the project,” which was “a direct result of the Governor’s meeting with company officials in Beijing.” The state provided $1.4 million in Governor’s Opportunity Fund incentives to entice the company to Virginia, with an additional $1.7 million pledged to help renovate the facility. It was a big win for the state, and a rebuttal to the notion that Virginia was falling behind North Carolina in recruiting business to the state.
The only problem was that Lindenburg Industry didn’t really exist.
It appears Virginia’s approach to these incentives was a lot like Iowa’s film credit administration. That’s OK, though. The credits did what they were meant to do: generate photo-ops and press conferences

Jack Townsend, DOJ Tax Principal DAAG Recent Review of Activities Related to Federal Tax Crimes. Excerpts from a press release regarding a tax prosecutor’s speech to an ABA tax conference.