Friday, March 31, 2017

Transnational Crime: God is Bohemian Kafka’s uncle

George Steiner, with Laure Adler, A Long Saturday: Conversations.  Steiner is one of the most knowledgeable people, even into his 90s.  From these conversations I learned that he started working for The Economist as an economics reporter after WWII, computers drive us to a notion of “minimal language,” “God is Kafka’s uncle,” he recommends North, by Louis-Ferdinand Céline, and Ben-Gurion once told him “Only one thing matters: send me your children.”  By the way, “Malraux predicted that the religious wars of the twenty-first century would be the greatest in history.”

“Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion,”the great painter Richard Diebenkorn counseled in his ten rules for beginning creative projects“One doesn’t arrive — in words or in art — by necessarily knowing where one is going,” the artist Ann Hamilton wrote a generation later in her magnificent meditation on the generative power of not-knowing“In every work of art something appears that does not previously exist, and so, by default, you work from what you know to what you don’t know.”

The Daily Telegraph reported on Friday the baby had been killed by the bloodthirsty Islamic State after the infant’s father contacted Australian authorities to seek help getting out of the war zone in the Middle East.

Intelligence agencies believe the murder was payback by Islamic State when it was discovered the father was planning to leave.

 I bet you were wondering where the (allegedly) embezzled money all went. [The Black Sheep]

Financial fraud losses in the UK last year topped £20m a day – report

That's £768.8m down 

Cyprus Bank Accounts: Did Paul Manafort Launder Money For Russia?

Deutsche Bank’s London Subsidiary Sentenced for Manipulation of LIBOR $775 million penalty 

Richard Phillips, The $767 Billion Money Pot Driving Tax Reform (Tax Justice Blog). “At the heart of this debate is the problem of corporations shifting their profits to foreign tax havens to avoid U.S. income taxes.”

Sam Brunson, Chuck Berry, Cash, and Taxes (Surly Subgroup):

Multiple accounts report that he demanded cash from concert promoters before he’d go onstage. There’s a lot of evidence that taxpayers who receive cash are much less likely to report it than taxpayers who receive payment by credit card, or even by check.
Of course, it may well be that receiving cash didn’t cause Berry to evade taxes; he may well have demanded cash in order to facilitate his tax evasion. Either way, though, his receipt of cash was a red flag; the IRS went after him and, days after performing for President Carter in the White House, he spentfour months in federal prison.
Getting paid in cash doesn’t make it tax-free.

Trust and Public Policy – How Better Governance Can Help Rebuild Public Trust. OECD, 27 Mar 2017. Pages: 160. ISBN: 9789264268920 (PDF) ;9789264268913(print). DOI: 10.1787/9789264268920-en
“Trust plays a very tangible role in the effectiveness of government. Few perceptions are more palpable than that of trust or its absence. Governments ignore this at their peril. Yet, public trust has been eroding just when policy makers need it most, given persistent unemployment, rising inequality and a variety of global pressures. This report examines the influence of trust on policy making and explores some of the steps governments can take to strengthen public trust.”

Bitcoin: 'Blood Diamonds' Of The Digital Era


Former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald found guilty of misconduct in public office


UK banks make £9bn in profits in tax havens  

The House tax plan won't stop big companies from gaming the system 

How Scotland is a 'perfect tool' for criminals  

Transnational Crime is a $1.6 trillion to $2.2 trillion Annual “Business”, Finds New GFI Report

Welfare recipients say Centrelink robo-debt system left them stressed and afraid

“…A team led by researchers from the Colorado State University (CSU), the Environmental Defense Fund, and Google Earth Outreach came up with a creative way of monitoring [methane gas]  leaks. They detail their project in a study published in the journal Environmental Science and TechnologyThe team added pollution trackers to Google Earth’s Street View cars. The tracker uses an infrared laser that act as a methane analyzer, capable of identifying methane fumes in real time. Previously, this could only be done in labs using a gas chromatography analysis…”

Implementation of IT Reform Law and Related Initiatives Can Help Improve Acquisitions

“The boy socialist of Oakland.” At 20, Jack London spent his time on soapboxes condemning capitalism. How did his political philosophy shape his  fiction 

The IRS: A Hidden Cause


Xero to increase investment in AI and machine learning

Cloud accounting company, Xero (ASX: XRO), is eyeing the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning space, calling it the “next wave of accounting innovation”.