Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Trump: Yeonmi Park's two-year-old speech goes Viral

News from the Profession. Is PwC on the Ropes in the MF Global Trial? (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern)

... Euro firms getting better at detecting breaches more quickly

Yeonmi Park's two-year-old speech goes viral

At a time when the world is regarded as a global village and information and news from any part of the world is available to us on our mobile screens, North Korea is an exception.

The oppressive nature of the autocratic regime is far from the reach of the global news agencies. Only developments that threaten the International peace, like that of testing of nuclear weapons, make it to the news. But what about the daily lives of the people living in that country?

One such video of a young refugee who fled from the country is making people emotional and angry on the Internet. Yeonmi Park spoke at the One Young World Summit and shared her harrowing experience that left everyone in tears in the audience. In order to spread awareness about the unimaginable conditions of her country, Park urged everyone to help the thousands of North Koreans, who have been denied all freedom.

And as the young leader rightly points out, “We need to focus less on the regime and more on the people who are being forgotten.”

REGARDLESS of what you may think about social media, it remains a global microphone for people like Yeonmi Park to tell their stories

UPDATE JUST IN FROM AL CAPONE’S VAULT: Five Things to Know About Rachel Maddow and Trump Taxes

Why Presidents Release Their Tax Returns [note – this is a commentary on why Presidential candidates release their respective taxes – a significant factual tutorial on this issue that includes discussion of Trump’s past financial ties and foreign connections.] – “Rachel Maddow talks about the precedent for why presidents have released their tax returns and the types of questions tax returns hope to answer about Donald Trump’s business relationships.” Partial return – 2 pages, Donald Trump, for his 2005 federal government filing. The documents were given to Maddow by David Cay Johnston.
Trump 2005 Tax Return (Clip)
On Tuesday evening, MSNBC began to tout what seemed to be a major scoop: It had a Trump tax return. The investigative journalist David Cay Johnston had received documents in the mail, and Rachel Maddow would tell all at the appointed hour. A previous leak during the campaign, to the New York Times, suggested that Trump had taken a $1 billion tax loss in the 1990s under circumstances that suggested aggressive tax planning at the best and flat-out cheating at the worst. However, we didn’t have the full returns to figure out what had actually happened.

Would this be the moment that we finally learned about Trump’s dealings with Russians, which might explain his solicitude to Vladimir Putin and Russian interests? Would we discover that, contrary to his claims, Trump has made very little in income or paid no income tax? After all, there must be some reason he refused to release his returns. Here, it was tempting to hope, was the moment it might all become clear.
Sadly, what Johnston received was not actually a complete copy of Trump’s tax returns, but rather his two-page Form 1040 from 2005. This is still big news in that we now know more than we did—assuming it is authentic, which the White House seemed to confirm in a statement Tuesday night—but it answers precious few of the questions many people have.
So, what did we learn? For one thing, we learned that Trump actually has earned substantial amounts over the years. Only about $100 million of the nearly $1 billion in losses from the early 1990s was still available in 2005, meaning Trump must have earned about $$900 million (about $81 million per year) in the intervening years, assuming no additional losses. Based on this slice of the return, we can rule out the theory that, at least up until 2005, Trump wanted to obscure his income because it was far less than he would otherwise have us believe. Of course, he likely paid precious little in taxes on that income because of the aforementioned losses.
We also now know that he has actually paid some taxes, contrary to some speculation (speculation he has only fueled by refusing to release his returns). We learned he would have would have owed only about $5 million in taxes on about $150 million in income (about 3 percent) but for the Alternative Minimum Tax (or AMT).  As it was, he paid about $36 million in income taxes, representing a rate of about 25 percent, far lower than the regular statutory rate. This might help explain his proposal to eliminate the AMT. ...
Tuesday’s leak is certainly a step in the right direction for those interested in transparency and the important norm that presidents should make clear to the American people where their interests lie so that we can evaluate their motives. Nonetheless, it falls far short of what one might hope for. The leak simply reinforces Trump’s claim that he has made a lot of money without answering any of the questions about his financial dealings and potential conflicts of interest.