Friday, May 12, 2017

Trust: Dodging Metaphorical bullets

When you sell a man a book, you don’t sell him just twelve ounces of paper and ink and glue – you sell him a whole new life.
The thing is that miracles happen so often, they seem normal to us, the morning comes and then the night, the sun and the moon rise and set, the earth gives us harvest after harvest, and we say I’ll do that tomorrow and tomorrow we’re still alive to do it. …. Reality is a miracle.

Microsoft CEO: tech sector needs to prevent '1984' future

MICROSOFT boss Satya Nadella has issued an ominous warning about the future of AI and the potential for a dystopian, 1984-esque future.

Jack TownsendLawyer, Alleged Offshore Account Enabler, Loses Motion to Dismiss Indictment. “I have previously written about Michael Little, a British and U.S. lawyer and U.S. permanent resident, who was indicted for enabling offshore evasion for U.S. taxpayers.”

Jim Maule, Judge Judy Tells Litigant to Contact the IRS

Lew Taishoff, NO GOOD DEED. “Remain vigilant. Especially when trying to do a good deed.”

 "To a lawman obsessed with independence, Mr. Trump was the ultimate loose cannon, making irresponsible claims on Twitter and jeopardizing the bureau’s credibility." ('Enough was enough': how festering anger at Comey ended in his firing. WashingtonPost)

Adam Thimmesch (Nebraska), Transacting in Data: Tax, Privacy, and the New Economy, 94 Denv. L. Rev. 145 (2016):
The technological developments of recent decades have allowed data to emerge as the functional equivalent of a currency in the digital economy. One result is that individuals now have the ability to obtain a wide variety of benefits, from cash discounts to access to news, social media, and online software, in exchange for their personal data. Scholars in a variety of fields recognize these personal-data transfers as market exchanges and have questioned the functioning and impact of the personal-data market. That market is currently invisible, however, for tax purposes.

Paying a ‘Fair Share’: new brief on taxing multinational companies

In this new brief just published by the Sheffield Political Economics Research Institute authors John Mikler and Ainsley Elbra address the issue of global corporate tax avoidance and consider how multinational corporations can be made to pay their fair share of tax. They focus in particular on the strategies to avoid taxation deployed by Apple and Google and consider in depth the public enquiries undertaken in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom into the methods of avoidance adopted...

Estimates on illicit flows to and from developing countries

Our friends at Global Financial Integrity have released their latest report on what they estimate to be the latest figures from 150 countries on illicit financial flows to and from developing countries for the period 2005-2014. Most of these flows arise from fraudulent trade mis-invoicing which, as they point out, adversely affects the lives of real people:
“The massive flows of illicit capital shown in this study represent diversions of resources from their most efficient social uses in developing economies and are likely to adversely impact domestic resource mobilization and hamper sustainable economic growth.” 

Rich List 2017: Britain has more billionaires than ever before

Dutch state railway sets up new Irish tax avoidance firm

Macau Introduces ATM Facial Recognition to Deter Chinese Money Laundering

Pew – May 3, 2017: Democrats’ confidence in country’s future declines sharply – “The 2016 election ushered in a new era in Washington defined by unified Republican control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. The changes in the dynamics of power in Washington have registered with members of both political parties. Somewhat more Republicans express trust in government today than did so prior to the election, while views among Democrats have moved in the opposite direction. For the first time since George W. Bush’s presidency, Republicans (28%) are more likely than Democrats (15%) to say they can trust the government in Washington to do the right thing just about always or most of the time. The share of Democrats expressing trust in government is among the lowest levels for members of the party dating back nearly six decades. The national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted April 5-11 among 1,501 adults, finds that the overall level of trust in government remains near historic lows; just 20% say they trust the government to do what’s right always or most of the time. Far more say they trust the government only some of the time (68%); 11% volunteer that they never trust the government to do what’s right…”

Convention broken: new Commonwealth Ombudsman an active SES

Stephen Hawking Thinks Humans Have Only 100 Years to Leave the Earth

Stephen Hawking thinks that humanity must leave Earth in the next century, and colonise another planet to ensure their survival, considering the dangers that lie ahead of us

Swiss Spy Agency Defends Practices After German Arrest in Tax Case

Multinationals taking over 'core' Tax Office work from public servants

The ATO is outsourcing sensitive tax work to a small army of labour hire workers in an "accounting trick" designed to disguise the size of the ATO workforce, .