Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Good Things Happen Slowly

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Do I Carry A Dangerous Amount Of Belly Fat?

Social impact bonds (SIBs) have recently generated a lot of excitement nationwide as an innovative way to finance social projects. A SIB is a financing mechanism that uses private capital to fund social services, with the government only repaying investors their capital plus a potential return on investment if improved social outcomes are achieved. As such, it brings together the private, public and non-profit sector in a manner that unlocks an additional source of capital to fund social service providers, promotes innovation, encourages interagency cooperation and creates more accountability. Despite these benefits, the tax law likely hinders the development of SIB-funded programs in the United States by discouraging private investment in SIBs.

In recent weeks, Swiss prosecutors have been gripped by a mystery, trying to figure out why someone tried to flush tens of thousands of euros down the toilet at a Geneva branch of UBS.
And not just once.
The first €500 bills were discovered several months ago in a bathroom close to a bank vault containing hundreds of safe deposit boxes, according to a report in Tribune de Geneve confirmed by the city prosecutor’s office. A few days later, Bloomberg adds that more banknotes turned up in toilets at three nearby restaurants, requiring thousands of francs in plumbing repairs to unclog the pipes. Indeed, AP adds that at one pizzeria, police were informed after the clogged toilet had overflowed.
In all, police have extracted tens of thousands of euros in soiled bills, many of which appear to have been cut with scissors.
While destroying banknotes isn’t a crime in Switzerland, “there must be something behind this story,” said Henri Della Casa, a spokesman for the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office. “That’s why we started an investigation.” He declined to discuss the case further.

If the money had been stolen and been marked by police or had the serial numbers recorded, then there wouldn’t be any mystery for the police to solve — but apart from that, I can’t imagine any reason for flushing away perfectly good money.

The Washington Post’s robot reporter has published 850 articles in the past year

Most Americans think government could be monitoring phone calls and emails ... according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in February. Just 13% of the public say it is “not at all likely” that the government is monitoring their communications.

‘Profitable’ Washington Post adding more than five dozen journalists (to over 750)

Are you confused by the language, structure, operations and frameworks that comprise the growin cryptocurrency universe? Visual Capitalist “…worked with social trading network eToro to come up with an infographic that breaks down the major differences between these coins all in one place.”

Via FiveThiryEight – Politicians Write Lots Of Books. Here’s How Far Into Them People Read: “…here are two ways to slice this data. First, you can look at the percentage of the book the average listener played (the second column from the right). The average reader made it through three-quarters of “Faith of My Fathers” by John McCain. That’s ridiculously high. Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee all had average completion percentages, between 65 and 70 percent, for “American Dreams,” “Unintimidated,” and “God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy,” respectively. The books that don’t do so well by this measure come from both sides of the aisle, but they do have one thing in common: They’re looooong. So the other way to gauge who’s written the most engaging political books is to look at how much time listeners are spending with them. (The right-most column.) We can use the average amount of time spent listening to a book — completion percentage multiplied by book length — which doesn’t penalize books for being lengthier. In this case, “Decision Points,” the presidential memoir by President George W. Bush, “Hard Choices,” the 2014 memoir by Hillary Clinton, and “A Time for Truth” by Ted Cruz come out looking very good. It turns out that people are willing to listen to Bush, Clinton and Cruz speak uninterrupted for many more hours than I expected…”

See also the New York Times – In China’s Hinterlands, Workers Mine Bitcoin for a Digital Fortune – “One of the largest sources of Bitcoin can be found in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, despite Chinese skepticism over its potential for risk.”

HONESTLY, I HADN’T HEARD MOST OF THESE: Top 12 male grooming myths exposed.

The European Commission published a new report on Thursday, September 21, 2017, on the taxation of the digital economy:  Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: A Fair and Efficient Tax System in the European Union for the Digital Single Market:

The Digital Single Market (DSM) is one of the 10 political priorities of the European Commission. The DSM strategy1 aims to open up digital opportunities for people and businesses in a market of over 500 million EU consumers. Completing the Digital Single Market could contribute to EUR 415 billion per year to Europe's economy, create jobs and transform our public services. In the 18 months following the adoption of the DSM Strategy, the European Commission delivered the announced proposals. In the mid-term review of the strategy 2 it has updated its analysis and focused on the next series of challenges. Digital technologies are transforming our world and having an important impact on taxation systems. They help improving their management, offering solutions to reduce administrative burdens, facilitate collaboration between tax authorities, and address tax evasion. However, they transform business models, with intangibles playing an increasingly important role, putting pressure on Europe's taxation system.

Some feasts are glorious and value life, while others are criminal, or will cause madness. This is the correct way to be a cannibal

Good news: Scientists have discovered a new species of giant rat

POGO – Know Your Rights: Whistleblower Protections for Federal Sector Employees.

“The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has put together this web resource to help federal sector employees learn more about their whistleblower rights. The information here is just a starting point and is not legal advice.