Thursday, September 14, 2017

When the Rich Said No to Getting Richer

When people are serving, life is no longer meaningless.

To understand the UK’s low-pay crisis, Mark Carney needs to get out more The Guardian

Lionel Murphy files: Former High Court judge's link to underworld figure Abe Saffron confirmed

NOTORIOUS former High Court judge and Labor figure Lionel Murphy asked underworld boss Abe Saffron (right) - known as “Mr Sin' - to intimidate a lawyer who was suing him, according to secret documents released today

Treasure Islands Tax Havens and Lionel Murphy: the controversy continues

Camilla Hodgson, 'Life-changing consequences:' HMRC warns on risks of hiding wealth offshore in new crackdown (Business Insider Date not indicates but I believe today or yesterday), here.


The UK tax collector is sending letters warning of the "potentially life-changing consequences" of failing to disclose offshore-held wealth, as part of a drive to prevent people skirting tax rules. 
Millions of UK taxpayers are being sent the warning via their financial institutions and advisers. 
These institutions have been given until the end of August to explain to all clients the risks of failing to declare offshore-held money and assets. 

Reuters Staff, Up to 70 Swiss private banks fighting for survival: KPMG (Reuters 9/7/17), here.  Key exerpt:

Some 60 to 70 Swiss private banks are facing serious problems that could force them to close down or sell up, according to a study published on Thursday by consultancy KPMG.

Fighting diminishing profits caused by fierce competition and a global clampdown on tax evasion, these banks must work to cut costs and buy up competitors to reach adequate size. 
But many of the affected banks will ultimately have to exit the market, the study concluded. 
“I‘m convinced that at least half will disappear,” KPMG manager Christian Hintermann said, adding many of these banks were now making losses. “It’s ultimately a question of how long their owners want to carry these losses.”
* * * * 
The number of Swiss private banks has already fallen by over a third from 180 in 2005, according to the data. 

"Reflections on the Australian tax system" By The Tax Institute - September 12, 2017 written by Matthew Pawson CTA*

What America would look like if it guaranteed everyone a job Vox. UserFriendly: “At least they’re talking about it.”

Politicians have intentionally set tax rates on wages much higher than those on long-term investment returns. The U.S. has a progressive tax system in the sense that well-paid workers sacrifice much more than poor workers on their “ordinary income.” But Americans with so-called unearned income—qualified dividends and long-term capital gains—get a break. A billionaire investor can pay about the same marginal rate as a $40,000-a-year worker, a fact Warren Buffett has famously lamented…”

A new report, Tax Policy Reforms 2017 – OECD and Selected Partner Economies, provides comparative information on the tax reforms that were implemented, legislated or announced in 2016 in the 35 OECD countries, as well as in Argentina and South Africa.

More Signs of Private Equity Market Frenzy: Firms Selling Stakes

Yet more evidence that the private equity market is overheated.

Private Equity Bubble? What Private Equity Bubble?

Is Efficiency Biased?, by Zachary Liscow

NZ’s Jetfield Networks & Larkstone Ltd, the US$142.5 mln tipped into the alleged Azerbaijani Laundromat, and their formally warned NZ company agent Equity Trust International (Richard Smith)

How US Regulators Created the Equifax Mess

How regulators made credit bureaus like Equifax powerful, and why banks could live without them if they needed to

Bring in bounty rewards for whistleblowers, federal inquiry says

'Liar loans' hit $500b, mortgagors are 'more stretched' than banks ...

Paul Mason (Baylor), Steven Utke (Connecticut) & Brian Williams (Indiana), Why Pay Our Fair Share? How Perceived Influence Over Laws Affects Tax Evasion 

Paul Mason (Baylor), Steven Utke (Connecticut) & Brian Williams (Indiana), Why Pay Our Fair Share? How Perceived Influence Over Laws Affects Tax Evasion:

We examine how the relation between taxpayers and their government affects tax evasion. Specifically, we examine how perceived influence over government policymaking affects taxpayers’ tax evasion decisions. We argue that taxpayers are less willing to comply with tax laws when they perceive the influence over their government to be unfavorable to them or the result of an unfair policymaking process.

My friend and UCLA colleague Steven Bank [presented] a very interesting paper ... at a faculty colloquium, entitled When Did Tax Avoidance Become Respectable? ...
I'm neither a tax lawyer nor a theologian, but this got me to wondering what the Church taught on the subject. ... [A letter written by 11 heads of national Catholic Conferences says]:

New York Times op-ed:  When the Rich Said No to Getting Richer, by David Leonhardt:
A half-century ago, a top automobile executive named George Romney — yes, Mitt’s father — turned down several big annual bonuses. He did so, he told his company’s board, because he believed that no executive should make more than $225,000 a year (which translates into almost $2 million today). ...

Following up on last month's post, The LSAT's 'Noteworthy' Correlation To Bar Passage:  The National Jurist op-ed:  A Little Bit of Data Can Be a Lot Dangerous, by Aaron Taylor (St. Louis; Executive Director, AccessLex Center for Legal Education Excellence):
I recently penned a commentary titled, For Diversity: Let’s Talk Less About Pipelines and More About Why Blacks Are Not Admitted. In it, I argue that the law school admission process disproportionately excludes Black people from legal education for reasons that are unsupported by relevant data. In making my point, I referenced research conducted by a few law schools showing the measurable, but limited, value of the LSAT in predicting bar exam performance and the acquisition of lawyering skills.
I received many responses to my inbox. Some favorable. Some not. I am writing though to address a public rebuttal by Robert Steinbuch, a law professor at Arkansas-Little Rock. Steinbuch challenged my thesis by presenting a data table showing that graduates of his law school who entered with lower LSAT scores passed the bar exam at lower rates.