Sunday, November 12, 2017


IT’S LIKE ANCIENT ROME:  Or Game of Thrones. Purge of Saudi princes, businessmen widens, travel curbs imposed.

SHIELDING KIDS FROM UGLY TRUTHS DOESN’T DO THEM ANY FAVORS:  Why parents should talk to their children about terrorism

A Man Visiting a Woman Washing her Hands, Gabriel Metsu

Revealed: how Nike stays one step ahead of the taxman

Congressional leaders call for sexual harassment training BayNews9. JTM: “Lots of fun and funny stuff in this article, starting with syntax of the headline– ‘What, Congress needs training in sexual harassment? I thought they all came in with that!'”

Why You’ve Never Heard of a Charter as Important as the Magna Carta

How the Charter of the Forest set forth the idea of the commons and managed to survive for over 750 years despite being under attack
What Is Fat Leonard Scandal? 440 Navy Officials Investigated For Taking Bribes International Business Times

 Another data leak broke on Sunday, November 5, while I was on a plane home from Bergen, Norway. Coincidentally, Diane Ring and I were in Bergen presenting our Leak-Driven Law paper at a tax conference organized by Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, Norwegian Centre for Taxation, and Notre Dame University.
This new “Paradise Papers” leak involves a set of 13.4 million records from 1950 to 2016.
“The new files come from two offshore services firms as well as from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in jurisdictions that serve as waystations in the global shadow economy. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.”
The two offshore services firms in question are the offshore law firm Appleby and Asiaciti Trust, anoffshore specialist headquartered in Singapore. Over 7 million of the records came from Appleby and affiliates.
Diane and I argued in Leak-Driven Law that (1) the high-salience and shocking nature of tax and other leaks and (2) the interventions of the press and other actors in processing, framing, and generating publicity about these leaks are important features that can affect how legal responses and reactions occur in the aftermath of a leak. We’ll be keeping track of how events unfold in the aftermath of this latest leak and how it fits or doesn’t fit with the observations in our paper:
Some initial notes and reactions:
This was at Least in Part a Cyber Hack.
Most of the news coverage I’m seeing is focused on the content on the leak, but it’s worth noting that at least with respect to Appleby, this new leak was in part a result of a cyberattack on Appleby that happened last year. I haven’t seen anything to suggest that this was a data theft by an insider (e.g., employee) turned whistleblower. In its response to the leak, Appleby defended itself and noted the challenges of cyber-crime for individuals and businesses.
The Appleby Hack Occurred in 2016.

Citigroup, 21st Century Fox, Twitter: Prince’s Arrest Touches Many NYT

The leak of the “Paradise Papers”, a trove of 13.4m documents claiming to show how “the rich get richer through offshore manoeuvres”, quickly inflamed both politicians and campaigners..
But for tax experts, the conclusions were less clear…Pascal Saint-Amans, the top tax official at the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said: “They are quite different from the Panama Papers.”
He said the schemes in question were mostly, if not totally, legal. “Some are not even questionable from a legitimacy point of view.”