The New Yorker – How the Math Men Overthrew the Mad Men – “The power of Math Men is awesome. Google and Facebook each has a market value exceeding the combined value of the six largest advertising and marketing holding companies. Together, they claim six out of every ten dollars spent on digital advertising, and nine out of ten new digital ad dollars. They have become more dominant in what is estimated to be an up to two-trillion-dollar annual global advertising and marketing business. Facebook alone generates more ad dollars than all of America’s newspapers, and Google has twice the ad revenues of Facebook.
- To read the full report, go to: http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/514
“Last week, several news outlets obtained financial records showing that Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, had used a shell company to receive payments from various firms with business before the Trump Administration. In the days since, there has been much speculation about who leaked the confidential documents, and the Treasury Department’s inspector general has launched a probe to find the source. That source, a law-enforcement official, is speaking publicly for the first time, to The New Yorker, to explain the motivation: the official had grown alarmed after being unable to find two important reports on Cohen’s financial activity in a government database. The official, worried that the information was being withheld from law enforcement, released the remaining documents. The payments to Cohen that have emerged in the past week come primarily from a single document, a “suspicious-activity report” filed by First Republic Bank, where Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants, L.L.C., maintained an account. The document detailed sums in the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to Cohen by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, the telecommunications giant A.T. & T., and an investment firm with ties to the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg. The report also refers to two previous suspicious-activity reports, or SARs, that the bank had filed, which documented even larger flows of questionable money into Cohen’s account. Those two reports detail more than three million dollars in additional transactions—triple the amount in the report released last week. Which individuals or corporations were involved remains a mystery. But, according to the official who leaked the report, these SARs were absent from the database maintained by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN. The official, who has spent a career in law enforcement, told me, “I have never seen something pulled off the system… That system is a safeguard for the bank. It’s a stockpile of information. When something’s not there that should be, I immediately became concerned.” The official added, “That’s why I came forward.”
Facebook loses fight with IRS over 7B tax bill from overseas income The Register: “Facebook has lost its bid to throw out a tax bill on $7bn worth of income it had stashed overseas. A Northern District of California judge ruled in favor of the IRS this week, finding the Social Network did not have standing to challenge the tax bod’s finding that Facebook underreported its revenues via its Ireland-based subsidiary. The IRS found that, from the 2008 through 2010 tax years, Facebook failed to report (and pay taxes on) about $7bn of income. Facebook challenged that ruling, asking that the case be taken in front of the IRS Appeals board – an independent group that sorts out tax disputes. The US tax body moved to have the case thrown out, saying there was nothing on the books that oblige it to give Facebook an appeals hearing, certainly not with IRS Appeals…
- On Monday, Judge Laurel Beeler (Northern District of California) granted the government’s motion, deciding that Facebook does not have standing to force the matter before IRS Appeals…”
The ATO’s fight against offshore tax evasion is continuing with compliance action now underway against more than 100 Australian taxpayers with links to Swiss banking
Sleeping rough in Adelaide
CASE STUDY: Learning what people sleeping rough need from government and charities isn't easy ‒ especially when even their name is unknown.
Women in the workforce increasingly isolated & exploited
"The Government has responded to the increasing evidence of exploitation and its intersection with women’s workforce vulnerability by cutting advice and assistance to women workers." (The Power to Persuade)