Monday, July 22, 2019

Taxing the Rich

Jeffrey Epstein's offshore fortune traced to Paradise Papers

ATO targets lawyer privilege in crackdown on multinationals

The Australian‎ 
The Australian Taxation Office will move to stop lawyers using legal professional privilege to frustrate ... 

SWIFT data can be a global vantage point for tackling global money laundering

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Mr Kapila's arrest follows that of Gagandeep Pahwa, 30, his domestic partner Gopali Dahl, 30, and their associate Bipin Thapa, 29, who were arrested by detectives from the Criminal Groups Squad last Thursday.

Fourth person arrested over alleged $100m money laundering syndicate, attempting to leave the country

Police have arrested a fourth person over an alleged $100 million money laundering syndicate, apprehending him as he attempted to leave the country at Sydney International Airport.
  • Via Lucy Cormack

Economic crime: How the Tories are leaving foxes in charge of the hen house

Efforts to tackle fraud, corruption and money laundering could fall victim to corporate capture, argues Prof Prem Sikka.

Rich people's problems - If America introduces a ... - The Economist

The Taxman Is Contacting People About Their Cryptocurrency

IN AMERICA, CLASS WARFARE IS DISGUISED AS CULTURE WAR: The death of the working class reporter: Journalism is becoming an elite profession—and that’s bad news.

Canada invests in whistleblower awards, and reaps the rewards

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Kimberly Clausing (Reed College), Taxing the Rich:
The Issue: Many Americans have not felt the benefits of strong GDP growth in recent decades, as thirty-five years of rising income inequality have concentrated the income growth at the top of the distribution. While the federal income tax system is progressive, it has failed to counter these trends, and some of our tax policy changes have in fact exacerbated inequality. At present, many feel that the U.S. government needs more revenue for urgent fiscal priorities such as infrastructure, yet the federal government is operating with high budget deficits and debt. Thus, as policy-makers search for new revenues, some are eager to increase tax payments by those at the top of the income distribution.

Class Warfare
Abigail Disney visited Disneyland undercover. She is ‘livid’ about what she saw CNN. Lambert had this in Water Cooler yesterday, but worth not missing. 

New York Times editorial, Can States Just Say No to Corporate Giveaways?:
No place better illustrates the absurdities of the proliferating use of tax incentives for job creation than the Kansas City metro area, which straddles the Missouri-Kansas state line.
Over the past decade, Missouri and Kansas have offered more than $330 million in tax breaks to lure companies back and forth across State Line Road. More than 100 companies and more than 12,000 workers have moved to new offices, some headed east, some headed west. Missouri poached Swiss Re and Applebee’s; Kansas got JPMorgan Chase and AMC Entertainment.

Best Job at Johnny Walker ;-) 

U.S. half-shuts door to financial secrecy, opens new window
TJN, 15 July 2019. The U.S. is the world’s second greatest contributor to global financial secrecy only faring better than Switzerland in complicity in enabling financial secrecy schemes that foster tax abuse, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The saving grace  was that it didn’t permit private foundations to be created – this in part gave the U.S. a lower secrecy score on the
Financial Secrecy Index than Switzerland. However, thanks to the new New Hampshire Act, private foundations can now be set up without needing to disclose the identity of their founders and beneficiaries, let alone their beneficial owners.

Independent MP Catherine Cumming hires her children and friends as staffers - The Guardian  

Tax scams spike 900pc after Canadian crackdown - Financial Review


Billions already flowing back to Australians in tax refunds


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Byron Bay: The coast of utopia surfer moms influencers

Last week I flew interstate and was lucky enough to sit next to a young mum with a baby and a toddler. The bloke assigned the seat had slid across the aisle into my seat, evidently terrified by a ...

From the looks of Instagram, Courtney Adamo and the surfing mamas of Byron Bay are living the dream. Can it be real?

For the clique of “midtier family lifestyle micro-influencers” based in Byron Bay, to have your life the subject of a Vanity Fair article would be an enticing prospect, but this article is damning.

Courtney Adamo center with Amanda Callan Aimee Winchester Mia Taninaka and Hana Taninaka on the beach
On first impression, Byron looks like beautiful but crowded beaches, high-end stores and cute cafés, quotidian spring breakers, tourist shops and Greyhound buses, linen at a startling array of price points, and nourishing grain bowls sprinkled with petals. The Byron of your digital and increasingly brand-sponsored imagination, however, is all that minus the bad stuff; a carefully curated bank of images designed to stoke your lifestyle longings. (If such are your dreams.) It’s a land of large, “nomadic” “broods” who “find their tribes” on life’s “journey.” Never mind that Australia’s policies on immigration and refugees are draconian bordering on vicious. In this young, mostly white, ahistorical, neoliberal utopia of the imagination, anyone can go anywhere. All you have to do is have a yard sale, hop in the gypsy caravan, point a finger at a map, and take up legal permanent residence anyplace that best showcases your lifestyle.

Joe Gagliese, cofounder of Viral Nation, an influencer marketing and talent agency based in Toronto, couldn’t think of another place like Byron Bay: a cross-tagging, cross-promoting, mutually amplifying, audience-sharing group of friends living, loving, working, and posting aspirational lifestyle content in a highly Instagrammable paradise. “I think that that place, that Byron place, is kind of like one of those unicorn locations,” he says, calling it an “example of the future—it’s either pretty scary or pretty cool, depending on how you look at it.”

Courtney Adamo’s minimalist, Shaker-style kitchen is gorgeous, but you already know that if you follow her. The house—one of the first built in the historic town of Bangalow, New South Wales—might just be the most overexposed house in Australia. With its clapboard cupboards, wooden stools, bulk dry goods in mason jars, Blanc Marble countertops (“slightly more expensive than the Carrara,” she explains in a blog post about her kitchen renovation, “but we are so happy with the decision”), Dunlin Chelsea Pendant Lights ($669 each), SMEG refrigerator ($2,870), Lacanche oven and stove (“range cooker of my dreams” and, at about $10,000, a “splurge”), the kitchen is like a scene out of Little House on the Trust Fund Prairie. Adamo (@courtneyadamo, 250K Instagram followers) is a midtier family lifestyle micro-influencer, which, if you don’t know, is a thing.

Adamo set up her Instagram account in 2011 to share pictures of the kids with her family. She didn’t know it was public until she got her first comment from a stranger. Now that she’s hit a quarter million followers, her settings remain unchanged. She still considers her feed her “personal thing,” but there’s something about the stream of photos—the uniform palette of beige and white, ochre and dusty rose, the coordinated clothes, the styled life, the sponsored content, the kids like modern-day Von Trapps—that looks like a massive ad campaign. But for what? Children? Good genes? Good taste? Good luck? In the comments, her fans want to know how she keeps the place so spotless with five kids in the house. (And it is spotless.) They want to know what product she uses in her hair. (Aveda is a partner.) They want to know where she got that dress, that paint color, those shoes, that life. They want to know her secret.
Byron Bay: The coast of utopia surfer moms influencers

Live TV Coverage of the Apollo 11 Landing and Moon Walk

Live TV Coverage of the Apollo 11 Landing and Moon Walk

by Jason Kottke  
Apollo 11 TV Coverage
You’ve heard by now that it’s the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, 50 years ago today, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon and went for a little walk. For the 11th year in a row, you canwatch the original CBS News coverage of Walter Cronkite reporting on the Moon landing and the first Moon walk on a small B&W television, synced to the present-day time. Just open this page in your browser today, July 20th, and the coverage will start playing at the proper time. Here’s the schedule (all times EDT):
4:10:30 pm: Moon landing broadcast starts
4:17:40 pm: Lunar module lands on the Moon
4:20:15 pm - 10:51:26 pm: Break in coverage
10:51:27 pm: Moon walk broadcast starts
10:56:15 pm: First step on Moon
11:51:30 pm: Nixon speaks to the Eagle crew
12:00:30 am: Broadcast end (on July 21)
Set an alarm on your phone or calendar!
This is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done online…here’s what I wrote when I launched the project in 2009:
If you’ve never seen this coverage, I urge you to watch at least the landing segment (~10 min.) and the first 10-20 minutes of the Moon walk. I hope that with the old time TV display and poor YouTube quality, you get a small sense of how someone 40 years ago might have experienced it. I’ve watched the whole thing a couple of times while putting this together and I’m struck by two things: 1) how it’s almost more amazing that hundreds of millions of people watched the first Moon walk *live* on TV than it is that they got to the Moon in the first place, and 2) that pretty much the sole purpose of the Apollo 11 Moon walk was to photograph it and broadcast it live back to Earth.
I wrote a bit last year about what to watch for during the landing sequence.
Two other things. You can also experience the landing and Moon walk live at Apollo 11 in Real Time. And it looks like CBS News is doing a livestream of Cronkite’s coverage of the landing on YouTube starting at 3:30pm. Nice to see them catching up! :)

Mortimer Caplin: Mapping Where The Creative Class Wants To Live

7 Secrets to Success ..... :- Answers found in a room. Roof said: Aim High, Fan said: Be Cool, Clock said: Every minute is precious, Mirror said: Reflect before you act, Window said: See the world, Calendar said: be up to date, Door said: push hard to achieve your goals. 
~ Dib Massam

At sto lat 100 year: Former IRS Commissioner Mortimer Caplin, seen at home in Chevy Chase, Md. on June 29, 2016, died July 15. He was 103.

CaplinMortimer Caplin, who helped shape the IRS and a major Washington, D.C. law firm, died July 15 at the age of 103.
Caplin was IRS commissioner under former President John F. Kennedy and later co-founded Caplin & Drysdale. As IRS chief, he worked to make the agency kinder and friendlier, according to an obituary from his alma mater, the University of Virginia.
Scott Michel, a member at Caplin & Drysdale who has been at the firm for nearly four decades, said that Caplin played a key role in the firm’s culture.
“Those of us who are old-timers around here frequently comment that the tone and culture and the level of excellence that we aspire to, you can trace right back to the tone and culture and level of excellence that Mort Caplin conveyed,” Michel said.
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a statement that Caplin had a powerful personal story and career of public service, highlighting his time at the IRS and as a beachmaster at Omaha Beach during the Normandy Invasion in World War II.

B-box is a beehive designed for use in close proximity to humans, like near your house or in an urban environment. It does this by separating the honey part of the hive from the area where the bees live and limiting their access to the hive through an entrance more than seven feet above the ground. 

HMRC chief Thompson quits in move to head audit regulator
Sir Jon Thompson is to leave the top post at HMRC after just three years to take on the role of chief executive at Financial Reporting Council

Search Engine Journal – “DuckDuckGo is rolling out several updates to its maps search experience while maintaining the same commitment to user privacy. Earlier this year, DuckDuckGo began using Apple Maps to power its maps search results. Since then, the company says it has been working on additional upgrades that are rolling out now. Here’s what’s new in DuckDuckGo maps search…”
  The secret Swiss Agent: Puzzling comments reveal new twist to the Lyme disease saga Stanford Medicine

Women in Rock & Roll’s First Wave is a project by Leah Branstetter that uncovers and highlights the women who pioneered rock & roll in the 50s.

For sixty years, conventional wisdom has told us that women generally did not perform rock and roll during the 1950s.

In every decade, you can find someone commenting on the absence of women on the charts during rock and roll’s heyday. Others note that women during that era were typically not so inclined to a wild, raucous style.

The reality is, however, that hundreds — or maybe thousands — of women and girls performed and recorded rock and roll in its early years.
And many more participated in other ways: writing songs, owning or working for record labels, working as session or touring musicians, designing stage wear, dancing, or managing talent — to give just a few examples.

Meet, for instance, Laura Lee Perkins.

Perkins cut several sides there, where she was backed by the same band that accompanied Ricky Nelson (she was thrilled that she also got to meet Nelson). The label did some publicity for her — though they appeared to have listed her under several different stage names — and apparently tried to bill her as the “female Jerry Lee Lewis” because of her skill at the piano. Perkins returned to Cleveland, where she had difficulty promoting her recordings. She recalls that being single and working as a waitress, she couldn’t muster the payola required to break through in some markets. She would play record hops where she would lip sync to her Imperial sides. Some of the other acts at the hops she played included Connie Francis, the Everly Brothers, and Fabian.

And Ruth Brown:

A red neck walks into a hardware store and asks for a saw that will help him cutdown 6 trees in one hour. 

The salesman recommends the top of the line chain saw model. 

The red neck is suitably impressed and buys it.

The next day he brings it back and says, “This saw is defective. It would only cut down one tree and it took all the gosh-darned day!”

The salesman takes the chain saw, starts it up to see what’s wrong, and the red neck asks, 

“What’s that noise?” 

Men at work
The ABC has a YouTube video of William Barton and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra playing Down Under  at Bob Hawke’s memorial service. (Warning – cellphone speakers won’t do justice to Barton’s didgeridoo

Amazon logo (2018)Amazon tells customers that renting textbooks instead of buying them can save up to 80 percent off the purchase price: “Get your textbooks delivered to your door and save both time and money."

Mapping Where The Creative Class Wants To Live

The creative class has seen remarkable growth in the past decade, increasing from 44 million members in 2005 to more than 56 million in 2017as virtually all large U.S. metros saw growth. The rate of creative class growth (27.2 percent) was more than double the growth rate of overall U.S. workforce (13.6 percent) over this period. – CityLab

The Author Of ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Says Books Are Better For The Brain Than Movies

Cressida Cowell, laureate for children’s literature and a writer whose fame has greatly benefitted from film and TV, says, “Books are a kind of transformative magic that offer magical things that films aren’t as good at creating in children: empathy, creativity and intelligence.” – The Guardian (UK)

Why miniatures matter. Alluring and inaccessible, they represent possibility and impossibility at once. They are tiny, but infinite in what they evoke 

Have We Hit Peak Podcast - The New York Times – If past experience (cough, blogs) is any indication, a shakeout is nigh. – “…Call him cynical, but Jordan Harbinger, host of “The Jordan Harbinger Show” podcast, thinks there is a “podcast industrial complex.” Hosts aren’t starting shows “because it’s a fun, niche hobby,” he said. “They do it to make money or because it will make them an influencer.”