Monday, August 15, 2016

Milk Dry - IMF: Tax and Power Implications

“In the darkness of secrecy, sinister interest and evil in every shape, have full swing. Only in proportion as publicity has place can any of the checks, applicable to judicial injustice, operate. Where there is no publicity there is no justice.” 
~ Jeremy Bentham

Australia’s government needs to scrap its “free trade Taliban mentality”, buy more local products and properly scrutinise foreign investment, says Nick Xenophon, the leader of one of the minor parties that holds considerable sway following last month’s election.
Most of all, it hurts that he is called Xenophon; some of you will know that Xenophon from ancient Greece was the first (surviving) author to point out the phenomenon of division of labor.
Apparently there is a “Great Xenophon stagnation” or even retrogression.  This passage notwithstanding, the Taliban, by the way, did not favor free trade

World Bank is revising its 2016 global growth forecast down to 2.4 percent from the 2.9 percent pace projected in January

Redefining corruption: Public attitudes to the relationship between government and business  

It began at the end of April when Australia's biggest milk processor, Murray Goulburn, slashed the price dairy farmers had been expecting for their milk. Instead of the $6 a kilogram that farmers had been relying for their milk solids, they were suddenly told they would be getting well under $5 a kilogram Dairy farmers forced to sell up in face of plunging milk prices 

Instant Milk Formula (IMF) 

Australians of a nervous disposition should probably avoid reading the Chinese press and social media at the moment. A combination of tensions over the South China Sea and the Olympics has made Australia the target of wild invective by Chinese nationalists.  Why Australia’s luck may be running out FT

Our World in Data by Max Roser – “[This graph and much more can be found in the Our World In Data-entry on how healthcare is financed.] The graph shows the relationship between what a country spends on health per person and life expectancy in that country between 1970 and 2014 for a number of rich countries. The US stands out as an outlier: the US spends far more on health than any other country, yet ...

Bank for International Settlement – Low long-term interest rates as a global phenomenon by Peter Hördahl, Jhuvesh Sobrun and Philip Turner. Working Papers No 574, August 2016

The ELSTAT case takes a new turn – IMF and Eurostat staff implicated Sigrún Davíðsdóttir (Richard Smith)

Speaking of IMF, only barely related to the above accept by abbreviation, but there was an interesting development in International Monetary Fund landscapes in May this year:
Once again Eastern Europe is the location of a geo-political struggle that could define Europe’s security for a generation. (This time there are not too many links to former communist Czechs or Slovaks) Moldova, a small country with a long history of foreign meddling, is at the epicenter of Eastern Europe. It is time for policymakers in the West start giving this tiny country more attention.
IMF and Eastern Europe

Global corruption costs trillions in bribes, lost growth …  Public sector corruption siphons $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion annually from the global economy in bribes and costs far more in stunted economic growth, lost tax revenues and sustained poverty, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. – Reuters
John Perkins is no stranger to making confessions. His well-known book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, revealed how international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, while publicly professing to “save” suffering countries and economies, instead pull a bait-and-switch on their governments: promising startling growth, gleaming new infrastructure projects and a future of economic prosperity – all of which would occur if those countries borrow huge loans from those organizations.
Far from achieving runaway economic growth and success, however, these countries instead fall victim to a crippling and unsustainable debt burden.
IMF A corrupt cop policing corruption

In recent years, citizens’ concerns about allegations of corruption in the public sector have become more visible and widespread. From São Paulo to Johannesburg, citizens have taken to the streets against graft. In countries like Chile, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Malaysia and Ukraine, they are sending a clear and loud message to their leaders: Address corruption!
Policymakers are paying attention too. Discussing corruption has long been a sensitive topic at inter-governmental organizations like the International Monetary Fund. But earlier this month at its Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru, the IMF hosted a refreshingly frank discussion on the subject.  The panel session provided a stimulating debate on definitions of corruption, its direct and indirect consequences, and strategies for addressing it, including the role that individuals and institutions such as the IMF can play. This blog gives a flavor of the discussion.
[PDF]Corruption: Costs and Mitigating Strategies; IMF Staff Discussion Paper

The International Monetary Fund is sending an economic team to Australia to examine the risks posed by property speculation and record-high household debt as part of a broad health check-up of the sagging domestic economy
IMF to probe Australia's record property and debt levels

Africa and IMF

The final aim [of a democratic assembly]….is the voting of wise decisions. The voters, therefore, must be made as wise as possible. The welfare of the community requires that those who decide issues shall understand them. They must know what they are voting about. And this, in turn, requires that so far as time allows, all facts and interests relevant to the problem shall be fully and fairly presented…As the self-governing community seeks, by the method of voting, to gain wisdom in action, it can find it only in the minds of its individual citizens. If they fail, it fails.  
~Alexander Meiklejohn, 1948

Is income received by way of salary by an Australian resident taxpayer from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) taxable in Australia?
No. The taxpayer is exempt from taxation in Australia on the salary received from the IMF.
IMF tax exempt income ...

The Issue With Taxation and Inequality

Medibank taps Sportsbet exec for CIO role

World Bank staff vs. World Bank president

We have been telling you that foreign agents will continue to be a big and growing issue (NYT, #Ukraine, #Russia, #Manafort).