Tuesday, January 17, 2017

World of Certainties in Global Cities

"It's not just dishonest, this selective sorting of facts. It's self-defeating. Because as my mother used to tell me, reality has a way of catching up with you." U.S. President Barack Obama in his final public address 

Crowd-funded train arrives in Berlin

On 14 December 2016, the eco-powered and crowd-sourced train company starts daily trips between Stuttgart and Berlin

Armed robber is killed on camera as he tries to hold up gun store in Georgia Daily Mail. “Is there any surer way to win a Darwin Award than attempting to rob a gun store?”

Defensive Ladle Use: Watch cooks chase knife-wielding robber from Chinese eatery. “Note the second cook grabbing the stool as he went after the perp. Smart move. A chair is a great defensive weapon against a knife

Speaking of backstabbing, Accounting Today, IRS Names Acting Chief Counsel Following William Wilkins’ Departure ...

William J. Wilkins has tendered his resignation as Chief Counsel effective as of noon on January 20, 2017. Mr. Wilkins was nominated by President Obama to replace Donald L. Korb, who resigned from the position in late 2008. Mr. Wilkins was confirmed by the Senate to serve as Chief Counsel in July 2009

Former MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s frustration as FBI sat on Donald Trump Russia file for months Independent. Dear Lord. Steele was shopping product for the firm he owned, and he couldn’t close the sale with multiple outlets. No wonder he experienced “frustration.” I mean, Steele couldn’t get Jebbie to buy in, and the Jeb! campaign lit $250 million on fire and threw it up into the air…

NY Times Dealbook (2013)New York Times Deal Book: With Competition Fierce, Even Elite Law Firms Resort to the Unusual, by Elizabeth Olson:

America’s law firms, even the most prominent, are mired in an era of noticeably modest growth and volatility in the industry, and 2017 promises to be no better.

Fierce competition is prompting firms to take unusual steps to bolster their profiles. Top firms are hiring groups of lawyers to expand specific practice areas, changing pay practices, jettisoning or demoting some partners and staff members and seeking ways to distinguish their brands to set them apart from competitors.

Beyond that, the top-drawer firms are increasingly jostling with one another to win lucrative legal work. It is getting tougher for firms to hang onto traditional portfolios of corporate business and avoid elbowing from rivals.

Huge haul of fake car parts bound for Australia seized in Middle East

Tens of thousands of potentially dangerous counterfeit car parts destined for Australia have seen seized in a raid in Abu Dhabi, as the United Arab Emirates cracks down on the lucrative trade in fake parts.
MEdia Dragons Must Do Better in 2017 FAIR

Literary Agents The New Republic (MR). “Gloria Steinem, who worked with the CIA in the 1950s and ’60s, ‘was happy to find some liberals in government in those days,’ arguing that the agency was “nonviolent and honorable.'” Yes, that Gloria Steinem. Admirably consistent

Meryl Streep Finally Realized the Government Does Terrible Things AntiMedia 

Column 8 is 70 years young 

Canada names Chrystia Freeland, leading Russia critic, as foreign minister Guardian 

US intelligence ‘found no sign that Russia hacked Trump campaign’ Financial Times. Remember how in the last ten days the CIA said the FBI agreed with its hacking claims re the RNC and the FBI was silent? The other shoe has dropped.  

It’s getting to the point where nothing is believable NSW Bear Pit like

Unted Nations declares 2017 international year sustainable tourism development

“The share of the world’s population living in cities is steadily increasing. A majority of the world’s population has lived in an urban setting since 2007. This trend of urbanization will likely continue — an estimated two of every three people will be living in a city by 2050. To identify the largest cities in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed The World’s Cities in 2016, a report from the United Nations that compared the world’s mega-cities — defined by the UN as having a population of at least 10 million people. The number of mega-cities has grown from 10 in 1990 to 31 in 2016, and another 10 cities are projected to reach mega-city status by 2030. The largest city in the world is currently Tokyo, Japan, home to approximately 38,140,000 residents.”

Korff, Douwe and Wagner, Ben and Powles, Julia and Avila, Renata and Buermeyer, Ulf, Boundaries of Law: Exploring Transparency, Accountability, and Oversight of Government Surveillance Regimes (January 5, 2017). Global Report – January 2017. Available at SSRN:https://ssrn.com/abstract=2894490

 Israeli diplomat who plotted against MPs also set up political groups Guardian. Election meddling ZOMG!!!!!!!!

Taxable Talk: The 2016 Tax Offender of the Year, by Russ Fox:
Every year I hope that I won’t find any deserving individuals of the Tax Offender of the Year Award. To win this award, you need to do more than cheat on your taxes; it has to be a Bozo-like action or actions. As usual, we had plenty of nominees.

Coming in third this year is the Internal Revenue Service. What did the IRS do to deserve this award? Well, we have the IRS Scandal; it’s still unresolved. If we were to believe the IRS nothing untoward happened! I’m sure that’s why Commissioner Koskinen faced an impeachment resolution. And remember the data breaches? It wasn’t 104,000 people who were victimized back in 2015 (the “Get Transcript Hack) nor was it 334,000 taxpayers. There were over 700,000 people impacted (and over 500,000 unsuccessful attempts)! As Joe Kristan says, “The IRS: Protecting your identity since 1913.” Or not

Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting Discussion Group, The Future of Tax Administration and Enforcement (Jan. 7, 2016):

AALS Discussion Groups provide an in-depth discussion of a topic by a small group of invited discussants selected in advance by the Annual Meeting Program Committee. In addition to the invited discussants, additional discussants were selected through a Call for Participation. There will be limited seating for audience members to observe the discussion groups on a first-come, firstserved basis.

Enforcement and effective administration of tax laws pose challenges for every country, developed and developing. Moreover, how the tax law is administered determines the substantive effects of the laws on the books.

Problems with Destination-Based Corporate Taxes and the Ryan Blueprint, by Reuven S. Avi-Yonah (Michigan; moving to UC-Irvine) & Kimberly A. Clausing (Reed College)

 IRS Issues Final and Temporary Debt-Equity Regulations Under Section 385, by David S. Miller (Proskauer, New York) & Janicelynn Asamoto Park (Proskauer, New York

 Is Something Rotten in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg?, by Omri Marian (UC-Irvine)

Protecting Trump's $916 Million of NOLs, by Steve Rosenthal (Tax Policy Center)

  The Right Tax at the Right Time, by Edward Kleinbard (USC)