Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Velcoming Vietnam: How Tax Evasion Increases Inequality

Better a wise man’s servant than an idiot’s master - Vietnamese Proverbs 

Vietnam 2018: Best of Vietnam Tourism
  • 7 reasons to visit Nha Trang, the underrated pearl of Vietnam


  • Via MEdia Dragon spiritual Brother George Clooney
  • Nguoth Oth Mai in June 2014 purchased the seven-figure home in Narre Warren, in Melbourne's south-east
  • The 22-year-old was on welfare and living in a housing commission when he purchased the property
  • Court documents reveal the home was bought using five payments from African companies, police allege 
  • Nguoth Oth Mai is the son of former chief of staff to Sudan's People's Liberation Army, James Hoth Mai
  • Police hope to seize the mansion following civil action launched under the Proceeds of Crime Act 

South Sudanese military general's son, 22, on welfare benefits

How Tax Evasion Increases Inequality   

Total tax evasion among the top 0.01% in Scandinavia is roughly 10 times the level of the population at large.


NBER [access req’d]: Unions and Inequality Over the Twentieth Century: New Evidence from Survey Data. Henry S. Farber, Daniel Herbst, Ilyana Kuziemko, Suresh Naidu. NBER Working Paper No. 24587 Issued in May 2018


The first four Coalition Federal budgets have all left Australia much poorer. The fifth, last week, continues that trajectory. In the concluding part of his series, Alan Austin examines how the treasure was lost and strategies for its recovery.
[Read Part One Counting the cost of the Coalition (Part 1): A nation's loss ]
Counting the cost of the Coalition (Part 2): Where has Australia’s wealth gone?

Story image for Ato tax attract from The Australian

The year of taxing dangerously

You may be able to do a deal with the Australian Taxation Office but ... it much harder for entrepreneurial companies to attract expertise onto their boards it is too risky

Here's how you can earn reward points on your tax bill

HOW TO LAUNDER RUSSIAN MONEY: For Wired magazine, Garrett M. Graff details the levels of obfuscation launderers use. Namely, they: 1) Place the dough in a financial institution, 2) Move it around to make its origin harder to trace, often through layers of LLCs, 3) “Integrate” it out of the banks and into a “legitimate” investment like real estate, or, in the case of Walter White in “Breaking Bad,” a cash-rich business like a car wash.

Tax Justice:  links to this press release from EPSU, the European Public Service Union which comprises 8 million public service workers from over 265 trade unions. Here’s their joint statement on their new research on McDonald’s, entitled Unhappy Meal report.

The myth of the self-made person

Richard murphy had already been writing about what I think the true meaning of a company is when he read this in an email from The Sunday Times this morning:

No one builds their own fortunes.
No one is self-made.
The Sunday Times might like to promote the myth at the behest of, or to flatter, Rupert Murdoch. But the simple fact is that everyone has to work in company. And the bread has to be shared.
Those who think otherwise need to be reminded, often, of the folly of their thinking and, too often, their ways..

Measures to tackle black economy are suspiciously totalitarian

Cash ban plays right into Bitcoin's hands - News.com.au

ATO reveals 'what attracts our attention'

A sure-fire way to attract unwanted attention and even a full audit from the Tax Office is to make these common suspicious actions  

Dog Owners of Tribeca

Photo by Taro the Shiba InuCC BY 2.0

My favorite news story from last week: it turns out that ten years ago, a group of dog owners inTribeca installed a lock on a public New York City dog park, and started charging people a membership fee—$120 a year—if they wanted to use the (public!) park. They created a list of rules, most of which focused on keeping others out, and, if you violated the rules, you were kicked out, and apparently had to let your dog play with other proletariat dogs. (N.b.: this state of affairs lastedten years, until the city finally cut the lock and reopened the park to the public.)
This story has everything: self-absorbed and self-righteous New Yorkers; a funny thing I read on Twitter while sitting in church Sunday; a bit on this week’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. And, perhaps more importantly, a tax angle. See, these snooty, selfish New Yorkers did something more than hijack a public space—they formed a tax-exempt organization to manage it. Continue reading

Total tax evasion among the top 0.01% in Scandinavia is roughly 10 times the level of the population at large.


HSBC is one of the world’s largest and most powerful financial institutions with offices on five continents, including in Australia.
It likes to spruik its financial might and global reach.  
Behind the corporate gloss, it has a far less attractive reputation.  
The bank has been at the centre of several of the biggest financial scandals uncovered this century.

Warren Buffett believes cybersecurity incidents will rise, and with it the potential to significantly harm the insurance industry. "Cyber is uncharted territory. It's going to get worse, not better," he said at the Berkshire Hathaway 2018 Annual Shareholders Meeting Saturday. "There's a very material risk which didn't exist 10 or 15 years ago and will be much more intense as the years go along." Buffett said he doesn't want much underwriting exposure to cybersecurity threats for Berkshire's insurance businesses. He noted the company has a "pretty good idea" on how to properly assess the probabilities for earthquakes in California and hurricanes in Florida, but not with computer hacking threats. The investor expressed skepticism that any insurance company can assess the risk for cybersecurity events.

Ars Technica May 7, 2018
A mass hacking campaign that targets a critical vulnerability in the Drupal content management system has converted more than 400 government, corporate, and university websites into cryptocurrency mining platforms that surreptitiously drain visitors' computers of electricity and computing resources, a security researcher said Monday. Sites that were hacked included those belonging to computer maker Lenovo, the University of California at Los Angeles, the US National Labor Relations Board, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners, and the city of Marion, Ohio, Troy Mursch, an independent security researcher, told Ars on Monday. The Social Security Institute of the State of Mexico and Municipalities, the Turkish Revenue Administration, and Peru's Project Improvement of Higher Education Quality were also affected. The US had the largest concentration of hacked sites, with at least 123, followed by France, Canada, Germany, and the Russian Federation, with 26, 19, 18 and 17, respectively.