Friday, August 17, 2018

Britain’s richest person to leave UK for tax-free Monaco

What Aretha Franklin’s singing taught me about writing. By Roy Peter Clark.
 *Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul with a voice that influenced a generation of singers, dies aged 76

NSW Parliament 'like Zimbabwe' as government suspends debate for the day ... Luke Foley and Michael Daley find themselves under latitudional dictatorship ...

Family affair: six charged in tobacco raids

A group of Chinese relatives allegedly laundered at least $11 million of dirty money for organised crime groups, after federal police seized 2.5 million illegally imported cigarettes in Melbourne.

"The reason we've seen queues out the door is we've all got that hope and it's nice to dream" 

    Two split record $100m Powerball jackpot - 1 in 130 million chance  

    Two people from Sydney and Victoria have shared the record-equalling $100 million Powerball jackpot.

Paying the stereotype tax in poker

Maria Konnikova is a writer for the New Yorker. Or she was until she went on sabbatical to play poker professionally. After immersing herself in the game while working on her third book, The Biggest Bluff, Konnikova discovered she was quite good at it, winning over $230,000 and a major tournament in a year.

Claudia Dreifus recently interviewed Konnikova for the New York Times and asked her about how she handles being one of the few women on the pro circuit.

When you see someone looking a certain way, you assume they play a certain way. So once I figure out how they view women, I can figure out how to play against them. They’re not seeing me as a poker player, they’re seeing me as a female poker player.
There are people who’d rather die than be bluffed by a woman. They’ll never fold to me because that’s an affront to their masculinity.
I never bluff them. I know that no matter how strong my hand, they are still going to call me because they just can’t fold to a girl.
Other people think women are incapable of bluffing. They think if I’m betting really aggressively, it means I have an incredibly strong hand. I bluff those people all the time.
There are people who think that women shouldn’t be at a poker table, and they try to bully me. So, what do I do? I let them. And I wait to be in a good position so that I can take their chips. Just like life, right?

In a 2015 NPR interview, pro player Annie Duke talked about getting her opponents to pay the stereotype tax.

VEDANTAM: She says she divided the men who had stereotypes about her into three categories.
DUKE: One was the flirting chauvinists, and that person was really viewing me in a way that was sexual.
VEDANTAM: With the guys who were like that, Annie could make nice.
DUKE: I never did go out on a date with any of them, but you know, it was kind of flirtatious at the table. And I could use that to my advantage.
VEDANTAM: And then there was the disrespecting chauvinist. Annie says these players thought women weren’t creative.
DUKE: There are strategies that you can use against them. Mainly, you can bluff those people a lot.
VEDANTAM: And then there’s a third kind of guy, perhaps the most reckless.
DUKE: The angry chauvinist.
VEDANTAM: This is a guy who would do anything to avoid being beaten by a woman. Annie says you can’t bluff an angry chauvinist. You just have to wait.
DUKE: What I say is, until they would impale themselves on your chips.

A reader linked to this article:  Shoshanna Solomon, Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank rejects $342 million US fine to settle tax evasion probe (The Times of Israel 8/8/18), here.

I hesitate to do excerpts because the article is short and has good information throughout.  Still, here are some excerpts as a teaser:

In a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange late Tuesday, the bank said that it received a notice from the US Justice Department that it is willing to close the investigation if the bank agrees to pay a fine of $342 million. 

The letter from the representative of the US Justice Department stated the amount without any indication of how it was reached, the bank said in the filing. The letter also included a draft factual document that could be used as a basis for a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, with the aim of negotiating the terms of an agreement, the filing said. 

The board of directors instructed the bank’s attorneys to inform the US authorities that they reject the offer, saying that any amount to be paid to the US regulators should be “significantly lower” than the amount suggested. To date, the bank has set aside some $45 million to cover a potential settlement with the US authorities. 
The rot goes so deep, and goes back so long Kathmandu Declaration on Curbing Illicit Financial Flows: Restoring Justice for Human Rights Financial Transparency Coalition

Venezuelan president implicated in US investigation of €160 million laundered through Malta The Malta Independent

Daphne Caruana Galizia: family of murdered Maltese journalist demand public inquiry into her death The Independent (UK)

Daphne’s murder was ‘a warning to others’ – Dutch MEP Times of Malta

Swiss can give bank client data to India in tax dodge case – court Reuters

Why the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base is much more than a cryptic acronym The Greens | European Free Alliance

Ireland in crosshairs in debate on tax and multinationals The Irish Times

Rick Gates Delivers a Public Lesson on Money Laundering and Political Corruption. The New Yorker

Britain’s richest person to leave UK for tax-free Monaco The Guardian

Where the Super-Rich Go to Buy Their Second Passport Bloomberg

“Golden visas”: EU confronts member states issuing citizenship for money Deutsche Welle

How to return one billion dollars stolen from the people of Uzbekistan openDemocracy

China widens net to nab celebrity tax dodges and money laundering South China Morning Post

Goldman Trader Claims Kafkaesque Firing Over `Notorious’ Client Bloomberg
‘… claims in a lawsuit that the bank retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on its failure to comply with anti-money-laundering policies.’

The Swiss fascination with all things crypto PitchBook
‘… at its core, “Swiss Banking” is about wealth preservation … one of the major appeals has always been the safekeeping of clients’ assets and ideally avoiding too much transparency and public limelight. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies enable these custody solutions’

Inside the New “Fortress” in New York City That’s Housing Millions of Dollars of Art Artsy
See also, (from 2017), The Role of Freeports in the Global Art Market Artsy: ‘In the era of offshore expansion in the late twentieth century, tax loopholes and secrecy domains acquired a much greater significance in the global economy, and for art, the freeport became the physical equivalent of a Swiss bank account.’