Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Frequently asked questions about becoming a whistleblower

“I have often heard Degas say that in painting you must give the idea of the true by means of the false.”
~Walter Sickert, “The Royal Academy” (English Review, June 1912)

HIRED: Jamie Tarabay moves from CNN International in Hong Kong to her hometown of Sydney for The New York Times to expand its Australian coverage.

Facebook wants your banking information, too Quartz (Kevin W). Original story: Facebook to Banks: Give Us Your Data, We’ll Give You Our Users Wall Street Journal. Readers incensed, many threatened to dump their bank if it shared data.

Why sleep in a McDonald’s?

Kirsten Gillibrand Pays The Price For Speaking Out Against Al Franken Huffington Post. UserFriendly: “LOL Clinton world goes after Gillibrand for being an opportunist.”

The two biggest trends on Earth Axios. About inequality.

Instead of houses, young people have houseplantsEconomist (UserFriendly). I have cats because they are much more difficult to kill than plants (cats are very vocal as to their needs), but I’d have plants too if I were more successful with them.

(A Just World) Hang’em High Ian Welsh 

The robot paradox Stumbling and Mumbling (UserFriendly)

Micheler, Eva and Whaley, Anna, Regulatory Technology – Replacing Law with Computer Code (July 9, 2018). LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 14/2018. Available at SSRN:
“Recently both the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority have carried out experiments using new digital technology for regulatory purposes. The idea is to replace rules written in natural legal language with computer code and to use artificial intelligence for regulatory purposes. This new way of designing public law is in line with the government’s vision for the UK to become a global leader in digital technology. It is also reflected in the FCA’s business plan.

More than 20 per cent of APS submissions not made public

Frequently asked questions about becoming a whistleblower

Thinking about becoming a whistleblower? Here are some of the things you should consider before sharing your information.

I'm worried that we will run out of sources when we need them the most

Edward Snowden calls for whistleblower protections and talks about life after leaking documents from inside the U.S. National Security Agency that revealed worldwide surveillance programs.

The 11 Most Over-the-Top Mancaves

Physicists’ simple spanks economists’ complex in economic growth forecasts ars technica. Chuck L: “Someone should introduce these people to the works of Steve Keen & Co.”

Simona Weinglass, Why are Israeli banks asking customers where their money comes from? (Times of Israel, here.  Excerpts:

Israelis with business interests abroad report being summoned to their local bank, being asked to explain how they earned their money, and, if unable to provide satisfactory answers, having their bank account closed. 

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The reason for these changes, Supervisor of Banks Hedva Ber told a conference in December, is that three of Israel’s major banks have come under criminal investigation over the past seven years by the US Justice Department for allegedly helping thousands of US citizens launder money and evade taxes — a fairly devastating state of affairs that has garnered remarkably little public attention. 

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Bank Leumi admitted wrongdoing in 2014, agreeing with the US Justice Department that it had conspired to aid and assist a minimum of 1,500 US taxpayers to prepare and present false tax returns to the US Internal Revenue Service by hiding income and assets in offshore bank accounts in Israel and elsewhere around the world. According to a US Justice Department press release, Bank Leumi’s “criminal activity” spanned over a decade from at least 2000 to 2011, during which time Leumi also provided “hold mail” service for approximately 2,450 US accounts whereby bank statements were held abroad and not sent sent to the customer’s address in the United States. To avoid prosecution, Bank Leumi agreed to pay $400 million in fines to the US and New York State governments. 

Meanewhile, Bank Hapoalim and Bank Mizrahi are still being investigated by the Department of Justice and the numbers of customers involved and size of the fines are expected to be on a similar scale. 

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How superstition changes the way we make decisions
"The simple act of crossing one’s fingers or clutching a rabbit’s foot keychain flips loss aversion on its head. People become more risk-seeking in gains but more risk-averse when facing losses." (Kellogg School blog)

Why we choke under pressure (and how not to)
"We’ve shown perhaps counterintuitively that individuals who have the most ability to focus, the most working memory, the most fluid intelligence, are actually more prone to perform poorly under stress." (Freakonomics podcast)

Tax evasion and cocaine charges: the shady empire of 'Mr Legit'

Accused Canberra cocaine importer ordered to pay ATO $12 million


It is an absurdity that the Prime Minister can merely pick whoever he wants to be the commissioner – with no specified competitive process, writes Verona Burgess.
Let’s assume we had a can opener – or if not a can opener, a public service review that was prepared to resolve the hottest button issues in conflicts of interest.
In the end, it all boils down to what parts of the Public Service Act 1999 need amending, along with some consequential amendments to other acts where necessary.
While the PS act should not have to consider every worst-case scenario, it should not have holes in it that have recently become obvious in hindsight.
The departure of John Lloyd and arrival of Peter Woolcott this week as the Australian Public Service Commissioner raises the red – or should we say blue ­–­ flag.
Time to fix the federal Public Service Act

At his valedictory last night, hosted by the Institute of Public Administration Australia, Lloyd admitted he deliberately avoided overshadowing his senior APSC staff with responsibility for IR. But there were a few other areas where those who worked with him on selection boards and interdepartmental committees noticed a particular passion Lloyd exhibited that became infectious Why John Lloyd’s APS supporters will miss him