― Mickey Mouse
What new can be gleaned from the French Revolution’s central paradox: how so many citizens were slaughtered in the name of liberté, égalité, fraternité Le Miserables
People across the world have begun panic-buying supplies as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread rapidly and claim lives, including an Australian man who became the country’s first COVID-19 fatality.
I SEE A PLOT FOR A DARK COMEDY HERE, AS THE IDENTITY THIEF IS TRAPPED IN A LIFE NO ONE WANTS:Man Doesn’t Want Stolen Identity Back. “I almost feel bad for the identity thieves… all that work stealing bank account and social security information, for nothing. It’s basically the equivalent of Geraldo opening Al Capone’s vault, just to find it was empty.”
Nearly 850 landscape photographers from around the world submitted their best work to the 2019 International Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. The expert panel of judges, which includes last year’s winner, narrowed a field of 3,400 images to select the best portfolio and single photograph. In the end, it was Russian photographer Oleg Ershov who took home the top prize for his incredible range of landscape photography from England and Iceland.
Australia’s coronavirus pandemic plan: mass vaccinations and stadium quarantine Guardian
Kathleen Delaney Thomas (North Carolina) presents Taxing Nudges at Colorado today as part of its Faculty Colloquium Series:
Is the UAE a bastion of money laundering
- Why we should resist the rush to a cashless society (28 Feb 2020)
- Punishing 'stealth tax' costing UK low-income households £223 a year (28 Feb 2020)
- Politicians are mulling a global tax rate to tame the tech giants (28 Feb 2020)
- Tax havens cost governments $200 billion a year. It's time to change the way global tax works (28 Feb 2020)
- Belgian companies sent €172.3 billion to tax havens in 2018 (28 Feb 2020)
- Will the UK backtrack on offshore public registers? (28 Feb 2020)
- HMRC defeats promoter Root2 Tax Ltd, who used their own avoidance scheme (28 Feb 2020)
- Money Laundering: FCA reports a drop in suspicious transactions (28 Feb 2020)
- DAC 6: tax evasion and avoidance across borders (28 Feb 2020)
- My plans to tax wealth as well as income would create a more equal society (28 Feb 2020)
- UK House of Commons Debate: Tax Avoidance and Evasion (26 Feb 2020)
- Accountant loses appeal over £1.2m goodwill claim (26 Feb 2020)
- The Barclay family feud threatening to end an empire (26 Feb 2020)
- Frederick Barclay was secretly recorded at Ritz, high court hears (26 Feb 2020)
- Finance Curse: Rural America Doesn't Have to Starve to Death (26 Feb 2020)
- Is the UAE a bastion of money laundering? (26 Feb 2020)
- EU Antitrust Chief Defends Countries' Digital Tax Measures (26 Feb 2020)
- The world's biggest tax haven lurked behind a dos Santos penthouse (25 Feb 2020)
- Warning sounded over tax crackdown on HNWs (25 Feb 2020)
- HMRC targets ultra-rich £700bn assets (25 Feb 2020)
- Eamonn Holmes faces a £250k bill after losing his tax case (25 Feb 2020)
- Tax avoidance is a stain on our global public services (25 Feb 2020)
- Gina Miller demands review of Andrew Bailey as Bank of England Governor (25 Feb 2020)
- Press Release: Asleep At The Wheel – Report into UK financial services failings – 25th February 2020 (25 Feb 2020)
- Asleep at the wheel - An exposé of systemic regulatory failure and consumer detriment in the UK financial services sector (25 Feb 2020)
This is just a miscellaneous post on Swiss Banks to report two recent articles on two different topics.
Samuel Gerber, U.S. Tax Dispute: Swiss Banks in for More Fines? (Finews.com 2/19/20),here. The article reports on recent addenda by two Category 2 banks who reached NonProsecution Agreements (“NPAs”) under the DOJ Swiss Bank Program. I recently reported on two incidents: Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA ("UBP") Enters an Addendum to its Swiss Bank Program Category 2 NPA (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 2/5/20), here; and Coutts & Co. Ltd. Enters an Addendum to its Swiss Bank Program Category 2 NPA (Federal Tax Crimes Blog 12/20/19), here. The article speculates that there may be more to come, concluding that: “The Swiss banking industry doesn’t know how far the U.S. authorities intend to go but one observer noted that the proverbial lemon has been squeezed dry already.” That’s their story and they are sticking to it.
Switzerland still a hot spot to hide money, but getting better (SWI Swissinfo.ch 2/19/20),here. This article reports (excerpted from the start of the article)
Why were the Australians ahead of the world? For a very simple reason. They don’t trust the WHO. The information from multiple international sources is that the WHO is under intense pressure from the Chinese government, and succumbing to it.The Australian Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, told the NSC that it was medically inexplicable that the WHO hadn’t already declared a global pandemic. It’s politics, in other words.That’s why Australia had earlier forged ahead of the WHO in declaring the China travel ban, on February 1. It was, again, on the unanimous advice of the AHPPC.The travel ban was decided immediately after the US made the same call. Beijing instantly lashed both the US and Australia on that occasion – the Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, People’s Daily, calling it “racist”.But, of course, that decision now looks very wise, more so with each passing day.
“With the ongoing China travel ban, I’m very sympathetic about the impact on tourism and farmers, but I’m much less so with the universities,” he began. “Because they have been warned for years that they are over-reliant on the Chinese market, and for years they’ve reassured us that it was all fine, and that if anything happened they’d be able to withstand it. They rode the cycle up, now they can ride the cycle down.”The universities receive $17 billion a year in federal cash already. Paterson said they should be given this opportunity to show they could indeed withstand the lost income. Addressing Scott Morrison, Paterson concluded: “We shouldn’t relax the travel ban, and there should be no financial bail-out for the universities.”
When Isabel dos Santos was under intense scrutiny, she turned to one of the biggest secrecy havens in the world: the U.S. Our reporting reveals dos Santos and her husband, Sindika Dokolo, used Delaware companies to conceal their control of a $1.8 million Lisbon penthouse. Last week, the Tax Justice Network ranked the U.S. as the world’s second-most secretive jurisdiction, behind only the Cayman Islands, in its annual “financial secrecy index.
A nexus of ICIJ investigations: Appleby (remember them from Paradise Papers?), the tax haven Mauritius (hello Mauritius Leaks) and Luanda Leaks. Dos Santos and Dokolo wanted a brewery that could serve wealthy and working-class Angolans. They enlisted the help of some usual suspects – PWC in this case, and went shopping in Mauritius for the right tax rate. Tax law professor Rita de la Feria told us the case “showed a level of arrogance that consultancy companies had at that time in regard to tax avoidance.”
The latest from the Panama Papers criminal case in the United States. Harald Joachim von der Goltz pleaded guilty and told the court: “I’m profoundly sorry for my actions and for the harm I have caused not only to the United States but to the people I deceived.” U.S. prosecutors will recommend von der Goltz spend up to 15 years in prison.
ICIJ’s community engagement editor
The Tax Maven:
Farm Numbers Show the Smallest Drop in Recent History AgWeb
The Oldest Company in Almost Every Country (That is Still in Business) Business Financing. Fittingly, the oldest company in the United States is a plantation. Well done.